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Affordable Engine-Building Tools

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Magnetic Dial Indicator Stand
What it Does:
Holds a dial indicator in any position you want for checking valve travel, rocker-arm action, lifter curves, crank endplay, and more.
Powerhouse Part Number:
Many are available from Powerhouse, but the cheapest is POW151125
The Price:
$29
Extra Stuff You'll Need:
A dial indicator
How to Use It:
Photo 1 shows the unassembled stand, and photo 2 shows how to put it together with the adjustable collars that allow it to contort into any position. Arrow A shows the thumbwheel that attaches to the nub on the back of the dial indicator, and Arrow B shows the fine-adjustment fixture. Finally, photo 3 demonstrates the dial indicator in use, checking the travel of a valve. The most critical thing is to make sure the dial indicator's plunger travels exactly inline with the travel of the item being checked. For example, when checking crankshaft endplay, make sure the plunger is exactly parallel to the crank centerline.

Dial-Bore Gauge
What it Does:
Tells you the diameter of holes like cylinder bores and main bearing bores so you can check bore taper and bearing clearances.
Powerhouse Part Number:
POW256467 is shown, but POW205025 is cheaper and only slightly less accurate
The Price:
$299 for the POW256467, $99 for POW205025
Extra Stuff You'll Need:
An outside micrometer that will span the bore size you want to check
How to Use It:
Check the photos to learn how to measure with it. Once you have that down, you can check cylinder-bore out-of-round by taking measurements 90 degrees from each other, or cylinder taper by taking measurements at the top and bottom of the cylinder. To check main- or rod-bearing clearances, measure the size of the main bore or rod bore with the bearings in place and the caps torqued to spec. Next, use a micrometer to check the true size of the main or rod journal on the crank. Subtract the bore size from the journal size and divide by two to learn the bearing clearance.

Pro Head CC Kit
What it Does:
Allows you to check the volume of your combustion chambers in cc's so you can calculate compression ratio or verify consistency of chamber size cylinder-to-cylinder.
Powerhouse Part Number:
POW351150 for the model with the 100cc burette. Sizes up to 250 cc are available.
The Price:
$99
Extra Stuff You'll Need:
White grease and some colored fluid, such as shop solvent. A set of peg-style head holders (POW351410, $26) might be handy.
How to Use It:
The clear Plexiglas plate is sealed to the head with a ring of white grease around the perimeter of the chamber to be measured. Next, the fragile glass burette is mounted to the stand and filled to the top of the scale marks with colored fluid. Fill the head's chamber with fluid through the hole in the Plexiglas plate using the petcock at the bottom of the burette. Once the chamber is filled with fluid (no bubbles, no leaks), read the scale on the burette to find how many cc's of fluid were used, and that's the size of the chamber.

Dial Indicator
What it Does:
Measures the travel of linear-moving parts with accuracy to one thousandth of an inch
Powerhouse Part Number:
POW151100 for the 0- to 1-inch model
The Price:
$29
Extra Stuff You'll Need:
A dial indicator is useless without either a deck bridge or a magnetic base, both of which are described in this story
How to Use It:
Once mounted in the deck bridge or magnetic base, preload the plunger about 0.100-inch against the item being measured (arrow A points to the revolution counter-each revolution of the big needle is 0.100-inch). Next, zero the dial by loosening the set screw (arrow B) and rotating the face. Check that the plunger will accurately reset to zero by moving the plunger (arrow C). Now you're ready to measure.

SOURCES
Powerhouse Products
3402 Democrat Rd.
Memphis
TN  38118
800-872-7223
http://www.powerhouseproducts.co
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