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Discussion Starter #1
As I get ready to move on, I am still thinking about my future.
While I realize that those of us who still love th V8's are becoming a thing of the past, I also realize we are still on the upside of muscle car collecting.
My cougars aren't really "investment" quality cars, but drivers...Anyway...
I'm sure lots of you guys have been burned at the machine shop like I have, and are tired of it.
Is there anyone here, who can recommend an adult college course on doing head work? Lke a week of machinist training or something? There has to be a way, to learn the math involved with valve train geometry, so that a guy can do it cheaper than at the machine shop. If a guy can do one set, he can do it for pay too.
In particular, valve spring keepers and retainers, to calculate installed height. I don't have the spring caliper yet, but will get one when I go home.
I really enjoyed working with Meridian Speed, until I got the bill, after telling them up front how much money to spend.
That is the kind of thing I am trying to avoid in the future...
 

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Joe Mondello in California. When I was a cylinder head specialist in a performance oriented machine shop, we were looking to hone my skills a bit. We went to the PRI show (performance racing industry show) and ran into Joe. He and I talked for about 40 minutes and he's a great down to earth guy. He has a cylinder head machining school. It may be a touch on the expensive side, but worth the knowledge. The shop I was in was going to send me out for the school, but I had major life changes on the horizon and got out of the engine world. I truly miss making horsepower with just a little hidden work, but I also love what I do now. I've been looking at retooling for myself, but it's expensive to not do it full time. http://www.mondellotwister.com/ssplash.html I just went and checked on it...Joe has passed away, but there is still a school for cylinder head porting and engine blue printing. Wyoming Technical Institute would be another one to check in to. http://info.wyotech.edu/?dmredirect=IS9BSB00&mkwid=e1IvlXmMv&pcrid=1478936341&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Branded+-+RAIS&utm_term=wyoming%20technical%20institute
 

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Now days it's cheaper to buy new heads because of how much labor is involved, to do your own heads, you would need a valve spring remover, valve grinding machine,(or buy all new valves) need a valve seat grinder, a head surfaceing machine, and lots of gauges and all of this would cost thousands of dollars, and this would only get you a stock valve job. Most performance shops have a flow bench to test heads, more$$$.
Oh, and a lot of information on spring rate and height valve angles, harden seat install, and the list goes on. Did I mention labor, around here it goes for about $ 90 an hour. I hate it to when the price goes over, but not all things can be forseen.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have all the tools for assembly and disassembly other than the machines....I took the BSU two auto tech program already..I was disappointed in the cirriculuum, as it was really nothing more than four years of high school shop.
I really don't want to have to do a four year program, but I would pay out of pocket to supplement my previous education.
Really, I would just like to be able to do the valve spring calculations...I guess the only other tool that I would need for that is the coil bind tool...That was what got me the last time at the machine shop...They were almost twice the agreed amount for the final bill...
 

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Brian, try seeing if there is a decent machine/speed shop near where you end up......they may be willing to take a part timer to learn the trade. They are getting further between now since most of them are crate engine or re-builder factories now. There just doesn't seem to be enough custom work demand to keep a performance only oriented shop. I know a guy here who does what you are looking at - he has been having health issues and things are stacking up I bet.....somebody like that may take on an understudy.

Another thought is to keep your eyes peeled for a shop like this to go out of business.....and sell the equipment off or auction it. Plenty of books out there to teach yourself.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'll look into a new machine shop once I get moved. I know I am not a machinist at heart, I'm not that smart. But as far as valve springs and stuff goes, there has to be a way to get that down so I don't have to pay for it!
 

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Geometry of a cylinder..... V = 2(pi)rh
 

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I'm a big believer in teaching yourself - because I am often disappointed when I pay for a "pro" and get less than I expect....my A/C woes on my truck is only my latest example of many. SO I feel you pain there....classic example of if you want it done right - do it yourself!
 
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