Goodson Gazette

Posts in the Tech Notes category

Straight Talk About Your Surfacing Machine

By Dave Monyhan

Winona Van Norman SM160 Cylinder Head Resurfacing MachineToday we’re going to talk about resurfacing machines for cylinder heads and blocks. These machines come in variety of styles and configurations as well as many colors. There are belt grinders, dry grinders, wet grinders, broaches and mills. There are different designs from under-head to over-head types. These machines use coated or formed abrasives, some use carbide and later styles or models use CBN or PCD, some use coolant and some are operated dry. Despite these differences, they all have two things in common; they make a warped surface flat and they need the same care and attention when it comes to the daily maintenance necessary to maintain their accuracy and dependability.

Getting Started

All of these machines have beds or tables that you mount the work piece to. They all use similar type tooling for the mounting of the work piece. This tooling needs to be qualified to the machine to insure accurate set up.

Leveling Your Machine

12" Starret Machinists LevelFor most machines you will do a four-point level. I recommend using a 12″ Starret level. Before you begin you need to be sure your level is calibrated. To see if your level is accurate simply place it on a surface you know is flat and take a reading. Then reverse your level 180 degrees. The reading should repeat. Even if the bubble isn’t directly in the middle as long as the reading repeats you know that the level is accurate. If it doesn’t repeat, do a quick calibration. Take a reading to determine how far the level is off. Now adjust the level, splitting the difference that it’s off. Again set the level back down on a surface, turn it 180 degrees and keep adjusting until it repeats. Now you’re on the level! Set your level on the ways of your machine or on the mounting surface of the table. Adjust the machine front to back as well as left to right. When you’re done all surfaces should read level. Double-check to be sure that the level repeats. If it repeats in all directions and the bubble now stays in the middle, you have achieved level.

True the table

Now it’s time to determine if the table is running true. Mount a magnetic base dial indicator in the wheel head and touch it to the table surface. Traverse the table left and right to determine if the table is true to the wheel head. The table should run true at less than .002″ down the entire traverse of the table. If the table is off you will need to consult with the manufacturer to get the correction procedure.

Check Oil Levels

This is also a good time to check the level of the way oil in the oil cups under the table. You will notice a wooden roller that acts as a wicking device that coats oil on to the bottom of the flat and v-way of the table, providing a lubrication film for the table to ride on during the traverse.

Check the Parallels

Next, its time to check the parallels to see how true they are. Again using a dial indicator and granite plate, sweep the parallels to determine if they are true. If they have run-out, the work piece will not be surfaced correctly. You may have to machine them true using a Bridgeport or other industrial-type machine.

Indicate the Cylinder Head/Block Rollover Clamps

Now let’s indicate the cylinder head/block rollover clamps. Check these in the same manner you did for the table and parallels. Again, you may be making corrections on the Bridgeport machine. You’ll then want to indicate the rollover bar to insure it’s not bent. You may be surprised to find these mounting components aren’t true. But it’s better to know where you are rather than wondering where you’ll end up. That’s why you’re reading this article. It’s better late than never. Remember if your tooling is true then your work will be true.

Deburr your tooling

Always deburr your tooling with deburring stones, as this will clean up the nicks and other imperfections created during set up. Also deburr the table to remove imperfections that will affect your tooling set-up, which will ultimately affect the finished piece. Once all of the tooling has been measured and corrected you can reinstall it knowing that your next surface job will be set up accurately.

Inspect the Grinding Head

Most grinding heads are held on with a tapered spindle and lock nut. When you replace the stones it’s a good time to remove and clean out all the bolt holes. You will want to run a tap into the threaded holes to clean out any gunk that has accumulated. Also inspect the wedge blocks for nicks and burrs. Deburr as necessary. Re-mount the head and install the new stones, make sure your new stones have good blotters on them. Never mount a grinding stone without a blotter. The blotter takes up any clearance and prevents the stones from loosening during the grinding operation. Snug up the bolts being sure not to over tighten, causing the stones to break.

