Valve and Seat Grinding 101?
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Valve and Seat Grinding 101?

  1. #1
    Gone in a Flash! Speed of Heat's Avatar
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    Default Valve and Seat Grinding 101?

    I have a Sioux valve grinder set up that I would like to use to do my own head work with. I have had it for many years and have only done one stock (single angle) type valve job with it many years ago. I hear many comments toward this equipment as old school and inferior in the accuracy and quality. People seem to comment that the Serti (sp)or other floating table machines $$$$$$$ are the only way to go? For the home hot-boater who enjoys the build up of his own motors and is willing to reface the stones often, is there anything really wrong with this old school method? Anyone have any tips that they're willing to share?
    Remember that the Ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.

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    The tool is only as good as the hands using it....


    The new cutters or some refer to it as the Mira cutters work great yes but I have some customers that still use stones and do very nice work.
    Chris Straub
    Straub Technologies

    3HP is an A$$ Whooping!!! JW

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    gn7
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    I had a discussion about this very thing, just the other nite, with somebody who frequents these boards. Iam certain he will come on here and set you straight. But to answer you question, yes it can be done very nicely. Like cstraub said, it's all about you. Well, that, and the condition of you equipment, but that goes without saying.



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    steelcomp was here
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    Trust me, there's nothing wrong with stones. It's all about the condition of the pilot and the tool holder, weather it's holding a stone for an electric motor like yours, or a single insert cutter on an expensive machine. Worn pilots and holders can make you want to pull your hair out in either case. The more wear between the two, (OD of the pilot and ID of the tool holder) the less accurate your valve job will be. There are two basic components of a good valve job...seat runout (concentricity to the guide) and the finish of the valve job. Seat width is important as are many other factors, but if the finish and concentricity aren't there, the width -or anything else- won't mean anything. Stones, on a proper set of pilots and holders will give you as accurate, if not more so, than any machine. Before the machines got really good, we'd do all the finish work with stones, and this wans't that long ago...maybe 10yrs, and I'm talking about top pro level stuff. I have an older Tobin Arp (now Sunnen VGS) that's in excellent condition and does beautiful valve jobs, but I still have a full grinding outfit just in case. Sometimes you'll get some chatter with a machine that you just can't get rid of, so the fix is just a light bump on the contact seat with a finish stone. Often times it's just not practical to set up a head in the machine just for a freshen-up. You can also tailor a stone to your exact needs, and with some practice and guidance from somenone with some experience, you can do very high quality professional seat work with that ol' grinder. Buy good stones and save your "good" pilots and holders for the finish seat grinding, and use a soft touch. You can always take off more material, but it's a bitch when you go too far.
    HTH.
    Last edited by scott foxwell; 01-22-2009 at 05:36 PM.
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    gn7
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    so much for a slather of valve grinding compound and 22,000 rpm die grinder hooked to the valve stem



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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    so much for a slather of valve grinding compound and 22,000 rpm die grinder hooked to the valve stem
    Well yeah, there's that...
    If God is your co-pilot, change seats!
    Acts 2:38, the perfect answer to the perfect question.

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    Senior Member wagspe208's Avatar
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    There are a lot of shops that do beautiful work with stones. As stated above, pilots, guide condition, and stone holders make a difference.
    ALSO, the operator makes a huge difference.
    You can give a good machinist moderate quality equipment and get excellent results. You can give a hack the newest and greatety and get crap. Seen it over and over again.
    I am a sunnen fan vgs20 personally. Serdis seem to be more popular. I bought the sunnen because I live 30 miles from St. Louis (sunnen HQ). Tough to beat quick service and close tech guys if problems arise. I have no problem holding .001 per 1" of valve diameter. Usually less than half that. Another guy in town bought one, and he hates it. He cannot hold a .003 per 1" tolerance. Of course it was the machine (right). I went over there, did 3 sets of heads, excellent results. Operator (not that I am an expert, just common sense and sertup) seems to make a difference.
    BTW, he also has a 100g machining center and cannot make hp to save his life.
    Wags

  10. #8
    steelcomp was here
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    Quote Originally Posted by wagspe208 View Post
    There are a lot of shops that do beautiful work with stones. As stated above, pilots, guide condition, and stone holders make a difference.
    ALSO, the operator makes a huge difference.
    You can give a good machinist moderate quality equipment and get excellent results. You can give a hack the newest and greatety and get crap. Seen it over and over again.
    I am a sunnen fan vgs20 personally. Serdis seem to be more popular. I bought the sunnen because I live 30 miles from St. Louis (sunnen HQ). Tough to beat quick service and close tech guys if problems arise. I have no problem holding .001 per 1" of valve diameter. Usually less than half that. Another guy in town bought one, and he hates it. He cannot hold a .003 per 1" tolerance. Of course it was the machine (right). I went over there, did 3 sets of heads, excellent results. Operator (not that I am an expert, just common sense and sertup) seems to make a difference.
    BTW, he also has a 100g machining center and cannot make hp to save his life.
    Wags
    I've heard of more than one shop buying a Serdi, then selling it and going back to the VGS. I have no trouble with mine (TA), especially since it's been updated with the VGS speed control. I'm not sure how a novice would do on it...it does tend to cahtter a little sometimes, but I know how to get by it before I'm at my number.
    Ditto on seeing guys with the best equipment turning out sub par work. No machine is perfect, and they all take a little finess here and there...you just gotta speak-a-da language...
    Stones do take some practice.
    If God is your co-pilot, change seats!
    Acts 2:38, the perfect answer to the perfect question.

  11. #9
    Senior Member ol guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    Trust me, there's nothing wrong with stones. It's all about the condition of the pilot and the tool holder, weather it's holding a stone for an electric motor like yours, or a single insert cutter on an expensive machine. Worn pilots and holders can make you want to pull your hair out in either case. The more wear between the two, (OD of the pilot and ID of the tool holder) the less accurate your valve job will be. There are two basic components of a good valve job...seat runout (concentricity to the guide) and the finish of the valve job. Seat width is important as are many other factors, but if the finish and concentricity aren't there, the width -or anything else- won't mean anything. Stones, on a proper set of pilots and holders will give you as accurate, if not more so, than any machine. Before the machines got really good, we'd do all the finish work with stones, and this wans't that long ago...maybe 10yrs, and I'm talking about top pro level stuff. I have an older Tobin Arp (now Sunnen VGS) that's in excellent condition and does beautiful valve jobs, but I still have a full grinding outfit just in case. Sometimes you'll get some chatter with a machine that you just can't get rid of, so the fix is just a light bump on the contact seat with a finish stone. Often times it's just not practical to set up a head in the machine just for a freshen-up. You can also tailor a stone to your exact needs, and with some practice and guidance from somenone with some experience, you can do very high quality professional seat work with that ol' grinder. Buy good stones and save your "good" pilots and holders for the finish seat grinding, and use a soft touch. You can always take off more material, but it's a bitch when you go too far.
    HTH.
    Thats good info I did many valve jobs with an old sunnen stone set up and as long as you keep the stones fresh(cutting face) there is not to much you can't do. I hope you have a refacing tool. M

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