Is the machine shop truely your problem

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Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  IDT-572 on August 16th 2016, 6:06 pm

I hear ever so often an engine builder complain about losing an engine and it seems the machine shop they use is the reason for the problem.

If your an engine builder, either for yourself or for customers, attention to detail is a must.

Let your machinist know exactly what your wanting, watch him right it down. Tell him where you want your finished measurements to be. and ask about a delivery time. Don't tell them You need it asap every time.

A good relationship with your machinist is crucial. I almost never have a problem with the shop I use. Granted everyone makes a mistake every now and then. It's how they correct the mistake is what I look at.

If you check every thing before assembly and during assembly your chances of a fowl up will be greatly diminished.

If your depending on the shop to get everything right and your just a parts assembler, you may want to take up building model cars.

Another thing to be careful of, (and this bit me this last year) Be careful of building what your customer ask for. I built one for a local guy here and let him talk me into using the old TRW domes in a pulling motor I ported a set of Dove's for. I told him I didn't want to use them because of the weight. And I know there will be several guys testify that their uncle Bob ran them for 10 years turning 8500 and never had a problem. But I did and long story short he ran them with the limiter on 7200 pulled it 5 times won 4 lost a rod on the 5th pull and cam in second. This was after he swore he was going to put a 6500 chip in it.

Build what you know will work and pass on the job if pressured to do something you know wont live.

If your reading this and your the customer, try to be realistic with you ideas and your pocket book.

Sorry so long, just had to vent. Hey, I kinda went Randy Malic on you guys Shocked
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  Lem Evans on August 16th 2016, 6:57 pm

There is nothing to be sorry about, there are hundreds of cases like that.....a guy lets a customer talk them into helping them "save some money" but, the engine guy just enabled the dude to fuck himself Laughing Meanwhile back at the ranch, someone conveniently forgot that said engine builder advised against using substandard parts and the builder is fucked too.....either gotta put it back together for little or nothing or be dragged though the mud.

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  rmcomprandy on August 16th 2016, 7:44 pm

Blake and Lem ... no truer words were ever spoken. Everybody's an engine builder ... just ask 'em.

I have tried to tell some potential customers this exact thing yet I become the bad guy to get socially "bad mouthed" for refusing them, simply because I won't build it with what they want in it and how they want it done.

Telling them to "Take it somewhere else" seems to be their license to dish-out all the trash they can spread.


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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  cool40 on August 16th 2016, 9:23 pm

I'm no engine builder but I do like building my stuff. I always double check every piece and have a hard time making myself happy with things. Laughing good machine shops are hard to come by and those good ones are always far behind and usually get bashed for that! Shocked
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  61coon on August 16th 2016, 10:54 pm

I have learned a great deal about engines over the past few years, and I'll be the first to say, I'm no engine builder. I did assemble my engine that's in my car now, but only under the close supervision of Blake (IDT-572). I am grateful for the lessons and knowledge I've gained from him. There are so many knowledgeable people on this board it's unreal. If anyone wants a "free" lesson, come to the bash, sit down, and sit in on a Randy Malik conversation(s). Mr. Sensitivity himself, has forgot more than I will ever acquire. Some folks say he's abrasive or rude, I say he's Randy,deal with it. The man has built darn near any engine ever manufacturered.  My pops told me a long time ago, shut up boy, you can't learn running yo mouth. People that are more experienced have been down that road before, no need for us to make the same mistakes when they offer advice... Thanks to all the engine builders that offer up advice for us! ---RED
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  BBFTorino on August 16th 2016, 11:54 pm

Never take your Ford engine to a Chevy builder!! Twisted Evil

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  whitefield on August 17th 2016, 7:26 am

Will have to say for the most part Blake is correct in his post.

Now let me vent about a local to me machine shop .I have over the years spent a lot of money with said machine shop . I also new them on a personal level as I went too Vo tech school with these guys.

When you spend money to have a set of 69 351w heads repaired and you put them on for a customer and he runs them for a month and comes to you with a ticking sound and that sound is exhaust valve guides worn out . I had this same thing to happen on 4 sets of heads from them ,283 Chevy ,another set of 351w heads, brand new small block Chevy dart heads bought from them and assembled by them and a set of Chrysler 3.0 mini van heads.
Also when you have a oil galley plug to blow out going down the track and kills a motor that they installed broke a crank and charged full price for a cheaper crank got cheaper crank and was a 3.5 stroke crank and was supposed to be a 3.85 stroke crank . They didn't want to take the wrong crank back because they had balanced . That is the long and short of said machine shop problems local to me.

