Shop Solutions

We have always sealed the head bolts that go to water with a Teflon sealer of some kind, but we still had one that leaked from time to time. So when I saw an ad for a new and improved Teflon Sealer, I called the company. The engineer that I spoke with told me that none of the Teflon products would work on the head bolts because Teflon was actually designed to lubricate tapered pipe threads, not to seal them. He explained that they had added some solids to the material to help fill the gaps in the poor threads found on some of the cheap, imported pipe that is on the market today, but this wouldn’t do any good on a straight threaded head bolts. After hearing this, we called our sealant representative and discovered that there are certain “Head Bolt and Water Jacket Sealer” products designed specifically to seal head bolts that go to water. We started using such a product over a year ago and haven’t had a head bolt leak since then. And, it also lubricates the threads so the head bolts still torque correctly. Check with your supplier of sealing and thread locking products for their recommendation.

Doug Anderson
Grooms Engines
Nashville, TN

To check lifter bores for finish, burrs or obstruction, I made tools by removing the plunger and internal parts from some lifters. I have a set of various “empty” lifters, specific to application. You can stick the lifter on the end of your finger then slide it, with twisting motion, in and out of the lifter bore. If it sticks, or does not move freely, I deburr and ball hone the bore. It is a fast, easy way to check lifter bores that may prevent problems after assembly.

Herb Glaseman
Spring, TX

I recently used major aftermarket high strength bolts in some LS9 GM connecting rods and had to bring the rod bores back into spec. The titanium tears up stones and shoes in the rod hone. I used fine emory-cloth pieces with the abrasive side against the shoes to keep it in place. I put the cloth side against the stone to keep it in place. The rod glides over the cloth backing and the fine Emory laps the rod bore without tearing. Some I spoke with doubted it would work, but it did a great job for me.

Randy Torvinen
Torvinen's Machine
Menahga, MN

I cut old valves in half to make a quick tool, when doing valve jobs. It is quicker than dividers or lapping. When installed in the head, you can see exactly where the valves are seating.

Scott Ouellette
Powerplay Automotive Machine
Wilmington, MA

This is a hold down for grinding dual-mass flywheels that I made in my shop. It allows me to resurface many types of dual-mass flywheels. The round disk is used to put pressure on the flywheel and keep it from spinning while it is on the flywheel grinder. The second photo shows the “bat” that is used to put pressure on the flywheel if the disk is to large.

Joe Werner
Automotive Machine & Supply
Fort Collins, CO


Many classes of racing require the use of stamped steel rocker arms, and many budget crate engines utilize stamped steel rocker arms. Because stamped steel rocker arms do not feature a roller bearing pivot, stamped steel rocker arms generate more friction. As a result, improper break-in and operation can dramatically shorten the life of stamped steel rocker arms. This technical bulletin provides recommended steps and products to prevent failures and extend the life of engines utilizing stamped steel rocker arms.
It is recommended to pre-lube the inside cup of the rocker arm with Engine Assembly Grease. After installing the rocker arms and setting the valve lash, pour break-in oil over the rocker arm assembly (16 oz. per side on V8 or V6 engines). Upon start-up, bring the engine speed up to 2,800 RPM and hold steady for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, shut down the engine, and allow the engine to cool down for 10 minutes. Restart the engine, and bring the engine speed back to 2,800 RPM for 10 more minutes. The rocker arms are now properly broken-in. If the engine features flat-tappet lifters, this same procedure is recommended for cam break-in. To maintain proper protection, it is recommended to use synthetic motor oil. Conventional motor oils, even high zinc racing oils, DO NOT provide the required friction reduction needed to properly protect stamped steel rocker arms. Endurance testing shows that synthetic motor oil reduces oil temperature, wear and friction.

Engine Pro Technical Committee with special thanks to
Lake Speed Jr. and Driven Racing Oils