Build Thread Harley Orange, a 1969 camper van build

Pontus

Well-known member
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
Yup, that's the plan, but I'm still waiting on just the cleaning and inspection before I can even get pistons, rings, etc... Actually, I already did cuz I'm 99% certain I need .020" over and the parts I wanted seemed to be getting rarer by the day as I watched sources of my chosen pistons and rings dry up while waiting. There's always options, but not ones I like as much for the price or block material loss. I need to get started porting so I have an excuse to visit him to drop off the head for guide reaming.
 

Pontus

Well-known member
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
Always a good idea. My machinist was adamant about balancing it with the flywheel. He builds everything from 4 bangers to 14L diesel truck engines to racing engines.
Mine did ask for it but then remembered it was internally balanced. I was planning to get it for him anyway, but had an interesting conversation with a friend who suggested that it wasn't a good idea because it might introduce harmonics that screw up the internal balance. I then suggested the best of both worlds by maybe asking my machinist to balance the crank and flywheel separate, then together. But that might be an insulting ask by assuming he doesn't know what he's doing, so I'll just approach it with admittedly honest ignorance.
 

philford

Well-known member
i pressed in my own new guides and had the engine shop do the grind.
they had meat to ream so metal wasn't a factor but still knurled them. so doing that sounds reasonable.

one thing i missed was my valve spring length. i had valve float even with new parts but I had to add some thin washers. that stopped the issue.. so you could check that spring compression length more carefully than i did during assembly. it changes with valve grinding etc and swaping parts.

that was a volvo not a ford it cost me a cam and lifters but it was ok after..

it failed out on a road trip so i had to take the push rods and a spark plug out and i drove it 200 miles home on 3 cylinders. it sounded funny but still ran reasonably well :) saved a big towing bill.
 

BigBlue94

1K+
VIP
Supporter 2021
Supporter 2019
Mine did ask for it but then remembered it was internally balanced. I was planning to get it for him anyway, but had an interesting conversation with a friend who suggested that it wasn't a good idea because it might introduce harmonics that screw up the internal balance. I then suggested the best of both worlds by maybe asking my machinist to balance the crank and flywheel separate, then together. But that might be an insulting ask by assuming he doesn't know what he's doing, so I'll just approach it with admittedly honest ignorance.

I should have specified. I had my engine assembled as a long shortblock with head installed. He balanced the rotating assembly then installed in the block then checked with the flywheel installed.

I dont know at what point, but he discovered a very slight bend in my crankshaft, after he reinstalled the crank, and ended up having to straighten it, regrind, re line-hone, and reinstall.

I really liked him. He was a one man operation who spent his free time racing his own car. The only issue i had was he was too busy and took quite a long time.
 

Pontus

Well-known member
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
I finally got around to doing the port and polish work on my head. I didn't want to do anything major, just knock down the major obstructions in the runners, knock down the air injection boss and the front of the guides, blend the intake bowl a bit, and polish the chambers. The polishing took a bit of doing and still looks kinda crappy because of the rough casting, but I didn't want to take too much out. There were a couple of close calls, but I managed to do it all without damaging the new seats. Used a carbide bit for the runners and sandpaper cones on the chambers. I'm pretty happy with it, and each port looks nearly identical, so now it's time to take it to the machinist tomorrow to ream out the guides. Which gives me an excuse to ask him what he's been up to doing the block cleaning and inspection "early next week" for nearly 3 and a half months now.
IMG_20210728_234447224.jpgIMG_20210728_234434933.jpgIMG_20210728_221035081_HDR.jpgIMG_20210728_221027478_HDR.jpgIMG_20210728_220951565.jpgIMG_20210728_220943042.jpg
 

Pontus

Well-known member
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
every machine shop in the country has enough work to last till Christmas...2023.
and that is if they accept no new orders starting today
I'm ok with that. What I'm not ok with is being told early next week several times without any intention to do so. And this guy is a performance engine shop out of his garage, not just a machine shop, so he only takes on work he feels like. He came highly recommended by a co-worker who owns an old GTO. He said that's just how he operates and does great work when he feels like it, so I've been patient, with no need to have my engine done soon. I'll be taking the van to see him, so hopefully he'll see my vision for the project and take an interest.

In other news, I'll be upgrading the ignition system to a ds2 with MSD 6A soon. The MSD is in the mail along with my Eddy AVS2, electric fuel pump, return style regulator, and $700 in overpriced door seals.
 
Last edited:

Wesman07

1K+
VIP
Supporter 2020
I’ve been told “give me two weeks” for the last three months by my machinist. My last conversation with him I asked “Do you need help? I’ll work for free. I’ll wash parts, push a broom, organize you paperwork, whatever you want me to do.”

