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Cylinder Block:
The engine/cylinder block is a single unit that contain all the pieces for the engine. The block
serves as a structural framework of the engine and carries the mounting pad by which the engine
is supported by the chassis. The block is made of cast iron and sometimes aluminum for higher
performance Vehicle. The engine block is manufactured to withstand large amount of stress and
high temperature. Engine blocks are a critical component of an engine, it must satisfy a number of
functional requirements

1. These requirements include: -

2. Lasting the life of the vehicle
3. Housing internal moving parts and fluids
4. Ease of service and maintenance
5. Withstand pressures created by the combustion process.

Machining Operations in the Manufacturing of Cylinder

Generally, the sequence of operations on a typical machining line for cylinder block is as follows:

1. Qualifying
2. Rough Mill Pan and Head faces
3. Rough machining cylinder bores


4. Milling bearing cap width and slots

5. Finish mill pan and bearing cap width
6. Drilling oil holes (compound angles)
7. Drilling, reaming, tapping (Left & right, pan and head faces)
8. Assembly of bearing caps
9. Finish front and rear end
10. Drilling, reaming, tapping (end faces)
11. Line boring crankbore in parent material
12. Finish tappet bores
13. Assembly cam liners, finish line boring
14. Finish cylinder bores
15. Finish mill /grind head face
16. Hone and grade

Quality Check & Dimensional Measurement

Quality check refers to the methods which are used to ensure the quality is what it should be before
coming a product in customer’s hand. While talking about cylinder block there are different types
of problems which could occur and their check and balance is absolutely necessary. The first and
foremost of them is the crack detection

If critical parts are not inspected for cracks, there’s no way to know if they will stand up to normal
use and abuse. In the case of cylinder heads and blocks, you won’t know if the castings can hold
pressure until the engine has been assembled. Therefore it I necessary to have crack inspection.

Clean Cylinder Block

Using a soft brush and solvent, thoroughly clean the cylinder block. If the cylinder is washed at
high temperatures, the cylinder liner sticks out beyond the cylinder block, so always wash the
cylinder block at a temperature of 45°C (133°F) or less.


 Dye Penetrant Inspection:

Another method for finding surface cracks and flaws is to use a penetrating dye. Though used
mostly on aluminum parts, this technique also works well on cast iron, steel, composite materials
and even plastic.

The theory behind this technique is that a very light oil will wick into a crack. It’s the same idea
as using penetrating oil to loosen a fastener except that the oil contains a dye. If the oil finds its
way into a crack, the dye should then make the crack visible. Some penetrating dyes use fluorescent
dyes and a black light to make the cracks stand out while others use a chemical developer to make
the dye more visible.

Several different styles of penetrants are available, depending on your needs. If you’re using a UV
light and fluorescent dye, a shroud that blocks ambient light will make it easier to see the cracks.
Cracks will glow green under the black light. With ordinary dyes, no special light is needed. Cracks
usually stand out as a stark red line against the bright aluminum metal.

Multi-stage penetrating dyes typically use a three-step process to highlight cracks. The surface is
first cleaned with a spray-on or wipe-on chemical cleaner. The part is allowed to dry, then the
penetrant that contains the dye is sprayed or wiped on and allowed to stand for several minutes.
The excess penetrant is then wiped or washed off, leaving behind any penetrant that has found its
way into a crack. A developer is then applied to the surface, which lifts and separates the dye from
the fissure to reveal and highlight the crack.

Penetrating dyes are an excellent tool for finding surface defects in aluminum cylinder heads and
blocks, aluminum connecting rods and other aluminum castings such as intake manifolds and
timing covers. It will even work on plastic intake manifolds. Cracks that are hidden in intake or


exhaust ports or deeply recessed areas may be difficult to see, so for these kind of situations using
a fluorescent dye with a small UV penlight light to illuminate the powder will make the job easier.

The advantage of this process is that it is simple to do and can be used with non-ferrous metals.
However, the drawbacks to the process are that it can only locate cracks or defects that break the
surface of the part, it may be less sensitive than some other methods, it uses a relatively large
amount of solution and may take extra time to complete testing.

 Pressure Testing:
A cylinder head or block is pressure tested by first sealing all the water outlets with plugs or cover
plates. The casting is then pressurized with air or water to simulate water pressure inside the
engine. The casting may then be submerged in a water tank or sprayed with soapy water to reveal
any air leaks. If there are no bubbles, the part is assumed to hold pressure. If there are bubbles, you
follow the bubbles to find the leak.

The main advantage of this technique is that it can find leaks other techniques can’t (such as
porosity leaks in aluminum castings) – and it can verify the integrity of crack repairs that have
been made in heads and blocks to make sure they hold water.

With pressure testing, it takes some time to seal up a head or block. You must have the proper
equipment to plug or block off all the water outlets in the casting. If you’re only working on certain
engines, a pressure tester with dedicated fixturing or plates may be all you need. But if you’re
working on a wide range of engines, you’ll need a setup with universal fixturing or a wider
assortment of plates and plugs.

