Shop Solutions

Valve LeakerDETAILS
Sometimes it is just the little details that add up. Taking the time to use a little ATF to wipe your new piston rings down before assembly, can help keep dirt and debris out of your new engine. Multiply this by the number of parts that go into an engine and you can see that keeping things as clean as possible really comes down to the details.

Erik Koenig
HorsePower Research
McKinney, TX

To repair a set of heads that had been threaded and tapped for screw in studs, and where we could not use a shouldered hex stud or guides plates, I locked the studs in with set screws. Whoever had worked on these heads before had tapped the heads with a bad tap and the studs were loose in the holes. I removed the studs and setup the cylinder head in my head shop to drill the stud bosses on the intake side of the head. The holes were threaded and set screws were locked down on the reinstalled studs. They aren't going anywhere now and this trick can be used to lock down any stud where you have access the the side of the stud boss or housing.

Darrin Anderson
Sterling Bearing
N. Kansas City, MO

A quick way to center up crankshaft bobweights is to use a piece of round aluminum rod, machined to 1/2 the difference of the widths of the weight and the journal. Use it to space one side up and snug the bobweight. That centers it right up on the journal and it’s quicker than using a dial calipers. The aluminum rod should be snug on both sides of the weight. Simply make different standards for each journal width.

Ron Flood
Cedar Machine Service
North Branch, MN

When I mount pistons onto press fit rods I set my mounting fixture so I get them perfectly centered. But setting the mounting fixture on tapered pin boss pistons is harder to get right. I took an old rod and honed the small end until the press pin slips through. Next, I cut the rod in half and cut a slot through the rod, as you see in the picture. Using a triangle file, create a chamfer at the parting line so you are not scratching the pin. Now you can just squeeze the end of the rod to lock it in place so you can set the pin fixture just right.

Dave Matton
D and D Machine
Bloomington, MN


I got tired of plastic screw-on caps splitting and product drying out or going bad and leaking on my bench or in my tool box. So I use a piece of heat shrink tubing to keep
the split cap together or prevent new caps from splitting.

Will Samples
S&S Imports

We're selling lots of new bare castings these days because of overheated, cracked heads. Once a cylinder head leaves your shop you're at the mercy of the installer to insure the cooling system is in proper working order. A clogged radiator, weak water pump or sticky thermostat can cause an overheat situation, particularly in this summer’s excessive temperatures. To help identify an overheat problem on a cylinder head that’s been run through your shop, we recommend placing a heat tab on a water jacket plug or on a smooth spot on the casting. The center of a heat tab is designed to melt out indicating the cylinder head reached a temperature greater than its melting point. Heat tabs come in a few different temperature ranges for marine, diesel and automotive. The most popular tabs melt at around 250-F.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing
N. Kansas City, MO