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Practical Engine Building: Step 7: Short Block Assembly

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Step 7: Short Block Assembly


00:00 - We're now at the point where we can begin the assembly process of our engine short block.
00:04 However before we assemble the engine for the final time, we do need to go through all of the components we've received back from our engine machinist and just confirm that the clearances and specifications that we were looking for are exactly what we've got.
00:18 So in order to do this, I've just jumped forward a little bit, we've installed our main bearings and we've installed our bearing caps as well as our ARP fasteners.
00:27 Now everything at this stage is just torqued down to the manufacturer's recommendations.
00:32 Those bearings have been cleaned down and assembled dry at this point and we're going to use this for a dummy check up for our main bearing clearances.
00:41 In order to do this, I am going to use our dial bore gauge and a micrometer.
00:46 So to start with what we're going to do is take a measurement off the front main journal on our crankshaft and we'll use this to zero our bore gauge.
00:55 So let's go ahead and do that now.
00:57 What we'll do is we'll take our two to three inch micrometer and we're going to just locate that on our front main bearing journal and we'll tighten that down, get it to a point where it's nice and snug at the widest point on that journal and then we can just lock that off.
01:15 Now for this particular measurement we're not actually worried so much about the bearing journal diameter, remember we've already checked that before any of our components were sent off to our machinist.
01:25 Instead what we're doing is simply using this with our dial bore gauge in order to zero it so we've got that reference measurement and we can actually check the clearance.
01:34 We'll take our dial bore gauge now, we've already installed the correct extension on this to get it in the correct measurement range and what we want to do is install this between the two anvils of our micrometer and we can zero our dial bore gauge.
01:47 Let's go ahead and do that now.
01:55 Now that we've got our dial bore gauge zeroed, we can go ahead and actually make our measurements in our main bearing tunnel in the engine block.
02:01 Now of course we've got one small issue here, the length of this particular dial bore gauge is not going to allow us to get from the front of the engine block all the way through to our rear main.
02:12 So there's a couple of ways that we can deal with this, either we can check the bearing clearance on each of the journals individually as we dummy assemble.
02:19 Or alternatively depending how you locate your engine block on the engine stand, you can also insert the dial bore gauge from both the front and the back of the block.
02:28 In order to reach each of the journals.
02:30 For our demonstration here we're just going to check our front main journal and what I'm looking for here with our specifications, I want to be somewhere around about two thousandths of an inch.
02:40 The maximum main bearing clearance that I'd like to see here is around about 2.5 thou, anything larger than that is in my opinion excessive and we do want to do something about that.
02:51 So around two thou, that's where I'd like to be, 2.5 thou would be my maximum.
02:55 So it's important to mention here to just add a little bit of complexity to things, the dial bore gauge that we're using for our demonstration is a metric dial bore gauge.
03:05 So if we're working in thousandths of an inch, obviously we need to convert there.
03:09 So this is pretty simple to understand though, five hundredths of a millimetre or 0.5 of a millimetre for all intents and purposes is the same as two thousandths of an inch.
03:20 So that's where I'm expecting our dial bore gauge to be.
03:22 So let's go ahead and insert the dial bore gauge gently into the front main journal and we'll have a look at our clearance.
03:29 When we insert the dial bore gauge into the bearing surface, we want to be mindful of not damaging that bearing surface and we want to make our measurements at 90 degrees to the parting face of the bearings.
03:39 We also want to be mindful of the oiling groove in the centre of the bearing and make sure that we're taking our measurements on either side of this.
03:46 So in this case as I rock the dial bore gauge backwards and forwards, we see that it's coming back through five hundredths of a millimetre so right on our two thou measurement.
03:57 We'll just check the other side of this particular bearing shell and we can see that we've got exactly the same measurement there, five hundredths of a millimetre.
04:03 So this means that we are on our specification there, five hundredths of a millimetre, of course two thousandths of an inch, we've got no taper on that particular journal and of course we'd just repeat this process for the remaining bearings.