 Vacuum Testing:
Vacuum testing is the same basic idea as pressure testing, except in reverse. Instead of using air
pressure to test the cooling jackets for leaks, vacuum is pulled on a cylinder head or block after
the water outlets have been plugged. If the casting holds vacuum, there are no leaks. But if it
doesn’t, you’ve found a leaker. Unfortunately, this technique does not use water or dye to pinpoint
the leak so you still have to use one of the other techniques to find the leak. It’s mostly a quick
check for verifying the integrity of a casting.

 Ultrasonic Testing:

This is a technique that is more commonly used in industrial and aviation applications, but it can
also be used to find internal flaws in castings and other parts. The technology uses sound waves to
find cracks. A transponder generates an acoustic signal (up to 25 MHz) that passes into and through
the part. Cracks or flaws will reflect some of the sound waves back to the detector, which allows
the information to be displayed on the tester.

The advantages of this method of crack detection is that it can find hidden flaws that the other
commonly used techniques can’t. As we said earlier, magnetic particle inspection and penetrating
dye can only reveal surface defects, and pressure testing and vacuum testing can only reveal cracks
and porosity leaks in cooling jackets. A crankshaft with an internal defect could easily pass a
magnetic particle inspection test, yet fail on a racetrack when the stresses of racing expand the
crack and caused the crank to snap, for example.

The best applications for ultrasonic testing include heavy castings, large shafts and expensive parts
that may be used for racing or extreme-duty service. Ultrasonics can also be used to check the
integrity of welds and welded castings. They can also be used to check for the integrity of cylinder
wall thicknesses before or after boring.

Metrology of Cylinder Block Main Components

Cylinder bores, crank bores, joint face heights from crank bore are critical dimensions that are
checked using precision gauges and grading is marked on individual block for selective assembly.
Bores are checked for roundness, straightness, and parallelism. Besides, the inter-relations such
as alignment of crank bores and oil seal bore, squareness of crankbore axis and cylinderbore axis,
and surface finish of cylinder bores, crankbores and top face, are also important and carefully
monitored. Precision measurement of surface features of cylinder bores such as crosshatch angles,
dimensions of plateau including groove width and depth, stroke reversal radius, and area of blow
holes can be carried out directly with some versatile production floor type equipment that are
marketed by various manufacturers.

 Wall Thickness Measurement of Cast Engine Blocks and

Cylinder Bores


More than 30 years ago, Olympus predecessor Panametrics was the first company to introduce an
ultrasonic gage specifically adapted for measurement of cylinder bore thickness. Today, engine
block and cylinder bore measurements can be performed with any of the Olympus precision
thickness gages, models 38DL PLUS and 45MG with Single Element software. The transducer
selection will depend on the specific measurements being made. While cast aluminum and cast
iron in the thickness ranges encountered in engine blocks can generally be measured with common
contact transducers such as an M109 (5 MHz, 0.5" diameter) or M106 (2.25 MHz, 0.5" diameter),
the complex shape and access requirements of engine blocks often requires other transducers. In
the case of cylinder bore measurements, radiused delay line transducers (usually 5 MHz M206 or
2.25 MHz M207) are used. The replaceable plastic delay line is cut to conform to the inside radius
of curvature of the cylinder bore to insure proper sound coupling. Measurement in limited access
areas such as wall thickness of exhaust ports may require use of transducers on pencil-type holders
to reach into confined spaces. Olympus will provide assistance with transducer selection for
specific cases.

 N. D. Test and Dimensional Measurement of Cylinder Bores

It is basically automatic equipment for non-destructive test of surface defects and dimensional

The manufacturing process of cylinder bores of automobile engines can often cause the formation
of porosity (resulting from fusion in aluminum or cast iron cylinder bores) or cracks in steel
cylinder liners. The need of both a Non-Destructive inspection to detect superficial defects as well
as the typical dimensional controls has driven the integration of Eddy Current and pneumatic


technology in a single plug. The adopted solution, includes two ND probes (opposing each other
at 180°) and two or four pneumatic jets (opposing each other at 90°). This allows, in only one
cycle, to inspect:

 Surface defects such as porosity and cracks

 Diameter

 Taper and Ovality

 Measuring Depth of Bores Using Depth Micrometer

Install the cylinder liner in the cylinder block without the crevice seal or packings, and
check the liner-to-block clearance in the lower bore with a feeler gage .It is desirable that the
clearance be in accordance with It is permissible, however, for a new
liner to contact with the bore provided that the liner is not warped out-of-
round because of heavy contact. Check the liner for out-of-round with a dial bore gage. If
the liner is out-of-round over 0.002 inch (0.05 mm) in the packing area, repair the lower bore.
Remove the cylinder liner from the cylinder block and check the counter bore depth using a
depth micrometer.

The depth micrometer is used to measure the precise depths of holes, grooves, and recesses by
using interchangeable rods to accommodate different depth measurements. When using a depth
micrometer, you must make sure the base of the micrometer has a flat, smooth surface to rest
on and that it is held firmly in place to ensure an accurate measurement.

