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Thread: Engine block deck flatness

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  1. #1
    Obi Wan Sarastro's Avatar
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    Engine block deck flatness

    I'm ready to take my block to the machine shop for mostly ordinary work. The question of deck flatness will come up, I expect. Is it customary to shave the top of the block to flatten the deck? If so, how do you adjust the cylinder protrusion to achieve the rather narrow spec of 3-5 mils? The shop manual says to use figure-8 gaskets of some appropriate thickness, but I see two problems with this: (1) they don't seem to be very easily available, and (2) if you shave the block, you might be left with too much protrusion, even with a thin gasket.

    So, what is done about this? If necessary, is is OK to shave the tops of the cylinders, for example?
    Steve Maas
    1966 Triumph TR4A, undergoing restoration: http://www.nonlintec.com/tr4a
    1952 MG TD, restoration completed 2014, sold 2016: http://www.nonlintec.com/mgtd
    1960 Austin-Healey "Bugeye" Sprite, sold 2010: http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite
    1967 Porsche 912: http://www.nonlintec.com/porsche

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    See Mordy Dunst for thin figure 8 gaskets. http://www.headgasket.com/whnew.html
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    Before you take your block, I would rough in the front and rear liners, using a type of FO8 gasket you plan to use in final assembly. Measure your sleeve clearance above the block deck and then tell your machinist what to do. If the clearance proud of the deck is correct, then do not let the machinist touch the deck (this is most common case!). If the deck is sloped, so the clearance is significantly off between front and rear...then tell the machinist how much from the low clearance side.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    Don't forget to also check from side to side. I've had two in a row now where it was right on one side but not the other.

    (If you include the Standard motor in my TEA20, it's 2 out of 3.)
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Obi Wan Sarastro's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    Thanks, guys. The obvious thing to do is to buy the new pistons and cylinders and see where things stand.

    Thanks, Randall, for the tip about headgasket.com. I hadn't found it. I didn't see anything about figure-8 gaskets on the site, but I'll contact him and see what's available.

    BTW, Randall, do you have a machine shop in this area that you like to use? I have used one that is OK, but I'm always open to more suggestions.
    Steve Maas
    1966 Triumph TR4A, undergoing restoration: http://www.nonlintec.com/tr4a
    1952 MG TD, restoration completed 2014, sold 2016: http://www.nonlintec.com/mgtd
    1960 Austin-Healey "Bugeye" Sprite, sold 2010: http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite
    1967 Porsche 912: http://www.nonlintec.com/porsche

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarastro View Post
    BTW, Randall, do you have a machine shop in this area that you like to use? I have used one that is OK, but I'm always open to more suggestions.
    Not really. Years ago, I had K,K & T over in Torrance (1407 W Carson) rework a head for me, but I don't even know if they are still in business (or have the same machinist).

    Others I've used are either gone or no longer take work from private individuals.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Obi Wan Sarastro's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    Thanks. I'll probably just take it to my usual shop.

    I just ordered the piston and cylinder set, so I can see where I am.
    Steve Maas
    1966 Triumph TR4A, undergoing restoration: http://www.nonlintec.com/tr4a
    1952 MG TD, restoration completed 2014, sold 2016: http://www.nonlintec.com/mgtd
    1960 Austin-Healey "Bugeye" Sprite, sold 2010: http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite
    1967 Porsche 912: http://www.nonlintec.com/porsche

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    Yoda CJD's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    We've lost most of my favorite shops over the last 10 years or so in the the DFW area. I still have one, but the owner is near retiring...so it'll be gone soon. Then we have a couple speed shops, including Rehr Morrison, who are VERY good and nationally known from their drag racing fame...but you pay for them to even think about a taking a job!?!

    I'm afraid we gear heads are a dying bread.
    John

    1955 TR2

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    Darth Vader
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    If you do not know, make sure you look at the threads about re-installing the head bolts to the block. They go back in only snug/a strong finger tight with clean threads. What I do on the ones that go deep into the block is use WD40 (because it seems to work well on tar like stuff)down along the stud and lightly tap it with a small hammer for the vibration to break the crap lose.

  10. #10
    Obi Wan Sarastro's Avatar
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    Re: Engine block deck flatness

    Thanks; I wasn't aware that there was anything special about installing the head studs. I probably would have inserted them as you describe, in any case. I'm nowhere near that point, yet, alas.
    Steve Maas
    1966 Triumph TR4A, undergoing restoration: http://www.nonlintec.com/tr4a
    1952 MG TD, restoration completed 2014, sold 2016: http://www.nonlintec.com/mgtd
    1960 Austin-Healey "Bugeye" Sprite, sold 2010: http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite
    1967 Porsche 912: http://www.nonlintec.com/porsche

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