Machining Block 2008
March 19, 2017


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It took a while to accumulate all of the parts and find the right machine shop,
but everything is now done, there's nearly 1,000 miles and the engine runs great.

Mason's Racing Engines in Rhode Island is one of the finest engine machine shops
on the East Coast.  The business is run by Bob Mason and truly is a family owned
and operated business that is spotlessly clean and as well equipped as you will ever find. 
State of the art equipment, including in house Dyno services, as well as the expertise
to do any type of specialty engine machining makes this shop stand out above the competition.

**** Viewers are warned that if they attempt any mechanical repairs or modifications,
or follow procedures referred to here, they do so at their own risk, and no liability will
attach to either myself or Mason's Racing Engines.****

This is what we started with when it got to Bob's shop.  I'm showing before and after pictures
to show the types of cleaning that can be done to a block after it is disassembled.

Next comes a little trip through the hot tanks to remove the grease and rust from the
inside of the coolant passages.  Please note that all expansion plugs are removed, as
well as all oil galley plugs and the two lead slugs that are located on the block.

A lot better, but not nearly where we need to be.

This is what you get most of the time, but it's not quite good enough to get the remaining
rust and potential crud that may be lurking in the oil galleys or coolant passages.

Now for a final dip through the hot acid tanks to remove everything else.
This is where the lead plugs must be out or the owner of the acid dip will not be happy.

That looks much better and is ready for a lot of cutting and boring.

Before any other machining takes place, the block is squared and machined for
zero deck clearance.  This will allow a perfectly flat and squared block to be set
up on the line boring machine as well as for the cylinder boring process.

Measurements are taken from many points on the block and the stable deck surface
of the grinder until the exact amount is programmed in for the surfacing process.

This is the head being done, but the concept is the same for the engine block's deck.

After the program runs the cutters over the deck, additional measurements are taken.

This process takes place over and over to insure that everything is going correctly.

Finally, the deck is a zero clearance and we can move forward with the rest of the machining.

That was the final confirmation that the last pass took it all the way down.

Line boring for the crankshaft is next.

This is done on the same machine as used for the cam bearings and one follows the other.

This is a much faster process that the line boring for the cam bearings, since there is
very little material to be removed during this process.  Or at least that's what you hope for.

There's a nice straight line for the main bearings and crankshaft to ride on.

Speaking of the crankshaft, the first cutting ahs been done to get these journals to accept
.010" over size bearings, which really means that the crank is cut to .010" under size.

Here is the crankshaft after balancing, but before final polishing.

Next the final polishing of the crank takes place (after balancing).
Note the circles on the crankshaft throws where material was removed to balance
the assembly properly.  Every rotating part, from the damper, to the flywheel was
balanced this way.  This process, along with the line boring allows for a smoother
and higher revving engine without the worry of harmonic vibrations causing issues.

There will be a couple of passes with the boring process as
the cylinders are bored out to accept .030" over size pistons.

As the cylinder boring take s place, the vacuum hose is pulling metal shavings from
beneath the cutters and keeping that from floating around the open air.

After the .008" was removed from the deck surface, new cuts were made to bring the
proper depth to the pocket that accepts the metal seal on the cylinder head gasket.

The cylinder boring came out really nice as you can see below.

As clean as this is, several more washings will be needed to remove metal particulate.

The block is machined for zero deck clearance and all of the boring is completed.

Each of the cylinders is given a final cross hatch honing after the boring is completed.

During all of the above, the rods were being reconditioned.  Each rod was trued
weighed and balanced in order to match everything perfectly when finally assembled

Those are new ARP rod bolts that the caps were modified to accept.

New piston pin bushings were installed after the rods were shot-peened
and made ready for reaming.  All sharp edges are removed during this process.

Just some additional and necessary weighing in.

And the final total weigh in for recording as part of the blueprinting process.

These are all polished and awaiting their respective assembly time.

What good are rods without new pistons to fit them to?  I did use AE Hepolite
pistons that were .030" over size.  These come fitted with perfectly matching AE rings.

The same process begins as above and every part will be weighed and matched.

The cam is now installed and the final assembly is drawing to a close.  All of this
is being setup to degree the cam in properly and to insure that the settings are correct.

According to the spec sheet for the TH5 camshaft, this is dead on the money.

I added the Vernier adjustable timing gear and German made chain and crank gear.
It was probably over kill, but at this point, what's the difference?

All new brass expansion plugs and this engine is ready for final assembly at Erik's.

A better view of the new pistons and the sealing groove surrounding each cylinder.

Nice view of a finished deck and block assembly ready for the trip to Erik's.

A special thanks to Bob Mason for a terrific job and the highest standards of
quality and workmanship throughout this entire machining process.

Mason's Racing Engines

53 Hartford Avenue

North Scituate, RI 02857

Toll Free 888-235-1622 2017

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This site was last updated 03/19/17