 Checking Bores for Ovality:

To measure Ovality, it is required to have an air plug with two, and only two, jets, located 180
degrees apart. Take a measurement, and then rotate the part (or the plug, depending on the setup)
through a full 180 degrees, noting the maximum and minimum readings on the dial. (A two-
contact, mechanical plug-type gage will also work for this application.). The above considers only
simple Ovality--essentially, a two-lobed condition. If it is required to measure lobbing of greater
frequencies, air plugs with as many as 12 jets can be used.

 Checking Bores for Taper:


Checking bores for undesirable taper is similar to checking Ovality. Use a multiple-jet air plug
to measure first near one end, and then near the other end of the bore, and simply note the
difference, if any. If process analysis has indicated a need to check for barrel shape or bell mouth,
take a measurement in the middle as well.

Air gaging is a natural choice for measuring holes that are intended to be tapered (for example,
Morse taper). This method of measuring taper is easy, fast and accurate, although it involves
slightly more elaborate equipment. A plug with two separate air circuits is connected to the air
gage so that each circuit acts on opposite sides of the precision diaphragm. Simply place the
workpiece on the plug, and the gage will automatically indicate any variation in taper, based on
the differential of air pressure between the two circuits.

 Measurement of Roundness and Surface Finish of Cylinder

Measuring the surface finish and roundness of prismatic units such as engine blocks and cylinder
heads can be difficult with conventional measurement devices. Therefore, we must have different
set of devices to measure the roundness such as Taylor Hobson Series. Taylor Hobson offers a
series of Talyrond roundness measuring devices to measure the straightness or cylindricity of cylinder
liners, the alignment of Crank bores and Cam, and the concentricity of valve seats to valve guides.
The devices measure the roundness of the components, irrespective of whether the surface is
plateau honed, milled, turned, and ground. They also measure the roundness irrespective of
whether the form is straight, angled, or radial. Various types of surfaces associated with engine
blocks require devices with high flexibility to cover all analysis aspects.


Inspect Top Surface of Cylinder Block for Flatness

Using a precision straight edge and feeler gauge, measure the surface contacting the cylinder head
gasket for warpage.

Inspect Cylinder Bore Diameter

Visually check the cylinder for vertical scratches. If deep scratches are present, replace the cylinder

Inspect Cylinder Bore Diameter

Using a cylinder gauge, measure the cylinder bore diameter

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Inspect Piston Ring End Gap

Using a feeler gauge, measure the clearance between new piston ring and the wall of the ring
groove. Feeler gauge is a gauge consisting of a number of thin blades for measuring narrow gaps
or clearances.

Inspect Piston Oil Clearance

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Using a micrometer, measure the piston diameter at various points. If the oil clearance is greater
than maximum allowable, replace all pistons. If necessary, replace the cylinder block

Piston Diameter:
To measure the piston diameter, what you do is get a micrometer and measure the diameter form
the skirt of the piston.

Metrology by Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM):

A coordinate measurement machine (CMM) is an advanced, multi-purpose quality control system
used to help inspection keep pace with modern production requirements. It replaces long, complex
and inefficient conventional inspection methods with simple procedures. A CMM provides instant
measurement results without complicated setup and operating procedures. It combines surface
plate, micrometer and Vernier type inspection methods into one easy to use machine. CMM can
check the dimensional and geometric accuracy of everything from small engine blocks (diameters
of cylinder bores, crank bores and joint face heights from crank which are the critical
dimensions are measured by CMM), to sheet metal parts, to circuit boards. This machine may
be manually controlled by an operator or it may be computer controlled. Measurements are defined
by a probe attached to the third moving axis of this machine. Probes may be mechanical, optical,
laser, or white light, among others. A machine which takes readings in six degrees of freedom and
displays these readings in mathematical form is known as a CMM.

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3) Combustion Chamber and Head Gaskets:

The combustion chamber volumes of the three Chevy engines can vary quite a bit depending
on manufacturer, or, if you're dealing with stock heads, the year they were cast. Skilled engine
builders check this by using a CC Kit like the one pictured from Powerhouse (PN POW351150),
which is a 100cc x 2cc graduated cylinder and stand that can accurately determine volumes.
Some sizes we've seen from the aftermarket are advertised from 64cc chambers up to 80 cc for
some race heads, so it's important to measure this. To do so, you flip the cylinder head so the
chamber faces up, then, once you grease up the area around the chamber, place a piece of
clear plastic sheeting with a small hole over the chamber, completely covering it. Then, with the
graduated cylinder filled with colored liquid, you open the valve and record how much fluid it
takes to fill the void in the chamber.

Head gasket thicknesses can range anywhere from 0.012 to as thick as 0.080, but the common
size for small-blocks is 0.040. This, too, must be factored into your piston math, so it's a good
idea to measure this using the CC kit, keeping in mind that it will cinch down by 0.002.