dealing with a local machine shop

Grumpy

The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
I helped on of the local guys write out detailed instructions, had him stamp his major parts
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http://www.harborfreight.com/36-piece-3 ... 60669.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/36-piece-38-in-steel-letternumber-stamping-set-63675.html

with his last name on the block oil pan rails, crank flange and crank counter weights, cylinder heads, etc. and had him take a dozen clear picture's, of the engine components he was dropping off at the local machine shop, I strongly suggested he have a detailed list of what was to be done, the cost and a firm date set as to the expected completion of the work and to get a signed copy for both the machine shop and him to keep on hand, I don,t think this will be an issue simply because its the same machine shop I generally use and the guys rather familiar with my process and dozens of previous engine builds, but I've found through long years of experience, that if you don,t get a firm price listed exactly detailing the work to be done, and delivery date and yes you,ll need too keep, a signed copy of detailed work to be done, the machine work tends to constantly either get put off as more urgent work from other customers is brought in, or the work is only partially completed and not finished or the prices tend to increase far higher than originally quoted.
it seems that most machine shops don,t want to make firm price or delivery date commitments and they have in some cases a habit of loosing or miss placing parts that were not listed and one you don,t have a picture of.
most machine shops seem to work on, a
" stop back in a week or so, it should be done by then"

and "that should cost about $xxx ..
but we have to see whats required on time and materials used basis"

if you don,t nail down a firm date and price
and all the details it could and usually will take well over a month,
and easily cost significantly more than you were quoted.
now obviously as parts are inspected prices and work required could change,
but you want the machine shop to keep you up to date on exactly,
whats being done, and the cost and changes in expected delivery dates.
BTW it seldom hurts to try to be friendly and ask for the machinists advice,
and complement him if he does good quality work ,
thats delivered at the agreed date and price,
and let him know you appreciate the skills, and on time delivery


if you just assume that the machine shop must have cleaned the parts they worked on carefully...
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READ THE LINKS AND SUB LINKS
http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/finding-a-machine-shop.321/#post-59253

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/machine-shop-sequencing.4460/#post-11720

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/block-prep.125/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/precision-measuring-tools.1390/#post-52469

http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...f-how-not-too-deal-with-a-machine-shop.14454/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...k-after-a-cam-lobe-rod-or-bearings-fail.2919/
 
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Maniacmechanic1

solid fixture here in the forum
Florida must be kinda like Illinois in this respect Grumpy.
Bad Machine Work or scam artists in both.
I try and do all myself.
Block prep work & Crankshaft grinding and polishing has to be subbed out.
And resurface heads.
Valvejobs I do myself with my Vintage Sioux Gear.

I was Honing Blocks out myself by hand last year when I was back in the Race shop.
Did at least 6 engines myself and built them all.
 

Mark Bradley

Da guy in Newbury
I have a friend that builds off shore racing boats and he highly suggested a local shop so I took his advise and have no regrets. When I went to the shop he was very deliberate on two things.. cost and schedule.
Up front he gave me a date but asked that I understand if a race team brought him a broken motor it had to come first because it was his standing clients.
I believe the the total bill was 1000 to tank the block, check the block for cracks, line hone the mains, surface the deck, bore and hone the cylinders, supply and install the cam bearings and soft plugs.
He took my rotating assembly and checked all tolerances, he mag checked all the parts (even though they were new from Eagle). He verified the bob weight, surfaced my flywheel and checked it for cracks. Since it was to an internally balanced 496 he balanced the flywheel to the rotating assembly. He loaned me a shop set of crank bearing so that I could lay the crank in the block and clearance the block for the rods on the stroker crank before he did the final hone. He was full of advise.
When I tell others where I went they give me a look and say “that guy is too expensive”.
I say you get what you pay for!
 

Grumpy

The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer.
Staff member
yes you do tend to find that the good quality work costs more.
but the real cost of cheap work is far higher in many cases,
especially when something fails resulting in catastrophic damage.
a good machinist will generally, point out the inspections, tests and checks,
required to build an engine thats far less likely to have problems.
keep in mind that if you fail to take that advice and skip adding mods like,
the proper baffled oil pan, several machining and clearance checks,
or buying the parts, that best match the intended rpm/power range, you run a larger risk of failure.
I've regularly had guys I built engines for ignore suggested components and substitute cheaper parts.
in a few cases this results in rather badly mis-matched parts.(or skipping suggested machine work)
yes you may save several hundred dollars if you select to port stock heads rather than buy aftermarket heads
or use a stock crank, vs a 200%-to-300% plus stronger aftermarket components.
I was recently asked what block casting numbers a guy should look for,
to insure that the block he was going to base his engine on was more likely to have the thicker casting,
and cylinder wall depth that would safely allow a .030-or even a .060 over bore?
well youll ideally want a pre-1970 block for either the SBC or BBC engine.
keep in mind that block is now almost 50 years old you have no idea how in was stored or treated previously,
or how much internal coolant passage rust damage is hidden in the block's internal passages after all that time.

pre-1970 block casting technology tended to use MARGINALLY thicker casting's,
that the post 170 blocks with their slightly improved casting tech.
but core shift was more likely so its a bit off in its bore wall consistency,
a no-win situation, you could have thicker castings, that were slightly off-set ,
making it just as weak as a later thinner casting.
the truth here is if your intention is to bore any stock block over .030,
you should first sonic test the bore wall thickness and consistency.
that being stated, a DART or similar aftermarket WORLD PRODUCTS block,
will have a significantly thicker casting with a stronger alloy.
if your going to throw $70-$1000 plus in precision machine work into a performance engine,
your much safer financially in the long term doing that on the much stronger aftermarket or bowtie block.

