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Top list of rookie engine building mistakes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Butch Clay, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 4,422

    sunbeam
    Member

    Or your Machinist cleaned it. Too many times I've found grit from grinding the valve seat left in the ports and grit in the oil passages of a crank after a regrind.
     
  2. 270dodge
    Joined: Feb 11, 2012
    Posts: 674

    270dodge
    Member
    from Ohio

    Be nice to the next owner and record the changes that you made. I once bought a 6 cylinder Studebaker that had some smoke and decided to re ring it. I took the head off and determined it to be a standard bore. I later found it to be oversize on 1 cylinder! This could be huge to the next owner.
     
  3. afaulk
    Joined: Jul 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,189

    afaulk
    Member

    On initial startup, do not allow the engine to idle. Follow proper camshaft break in procedure as recommended by mfr. A neighbor installed a good re-man 454 in his pickup and after 6k miles is having problems. I asked about cam break in. His reply, "never heard that one before, no problem it's got a warranty". You betcha says I. Have fun changing it out.
     
  4. no.scar.no.story
    Joined: May 6, 2012
    Posts: 325

    no.scar.no.story
    Member

    2x double checking measurements of all parts. I bought a rebuilt crank and bearings (as a set) from a NAPA once, Pontiac 400. Mains bearings were 60 over and the crank was only ground 30. ( The markings on the boxes indicated they were sized correctly and I had a heck of a time getting a refund.) I found this out when the crank wouldn't turn after I torqued the first main cap:eek:.
     
  5. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Three good posts right there. Myself, Joe Sherman and Smokey Yunick might all take issue with that "pistons in the right way" stuff...
     
  6. Babyearl
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 610

    Babyearl
    Member

    I'll get in that line also,, one has to do strange things to change a torque curve on the sly.
     
  7. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more....
     
  8. Rattle Trap
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 358

    Rattle Trap
    Member

    Ok this is a new one to me. Please explain.
     
  9. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    make sure all of your tools are accounted for after sealing up the motor and before turning it over , I had a apprentice with me at on site job (EMD 645 v-12 ) he left a socket and 3/4 drive in the crankcase after we closed up the inspection covers after doing a bearing change out . needless when you have a generator thats the starter motor it can cause some major bending/breaking damage to the crankcase and rods .
     
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  10. wood337
    Joined: Sep 21, 2007
    Posts: 41

    wood337
    Member

    Buy "How to Rebuild your Small Block Chevy" by Dave Vizard, published by HP books.

    Available at Summit and Jegs for $16. At Barnes and Nobel for $8. At at least one of my local parts stores for about $20 and at our local library for free.

    It's written on about a 8th grade level with lots of pictures. Read it through fully before starting. Then go page by page. If you have a checklist for those rods caps and galley plugs and this book you will not have any trouble at all.

    Another tip. Take the pressure relief valve out of your new oil pump and debur the piston and polish down in the bore a little....had a new pump hang the relief piston up....then no oil pressure.



    Actually, I also noticed galling in the pump (this was a U.S. made pump) so...I dug in the crap heap and cleaned up a well worn original GM pump......better oil pressure at all RPMs.

    Does your 283 use the road draft tube for engine ventilation? If your not going for the totally authentic look, a PCV system is a lot cleaner.

    FINALLY, the key to longevity in a 283 is to flog the living shit out of it from day one and then every single day thereafter. The little hellion will just get right back up and ask for more. Before you start it up, slam your finger in the door and drive it pissed off all day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
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  11. Butch Clay
    Joined: Sep 27, 2011
    Posts: 221

    Butch Clay
    Member

    I'm not sure what that means, is the following photo what you are referring to? I've been trying to figure out what this is.
    1381416271274.jpg

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  12. 61falcon
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 772

    61falcon
    Member

    leaving 1/4 of a race cam in the box. :D
     
  13. Butch Clay
    Joined: Sep 27, 2011
    Posts: 221

    Butch Clay
    Member

    Road Draft Tube........finally figured that out.

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  14. 63comet
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 508

    63comet
    Member

    I'm not a Chevy guy but I want this on a t-shirt!
     
  15. Butch Clay
    Joined: Sep 27, 2011
    Posts: 221

    Butch Clay
    Member

    Actually, that is the PCV Valve isn't it?

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  16. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 870

    fsae0607
    Member


    That book was my bible when I built my first SBC!
     
  17. Yes, you are correct, it is the PCV. On earlier 283s there would have been a road draft tube that fit into that hole in the block instead of the PCV. The PCV is definitely a better setup.
     
  18. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,152

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Also,make sure that all the parts are properly matched for the intended purpose of the build.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  19. 63comet
    Joined: Jan 31, 2006
    Posts: 508

    63comet
    Member

    Road draft tubes help keep your under carriage rust free though!
     
