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Re: Plasti-gauge

> OK, I'll bite: What's the $500 "tool" to measure a bunch of plain-bearing
> clearances?

It's not "tool" but tools, with an "s" ... you should be able to buy a set
of micrometers, telescopic gauges, dial indicator and stand, etc. for $500
or less, especially if you check out the pawn shops for good used ones.  I
have accumulated a fairly large set of measurement tools this way and they
come in handy for lots of other things besides engine work.
> As the "common man"'s way of verifying that all the pieces you've got
> back from the machinist(s) are bored/ground/etc. to spec, Plastigauge
> is hard to beat!

Indeed ... assuming your machinist knows his stuff.  But how do you tell if
the bearing journals need to be machined in the first place?  Using a piece
of Plasti-gauge will only tell you what the clearance is at the EXACT place
you're measuring and nowhere else.  The instructions clearly state that you
are supposed to use it only in a non-load bearing manner (on top of a crank
and not underneath it, for instance) which means you won't know if the main
bearing bores have worn oval-shaped without moving the block around quite a
bit in order to arrange everything just so ... even then, it'll be hard for
you to know for sure and you definitely won't know the absolute measurement
just a relative one.

All in all, if you plan to build more than one engine in your life and take
the time to learn how to use them, $500 or less spent on some tools will be
money well spent.  I've built at least 40 engines to date (most of them for
karts, way back when) and would feel "naked" building one without them!

     _             _              _
    / l       l o l  \       l o l  \  _   _ o  _   _   AudiDudi@delphi.com
   /__l l l / l l l  l l l / l l l /  / l /  l l \ / _  Jeffrey Goggin
  /   l l_l \_l l l__/ l_l \_l l l  \ \_l \_ l l l \_l  Scottsdale, Arizona