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Blue printing machinery and Engine building tools

Engine Building Fundamentals

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Discussion and questions related to the course Engine Building Fundamentals

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Since I'm new to engine building and blueprint what tools would be essential for me to have?

It is going to depend a great deal on factors such as -

Your budget?

Do you intend to do this as a hobby or a business (if you're new to this I'd strongly suggest gaining experience first)?

Are you intending to work on one, or a few models of vehicles/engines?

Do you have a local machine shop/automotive engineer you TRUST to measure parts for you?

Some thoughts and something for others to add to.

Hand tools - There are many things that would be nice to have, but that you can do without, and most tool suppliers have graduated tool sets - some are cheap rubbish, some are horrendously over-priced, but most of the mid-range suppliers are a good balance. Looking those over should give you an idea what you'll need - a 1/4 and 3/8" socket set, of the metric, imperial, or both range, should cover most sizes and you can purchase larger sockets either in a 1/2 (or larger) set or as an individual socket and a strong/breaker bar and ratchet. Some sell the sets and tool boxes/chests as a combination but I might suggest looking at purchasing the tools and tool box separately - it may be better to purchase a much larger tool box than needed for expansion. Another option is to purchase dedicated supplimentary boxes for some tools, I have large fishing/tackle boxes for some tools, like grinders, drills, etc. that don't fit the main chest - they are also good for keeping the tool-specific gear together when working away from the shed. After the hand tools, you'll probably be looking at -

Metrology - Measuring tools, in no particular order. The most basic tool is a simple steel rule(r), available in a range of lengths I'd suggest a 6"(150mm) and 24"(600mm) which should cover most work - you may also consider a 10 foot (3m) locking tape measure. A good set of feeler gauges, and some have brass gauges for magnetic sender/magneto air gaps. Next would be a vernier gauge, most seem to be digital now, which is good when your eyesight fades - they are less accurate than the following, but will definitely be useful for close approximations - eg, bore size, whether a crank pin has been ground, etc. Next the external and internal micrometers - these are available in a range of types, sizes and measurements. extermal will depend on what you're measuring - piston diameter, crank pin diameter, valve stem wear, etc. You may not need internal micrometers at first, as you can use snap guages which are measured with the external mic' - I would recommend the 3/4 leg type as they're easier to use and get a precise measurement. NOTE, all these are precision tools, and MUST be looked after and checked before use, measurements of this scale can also be affected by temperature of the gauge or workpiece.

For checking flatness, and as a datum, you will need a good quality 'straight edge, at least as long as the cylinder head or crank main's length you will be working on - this is also a precision tool, so look after it!

You will need several torque wrenches, to cover the range you will be working with. For the most part, a good quality 3/8" 'wrench will go to 120 or 150 lb.ft, and a 1/2" will go to 250 or 300 lb.ft, and these will cover most things. Some engines may use very low torque for some parts, or very high, and you may need to modify the selection for this - 1/4'drives can also be purchased as a 'screwdriver' design, and his may be preferred to the usual lever type. All torque wrenches will come with a test/calibration sheet of actual Vs indicated torque - if they're used a lot, it's also normal practice to get them recalibrated annually - ALWAYS zero them when not in use to extend their accuracy.

You will need some form of lifting equipment if you expect to remove the engine - a crane is more useful than a simple winch from a beam - and as you will need to get under the vehicle you will need a jack to lift the vehicle (make sure it goes low enough to get under the chassis, or that you have blocks to go under the tyres) with more height always a nice option and, NOTE!, you WILL need strong stands to support the vehicle, I have several sets to cover different heights and weight ranges. A vehicle hoist is always desireable, but something you can generally work around if the budget is tight. An engine stand for each engine being worked on is not an essential, but definitely worth the small investment.

Electronic test/tuning equipment is going to depend on what you're working on, and can be anything from a few dollars to many thousands, but all will need a nice bright timing light to ensure the true TDC position and the ECU's "TDC" - offset - are aligned properly.

There is much, much more, but some initial thoughts.

Haha, I just remembered that, Ross - would have saved a lot of typing ...

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