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Discussion Starter #1
I need a good one, that will do shit right the first time.

Between my last 2 racecars and this boat, I've been through about 6 of the shops in the area...some respected, some not. Everyone has ended up screwing up royally on more than few occasions. The latest....

Cut first core block .060" over when I gave them .030 pistons and asked for a .030" engine....

They found me another virgin core, but it had a spun main bearing, so they sent it to get line bored (or honed...I dunno), and proceded to do their bore/hone and deck work after the mains were done.

I started pre-assembling last night, and found my main oil clearances to be, front to back: 005, 002, 002, 000, 003 .. (the crank is new, and I measured it anyway...its perfect) which means the line boring sub fucked up, and my machine shop didn't check it when the block came back, so they referenced the rest of their operations off the screwed up crank centerline, which obviously yields an out of square deck and cylinders....not to mention, I asked to set the deck clearance to leave the pistons .005" in the hole (plenty of room to re-deck in the future if needed) and he left me with 000 deck clearance.

Big blocks are heavy. I'm tired of loading it in and out of my truck all the time.

Here's what I'm looking for in a machine shop:

One that can do everything in house, no subbing out line boring or crank work. More people involved mean more chances to screw something up.

One that understands why torque plates should be used and why mains should be torqued while machining the block.

One that understands that different rings require different cylinder finishes

One that listens to what I want and does what I want without telling me that the details I'm asking for are not needed. I'm the guy with the money, do what I want and I'll pay what you want.

One that checks their work before delivering me back a finished product. I'm tired of loading this thing in and out of my truck.

I want a shop that can make all the holes the same size and understands the idea of a right angle.






I had great luck with machine shops when I was younger and didn't measure anything, but now that I'm considerably more detailed and don't trust anyone, every block goes back at least once, if it doesn't go directly in the scrap bin. The response seems to be "just let us build the engine and you won't have all these problems".....yeah right. The reason I choose to build my own is so I know that its right...and because I've lost faith in the local shops.

So, anyone got a machine shop that has done good for them multiple times? I'm not looking for one time customer input here...sorry, just that it could be luck of the draw. I'm looking for repeated success stories, preferably in the LA area.

Thanks.
 

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Taylor Engine in Whittier(Jay Steel), Paul Pfaff in Htg Beach, Dougans Engine(Ray in Riverside), Vrbansic Bros(Ontario), and Contemporary Auto Machine in Htg Beach(Yo Shigamasa).

Those are some I've used over the years with good results(so have others on the board). Depending on what you want done, they aren't going to be the cheapest, but the work will be realiable, and able to be counted on.

There are other good ones around, I just haven't used them because I've always been satisfied with this bunch.

Hope that helps.

RR :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks for the responses....

Evans was recommended to me by a guy who used them once years ago, so they've got 2 votes, and they're close by. I'll go check out their shop and introduce myself next week.

I'll keep the others on my list as well.

thanks.
 

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I'm No Expert
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I used Orange Engine Rebuild, They are in anaheim. They where recommended to me after i got screwed over by a small local machine shop. I've only built one engine, but i cant tell you that i would call and ask them kinds of things during the my build, basic things and jim was always nice and willing to help. I guess he's def of somthing in one ear though so you'll have to speak up :D Just my experience.

bgman here on the boards recomended them to me.

(714) 635-4030
 

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I use Yo at Contemporary Auto Machine.I have used Yo for years.Very satisfied with his work.Yo does all the work himself and goes over everything with you when you pick the parts up.Contemporary Auto Machine is in Huntington beach.:)devil
 

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Hey Tom, That would be Yo shigimasa at contemporary Machine and you will not find another machinist with more knowledge and care for the work that goes out of his shop than Yogi. Its not checked or double checked, its triple checked and okay"d by Yo himself before it hits the door!! For cyclider head work hunt down Juan Mendoza, also second to none!!!!!!!!!!! IMLAO M
 

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thanks for the responses....

Evans was recommended to me by a guy who used them once years ago, so they've got 2 votes, and they're close by. I'll go check out their shop and introduce myself next week.

I'll keep the others on my list as well.

thanks.
just don't be put off by the looks of the place. Gene is dead on everything he does.
Man, I haven't been there in years and he was older then dirt then. Good to hear he's still at it.
 

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B1 Racing
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Pfaff and contemporary in HB do good block work and it wont have to go back.

i agree with your statement about a shop doing what i (the customer) want. i recently wanted my cylinders finished with a certain finish and nothing else, this particular shop could not do what i wanted and proceded to tell me i dont need it and they do this and do that with blown alcohol blah blah. i dont care..this is what i want, yes or no.
 

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Pfaff and contemporary in HB do good block work and it wont have to go back.

i agree with your statement about a shop doing what i (the customer) want. i recently wanted my cylinders finished with a certain finish and nothing else, this particular shop could not do what i wanted and proceded to tell me i dont need it and they do this and do that with blown alcohol blah blah. i dont care..this is what i want, yes or no.
I used PFAF and I believe you were one of the people that recommended them.
They are great people
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update...I brought the block back to the guy that did the work, and he called me this morning. Switched the #1 and #4 cap and the clearances look acceptable. Someone mismarked the caps, either the guy line boring it (unlikely) or the guy doing the rest of the machine work (likely).

Anyway, armed with a couple different sets of bearings, I'm going to make another attempt at setting these clearances tonight.

I'll update later. Still want to start using someone else for my machine work though...this is getting to be a pain in the ass.
 

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Update...I brought the block back to the guy that did the work, and he called me this morning. Switched the #1 and #4 cap and the clearances look acceptable. Someone mismarked the caps, either the guy line boring it (unlikely) or the guy doing the rest of the machine work (likely).

Anyway, armed with a couple different sets of bearings, I'm going to make another attempt at setting these clearances tonight.

I'll update later. Still want to start using someone else for my machine work though...this is getting to be a pain in the ass.
My caps where numbered, so your #4 and now in #1's spot? Sounds like sombody possibly put the caps in the wrong spot in the first place?
 

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Update...I brought the block back to the guy that did the work, and he called me this morning. Switched the #1 and #4 cap and the clearances look acceptable. Someone mismarked the caps, either the guy line boring it (unlikely) or the guy doing the rest of the machine work (likely).

Anyway, armed with a couple different sets of bearings, I'm going to make another attempt at setting these clearances tonight.

I'll update later. Still want to start using someone else for my machine work though...this is getting to be a pain in the ass.
Thats scary
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Apparently...there are 2 sets of numbers stamped into the caps. One set is more noticable while the other set is stamped pretty lightly...almost can't see them. Both #1 and #4 caps have both numbers (1 and 4) stamped into them. I don't have the block in front of me now, so I can't confirm this. I made my own paint marks on the caps before I removed them, and all went back in the spot they were in when the block was delivered back to me. Seems the Line bore guy bolted the caps on referencing the numbers you can barely see, while my guy reasembled them with the set of visable numbers. I dunno. First thing I'm doing when I get it back and confirm that everything is correct is to grind all the numbers off and relable everything correctly and clearly. Its an honest mistake I guess, but someone should have taken the initiative to fix it and correctly and clearly mark everything before it got back to me. I'm amazed that nobody noticed it, seeing as how they did the machine work.
 
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