  20. Butch Clay
    Joined: Sep 27, 2011
    Posts: 221

    Butch Clay
    Member

    Thanks for the advice guys. I'll be sure to order that book today.

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  21. Takes a special tap for head bolt threads.
     
  22. fsae0607
    Joined: Apr 3, 2012
    Posts: 870

    fsae0607
    Member


    Really? Do you mean a plug tap for the blind holes?
     
  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,926

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Some pretty good advice right there if you are going through your fist small block. As he said it is written at a level that just about anyone can read and understand and the writer doesn't assume that you know all that much.
    I used that book as a teaching aid during the years I taught high school auto mechanics. It also works pretty good to use to outline the lesson plans for the engine rebuilding section of class as it walks you through the process.

    Several guys have hit on key points.

    Cleanliness is paramount when you are putting the engine back together.
    A clean table or bench with NOTHING ELSE ON IT except the new parts and the cleaned and clean machined parts for that engine. Having all the pieces and all the tin cleaned and scrubbed and ready to go before you start assembly is a real plus. Along with that keep your hands and tools you will be using clean when you are assembling the engine. Dirty hands and tools get bearings, parts and everything else dirty and can cause damage to the engine.

    It is only prudent to go behind the machine shop and clean the engine parts again after you get them back as a number of guys have said.

    Don't over use the silicone sealer. I pulled the burned up engine out of my brother's Chevy 4x4 that had a target motor in it a few years ago and cleaned a half cup of silicone sealer out of the pickup screen. There were still big gobs of silicone sealer inside the engine.

    As others said check the sizes to make sure that you got the right size bearings and other pieces the right size.

    Go slow and take it one step at a time to make sure you don't miss a step. If you run into a problem stop right there and ask. Either ask on the board or PM myself or one of the other guys with the question. We may not have the answer right on top of our heads but many of us know where to find those answers without a problem.

    Follow the proper torque sequences that are shown in the shop manuals for the heads and intake. I prefer to torque the heads in at least three or if not more increments such as 25 / 50 and then 75 and usually redo the whole pattern after hitting the final torque spec.

    One thing that I do habit wise is when I get the crank in I usually turn the crank a full turn after I torque each main cap. That way I know right then if there is a problem. Then I do the same thing with each piston after I torque the rod bolts. I rotate the crank a full turn or two turns to make sure that everything is smooth before installing the next one. That way I know something is wrong right there and am able to take care of it without having to figure out where the problem is.

    Have fun and let us know how it comes out.
     
  24. groundpounder
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 260

    groundpounder
    Member Emeritus

    Don't know if I missed any of these.....on the upper portion of the head gasket towards intake on both of the ends...I dab a little Rtv on both sides to seal any oil leaks between head and block. If you decide to do the B.B. Chevy oil pump in a S.B.C...make sure you use the right length oil pump shaft! Put some sealer on the underside of your headbolts that go into the water jackets...have seen this area leak coolant. Besides the plug under the rear cap, make sure that oil galley plug is under the head in the block!...after cleaning block...clean cylinder walls with paper towels and ATF,....use it until you don't see black. I have also seen this done...make sure you put your thermostat in right! Installing a double roller chain,...make sure you check by top middle oil galley plug so back of gear doesn't clearance itself and have metal in oil...last one, make sure you have your dizzy in right!..if you don't ...you may loose some eyebrows or melon hair! Have fun!.....
     
  25. A bottoming tap for blind holes--a tap that's not tapered at the end.
    A "plug tap" is usually referred to as a Pipe Tap that *has* a special taper for pipe plugs.
    You can take a regular tap & grind the tapered end off so it's the same size all the way down & you'll have a bottoming tap for blind holes.
     
  26. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    A set of bottoming taps is a must if you plan to build any motors.
     
  27. I found most of mine at swap meets plus my dad had a bunch.
    Get the ones at swap meets that the ends are broke & make your own.

    Even after bottom tapping theres still some junk in the hole(s)--I take a dental pick & wiggle it around at the bottom & blow the crap out & tap/chase again.
     
  28. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,211

    Gary Addcox
    Member

    Ah, 63comet, it's especially helpful when road salt is used for frozen streets..........
     
  29. luke13
    Joined: Oct 25, 2013
    Posts: 381

    luke13
    Member

    Clean, cleaner and cleanlyness.
     
    falcongeorge likes this.
  30. Traded an LS-1 core and a ragged out Chevy II, for a fresh 327 on the stand. Learned my lesson well, never assume someone else can build an engine, regardless of how many cool cars are in their garage. Found out the hard way, the previous owner installed an adjustable timing set and lined the marks up incorrectly, bending every intake valve, (Ouch!). Also learned he installed a later model oil filter adapter when the engine puked my "Brad Penn" break-in oil all over the floor, (seemed like 10 gallons when your mopping it up).
     

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