P.s. I had used them for more engines and many years than those mentioned, and about 75% of the work was great. Not willing to go the extra mile and helping regular customers is a big deal breaker for me.
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  DaveMcLain on August 17th 2016, 7:44 am

BBFTorino wrote:Never take your Ford engine to a Chevy builder!! Twisted Evil

Where does this nonsense come from? An engine is an engine and if the shop can only work on one brand they aren't very knowledgeable to begin with.


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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  IDT-572 on August 17th 2016, 9:18 am

DaveMcLain wrote:
BBFTorino wrote:Never take your Ford engine to a Chevy builder!! Twisted Evil

Where does this nonsense come from?  An engine is an engine and if the shop can only work on one brand they aren't very knowledgeable to begin with.  


Right here, it should not make a tinkers damn what brand it is.
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  Scott Foxwell on August 17th 2016, 9:19 am

In my experience, one in ten "machine shops" should be allowed to call them self that. My advice; if you're going to have engine related machine work done, do your due diligence before you drop off any parts. A few questions to known customers or local racers will go a long way in finding out who to go to, and who NOT to go to.

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  IDT-572 on August 17th 2016, 9:19 am

Always check every thing, leave nothing to chance. Wink
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  Scott Foxwell on August 17th 2016, 9:22 am

IDT-572 wrote:
DaveMcLain wrote:
BBFTorino wrote:Never take your Ford engine to a Chevy builder!! Twisted Evil

Where does this nonsense come from?  An engine is an engine and if the shop can only work on one brand they aren't very knowledgeable to begin with.  


Right here, it should not make a tinkers damn what brand it is.

Agree. While there are some idiosyncrasies from engine to engine, any competent engine builder/ engine shop should be able to work on either. Cranks, rods, pistons, blocks, etc. don't know what label is on them.

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  IDT-572 on August 17th 2016, 9:33 am

It amazes me the shop I use has only made one mistake for me, but it was on two separate blocks. And I have used them for years.

Their align hone machine put .002-.004 taper in the center three caps on both blocks.

I caught it and called them and they told me they didn't think that it was possible.

I told them to check the next one off the machine and let me know what they found.

Next day they called me and had found the rocks were binding in the middle of the bar and causing it.

They offered to go back and fix the problem, but I told them one engine was mine and the other a good friends I had control of.

I just added more oil clearance and ran um.

If it had been a paying customer I would have had them fix the problem.

Bottom line is if the shop knows your checking behind them, they are not going to be as likely to do poor work.

I have brought my mic and checked parts at their shop and compare my mics readings to theirs. Just goodwill to keep both of us happy.
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  DaveMcLain on August 17th 2016, 10:01 am

Another thing that most people don't understand is that engine building and machine shop are NOT the same thing. There are many places that can do good accurate machine work but they do not have a good understanding of how the engine really works and how the various parts interact to produce a performance engine no matter what type.

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  rmcomprandy on August 17th 2016, 10:22 am

DaveMcLain wrote:
BBFTorino wrote:Never take your Ford engine to a Chevy builder!! Twisted Evil

Where does this nonsense come from?  An engine is an engine and if the shop can only work on one brand they aren't very knowledgeable to begin with.  


Dave ... in my opinion, it starts when someone, (7 of 10 shops start this way), puts out a shingle claiming they are a "High Performance" engine builder because they have built several successful high performance engines of only one brand, with the thinking that all brand engines are basically the same.
They learn about the idiosyncrasies of whatever other brands need on other peoples "dime" not willing to learn FIRST and spend the necessary time educating themselves BEFORE performing the work.

Those 3 shops who go through whatever it takes to get it right suffer because the other 7 are in it for different reasons. They don't or won't acquire the necessary advanced knowledge in order to present the "right" job to that customer.

Customers who paid that price and sent their work to one of those 7 shops, paint their experiences with a very wide brush ... and their thoughts get broadcasted outward from there.

Do not take your engine work to anyone who doesn't know exactly what they're doing and who will take those necessary learning steps about that brand engine ahead of time ... whatever brand it may be.

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  Scott Foxwell on August 17th 2016, 10:30 am

IDT-572 wrote:

Their align hone machine put .002-.004 taper in the center three caps on both blocks.

       
You sure you don't mean .0002-.0004?

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  IDT-572 on August 17th 2016, 10:41 am

Scott Foxwell wrote:
IDT-572 wrote:

Their align hone machine put .002-.004 taper in the center three caps on both blocks.

       
You sure you don't mean .0002-.0004?

You are correct sir........... Embarassed That's what happens when your posting and should be working.
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  whitefield on August 17th 2016, 10:42 am

Scott Foxwell wrote:In my experience, one in ten "machine shops" should be allowed to call them self that. My advice; if you're going to have engine related machine work done, do your due diligence before you drop off any parts. A few questions to known customers or local racers will go a long way in finding out who to go to, and who NOT to go to.