04:16 So at this point we've checked our big end and our main bearing clearances.
04:19 There is one other clearance that's important in here which is our thrust clearance and we're going to have a look at how we can measure that as we move a little bit further through the engine build.
04:29 For now though let's flip the engine over on our stand and we can check our piston to cylinder wall clearance.
04:40 When it comes to measuring our piston to cylinder wall clearance, there's two ways we can essentially go about this.
04:45 It all really comes down to the specification sheet that we get from Wiseco with our pistons.
04:51 Now Wiseco on this specification sheet have listed a final bore diameter.
04:55 And this is generally what the engine machinist will use when they're boring and honing the engine block.
05:01 Remembering of course in this case there's no facility or ability for us to be able to bore this block larger in diameter so we're really reliant on a light hone.
05:09 And this does really limit exactly where our piston to cylinder wall clearance is going to lie and how accurately we can achieve that.
05:16 The reason being that we're trading off trying to get a nice fresh hone pattern, cleaning up any wear or marks in the bores without ending up with excessive piston to cylinder wall clearance.
05:27 So in this case that specification is 3.903 inches so that should be our final size.
05:33 And we can use our micrometer to set that to 3.903 inches, zero our dial bore gauge off the micrometer and then of course when we insert the dial bore gauge into our bores, we should be seeing that register zero.
05:47 So that allows us to also check out bores for any out of round and we can also check for any taper or belling from the top of the bore to the bottom.
05:54 Now while we are making our measurements here with no torque plates fitted to the block, it's important to mention that if you want to actually get accurate and meaningful results, that if you have had your engine block torque plate honed, you're also going to want your torque plate fitted while you go through this process of measuring and checking your piston to cylinder wall clearance.
06:14 Now the other way we can go about measuring our piston to cylinder wall clearance is by actually checking the piston skirt diameter and again on our specification sheet we will have the specified clearance.
06:26 In this case Wiseco recommend 0.035 of an inch or 3.5 thousandths of an inch.
06:33 Now again we've erred a little bit on the side of caution here.
06:37 We've actually gone with four thousandths of an inch, the reason that we've done this is because this allows us a slightly looser clearance which is ideal for a high performance race engine and it's also going to mean that we've got a little bit more room to play with in terms of honing that block and of course that became problematic when our engine machinist found that there was some water marking in the block so this again is a bit of a tradeoff and this is where we need to decide on what our maximums and minimums are so that we can get the best result possible while staying within those specifications.
07:11 Now in order to make our measurements from the piston skirt itself, we need to actually start by finding the gauge point on the piston skirt.
07:18 Again this comes from the specification sheet.
07:20 In this case Wiseco state that the gauge point should be 1.3 inches from the bottom of the oil ring.
07:28 So we can make that measurement, in fact you can see I've already done so and placed a mark on the piston skirt.
07:33 All we need to do here is take our vernier callipers, I've pre adjusted them to 1.3 inches, we'll locate them on the base of the oil ring groove and we can see that the little sharpie mark that I've made on the base of the skirt aligns nicely with our 1.3 inch measurement.
07:48 Now that we've got our gauge point marked on our piston, we can go ahead and actually take a measurement using our micrometer.
07:54 So let's do that now.
08:11 Now that we've locked off our micrometer, we've got our measurement of our piston skirt, we can simply take our dial bore gauge and we're going to repeat the same process of zeroing that, let's go through that now.
08:58 With our dial bore gauge now adjusted, we can insert it into our bores and we can check our piston to cylinder wall clearance.
09:03 Now when we're doing this we want to do it in two planes perpendicular to each other.
09:07 And this allows us to check our bores for out of round and in each of those planes we also want to move our dial bore gauge from the top to the bottom of the bore, making sure that this allows us to check any belling or taper, so let's go ahead and do that now.
09:44 Alright we've taken our measurements there on our number one cylinder and everything's actually come up really good.
