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Shop Solutions

Shop Solutions

I buy these inexpensive moving dollies and cover them with Marine plywood. Instead of having blocks on the floor and having to use a 2 wheeler all the time to move them around, all the blocks are on dollies. If you put a piece of cardboard down, it soaks up oil going from station to station. You don’t risk scratching a fresh deck surface with the two wheeler either. And no more oil streaks following you around the shop. I started out with car dollies and larger moving dollies and then a friend hooked me up with some of these smaller ones. I must have 20 of them. Be sure that none of the screws protrude through the bottom. I use Sheetrock screws in a couple different lengths and countersink and pre-drill the plywood.

Ron Flood
Cedar Machine
North Branch, MN

I came up with a simple way to keep lifters organized and in one place. This was easy to make with some scrape wood, some paddle drills and a few tools around the shop. It is a handy way to transport them without getting them mixed up.

Joe Werner
Shop Automotive Machine& Supply
Fort Collins, CO

Leveling a head on our surfacing machines can test our patience at times. We are placing a perfectly flat level on a surface that may be anything but flat. Sometimes the solution for a really twisted head is to place precision parallels on each end of the head and level off of the parallels.

Dave Matton
D and D Auto Machine
Bloomington, MN

Professional auto and truck repair facilities are THE best source of high-value work for machine shops specializing in cylinder head repair. Professional mechanics usually know what they are working on and what is needed to correct a problem. Professionals have a lower warranty rate vs. DIY’rs or DIFM’rs and they can bring in work on a regular basis, not just a one time fix. Machine shop owners value this kind of business. Ask yourself, does every professional within driving distance of your shop know exactly what services you perform? If not, a great way to make an impression is to treat your customer to some food. Donuts are a cheap and easy way to get someone’s attention. While your customer is thanking your for breakfast, present them with a list of the services you perform. Make sure the list includes your shop services and let them know you can provide parts like head sets and head bolts. If you offer delivery, add that to the list. One stop per day on your way to work would add up to 20-customer calls per month.

Steve Rich
Sterling Bearing, Inc.
N. Kansas City, MO


Crankshaft end play is important to check in all engine builds. You want to make sure there is no pressure or binding at the flange of the thrust bearing. On these John Deere applications the end play needs to be checked once the engine is installed, as well as during the assembly. If the input shaft is not installed properly into the clutch and the P.T.O. clutch, there can be pressure on the rear of the crankshaft. This is especially a problem with the Quad Range transmissions in tractor models 4030, 4040, 4050, 4230, 4240, 4250, 4430, 4440, 4450, 4630, 4640, 4650, 8430, 8440, 8450, 8630, 8640, 8650 and 8850. Crankshaft end play should be checked and noted before the engine is installed. The reading should be taken at the front of the engine with a dial indicator attached to the timing cover. Using a pry bar or similar tool to move the crank to the rear of it's travel, set your indicator to zero. Then gently pry the crank forward and note your measure. Use the same method to check end play once the engine is installed and look for any change in that measure. Make sure to remove all drive belts and disconnect the hydraulic pump drive. It should be noted that failure to check this may void the warranty of many engine parts and remanufactured engines.

Engine Pro Tech Committee with special thanks to Reliance Power Part