searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

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higgins67
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searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by higgins67 »

Hello Roadster People!

It's been awhile since I posted, and I'm reaching out to y'all for a fresh look at machine shop resources. My '67 1600 has been offline since we moved to Hillsborough, NC (near Durham-Chapel Hill) in 2015, whereupon the old boy spun a rod bearing. I saw this as an opportunity for a stroker conversion and via this forum obtained a 1500 crank. Also with the help of this forum I located Bush's Machine Shop near Winston-Salem, and got the project started with owner Kevin. I started a new job and lacked attention span to bird-dog the project, and Kevin (upstanding guy with well-deserved awesome reputation) was largely consumed with bread-and-butter work for local car dealerships. Net result was the project stalled out, so I recently collected all the bits and brought them home (with a nicely-machined 1500 crank, though -- 0.030/0.030).

Now I'm at a crossroads. Retirement is at least five years off, and the pace/intensity of the day job will likely not ease up. I relish the prospect of putting the motor back in the car myself, but to make that possible before the year 2026 I will need a shop to take the lead on the build (turnkey or something approaching it). Otherwise, I will need to sell the car as a project (no desire to part it out).

I welcome and appreciate your thoughts on this.
Bob Lingard
Hillsborough, NC
'67 1600 "Higgins"
'88 Silverado K2500 "Squatch"
'14 Chrysler 300S "Alfred"
'13 Lincoln MKX AWD "Bear"
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by greydog »

I think Jim Tyler aka jt68 is in your part of the country. You might want to reach out to him.
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by theunz »

Mike M

Old enough to know better, too old to remember why!


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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by higgins67 »

greydog wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:52 pm I think Jim Tyler aka jt68 is in your part of the country. You might want to reach out to him.
Dan
Thanks! I've had the pleasure (Jim is where I found the 1500 crank). :D I'll drop him a note.
Bob Lingard
Hillsborough, NC
'67 1600 "Higgins"
'88 Silverado K2500 "Squatch"
'14 Chrysler 300S "Alfred"
'13 Lincoln MKX AWD "Bear"
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by spl310 »

After the previous discussion, has that crank been nitrided?
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by higgins67 »

spl310 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:30 pm After the previous discussion, has that crank been nitrided?
Not to my knowledge. (for the record,it is being stored vertically in a climate-controlled closet)
Bob Lingard
Hillsborough, NC
'67 1600 "Higgins"
'88 Silverado K2500 "Squatch"
'14 Chrysler 300S "Alfred"
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

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PM sent
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by JT68 »

We emailed Bob.
spl310 wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:30 pm After the previous discussion, has that crank been nitrided?
edited..Sorry about that Sid, I didn't notice the post said .030/030.

Chances are the crank was not nitrided unless a really professional shop did the work. So nah we wouldn't use that one. (we don't do nitriding here, the cranks have to be sent out)

One certainly can run non-nitrided cranks at .020 or more, They just won't last nearly as long (or wear as well) as a std. or .010 crank- or a nitrided crank at any bearing size. That's why lots of builders avoid .020 /.030/.040 crankshafts and prefer to start with a better crank. So we only use .020's if nitriding the crank.

In street engines or hi-perf engines cranks cut to .020 or more and non-nitrided, its often the thrust bearing that fails prematurely. (which doesn't work out well for anyone.

Nitriding is always done prior to turning.
Last edited by JT68 on Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by JT68 »

I should also have mentioned that the purpose of the engine would also affect the choice of whether to nitride the crank or not. If the engine is going in a clapped out, scrappy roadster that may never leave the neighborhood, it doesn't matter.

If the engine is to go on road trips or will be pushed hard all the time/often, nitriding is a good choice.