09:49 Remembering again that our dial bore gauge is metric, we were measuring ten hundredths of a millimetre, 0.1 millimetres basically at every point that I checked there.
09:58 That equates to four thousandths of an inch so we're absolutely bang on our target.
10:03 Now again we've only checked one bore and of course we would go through and check the remaining seven cylinders to make sure that all of those clearances are where they should be.
10:13 At this point we've checked the key clearances on our engine short block and we're comfortable that all of those clearances sit within the range that we're happy with.
10:20 We're going to move on now and we're going to begin filing our piston rings and getting our end gaps set where they need to be.
10:26 Prior to gapping the piston rings, I've started by laying them all out here on a couple of A4 sheets of paper and I've labelled each set of rings with their representative cylinder.
10:37 Now this is quite important just to make sure that when you are gapping the rings, they stay with the particular cylinder that you're gapping them for.
10:43 Of course we should expect that all of our cylinder diameters are exactly perfect, that's not always going to be the case so once we've gapped a set of rings for a particular cylinder they need to stay with that cylinder.
10:55 On this note it's also worth mentioning that if you have had your engine block torque plate bored and honed, then you do want to have that torque plate fitted during the ring gapping process as of course it can result in some distortion of the block.
11:08 Now with our rings all laid out, we do also need to take note of which ring goes in which location.
11:15 Quite often the ring thickness will be different between the top ring and the second ring however that's not always the case and we of course want to make sure that we are fitting the rings in the correct place.
11:25 In this case the instructions that come from Wiseco with this set of rings, let us know which ring is which.
11:32 In particular here the second compression ring is a napier style ring.
11:36 This has a very obvious visible hook on the underside of the ring and it's also made out of ductile iron which is dark in colour.
11:44 The top ring on the other hand is a steel nitrided ring, so this is a shiny colour.
11:49 Once we know which is which, we can make sure that we are gapping them correctly.
11:53 Now in terms of gapping these, we're going to go with the recommendations here from Wiseco and we can see that for a high performance street engine, they recommend 4.5 thousandths of an inch gap for our top ring and five thousandths of an inch gap for our second ring.
12:09 Of course these are per inch of bore.
12:12 We know that our bore diameter here is 3.903 inches so we can quickly go ahead and calculate that now.
12:21 For our top ring if we enter 0.0045 and multiply this by 3.903, we see we can end up with a recommendation of 17.5 thou.
12:31 It's always a good idea to round that up so we're going to call that 18 thou.
12:35 If we enter 0.005 and multiply that by our bore diameter, we're going to end up with 19.5 thou, again we're going to round that up to 20 thou, so that's going to be the gap for our second compression ring there.
12:50 Now we're going to start by checking the ring end gap for our oil ring rails.
12:55 Now these normally will be OK straight out of the box but of course we always want to verify that that is the case.
13:04 In this case Wiseco recommend a minimum clearance of our oil ring rails of 10 thousandths of an inch.
13:10 So let's start with our number one cylinder and we'll get our oil ring rail fitted and see how that looks.
13:24 We'll start just by compressing the ring slightly by hand, the oil ring rails don't have a lot of strength or radial tension so this is quite easy to do.
13:32 Following that we're going to take our ring screwing tool, locate that on the top of our oil ring rail, we'll allow it to expand out and we're going to gently press down until it contacts the top of the bore.
13:43 Now straight away in this case just visually, I know that we've got more than 10 thousandths of an inch and this is something you'll build up with some level of experience.
13:53 However we're going to now take our feeler blades and we'll select our 10 thou feeler blade and just make sure that we've got a good amount of clearance through that rail gap.
14:03 So let's check that now, and yes there's no contact at all so we know that we're well above 10 thou and in this case I'd say we're closer to 15 thou.
14:11 Of course we're going to go through the complete set of oil ring rails and make sure that those are all above 10 thou.
14:18 In this case I've done that, we know that our oil ring rails are OK so we can start with our top compression ring for number one cylinder.