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  rollercam1 on August 17th 2016, 10:52 am

Pretty limited options in my state for machine shops. When I moved here, I spent time in each prospective machine shops talking, looking, ect. I looked at how new or old the machines were. Not saying old machines are bad, I have a 1943 Cincinnati universal #2 and it is very good. Old machines work, if the operator has spent significant time on them. The shop I go to now is always busy, I always have to wait a little bit longer, is always more expensive, and I don't care. They always challenge for a lengthy discussion of intended use and goals. Like the post above, I quantify my standards of measurement with theirs so my measuring equipment is validated with theirs. They have a long history within each motorsports in the state. The funny thing is, they are a drag bike machine shop. I have utilized them for 7 different engine combinations and they are extremely consistent. Nothing with engines is cheap. You would think that people would have a good relationship with their machine shops. Listening on both sides, discussing options, weighing budgets and parts and again, the customers is more often than not, always right. I appreciate all that you guys on this board do for us in bringing up the level of knowledge!
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  DaveMcLain on August 17th 2016, 10:55 am

Another problem you see in a lot of shops is that for some reason they are afraid to say, "I don't know". "I'm not sure about that", etc. In our shop we tend to work on whatever comes through the door and there are many times with diesel or tractor stuff in particular that I have to ask or have the customer dig up specific information so that the job goes well. It isn't a big deal but it is important to be willing to do that sort of thing.




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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  Lem Evans on August 17th 2016, 11:01 am

A machine is never better than it's operator.

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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  BigRigTech on August 17th 2016, 11:29 am

I consider myself an amateur engine builder. I've built some SBF's at home for family and friends, I do all my own work on my Mustang and I've rebuilt several diesel truck engines at work over the years being a truck and transport mechanic. I haven't lost one yet and the only issues I've had at start up were on my 472" on the dyno which turned into a minor deal and a learning opportunity for future reference. We only have 2 machine shops locally, both have made mistakes on stock rebuilds and racing engines but they are HUMAN like the rest of us so you can't expect perfection 100% of the time. I take my BBF to Alyn and John Armstrongs A&J Automotive to be dyno'd. They are NHRA record holders both as drivers and engine builders in the stock/super stock world. When they speak - you listen - the wealth of knowledge between their ears is immense and you consider yourself fortunate to learn from them. If someone asked me to build a SBC I'd do it but not without telling them I might get a rash in the process seing as how I've never built one...LOL...An engine is an engine - this is true - but we all know they can't be built the same way and expect the same results. Being a rare BBF Ford guy at our local track you would be surprised how many times I've been told the "recipe" for a BBC that I should be using in my BBF...You know the deal, main cap girdle, ARP fasteners everywhere, blah blah blah. The look of horror you get when you point out the stock head bolts and main bolts in my 600HP 472". affraid . Laughing
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  cletus66 on August 17th 2016, 12:15 pm

If your depending on the shop to get everything right and your just a parts assembler, you may want to take up building model cars.


I have done this for 3 decades. Luckily, I have a good machinist at The Shop. Laughing
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  whitefield on August 17th 2016, 1:17 pm

cletus66 wrote:If your depending on the shop to get everything right and your just a parts assembler, you may want to take up building model cars.


I have done this for 3 decades.  Luckily, I have a good machinist at The Shop.   Laughing



I understand that people make mistakes , but when over a 20 plus years of doing business with local machine shop and you have stock not modified or anything engine you are assembling in a mini van with overhead cam and no valve adjustment . I removed the heads 3 times to get the valve length on the tip of the valve repaired there is a problem ! 3.3 Chrysler Newyorker engine overhaul,I had to remove heads twice to get the valve guides repaired for excessive clearance and smoking. I as well as former employs and fellow racers of said machine shop have a long list of issues and problems that were for given and tried to continue using and giving them business . I am not a person that is a once bit twice shy !
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Re: Is the machine shop truely your problem

Post  cletus66 on August 17th 2016, 1:22 pm

whitefield wrote:
cletus66 wrote:If your depending on the shop to get everything right and your just a parts assembler, you may want to take up building model cars.


I have done this for 3 decades.  Luckily, I have a good machinist at The Shop.   Laughing



I understand that people make mistakes , but when over a 20 plus years of doing business with local machine shop and you have  stock not modified or anything engine you are assembling in a mini van with overhead cam and no valve adjustment . I removed  the heads 3 times to get the valve length on the tip of the valve repaired there is a problem ! 3.3 Chrysler Newyorker  engine overhaul,I had to remove heads twice to get the valve guides repaired for excessive clearance and smoking.   I as well as former employs and fellow racers of said machine shop have a long list of issues and problems that were for given and tried to continue using and giving them business . I am not a person that is a once bit twice shy !  


So there is no confusion, the quote in red is from the OP. I was poking fun at myself. Embarassed
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