Again, it simply doesn't matter if one stays with .std or .010 cranks- Nissan already did it for you :smt023
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by unklpat »

Jim, didn't you provide him the crank? Are you going to use it? Does it need to be nitridited? What were your recommendations when you sold it to him? I would appreciate it if you would quit with the term "cheap, or low budget rebuild" My car is certainly not "clapped out, or scrappy". I've spent over 3k on my U20 rebuild, just on machine work. If my friend wants to do his stroker 1600, he'll spend the same, with the cost of the crank/rods. Add 1k for parts, and that's not a "cheap" rebuild. I'd suggest you add a term to your lingo, "high end rebuild", for those who choose to spend thousands on head work, custom pistons, rods, etc. It seems that you don't recognize those of us who just want a good rebuild, and I don't appreciate it. You should be encouraging people to rebuild their motors, whatever the level. Pat
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by JT68 »

Hi Pat, no, he found the crank on his own.

Pat, please don't get yourself wound up again. "Good" is a relative term. So is "expensive".

I think you simply have a different perspective on "good" engine rebuilds than many professionals and serious enthusiasts. These days 3 or 4K is definitely on the very low end for a U20 build. You may consider that expensive, but many folks do not.

If you shop for the lowest price parts you can find, and try to do the minimum work possible at every turn (such as using a crank that really needs turning, or not sourcing a better crank, cutting other corners, or using numerous used rather than new parts) it's pretty much by definition a low-dollar or budget rebuild. Right? It just is.

You can say the same thing about paint jobs, you might consider 3-5k enough for a "good" job, but these days more serious paint work starts at about 8 or 10k and goes WAY up from there. How "good" it is depends on your perspective.

As we have previously discussed, many pro builders won't use a .020 or .030 crank at all, certainly without nitriding it. .030 and .040 are pretty much considered used up/last resort cranks.

My point above was not derogatory about using a tired crank in a lower value car especially if it will see limited use. If the car is worth 5k, it probably doesn't make much sense to build the most expensive engine you can. Right? Conversely, if someone is building a high end roadster, they probably are going to build a very good engine rather than rebuilding as cheaply as possible.

By the time it's said and done, most if not all professionally and semi-professionally built strokers cost more than 3 or 4K. One can easily spend 2k or more on "good" cylinder head work whether it is a U20 or a stroker.

Realistically, these days there aren't going to be too many roadster owners that are going to be wowed and super impressed with a 4k U20 build. Anyone? Bueller? Some stroker and U20 projects cost 10/12/15k+.

Just as a reality check, you might call Rebello and get a quote for what he considers a very good/high quality U20 or stroker build. Fresh cam, all new U20rocker arms, new valves, new springs etc. Nothing super crazy, but only using high quality parts and no corners cut. It won't be 4K.
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by unklpat »

Jim, you haven't seen me "wound up" yet, I'm just irritated. Your terms "clapped out", "scrappy", and previously "low budget", and "cheap" devalue the money and effort that most owners put into their rebuilds. I know these motors aren't inexpensive to rebuild,(see how I avoided the word cheap?), but for most people who own one, 3-5k in parts and machine work alone, is a lot of money. Add to that the cost of labor to assemble the motor, and maybe r&r it, and you have a chunk of change. That is for a "stock" rebuild, not including major head work, custom parts, custom machining, etc. Most people don't re-use old parts, never wanting to do it again.
So, let's play "what do I do?". I'm rebuilding My R16 engine, using all new parts, making everything perfectly stock, or maybe adding a stroker crank,rods,pistons. A header, because they all crack eventually. I know I will get a significant increase in torque, and won't have to do much else, custom head work, etc. I know my engine doesn't like to rev, and I don't drive it past 5k rpm anyway. I'm spending 5k to do it, plus or minus.
Now, someone says "you should put in larger valves,port the head, stiffer springs, etc", and that will only cost you an additional 2-3k, but you'll get more HP at the higher end of the RPM range, if you spend a lot more, you can get more power than a U20, at the top of the RPM range.
If I'm the majority of 1600 roadster owners, I don't rev the s**t out of my motor, because it doesn't like to rev, and because I'm enjoying the drive. I'm not going to spend a bunch of money to get the utmost performance out of a 1600, but would enjoy a bunch more torque. I would bet 90% of 1600 owners would fall into that category.
What I would do with the money I didn't spend, on modifications I won't benefit from 95% of the time, is buy a set of your excellent shocks, and maybe MY springs, and enjoy those modifications 100% of the time.
It appears that you are positioning yourself as an elitist, and if people don't go all out on their rebuild, they're cheap. It's my opinion that you are alienating a majority of the roadster community by taking this position.There are plenty of people who would just like a stock reliable motor, and to know that they'll likely never have to touch it again. Pat
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by JT68 »