14:26 So we're going to take our top compression ring and it's always good practice to make sure that we are installing the rings up the right way.
14:33 In this case there is a small N embossed on the top side of the ring so we're going to make sure that while we're installing the rings into the bore, we've got that facing up, obviously it's more critical when we finally install those onto the piston.
14:46 So we'll just gently compress that by hand and we'll get our ring started in the bore.
14:51 Now straight away I can see that I've got a very tight ring gap here straight out of the box which is good because this means that we've got plenty of room to move in order to get our ring gaps exactly where we want them to be.
15:01 Quite often with some ring sets we'll find that even as we install them straight out of the box, the ring gap is already too large compared to where we want it to be so in this case they're basically butting together at the moment so I've got plenty of room to move and we'll just grab our ring screwing tool again, get that located on top of the ring and we'll drop that down the bore and make sure that we've got it nice and square.
15:27 Alright so at this stage there's no point in me trying to use feeler blades here to measure the end gap as I've mentioned, we're basically butting together here so we've essentially got no gap.
15:38 What we do want to do though before we make any adjustments is we want to examine that gap quite carefully.
15:44 We're looking for how square that gap is.
15:46 And in this case I can see that the ring end gap isn't quite square.
15:50 Essentially out on the outside against the cylinder wall, the two ends of the ring are butting together whereas on the inside of the cylinder we've got a very slight gap.
15:59 So basically we've got a very slight V shape to that ring end gap and that's something we're going to need to correct.
16:05 And the way we're going to do this is by adjusting in this case our electric ring file.
16:09 We've got an adjustment here for our bore diameter.
16:12 By moving this in and out we can adjust the ring file so that we're going to end up maintaining a nice square ring end gap for whatever bore diameter we're working with.
16:22 So what we're going to do now, as I said there's no point taking a measurement because they are butting together.
16:28 What we want to do is just make a small cut to our ring end gap.
16:32 Make sure that we've got a little bit of clearance in there.
16:35 I'm aiming at this stage for somewhere in the region of about five or six thousandths of an inch and really this first step or first adjustment to our ring is just in order to make sure that we've got those two ends of the ring nice and square to each other.
16:48 So let's install this in our ring file now and we'll go ahead and do that.
17:41 Alright we've made our first adjustment there, we'll get our ring located back in the bore and we'll see if our ring end gaps are now square.
18:05 So visually I can now see, we do have a very slight gap and it's also pretty clear to see that those two ends of the ring are nice and square so that means we've got the bore diameter for our electric ring file adjusted correctly.
18:17 Obviously if you're using a manual ring file, this does take a little bit more effort and we're going to need to concentrate the way we angle the ring against the grinding surface of the ring file in order to correct that and get our ring end gaps nice and square.
18:33 Now that we've got a little bit of gap showing there, we're going to take our feeler blades and we're going to check and see our progress there, check and see what our current ring end gap is.
18:41 So I'm going to start here with our five thou feeler blade and just see what we've got, so we'll slide that down between the two ends of the ring and our five thou feeler blade, I've essentially got almost no resistance there.
18:53 So we know that we're slightly larger than five thou.
18:56 We'll check with our six thou feeler blade, got a little bit of resistance there.
19:00 So we're probably just slightly larger than that so we'll jump up to seven thou and I'll check with that.
19:08 And with our seven thou feeler blade I've now got a good amount of tension there.
19:11 So that first adjustment we've got there's done two things,, we've got seven thou clearance and we've also managed to square up the rings.
19:18 Remembering that we're aiming for 18 thousandths of an inch on this top or first compression ring.
19:25 Let's go ahead and continue making our adjustments until we've got that where we want it to be.
19:29 Now even though my electric ring file here does have a dial gauge on it, I prefer to make small adjustments in the range at this stage of perhaps four or five thou and check my work constantly.
19:39 This makes sure that I'm not going to shoot past my target of 18 thou and it also lets me make sure that as I'm making these adjustments, the two ends of the ring do stay square to each other.
