Shop Solutions

Removing and installing an older Ford oil filter adapter without damaging it is easy when you make this tool. Find a nut that fits on the threads and cut a slot with a cutoff wheel. Next apply valve grinding compound to the threads, install the nut, clamp the nut between the void with a vise grip and rotate it out of the block. Valve grinding compound should not be used to reinstall it.

Dave Matton
D and D Auto Machine
Bloomington, MN

20 ton PressTIME IS MONEY
One thing I've learned after many years of business is that my time is very valuable. I can balance multiple machines running and I can squeeze in some time with my customers, but it can be difficult being the “parts guy” as well. Like most shops, I can't afford a parts counter person on the margins we make on parts today and I know some shops are walking away from parts sales because of this. I have found a parts person and his salary is free, or almost. There are many engine parts WD's out there and each employees several customer sales reps (CSR). After dialing into to one who I could relate to and work with, parts acquisition became much easier and much more profitable. As long as I have the right information when I call, I have easy access to quotes, availability and my parts show up while I keep working. I might be able to shop out every part for the best price, but that would cost me far more in the long run.

Randy Torvinen
Torvinen's Machine
Menahga, MN

Allen Screw StippedWOODIN' YOU LIKE SOME
I have made a variety of valve holders, each made for different head configurations. I make them out of wood and drill holes matching the head configuration so I can replace the valves back into the same valve guides. The attached example is for a Cummins, but I've made them for a variety of heads. Some have added holes to hold lifter buckets in the correct order as well.

Shawn Bergeron
Daytona Auto Design
Daytona Beach, FL

ISX Cummins DOHC heads are often return with an injector cam bearing seized to the camshaft. The cause is twofold:
1) When the technician removed the camshaft on the head exchange, they stood the camshaft on end. Since the camshafts are hollow, all of the oil ran out.
2)Upon installation, the engine must be pressure primed with the valve cover off to observe oil seeping out from between the cam and the bearings. The predominant cam bearing seizure is on the injector cam because four of the bearings do not have oil holes in them to pressure lubricate the cam and bearings. If the pressure lubrication process is not followed, it is almost certain a failure will occur.

Arvid Elbeck
American Cylinder Head
Oakland, CA

Corn in Tank

Sometimes it's easier to work on something if you can get it a little higher up in the air. I made a steel post with a tapered end to hold cylinder heads up high above the assembly bench. The single post allows me to swing the head around easily and it is high enough to get the valve compressor underneath.

Steve Potz
Steve's Engine Shop
Cocoa, FL

IYou want to seal that flange with an OE MLS gasket? Good luck!
The same conditions now exist in exhaust flange technology as when the first MLS head gaskets were being replaced under repair conditions. OEM MLS exhaust flange gaskets just can’t create a lasting seal on a warped, pot marked and irregular sealing surface that is not straight. The MLS gasket may provide an initial seal but after a few heat cycles and a short period of time, the embossment that is designed to seal the gasket no longer recovers and the irregular surface of the flange allows leak paths to develop and the MLS gasket will fail very prematurely.
A stainless steel armor for a positive seal around the exhaust ports and a composite graphite gasket body material that is designed to fill in minor imperfections in the surface finish allows for a more robust clamp load sealing the exhaust ports. When the imperfections in the surface are eliminated, the seal will be maintained for the life of the gasket.
To prevent future failure you should use a gasket that has been engineered utilizing the materials and design for the real world repair environment. By the way, that OEM exhaust manifold gasket failed for a reason. If you don’t fix the cause or redesign the gasket, why would you expect a different outcome?

Engine Pro Technical Committee
with special thanks to Fel Pro Gasket