if your looking for a local machine shop,
in the west palm beach fla area
be damn sure you get all the details in writing
dates prices, details on what needs to be done
delivery dates and take pictures
these guys generally do decent work




first choice (use them fairly often to rebuild heads)

Engine Rebuilders-Palm Beach,
1722 Donna Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33409

second choice (mostly for block line hone & decking)

Keener's Engine Machine Inc
2517 N Military Trl, West Palm Beach, FL 33409



third choice
these guys get decent reviews but Ive only been there once)

170 Commerce Rd, Suite 1A
Boynton Beach Florida 33426
https://www.mprracingengines.com/
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the first few rule's of GRUMPY'S engine assembly

(1) THINK THINGS THROUGH CAREFULLY ,
WRITE DOWN A LIST OF COMPONENTS ,

MAKE DARN SURE THE LIST IS COMPATIBLE WITH,
and AT LEAST SEMI-REASONABLY PRICED WITHIN YOUR BUDGET.
FOR WHAT YOU INTEND TO BUILD AND RESEARCH THE RELATED MACHINE WORK,

RESEARCH CAREFULLY THE COMPONENT INSTALLATION AND INTENDED USE ,
AND POWER BAND THE PARTS WILL REQUIRE

AND FIND AN EXPERIENCED MENTOR.

(2) if in doubt, about how to do anything, on an engine, do some detailed research,
find and compare at least 3-5 valid trust worthy sources info,
read the instructions over again, several time's very carefully
and if available watch several related videos.

(3) if any component will not easily function as designed or requires a good bit of physical force to install ,
or your not 100% sure your doing something CORRECTLY

STOP, FIND OUT EXACTLY HOW THE PARTS SUPPOSED TO FIT AND FUNCTION,& WHY! YOUR HAVING PROBLEMS
theres a reason, and you better verify your clearances are correct , and your following the instructions before you proceed.

(4) never assume the parts you purchased can be used without carefully , cleaning them prior too,
checking the physical condition, verifying clearances and using the correct sealant, lubricants etc.


(5) the quality of a component is generally at least loosely related to the cost to produce it,
and the amount of detailed research and quality machine work that went into its production.
if you got a significant reduced price, theres typically a reason.
it might simply be because a new improved part superseded the one you purchased,
but it might be a far lower quality imported clone with lower quality materials and machine work.
its the purchasers responsibility to research quality.

(6) if you did not do the work personally or at least take the effort to verify it was done correctly and personally verify clearances

ITS almost a sure thing that it was NOT done , correctly, and yes that mandates you fully understand what your looking at,
and how the components are supposed to function and have high quality precision measuring tools.

(7) ITS ALMOST ALWAYS FASTER AND LESS EXPENSIVE , AND PRODUCES BETTER RESULTS IF YOU,
BUY FEWER HIGH QUALITY PARTS & DO THINGS CORRECTLY THE FIRST TIME

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/casting-numbers-vin.93/#post-29983

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/block-choice.10472/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/blueprinting-a-block.49/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/sbc-cylinder-wall-thickness.7646/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...f-how-not-too-deal-with-a-machine-shop.14454/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/machine-work-costs.3169/#post-8452

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/which-dart-shp-4-0-or-4-125.3219/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/block-choice.10472/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/darts-new-sbc-block.47/

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/why-build-a-bbc-vs-a-sbc.1009/

not all the links relate to your build but may be helpful
https://www.speedwaymotors.com/Moroso-37800-Chevy-Block-Deck-Plug-Kit,590.html

http://www.superchevy.com/how-to/engines-drivetrain/83818-block-plug-basics/

https://www.chevyhardcore.com/tech-...g-101-getting-started-with-your-engine-build/

https://www.chevrolet.com/performance/engine-components/small-block/race-blocks

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/hrdp-1210-chevrolet-350-small-block-comparison/

https://www.dragzine.com/news/engine-machining-101-getting-started-with-your-engine-build/

https://www.chevydiy.com/big-block-chevrolet-engine-step-step-rebuid-machine-shop-guide/

https://www.chevydiy.com/machine-shop-guide-build-chevy-small-block-engines/

http://www.budgetenginerebuilders.com/machining-services/

https://www.steveschmidtracing.com/machine-shop
 
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Maniacmechanic1

solid fixture here in the forum
Its always been a money game Grumpy.
Best shops I know build Dirt track engines..

Walk into a big shop in Chicago be ready to lay down $3500-10k cash.
Deposit only.
 

Maniacmechanic1

solid fixture here in the forum
A friend of mine has an engine machine shop.
He is Italian and Polish.
He will never sign a contract Grumpy.
1 month to him means actually 6 months or longer.
 

Mark Bradley

Da guy in Newbury
One think about the experience I reported is that if something does fail I know that I did all I could to avoid the problem.
 

Maniacmechanic1

solid fixture here in the forum
Going to put a better Baffle in the Oil pans too.
Pontiac Pans are pretty good. I don't Road Race.
No where to do it in Illinois.
Autobahn you need $100K to join that elite group in Joliet.
Even if I had it I would not give it to them.

When you slam on the brakes and the oil is Hot all the oil goes forward.
Grumpy had a nice picture how to solve that.
Make my own baffle for Braking oil control.
 
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