Anyway, I will start it off, with a trick I learned a long time ago building motorcycle engines, but it transitions nicely into the EJ world, so here ya go:
REMOVING CASE AND HEAD DOWELS
These things can be a pain in the A$$ sometimes, and I have actually seen machine shop employees just grab these things with vice grips and start twisting. That usually ends up with heavily scarred dowels that are all but usable when they are done.
I think the case dowels are the most important ones to keep as pristine as you can because their condition will greatly affect your ability to get the cases together nicely when building your engine, and will definitely dictate how hard the cases come apart when it is time to refresh the engine.
With that in mind, here is the "trick":
These are the case dowels I am referencing:
Using a 10mm x 1.25 tap, you just run the tap down into the dowell. No need to drill, the hole is perfect for 10mm x 1.25 - Use WD-40 as cutting oil
As you can see, the threads are perfect
Next, you will want to use a washer or spacer to protect the case parting line. I have a nice aluminum "washer" that fits perfect
Next, get your "stack" together, which in my case is a 3/4" drive short 17mm socket (placed upside down so the dowel has a cavity to extract into), another thick spacer (a few washers will suffice) and a 10mm x 1.25 socket head bolt, and my T-handle allen wrench (USE ANTI SEIZE on the threads to prevent binding), and start twisting
The dowel will be pulled nicely out of the case half! You may have to stop half way, unthread everything and add a couple more washers to the stack to get full extraction, but this is the easiest way to pull these dowels out sans having a special tool. EVERYONE should have a 10mm x 1.25 tap if you work on these engines.
Lets see your Trick of the "Trade" !!!!