That's fine Pat, you are certainly free to build an engine to what ever extent you feel inclined. I really don't have the time to argue semantics on every message we post. I've tried many times to give you professional advice, and have been more than patient, but you seem to prefer to argue about it rather than listen to the free and very solid advice.

To clarify, I did not say "if people don't go all out on their rebuild, their cheap", those are your words. I've said many times and in the post above, that for many folks, a very expensive engine rebuild may not make much sense. Just depends on the car, the situation and what the individual wants.

Rebuilding any engine properly these days is certainly not "cheap" though - but again everything is relative... folks spend WAY more on Z-car engines, pick a turbo engine,LS-1's, 2J's, SR's, Vette engines, Porsches, jags....the list goes on and on....we agree roadster engines are not uber cheap, but you might price the cost to correctly build/blueprint a vintage Alfa engine these days. You can build a couple roadster engines for that price.

And yes, how you build an engine definitely affects it's value. All things being equal, a u20 with a perfect standard crank is much more desirable/valuable than the same engine with a .020 under crank. Same goes for many other choices along the way.

Doing a great job typically costs more whether it's engine work, chassis/suspension prep, rust repair&bodywork, paint or other fine details. That is just reality too.

Again, we don't do nitriding, so there is absolutely no money in that for us, but we can tell you with 300% certainty which is the "better"/more durable/longer life crankshaft and what is best to avoid. I'm sorry if you don't like the advice, you can use an excellent crank or a not-so-good crank, it's your call. We have our standards, you have yours.

Yes, we really do ALWAYS strive to bring the very highest value, highest quality parts to the roadster community. That is the goal and we try our best.

The advice in this thread was not directed to you Pat, I've reached out to Bob and will help him to the best of our ability as with any roadster owner or customer!
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by unklpat »

Jim, I suggest you re-read my prior post. I appreciate your knowledge, Jim, but wish you would be a bit more forthcoming with info. If everything is new, or as new, what is the cost cutting? Why would you replace your rockers on a U20, if there is no wear? Why would you replace your "B" cam, if there is no wear? On my motor, the crank will be standard mains, .010 rods, thank god I don't have to lose sleep at night about premature wear. Everything on my U20 head will be new, with the exception of valve springs, why replace valve springs, if the stock ones are within spec? I will have new pistons, rings, pins,bearings, resized rods, timing chains, tensioner, etc. So that is a "budget" build?
On the R16, the same applies, everything will be new, or like new. Yes, the crank will be .020/.020, but the usage of the motor will not be racing, or sustained high speed operation, but a daily driver. I'm curious, what is your definition of "premature wear", or "not wearing well, or correctly"? What is the difference in wear? How many miles until the crank wears out?
I am confidant in my "standards", but would like some definitive answers from an expert like you. You have a very big voice here, and rely a lot on this forum for your income. Please give us underlings a bit of your wisdom. Pat
.
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Re: searching for unicorn -- I mean machine shop

Post by JT68 »

Pat, There’s really no benefit to beating this over and over. I’ve already provided plenty of details, so going over it again and again isn’t going to get us anywhere, it is just a waste of time and bandwidth. We wish you the very best of luck with your builds Pat.

Bob see my recent email on other options for you.
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