19:50 It's always easier to take more cuts and make adjustments, rather than make one big cut to your ring, find out you've gone too far or you've got a taper on that ring end gap.
20:00 So let's complete our top compression ring now.
20:37 Alright at this point we've got our top compression ring for number one cylinder correctly gapped to 18 thousandths of an inch.
20:43 What we're going to do now is take our top compression ring out, we're going to replace that with our second compression ring and we're going to repeat that process.
20:51 So again of course as we install our second compression ring we are inspecting that ring end gap.
20:58 And in this case again we've got those rings basically butted together so we know we've got a lot of work to do in order to get us to our desired end gap of 20 thousandths of an inch.
21:08 In this case though our ring end gap actually looks relatively square.
21:11 But at this point, I've got my ring file already set up for the correct bore diameter so we can go ahead and make those adjustments now.
21:49 Alright we've now got our second compression ring for number one cylinder gapped.
21:53 And what you're going to find is that initially this process can be quite time consuming for your first cylinder while you get your ring file set up so that it's going to provide nice square ring end gaps and also you get a feel for exactly how much material you're going to need to remove from the rings in order to get you onto your desired ring end gap.
22:12 Once you've done that first cylinder though, the remaining cylinders you'll find will go much faster.
22:17 Now before we move on, I'll just mention that once we have filed our rings, you're going to be left with a small burr on the edge of the ring, particularly if you have had to remove quite a bit of material which is the case with these rings.
22:29 It's easy enough to sort out though and remove, all we're going to do is take a fine needle file and we're just going to run that gently across the edge of the ring where that burr is.
22:40 Now we're not trying to produce a chamfer on that ring, all we're trying to do there is just break down that burr, leaving a nice square edge.
22:48 So at this point we've got number one cylinder complete, the process for the other cylinders is exactly the same, of course just a rinse and repeat of what you've seen here so let's jump ahead.
23:00 With our piston rings gapped, the next task is to install our connecting rods onto our pistons and this isn't overly difficult however there are a couple of things that we do need to watch out for.
23:10 Specifically with our V8 configuration engine, we need to make sure that we have our pistons located the correct way around so that the valve pockets will work.
23:19 There's two things we can take care of there to make sure we have them around the right way.
23:24 First of all there is a dimple at the front of the piston, indicating that this should face forward.
23:29 There's also a marking which tells us that for this particular piston it's going to be on the right bank of cylinders.
23:36 So that's one aspect we need to take care of.
23:39 The other aspect is that when we inspect our connecting rods, we'll find that on one side of the connecting rod there is a chamfer and on the other side of the connecting rod it's relatively square.
23:50 So we need to locate our connecting rod so that the chamfer matches the journal on the crankshaft.
23:57 What I mean here is that if we're assembling a connecting rod onto number one piston, this is the front most connecting rod on the crankshaft so the chamfer for that particular connecting rod needs to face forward.
24:08 Number two piston and connecting rod, which obviously sits directly behind number one, the chamfer needs to face towards the rear.
24:16 So it's very important that we pay careful attention to this while we are assembling the pistons onto the connecting rods.
24:24 The next thing with these particular pistons is that they use a spiralok in order to attach the piston onto the connecting rod or in other words to prevent the wrist pin moving inside of the pin boss.
24:36 Now these are a little bit tricky to work with, particularly if you've never used them before.
24:42 When we look at a spiralok, it essentially looks like a small flat washer.
24:45 However what we want to do in order to install the spiralok is we want to get both sides of the spiralok, and it's a good idea to do this with your thumbnail or your fingernail and then once we've grabbed the spiralok like this, what we can do is we can just pull it out and we're going to extend it essentially so that it looks a little bit like a coil spring.
25:07 So that's an essential first step in order to actually install the spiraloks into the pistons.
25:13 So what we're going to do here is start by installing one spiralok into each of the pistons.
