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local machine shops?

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#1 dodge trucker ONLINE  

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Posted December 30, 2014 - 10:02 PM

not sure this is in the right place, wasnt sure where it should go.

But as it seems that I see more and more "should I rebuild or look for a different motor" type threads these days, a big consideration is "where can I get my block bored, valve work done, or my crank turned down"?  These places are a dying breed. there used to be a handful up around my parents' house (30 miles away) when I was a teen in the 80s,  there used to be at least 3 within about 10 miles of where I now live, but due to retirements, back injuries, guys dying off, nobody seems to be following this trade and taking over for these and automotive machine shops are fizzling out. I just had to hunt and hunt and hunt for one, as my son has picked up an engine for his truck that I have helped him tear down and he is now ready to get it machined; this applies to our old Briggs and Kohler and Wisconsins too...

I found one that is basically on my way to work that I never knew was there, and have heard of 2 others between here and there, in places that I pass almost daily too, that I never knew were equipped for this sort of thing;


I am not gonna name the place that we are taking my son's 360 to until I see the results and cost; but we are gonna give him a try.

Would it be a good idea to have a thread where our members can tell of such machine shops in their area? Remember an "industrial" machine shop and an "automotive" or "engine" machine shop are not the same thing!

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Posted December 30, 2014 - 10:46 PM

I found one in my area that I use and the man is in his early sixty's and your right Dodge trucker there are not a lot of them around anymore for all the reason's you mentioned. But I have learned a little secret and that is to look for them to be in industrial parks amongst their clients these are not auto machine shops but cater to manufacturing company's it makes perfect sense for them to use a machinist right down the street where they can bring a part and say make me ten of these they will also make you a new axle for your GT, or bore your Kohler engine block.
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#3 T Guiles OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2014 - 12:15 AM

If you know somebody that is into racing or automotive restos they should be able to steer you in the right direction

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#4 petrj6 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 31, 2014 - 07:18 AM

    Allot of the shops around here cant seem to be bothered with little projects, I go in and talk tot hem and they are all super nice till I say it is a single cylinder engine or I only want one of something made then I get the cold shoulder.  fortunately I do allot of my own work and work for a place with the proper machines to do the job so I just go in and use their stuff when I need tog et it done.  A good friend did find a line on a small shop here and will let me know how he makes out getting an int cub engine bored.


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Posted December 31, 2014 - 09:15 AM

There are still quite a few small machine shops around us. So far though the only one I have used for any of the small engine stuff has been our one NAPA store. They have a machine shop in the back and the one guy working in there is pretty knowledgeable on the small engine stuff.

#6 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted December 31, 2014 - 10:42 AM

This past summer I got a Chinese Dune buggy in with a sheared gearbox output shaft.  I couldn't find one online so we started checking the machine shops.  No one could make a new one. 

#7 glgrumpy ONLINE  


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Posted December 31, 2014 - 11:07 AM

Shop I used for my Big and little tractor work had long time guy, no retired. He trained a young fella all summer to take over and now he is gone to greener pastures also, not auto related. Guess young folks don't care to work on mechanicals as much anymore. New vehicles seem to need much less work than in past and last long time, then just traded or junked. I have also tried a few small machine shops to fix an item or two. One here was pretty good to me, till he got out and the brother didn't want anything to do with little items. Most are $100 first hour, weather it takes 15Mins or whatever.  And the guy with a lathe or other tools in his basement that will do work is not around anymore either. Used to know some of those guys that would mess with my ideas and problems.

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#8 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  



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Posted December 31, 2014 - 11:14 AM

I'm on my 4th machine shop in the last 10 years or so - the first three have closed up and gone....


The place I go to now is about an hours drive, but I am very happy with their work and prices. Of course, I said that about 2 of the 3 that closed as well......


Another source (if you are near water) is to look/ask at boat engine builders/repair yards. Lots of machine work to be done on bigger boats and you cant always throw a new part at it.....


The place I am using now is primarily a speed shop/engine builder for off-shore racing boats/race car engines. Any time I drop by, they have some IMPRESSIVE big block v8s in there! One of the machinists is an old guy who likes working on small motors - I honestly think that if he wasn't there, they wouldn't bother with my stuff...


Only down-side is that they make it known that "little stuff" like mine is back burner stuff - when they can fit it in. They will call when it is done and not sure when that will be. But they have never taken more than a week to get my stuff done and back, so I can live with that.

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#9 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted December 31, 2014 - 12:36 PM

There are some large shops around here that do good work but seem pricey. I thought I would try a small local guy. I had bad vibes when I visited the shop but left the work with him anyway. It took him 6 weeks to get it done and then he tried to hold me up for an extra 100$. I wouldn't pay more than the agreed on price and he accepted that. When I got the bushed axle on the tractor I found that he had buggered up the job and both kingpin bores The bushings were deformed inside from too much pressure being used to insert them. Needless to say I won't be going to him again. 

   Try to find a shop recommended by someone local. I didn't bother to do that and ended up wasting my money. 

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#10 tater195 ONLINE  


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Posted December 31, 2014 - 12:54 PM

I tried the automotive machine shops and they didnt get in any hurry to start on the little stuff. talk to the boat and motorcycle shops, they might be able to point you in the right direction. most mower shops dont rebuild anything any more and if the do it will cost you the price of a new engine or more to get it done.

#11 bill3t OFFLINE  

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Posted January 01, 2015 - 10:32 AM

the local machine shop redid my kohler k engine. i told him no rush its just a hobby project. got it back 4 months later. he reasebled it for me no extra charge. thanks mark