It’s not that they are being untruthful, it’s that they aren’t making as much progress as they hoped. Between the lack of parts available, long lead times of those parts, and having to stop and talk to every new face that walks in the door, these shops are struggling to make any progress at all.
 

THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER

5K+
VIP
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
Supporter 2020
Supporter 2018
If you touch the guides you will have to check the seat concentricity as the guide axis will likely have moved slightly. Ask him to do a seat runout test.
 

Pontus

Well-known member
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
If you touch the guides you will have to check the seat concentricity as the guide axis will likely have moved slightly. Ask him to do a seat runout test.
By "touch the guides," do you mean if I touched the guides from porting, or were you assuming that I was doing the reaming? I was going to have him do it, and considering he normally builds performance race engines, I would hope he does it right. Do I need to worry about that? I'm having him ream them out to .358", so it is quite a bit of material taken out. But I have the new valves to give him with it to make sure everything is perfect.
 

THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER

5K+
VIP
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
Supporter 2020
Supporter 2018
I like to wait until the guide work is complete before doing the final valve seat work. Even with a piloted reamer driving down the original (worn?) guide hole the center may not be on the original guide axis. The good news is that it may not change much - maybe .007" or so - so maybe a touch up of the seat would be in order after reaming the guides.
 

Pontus

Well-known member
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
I bought the very last Felpro 1024 that Rock Auto had, which just arrived... and I'm pretty sure it's been on the shelf for a while. It looks super old and yellowed, says 85-86 on the front, and the year on the back says 1987! 😲 Looks good tho, not bent or damaged in any way. Should I trust this or return it?
IMG_20210812_183440719.jpg
 

Fordman75

1K+
VIP
Trust it unless that silicone (blue stuff) is crumbly.

I dont think rock auto was in business in 1987 were they?
They buy out auto part warehouses/stores and sell the old stock. You never know when buying from them if you are getting a brand new "new" part or one that has been sitting on a shelf for 20 or 30 years. This is especially true for older vehicles. I've gotten a lot of steering and suspension parts for my 89 E350 and 78 F150 that are old, new parts. But that doesn't really bug me because a lot of the older parts were much better quality anyways. You never know on the new stuff. Most is from china.
 

Frank

Famous Member
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
They buy out auto part warehouses/stores and sell the old stock. You never know when buying from them if you are getting a brand new "new" part or one that has been sitting on a shelf for 20 or 30 years. This is especially true for older vehicles. I've gotten a lot of steering and suspension parts for my 89 E350 and 78 F150 that are old, new parts. But that doesn't really bug me because a lot of the older parts were much better quality anyways. You never know on the new stuff. Most is from china.
That's right. Overhauled the front end on my '79 F100 last year. Ordered all Federal-Mogal and Moog U.S.A. parts @ Rockauto. The boxes were yellowed, falling apart, but the parts were the genuine article. Reminded me of how things used to be. Wow what we took for granted! I'm old enough to remember, so excuse my bias -but everything from China is junk, I don't care what it is.
 

THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER

5K+
VIP
Supporter 2022
Supporter 2021
Supporter 2020
Supporter 2018
Buying stuff from Japan used to be the same way. They made cheap junk after WW II. As time rolled on they got better. Cheap cameras became Sony, Canon, Nikon and Fuji. Rikuo motorbikes became Yamaha, Suzuki Kawasaki and Honda. Cheap transistor radios evolved into Yamaha, Mytek and Morel stereos. Nissan became Lexus, Acura and Subaru.
China makes a lot of cheap stuff. But my feeling its quality is getting better. I think it will still continue to improve.
Why?
Because Americans want cheap stuff. Most would rather have a lot of cheap stuff than do without more expensive products we cannot afford.
So does the rest of the world!
As China continues to supply the rest of the world with cheap, their manufacturing techniques will continue to evolve and improve. And as a result the Chinese economy will thrive even as their standard of living increases. [Watch the movie "Crazy Rich Asians"]
After WW II the U.S. mantra was "Reject Communism. Embrace Capitalism!"
Be careful what you wish for.
I'm not endorsing buying of Chinese goods. Neither am I advocating a rejection of them. I don't like some of their trade policies, or their labor relations, or their environmental disregard. I just see it as it is. As their goods get better they may become more pricey, like Japanese goods. Then others will step up and start making cheap.
It is happening already. Viet Nam, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Cambodia are underbidding China and Taiwan on a lot of components we used to get from China. And so the cycle begins again.
 
Last edited:
Top