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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some advice on how to best work with my machine shop. Do most of you guys just drop everything off and have the machine shop bore, deck, clean, install cam bearings, and balance all at once? Or, do you make several trips so you can clean the block before the cam bearings go in and check piston-to-valve clearance before balancing?

Thanks. -Neil
 

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I can't and wont speak for everyone, but in my case. I purchased nearly everything minus the bearings before dropping off the motor. The only other real concern is the pistons and rings. The cylinders will have to be mic'd to determin the size of the replacement pistons and rings.

So you can make arrangements to drop off the topend minus the carb. Full rebuild gasket kit, oil pump, freeze plugs, cam, distributor, timing chain, new balancer and the block. Have the block mic'd and then order the new pistons and rings.

Let the shop determin the correct mains and cam bearings.
Have em line bore the block and balance the rods and crank.

They'll appreciate not having to order everthing, your motor will be done sooner, you'll know what was put into it, and even though you didnt do the actuall build up.. you still contributed to it.

I my case I had them do the short block and I finished the build and installed the motor.
 

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Personally, I would only give the machinist the parts to do a short block. I wouldn't want a nice set of cylinder heads to "walk off somehow". He/she may or may not be insured for YOUR parts if they get stolen.
 

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On the blocks that are dropped of at the shop we clean, mag, line hone with Arp bolt kit, deck to zero, bore and plate hone and maybe stroker clearance the block if needed, final wash and install cam bearings and freeze plugs and on some blocks we correct the cam tunnels to blue print and either bush the lifter bore back to standard or go .875 or .904. And if they bring the rotator in we balance and clearance both ends of the rods and pin bores in the pistons and check the bearing clearances and fit the rings if requested.
 

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It depends on how meticulous (sp) you are..025 will give you zero deck most of the time but not always.To check it you need the pistons rods and crank you are going to run installed in the block to check deck clearence.If piston to valve clearence may be a problem you need to check it before balancing.So you need it cleaned and bored check deck clearence deck it clean again install cam bearings and check piston to valve clearence then balance it.
 

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With all the blocks we machine we never have to fit any thing up we do everthing off the center line of the crank and the center line of the cam. If your using good parts everthing should come out right.
 

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Carl,

not many mainers on this board!
where in windham are you located ? i'm in north yarmouth. i'm goin to need some block work done in the near future and would like to get some pricing.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Originally posted by 67 Plum:
It depends on how meticulous (sp) you are..025 will give you zero deck most of the time but not always.To check it you need the pistons rods and crank you are going to run installed in the block to check deck clearence.If piston to valve clearence may be a problem you need to check it before balancing.So you need it cleaned and bored check deck clearence deck it clean again install cam bearings and check piston to valve clearence then balance it.
You hit the nail on the head. Doing it the 'right' way involves 3 or 4 trips to the machine shop unless I let the shop do the mockup and cleaning for me. I guess a benefit of letting the shop do the mockup is that you would get a gauranteed deck height. If you did the mockup and told them how much to cut - no guarantee.

Carl - my machinist says if I want a zero deck he wants to determine how much to cut based on a mockup to guard against a piston ending up out of the hole due to tolerance stack. I'm running good stuff - Callies crank, Manley rods, JE pistons. 3.48 stroke x 6" rods x 1.25" compression height puts my theoretical deck height at 8.990. I'm thinking of decking to 8.995 (.005 in the hole) and running a .039 head gasket (.044 quench). I have a new 9.025 bow-tie block. Do you feel that I can safely tell him to cut .030" without a mockup beforehand?

[ 02-03-2005, 10:31 AM: Message edited by: Neil B ]
 

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Just run a thinner gasket and leave a little wiggle room for another pass at the deck later. You can run a .028" GM gasket and cut the deck to 9.00.
 

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I agree Carl If you use good parts it should work out right.But the only way to know for sure is do a mockup.I have a 350 shortblock with Wiseco pistons 1.25 comp. hgt. 6" Lunati rods and a Wheeler forged crank in a factory block it had .040 deck clearence.I had it cut .025 and plan to use the Victor gasket.Instead of cutting .030 cut it .020 and use Victor gasket 5746 which is .026 with a 4.100 bore dia. for .041 quench.
 

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Neil,
Unless you have the proper measuring equipment, especially a stroke checker for the crankshaft, it is best in my opinion to mock the assembly up and check it before decking the block. If you are using real good parts, they should be right on the money, but some of the less expensive cranks leave a bit to be desired as far as the stroke goes. Put it together to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I decide to bore and hone first to mockup the rotating assembly, do I ask the machinist to take the cylinders to final spec and bore finish? Or, do I just rough hone enough to fit the pistons and then finish hone after decking? In other words, does the decking process hurt the final bore finish?
 