Big Caution! Never allow more than 1″ to 1-1/4″ of stone protrusion to extend below the clamping wedges. If you do, you may experience a few fragments in the drywall or worse, in your face. As always wear safety glasses or a safety face shield. Always be safe! After you’ve properly mounted the new stones test run the wheel head. Turn on the coolant and let it run for about two minutes. Shut everything down and recheck the segments. Tighten again as necessary. Run the machine again and recheck the bolts one more time and you should be ready to go.

Dress The Stones Properly for Longer Life

Dressing the stones is accomplished using a star type dresser generally mounted on the wheel head. This dresser is designed to dress the segments or stone in the manner designed by the manufacturer. Remember that the star-type dresser is designed to rotate. If it doesn’t rotate, get a new one right away. If your machine is equipped with a diamond dresser, check to make sure the diamond has a sharp point and be sure to rotate it on a regular basis. Keep in mind that your dressing technique can affect the way the grinding wheel acts. Fast dressing will give more grinding ability but the finish may suffer. Slow dressing will give you the finish, but it may cause the wheel to load up and require additional dressing. Adjust your technique according to the type of material you are grinding.

Clean the Coolant Reservoir

Resurfacing Belt CoolantIf your machine uses coolant take the time to clean out the coolant reservoir, wipe down the table and drain back the galleys. Use a microbiostat to eliminate or kill the bacteria. It’s the bacteria that cause the odor in your shop, especially during the more humid months. If you keep your coolant at its proper mixture and periodically clean the reservoir this nasty smell will not waft throughout your shop.

A clever way to rinse down the work piece as well as the inside of the grinding machine is to attach a split tee to the coolant feed line and attaching a small length of garden hose with a spray nozzle. This allows you to get to all areas for a rinse after each job. Take the time to flush the coolant hoses as they also contain bacteria. And don’t forget to wipe down the splashguards or curtains.

If your machine is equipped with a hydraulic table you will need to periodically check the hydraulic fluid levels and clean or change the hydraulic fluid filter. If your machine has a mechanical feed then you’ll need to make adjustments to the belt drive. If it’s a direct drive then you need to check the fluid in the gearbox on a semi annual basis.

Adjust the Machine Tilt

The tilt of your machine needs to be adjusted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. All grinders have a leading edge in reference to the position of the grinding wheel. In general, the grinding head is tilted as much as .005″ to .015″ left to right and zero front to back. Always check the manual for how to set the tilt on your machine. If you experience dragging or a back cutting pattern this is an indication that the head tilt is out of adjustment.

Older machines using a solid grinding wheel require similar maintenance such as cleaning the coolant, checking the bolt holes to insure they are clean, removing any rust or scale from the mounting surface prior to mounting the new wheel.

If you have a broach, that means you have carbide tips that do the cutting. These tips need to be sharp and set correctly. Mount a magnetic base dial indicator and set them according to the manufacturer. A good rule of thumb is all tips should be within .0005″ for a proper finish. Keep in mind broaches are extremely sensitive to level. You must do a complete four-point level to achieve the desired finish results.

CBN and PCD, the Newer Alternatives

There has been quite a rush to CBN (Cubic Boron Nitride) in cutting iron in the last ten years. Some machines are just wet grinders converted to use a CBN bit. Others have been designed to be a CBN cutting machine. Set up is critical when using CBN. The aggressive cutting action it delivers is directly related to how true the set up is and how conscientious the operator is.

CBN, an ultra-hard cutting material consisting of polycrystalline cubic boron nitride with a metallic or ceramic binder is primarily used to machine hardened ferrous material. It’s available either as a tip brazed to a carbide insert carrier or as a solid insert.