25:18 I like to do this before I start installing the wrist pins.
25:21 So this way once I've got one spiralok in, we can then slide the wrist pin and the connecting rod together and then we can go through and install our final spiralok.
25:31 It is important here as well just to mention if you are using a piston designed for spiraloks, some pistons are designed to use one spiralok per side, other pistons are designed to use two.
25:42 It's really important if you've got an extra set of spiraloks left over, to make sure that you check your piston manufacturer's recommendations, make sure that you are using the correct number of spiraloks on your piston.
25:54 In this case with our Wisecos, we're using one spiralok per side.
25:58 So let's get started, we're going to take our number one piston for a start and we're going to locate that on our workbench in front of us.
26:05 Now this does get a little bit tricky to initially get started with our spiraloks.
26:10 Because we've extended that out into a little spring, what we're going to do is start by locating one end of the spiralok into the groove in the wrist pin boss and then sometimes you can work this in just using your fingernails and pushing the spiralok down into location.
26:28 In other times, particularly with our Wisecos here, I find that it's easier to use a small jeweller's screwdriver using the flat of the screwdriver blade in order to work the spiralok around and down into the groove.
26:39 It's obviously really important if you are using a metal object like a jeweller's screwdriver here, goes without saying, we don't want to be scratching up the wrist pin boss with that screwdriver so we only want to be applying our effort down onto the spiralok itself.
26:54 So we're going to take our piston and we're going to start by installing the open end of our spiralok into the bottom of our groove in the wrist pin boss.
27:03 Now this requires a little bit of effort to start with.
27:07 What I'm going to do is hold the spiralok with my left finger there.
27:12 And initially I'm just going to work it into the groove using my flat bladed screwdriver and as we work that down, you can see it actually drops into place relatively easily.
27:23 I'll just continue working around, applying a little bit of pressure with my finger and then working it into the groove using my flat bladed screwdriver.
27:30 So I'm just about all the way around here.
27:34 Once you've got it initially started, it does become quite easy.
27:38 Last part here, we're just about to push the spiralok home and we should be listening for a audible click as that goes into the slot.
27:48 Now that's a good indication that we've got the spiralok positively engaged in the groove there, that's what we want to be hearing.
27:54 It's also a good practice to just make a final inspection and make sure that the spiralok is completely installed and there's nothing sticking out of that groove.
28:03 This is another good place to also check and make sure that the spiralok is completely filling the groove in the wrist pin boss.
28:11 If the groove in the wrist pin boss is wider than the spiralok you've just installed, this is another indication that your piston could be designed to take two spiraloks per side.
28:22 Now that we've got our first spiralok installed, let's continue with the rest of our piston set.
28:55 Alright so at this point, we've got our first spiralok installed into one side of each piston, we can now go ahead and fit our connecting rods.
29:03 Now the process we're going to go through here is to use an assembly lubricant in the wrist pin boss.
29:09 And in this case I'm going to be using a moly based lubricant, this particular brand is Sta-Lube but any moly based engine assembly lube will be sufficient.
29:18 And the reason I use this as opposed to a normal engine oil is that particularly during initial startup there's going to be limited oil supply to the wrist pin boss and there's obviously a lot of load on these components so this just gives a little bit more protection during the initial startup.
29:33 So what we're going to do is take out piston, let's start with number one here, and we're going to take our engine assembly lubricant and we're going to apply a liberal coat using our finger to the inside of both wrist pin bosses here.
30:04 With the wrist pin boss now lubricated, we can take our wrist pin and we're going to insert that through the end of the piston and just get it started ready to accept our connecting rod.
30:15 Now this is a good place to stop and just take note of the piston location in the engine, again we've got our little match mark facing forwards.
30:23 So we know that this is piston number one we're starting with, so again our chamfer for our connecting rod needs to face forward as well.
30:31 So in this case we'll take our number one connecting rod, we'll have a look at our connecting rod and we can see we have our chamfer on this side so this is the correct orientation for our connecting rod.
