Shop Solutions

When working on GM cylinder heads like the LS series, that have a short tip length, you may need to have the valve shortened for correct stem height. The valve tip may set below the retainer. I use my Sunnen cap grinder to remove .020 from top of retainer. This helps to reclaim some rocker to retainer clearance.
Jack Conklin
Performance Machine Specialty
Cleveland, MO.

At times I have had a main journal that just honed faster than the rest. I cut some .001 shim stock and place it between the stone and journal and give it a few short strokes. The shim stock will stop the honing of that one journal and let the rest catch up.
Mark Carney
Automotive Machine Inc
Emporia, KS

Occasionally you find yourself needing to remove stainless o-rings while servicing engine blocks or heads. Instead of trying to pick and gouge the wire out, simply strike an arc on them with your tig torch and immediately touch the tungsten to the wire. Wait a few seconds, pull it, and the wire will come away with it. It doesn't take much. I like to start at the ends where they meet.
And speaking of o-rings, when installing the o ring wire, dress/scarf cut the end at a 45° angle. Install it in the groove as usual, and when you get to the final end, mark and cut the wire. Then, with your handheld belt file, dress the end at the same angle and finish the install. The scarf cut will be a little more forgiving than a butt joint and there will be no gap to leak.
Ron Flood
Cedar Machine Service
North Branch, MN

Here is how you can repair the Hone head since Rottler does not service the head any longer.
You can use a Regis part number RSI218. You will need to drill out the top of pinion to remove the expander nut. Then cut the top of the shaft and drill and tap it for a small bolt. Then put on the bolt and washer and you are ready to go.
Charlie Corria
Charlies High Performance Machine
Tracy, CA

I carefully organized the machines in my shop to utilize a variety of Jib Cranes which I custom built, specifically for this shop. They are carefully designed to clear doors, ceilings and other cranes. I welded stops on them to limit the swing which will save the walls and equipment from damage. These cranes allow me to easily lift heads, cranks and blocks to each machine without heavy manual effort. I also made a variety of straps, and color coded threaded eye hooks. There are 5 of these cranes in my shop and I'd estimate the cost at about$1,500 each, including the hoist. A big investment, but it makes it easy for one man to move anything, anywhere in the shop.
Steve Potz
Steve's Engine Shop
Cocoa, FL


Sometimes when machining and repairing different things, it is necessary to remove helicoil inserts that have been previously installed. Without any knowledge of how to do this can make a simple repair seem like a complete disaster. From my experience, helicoil inserts are not really particularly difficult to remove. Tools needed for this operation include a small center punch with a sharp point, a medium sized ballpeen hammer and a decent pair of needle-nose pliers. The first step is to take the center punch and position it on top of the thread insert 85 degrees from the end of the insert. Then strike the punch lightly with the hammer. The idea here is to get the punch behind the insert which will bend it in towards the center. Once the insert is bent into the center of the hole, use the needle nose pliers to back the insert out. If done correctly, the insert will come out with minimal effort and frustration.
Ben Hoitink
Hughes Engines, Inc
Washington, IL