CBN has its limitations. It likes to cut large amounts of material with out interruption. Guess what? The average cylinder head or block has many holes that interrupt the cutting action of the tool bit. With that in mind it’s even more critical to have correct speeds and feeds on your surfacer to adjust for machining cylinder heads and blocks. CBN must be driven by rigid machine tools with secure holding fixtures. As I stated earlier, some CBN machines are simply converted wet grinders, and others are designed as CBN machine. But not all CBN tips are the same. The purity of CBN content separates price from quality. I recommend the titanium coated CBN tips, due to the witness mark left on the tip after you have surfaced a workpiece. Plus the titanium coating delivers longer life. These tips can be rotated about every 2-3 degrees so you can get the maximum life out of the tip. Plus if you’re using a solid CBN tip, after one side is worn out you simply flip it over and use it again. It’s essential that when you rotate the tip, that the holder is clean and the holding finger is sound. There’s nothing worse than having your machine throw a $250 tool bit somewhere in the shop, because chances are you are not going to find it. CBN can also be sharpened. If the tip isn’t fractured, it can be lapped back to spec, extending the life of the tip.

PCD (Polycrystalline Diamond) is an ultra-hard tool material (substrate) consisting of a synthetic polycrystalline diamond tip brazed to a carbide insert carrier. Primarily used to machine non-ferrous materials at high speeds, PCD has been developed specifically to machine aluminum. CBN only smears the aluminum when removing metal without producing the necessary finish today’s aluminum heads require. To extend the life of your tooling, use adequate lubrication.

Keep your tooling organized

Well-organized tooling is essential. If you have to chase around the shop to find the necessary bolts, washers and tee nuts, it just adds time to the job. Either get a tool board from the manufacturer or build a tool board right next to the machine. Check your mounting hardware for nicks, burrs and thread damage and replace or fix as required. There is nothing worse than having a job get tossed out of the machine with tooling failure due to lack of maintenance.

You may think that all I preach is maintenance, maintenance and more maintenance. However, without continued maintenance of your machines, you will not be getting the desired results your customers expect when it come to surfacing their components. Remember a clean and well-maintained machine will deliver many years of accurate service. Plus it will have more resale value when it’s time to upgrade.

Don’t forget, if you have more questions, contact the Goodson Tech Department at 1-800-533-8010.

3 Quick Tips To Improve Your Valve Grinding

3 Quick Tips To Improve Your Valve Grinding
No long tech articles today. Just simple, common-sense tips to improve your valve grinding results. Read on for three quick tips!

Race Engine Challenge & Technical Engine Conference

Goodson is once again sponsoring the Race Engine Challenge & Technical Engine Conference September 16 to 21, 2019 in Charlotte, NC. This 6-day conference is your chance to learn from technical experts such as Harold Bettes, Steve Sousley, Richard Glady, David Vizard and many others.

Checklist for Flywheel Grinding Maintenance

If you are going to tune up your flywheel grinder, we have a checklist to ensure your flywheel grinder is ready to earn you dollars! Print yourself a copy by clicking on the pdf version.

6 Essential Summer Car Care Tips

Road trip season is almost here! Make sure your vehicle is ready to handle some sun-drenched driving. Summer’s high temperatures, flurries of dust and dirt, and the occasional rain can all take a toll on your vehicle’s most important systems. With these essential services, though, you can better prepare your car and help it run smoothly and safely through summer and into fall. Ready to get started?

Tip #1: Get your oil and oil filter changed. This is particularly important if your last oil change was awhile ago, because intense weather conditions of any kind (wet, hot, or cold) can put extra demands on your oil and oil filter. Your oil works to keep your engine parts lubricated while the filter works to capture harmful debris, dirt, and metal fragments that have finagled their way into the oil system. A clean filter means more material gets picked up. More material getting picked up means cleaner oil. Cleaner oil means a healthier, happier engine!

