If you build your own engine, you'll want to cover these important steps with your machine shop when preparing your block.
A new engine block is fantastic to work with, but they can be a bit spendy, and are only offered for a few popular platforms. Most engine builds in the rodding and restoration world rely upon original un-reconditioned blocks, which means working with a machine shop to bring decades-old factory castings with iffy tolerances and unknown abuse up to spec. Sounds scary, right?
That's why it's important to work with a reputable and qualified machine shop to ensure that your block comes out with better specs than it had originally. That's not a tall order considering how far off from ideal most vintage blocks tend to be. Remember, most of what we use for hot rodding fodder was originally cast and machined with much looser tolerance than what would be considered even marginally acceptable today. Uneven bores, and out-of-square blocks are not uncommon, especially the further backward in time the date of production.
So what magic goes on in a machine shop to take a hunk of heavy, hard cast iron, and what are these "specs" we speak of? No worries hot rodders, we're about to give you a primer on what a block goes through on its resurrection to buildable status. The most important thing to take away here is that you don't have to be a trained machinist to have a solid grasp of what goes on in a machine shop. And armed with that, you'll have the very best thing you can walk into any machine shop with: the knowledge of what they do, why they do it, and what to look for in terms of equipment.