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Neil,
If you want to really be precise, it would be best to finish hone the block after decking, with a torque plate. But ... in reality it would be a pain to do it that way. You would have to bore the block, then plate hone it just enough to barely let the pistons slide in the holes. Then mock it up an check the deck hgt. Then deck it and go back and finish honing it with the torque plates again. In all reality, for 99.9% of engines, doing this would probably not make a single bit of difference compared to just boring it, then plate honing it to size, then decking it after you mock it up and check it. Besides, it would cost a mint :rolleyes:
If your machine shop has the stuff to check the stroke on the crank, you really should be able to measure everything and get it within a couple of thousanths. The stroke is the hardest thing to measure if you dont have the right tools.
 

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I'm not a machinist and was unaware until I learned on this board that a machine shop actually doesn't make much on the machine work. Be sure you give your machinist a chance to sell you some, if not all of the parts you'll need. You might be surprised at some of the deals he can get and pass along to you, plus he has access to suppliers that are unavailable to you. I'm as cheap and tight as anyone I know, but now I buy a lot more parts from the machine shop. You might be surprised at how much warmer of a greeting you get when you walk in the door when you're actually supporting his business rather than just having some machine work done.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Boty,

I agree with what you're saying. If my machinist gives me a quality product, I will buy more from him and I will recommend that others do the same.
 

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Carl - my machinist says if I want a zero deck he wants to determine how much to cut based on a mockup to guard against a piston ending up out of the hole due to tolerance stack. I'm running good stuff - Callies crank, Manley rods, JE pistons. 3.48 stroke x 6" rods x 1.25" compression height puts my theoretical deck height at 8.990. I'm thinking of decking to 8.995 (.005 in the hole) and running a .039 head gasket (.044 quench). I have a new 9.025 bow-tie block. Do you feel that I can safely tell him to cut .030" without a mockup beforehand? [/QUOTE]Neil

If your machinist has good measuring equipment and good equipment to do the job right 8.995 should be fine. Don't forget zero deck is figured with zero oil clearances as you start stacking up oil clearances such as rod and main clearance and rod pin bore and the piston pin that bore add all them up devide by 2 see how much the things change. This is an area nobody ever thinks about.

We deck 99% of our blocks zero for shops all over the country and if we had to mock everthing up every time we would not get anything done. And so far we have had no complaints with pistons sticking out of the deck.

With the parts that you are using you should be fine with zero deck and if your machinist has to mock everthing up it sounds like he doesn't have a truing fixture to do the job correctly ask and see if your machinist is using a BHJ block trueing fixture if not you sure dont want to deck off the excisting decks as I have found they are not very true to begin with.

Some of our circle track engines we build the pistons are out of the hole .007 with no problems as there is no deck rule in this class
 

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Originally posted by BillK:
Neil,
If you want to really be precise, it would be best to finish hone the block after decking, with a torque plate. But ... in reality it would be a pain to do it that way. You would have to bore the block, then plate hone it just enough to barely let the pistons slide in the holes. Then mock it up an check the deck hgt. Then deck it and go back and finish honing it with the torque plates again. In all reality, for 99.9% of engines, doing this would probably not make a single bit of difference compared to just boring it, then plate honing it to size, then decking it after you mock it up and check it. Besides, it would cost a mint :rolleyes:
If your machine shop has the stuff to check the stroke on the crank, you really should be able to measure everything and get it within a couple of thousanths. The stroke is the hardest thing to measure if you dont have the right tools.
Any body that does performance machine work decks the blocks before boring as to get the decks a true 90 degrees to the main line and the a true 45 degees as most boring bars come of the deck which I have found not to be very true and in the end does not make a very good job.
 

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Originally posted by kip:
Carl,

not many mainers on this board!
where in windham are you located ? i'm in north yarmouth. i'm goin to need some block work done in the near future and would like to get some pricing.

thanks
Kip

We have one shop in East Windham and our CNC shop is in Gorham about 15 minutes away. We should be able to take care of your block needs and also we have line boring equipment, 2 Sunnen line hone tables a Sunnen 616 Cylinder King two crank balancers rod equiment and and we are now set up to blue print cam tunnels for roller bearings ETC. we are WD with most suppliers and some we are master WD. So I look foward to talking to you in the future at least come take the tour.
 
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