Tip #2: Double-check your fluid levels. Seasonal weather changes can lead to low transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, and even windshield wiper fluid, so check them all! Coolant fluid, in particular, is an especially important one to keep an eye before the heat of the season. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, the greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. If you’re not comfortable performing these checks on your own, stop by your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care and let one of our technicians take a look. 

Tip #3: Check and monitor your tire pressure. Between hitting hidden potholes and dealing with difficult road conditions, your tires deserve a good check-up. The truth is, tires lose or gain pressure daily depending on the outside temperature. In cool weather, for example, a tire will typically lose one or two pounds of air per month. Make sure your tires (including your spare!) are properly inflated before hitting the road for a big summer road trip, because tires with low air pressure tend to wear out much more quickly. Get started by finding your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure.

Tip #4: Evaluate your alignment. If your car pulls to one side, your steering wheel vibrates, or your steering wheel isn’t centered when you’re driving straight, get your vehicle’s alignment checked out. Alignment can be thrown off by general wear and tear, as well as run-ins with rough roads, potholes, and curbs. Proper alignment can help extend the life of your tires, make for a smoother ride, and even save you a few bucks on gas. A quick check-up can let you know if your car is due for an alignment service.

Tip #5: Test your battery. “Summer heat accelerates the rate of fluid loss and resulting oxidation of battery components, which can leave you stranded without warning,” says Steve Fox, Director of Automotive Services for AAA Oregon/Idaho. “Most people don’t realize that heat is the number one cause of battery failure and reduced battery life,” he adds.

Tip #6: Get your brakes inspected. At the end of the day, is there anything more important than good brakes in your vehicle? Stop-and-go traffic, long holiday road trips, and inclement conditions may have done a number on your brakes. Whether your brakes are making eerie noises or demanding extra pressure, it’s may be time for some fine tuning.

You can’t always guarantee that life will run smoothly, but you can do your best to make sure that your car does. Basic maintenance services, like oil changes, are the perfect place to start before summer. Firestone Complete Auto Care’s full-service oil change includes an oil and oil filter replacement, a top-off of important fluids, and a courtesy 19-point inspection. If there’s something “off” with your brakes, battery, alignment, or tire pressure, there’s a good chance our technicians will catch it during the courtesy inspection and bring it to your attention. Summer car care couldn’t be more convenient! 


Visually Identifying Your Flex-Hones®

Problem: You have several flex-hones on your bench. They're all about the same size but you know they aren't all the same grit or the same abrasive. How can you tell which one is which?

Solution: Brush Research has made identification of its Flex-Hones quick and easy by color coding the stem to indicate the abrasive formula and the tip to identify the grit. 

Selecting Honing Stones for Your Next Job

Selecting Honing Stones for Your Next Job
Selecting the right honing stone for the material being worked should be relatively easy. Though when you look at the Goodson catalog it can seem a bit overwhelming since we do have over 150 different honing stones listed just for cylinder honing. Add in rod honing, align honing, lifter bore honing and valve guide honing stones and you’ve got quite the assortment to choose from.

Honing Oils 101

Honing Oils 101

The importance of honing oil is often underestimated when calculating the cost of a cylinder honing job. Everyone sees the labor cost and the cost of the abrasive and tooling, but what about the honing oil you use? How does that factor in? 

In terms of dollars and cents honing oil is a tiny fraction of the overall cost of cylinder honing; 1% or less of the total process cost. But when it comes to the quality of the job, the rate of abrasive consumption and the speed of the honing cycle, honing oil is king.

Brake Lathe Boot Replacement

Brake Lathe Boot Replacement
Keep your brake lathe in top running order by replacing worn boots. Illustrated step by step instructions walk you through the process.

Goodson Grinding Wheel in Action!

Goodson Grinding wheel in Action!

Thank you Tim Meyer of T Meyer Inc. for sending in this cool clip of our FGW-495 wheel being used in his shop!

(For video purpose grinding coolant wasn't used. Always be sure to use coolant with your grinding wheels)

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