I’m not an engineer nor do I play one on TV. I didn’t get a college degree on surface bore finishing. Nor did I attend an engine building class on that task. I have an education most engineers are unable to boast – that of experience. Growing up in our family business, L.A.SLEEVE, I’ve been involved and around a vast variety of cylinders and cylinder sleeve liners for 30 years. At the age of 12, my father set me up on an ancient vertical boring and honing machining center. That piece of equipment was at least a foot taller than me if not more. Years later, I asked my father – why? He said, in not so many words, “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to bore and hone a cylinder sleeve; it only takes a soft hand”. I was shocked. Is it that easy?
At that time, I was honing Caterpillar heavy duty cylinder liners. It required boring .030” of the rough stock, then honing approximately .005” to semi-finish and .001” to finish. The most difficult step in the process was loading the sleeves. They were very heavy to me, being just a youngster. But, what I learned was that the key to success was a round bore. Not necessarily the finish itself, but the cylindrical roundness. The practical “good ole boys” at Cat weren’t as concerned about the crosshatch degree as they were the roundness. The stroke of the hone was the key to the crosshatch but didn’t prove to be the key to roundness.