Tuesday, December 08, 2009


My jeep engine is now completely apart... it is in the proverbial, "No two pieces are touching" state. That is where all my time has been going.

Nick's approved Machine shop finding techniques: Feel free to take notes.

It is tough to guess by looking in a phone book to figure out where the good machine shops are, and with a 1942 engine, I don't want to take it somewhere with amateurs. I really don't want to try and find another engine block if they screw it up. So to solve the problem of finding a decent machine shop, I went out and drove around in the crappy part of town. I looked for an mechanic shop that looked only marginally like they wanted actual customers to come in and had at least eight half disassembled cars in it's chained in area that were obviously not customer's cars. I figured the kind of guys that run a shop like that would be the kind of guys that would KNOW a good machine shop.

So, I after finding just such a place... I asked them about machine shops. They gave me two that they thought did good work. The first had moved locations or had gone out of business. (At this point, I started to doubt my theory) The second one though, was better than I could have imagined! I walked in, sort of assessing them. I wouldn't want to drop the heart of my baby off with clowns! I started off asking if they could do welding on engine blocks if mine had cracks... if the do resleeving, etc. They asked what I was working on. When I told them it was a 1942 ford jeep, the guy I was talking to started quoting me engine tolerances and and details of the engine that could be known if he was very familiar with them. Though to be honest, the guy I was talking to missed one detail of the depth of the valve guides... luckily the guy who was standing right next to him corrected him as he was talking. Shit, any random place you can walk in with a 60 year old engine and they know the specs on it with out even looking them up gets my vote!

It seems my technique worked. I think from now on, I will do that with everything. If I need a good bakery, I will go ask a sketchy looking butcher, if I need a good pet store, I will visit... well, you get the idea.

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