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Old 02-08-2008, 09:06 AM
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Machine tools for Performance Engine Shop

Alright Gents I want to know, If you had 100,000 dollars what machine tools you would purchase for a two man engine building operation?

Assume that there is an affordable machine shop close by that does everything. So if there was something that was uncommon you could take it to them and have it back in a week.

This shop would specialize in American V-8's with emphasis on mid performance street applications and 3/8 mile dirt track racing for budget classes as well as getting into the 450-500 hp modifieds.

Big Block Chevy's would also be built for Marine applications.

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Old 02-08-2008, 10:19 AM
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The way I understand it, if you were to buy it all new, $100k wouldn't touch it.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:28 AM
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Well there are a few different ways of looking at this.

Are you looking to build a business that pays all the bills or is this kind of a side deal???

If you’re looking for ROI (return on investment) then you need to look into equipment that will pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time.

One thing that I have found is the equipment is only half the story; the associated tooling is just as expensive as the equipment.

If I had a local machine shop that delivered quality work and on time I would probably never have bought any equipment at all. The guy that I was using 5 years ago almost cost me 2 good customers because of late deliveries, that is when I decided to buy some of my own equipment to have better control of when the parts get done.

Tops on my list would be a hot tank, jet washer, rinse booth. Then a good boring bar and fixture, quality cylinder hone. Rod shop. Then you will need to decide how far you want to go with cylinder heads. That will require a valve grinder and a way to do seats and guides. For that I would recommend a Bridgeport style mill. They are very universal and you can do a lot of jobs on them like, valve notches in pistons, and so on.. You really should have top quality balancer and a way to deck blocks… I am sure this is over $100,000 with all new equipment. If you buy used then you need to count on some down time and expense keeping it all running..

Keith
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:40 AM
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Yeah definately not all new, I don't think we could get a decent return on our investment with brand new stuff. At least not until we get established and the volume of business increases.

Are there any websites or used machining equipment dealers that you know of?

This business has been on the side and we both have good paying full time jobs, but we want to work for ourselves, once we can't keep up with the volume one or both of us will start working at it full time.

If anyone could post pics along with the type of machine they would recommend than that would be great. I know the theory of operation behind this equipment and have used different bridgeports, lathes, drill presses etc. but I would like to see differences in manufacturers.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:35 PM
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Check out usedshopequipment.com In the upper right corner click "veiw ads" This might give you an idea of how far 100,000 will get you.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:49 PM
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Keep an eye on ebay.

For my home shop. I have purchased these items on ebay in the last few years.

A like new 5 year old guide and seat machine with two boards of tooling- $1200.00 less than 50 miles away.

Also an older IDL. little used, guide and seat machine for $600 about 250 miles away.

A like new Sioux valve grinder from the same guy for $250.00

Peterson bake cabinet used three years in a small shop. $550. This I had to go to New York to get.

Kwik way 545 14" wet grinder. $650.00 had to go to Pennsylvania, but well worth the trip.

Spray cabinet $535.00 in Cleveland.

Bridgeport mill. Like new (from a voc class). $800.00 35 miles from me

LaBlond 17" swing 7' bed servo lathe. $2000.00 also a school machine 40 miles away.

Storm vulcan crank grinder, with 8 stones and all tooling. for $1500.00 a long drive away.

A Hines engine balancer, mid eighties model, bobs and scales. From the crank grinder guy's estate for $1500.00 another long drive.

Thats just some of the big stuff.

At present my home shop has more equipment than the business has.
http://usedshopequipment.com/
http://www.jamisonequipment.com/ try these guys. also look for equipment auctions. govt auctions etc.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:55 PM
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equipment

If you do a net search for used automotive machine shop equipment you will find many places that sell used equipment.

I personally would look at public sales and private people selling if it was me. I think the used equipment sales are very high priced.

If you stay with any of the name brands you will be fine, sunnen for hones, kwik way for valve grinders, storm vulcan makes a good surfacer..

Equipment is just like engines we all have our favorites, there will be many opinions about what to buy.


Something to think about,,, If you plan on running a 2 man shop and you both want to make a living off of it pay attention right up front to how much money you are really making. Not how much runs through the check book.


As a example the average stock or near stock rebuild will only get you 500.00 profit (maybe). If you have good established customers you can get maybe $1000 out of a race engine. Now how many engines a week do you need to build to support 2 guys???? If your lucky enough to make the $1000 on each engine, then you better be able to build at least 2 engines a week. IMO thats going to be tough to do


This is my equipmenet list..

No name hot tank (by me,,,but it works excellent)
JBI jet washer
glass bead cabinet
Kwik way svs valve grinder
Souix seat grinder
Kwik way cap grinder
Sunnen rod hone
Kwik way 054 stand and FN bar
Serv-equip cylinder hone( bought from a fire, not finished rebuilt yet)
Bridgeport mill
I just finished my flow bench, it's audie equiped. I have about $2500 invested in it.
Custome made ( by me) distributor dyno.

Plus all the crack detection, spring checker,heli-coils,bore gages,mic's and so on...

I owe no money on any of it, i only buy when i have the cash. I can tell you that the only 2 pieces that have made more money then i paid for them ( to this point) is the rod hone and the distributor dyno...

It's a tough way to make a living. I can tell you i have a good paying day job and i can never see my shop making me as much money as it does...



Keith
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:44 PM
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Most big industrial cities have a used equipment dealer or two. Milwaukee is a little bit of a drive from you, but I am sure there is something there. When companies go belly up (and Milwaukee has had more than their share in the last few years) there is always some older but serviceable machinery available.
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:26 PM
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Thanks for the ideas and advice, I completly understand about trying to make a living that way, like I said before we both have good paying day jobs.

I have done some internet searching and haven't come up with much. Thanks for the leads on the sites.
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