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Engine Building Fundamentals: How to Use a Dial Gauge & Magnetic Base

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How to Use a Dial Gauge & Magnetic Base


00:00 - In this module we're going to see how to use a dial gauge with a magnetic base, and that's what I've got sitting here in front of me.
00:07 Dial gauges can be used for a wide variety of tasks and they're used here in conjunction with a magnetic base so that we can easily locate the dial gauge to measure whatever we're interested in at the time, now this may be an aspect such as crank thrust movement, or it may be an aspect such as valve train movement.
00:29 Very useful when we're dialling in cams for example so that we can track the valve opening using the dial gauge.
00:37 Now let's look at the components first of all of our dial gauge.
00:41 And here on the dial gauge, first of all, we can see on the left hand side of the gauge we can see our precision, so in this instance the dial gauge can read to one thousandth of an inch and on the other side we can also see the scale of our dial gauge, so in this case our dial gauge can read between zero and one inch.
01:02 So what this means is that every increment on the dial gauge represents one thousandths of an inch.
01:09 Now we've got the dial gauge located here on our magnetic base and the magnetic base makes it very easy for us to locate this on any ferrous material.
01:19 You can see we have a turn knob here, which either activates or deactivates the magnetic base, this makes it easy to install and remove.
01:29 Then on top of this we also have a range of adjustable arms and this allows us to manipulate the angle of, or location of the dial gauge to suit whatever we're actually measuring.
01:41 This allows us to very accurately move around the angle of the dial gauge.
01:46 This is one of the key aspects when we're using a dial gauge.
01:49 Whatever we're measuring, we want to make sure that the dial gauge is linear, that we're operating in the same direction as whatever we're measuring.
01:59 Particularly, for example, if we're measuring valve motion we want to make sure that the dial gauge is aligned correctly in the same plane as that of the valve.
02:10 This is going to make sure that our measurements are, in fact, accurate.
02:14 Likewise, with the example we are going to look at shortly, measuring the thrust clearance in an engine block.
02:20 We want to make sure that our dial gauge is aligned in the same plane as the crankshaft.
02:27 Let's see how we actually use the dial gauge.
02:31 What we're going to do here is just locate our magnetic base on the front of the engine block and we're just going to turn the magnetic base on.
02:40 That's attached the dial gauge.
02:43 Now what we want to do here is make sure that our dial gauge is perfectly in the same plane as our crank shaft and it's not coming in at an angle.
02:51 We've just located this on the snout of the crank shaft.
02:54 Once we've done this we just want to rotate the outer dial so that our dial gauge is zeroed.
03:01 This makes it very easy to see exactly how much thrust clearance we've got.
03:05 So now we've got our dial gauge zeroed, we can now manipulate the crankshaft backwards and forwards and see what our thrust clearance is.
03:13 So let's do that now.
03:15 So we can see that as I move the crankshaft backwards and forwards, we're seeing around about one and a half thousandths of an inch travel.
03:25 So we can see that we are moving around about one and a half increments on our dial gauge.
03:32 So this is how we can see how much thrust clearance we have.
03:36 A dial gauge and a magnetic base is a very handy tool to have in your toolbox, it's not a particularly sophisticated tool and it's not difficult to use but it's still important to have a good understanding of how to correctly install and read the dial gauge.

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