30:43 Before we install the connecting rod again we'll take our engine assembly lubricant and just apply a liberal coat of our assembly lubricant to the inside of the boss or bushing in the small end of the connecting rod.
30:56 Again prior to our final installation we're just going to take note of that chamfer, make sure that that's in the correct orientation and we can push our wrist pin through and get it located, making sure that our wrist pin is nice and free in both the pin boss in the piston as well as in the bush in the connecting rod.
31:16 So at this point we've got our first connecting rod fitted to our piston, we can now go ahead and install our second spiralok.
31:24 In order to do that we're going to just rotate the piston over and we're going to repeat the same process we've already looked at.
31:31 We'll take our second spiralok here and again we're going to just stretch that out.
31:39 So we've got a nice little coil spring, and we're going to go through the same process of inserting that, let's do that.
32:08 Again we hear that nice satisfying click when our spiralok is in the correct location, again we can check for full engagement inside of the groove and we're happy with our first installation, number one piston and connecting rod is assembled.
32:23 We can sit that on our rack and we'll carry on now with our remaining seven pistons.
32:58 At this point we've got all of our connecting rods installed onto our pistons, we've taken special care to make sure all the chamfers are around the correct orientation and also making sure that all of our sprialoks are positively installed into their grooves.
33:12 We can now move on and begin installing our rings onto our pistons.
33:16 We've got our ring sets laid out here and we've made sure that the orientation of the ring sets matches the way I've got the pistons laid out, just to make sure that there's no confusion with fitting the correct set of rings to the correct piston.
33:28 Now with our Wiseco pistons, because they are a stroker piston, there is one unique aspect when we are assembling the rings.
33:36 This is because the wrist pin intersects with the oil control ring and actually cuts through the oil control ring so in order to support the oil control ring properly, we're going to need to install the support rails that are provided with these pistons.
33:50 Now these rails go on the bottom side of the oil control groove on the piston.
33:55 They have a small dimple located on them and this dimple needs to be located above the wrist pin cutout and it also needs to be located so that that dimple faces downwards.
34:07 So that's going to be our first step, installing those.
34:09 Once we've got those on the pistons then we can install our oil control rings, then our second compression ring and our top compression ring.
34:17 Now in order to orientate the rings properly, we've got a little diagram here as to where the ring gaps are going to be located on the piston.
34:28 Now this isn't absolutely critical because the rings will actually rotate on the pistons in use however it's always best practice to start with our ring gaps located correctly on our piston.
34:41 Obviously here what we're trying to do particularly with our first and second compression rings, we want to locate the ring gaps 180 degrees opposed to each other.
34:50 So in order to help me with the installation I'm also using a ring expander tool.
34:56 This just allows us to easily expand the rings without any chance of damaging them.
35:02 If you don't have a ring expander tool you can do this by using your thumbs to expand the rings over the piston but you do need to take care both to make sure that you don't bend or damage the ring as well as making sure that you don't end up scuffing or scratching the piston.
35:18 So let's get started, we've got our number one piston here located on our vice and what we're going to do is begin by taking our oil rail support and we're going to just wind this on and I'm not actually going to expand this one using our expander tool, doesn't really work that well with this particular support rail.
35:36 So what we're going to do is just get one end started, making sure again that I've got that dimple located correctly, and it's easy enough just to expand that ring as we wind it down into the oil ring groove.
35:51 So let's just get that completed now.
36:09 Once we've got our support rail installed there, we want to slide that down so it's sitting on the bottom of the groove and we want to just double check, making sure that our orientation is correct and we've got that dimple located in the correct spot.
36:21 Now that we've done that, we're going to take our ring set for our number one piston and we're going to start with our oil rail expander.
36:29 So this is going to be located as per our diagram with the gap for our expander located on this side of the piston.
36:38 So this is relatively easy to install, there's not a lot of force required.
36:43 We'll just get that located into the groove, making sure again that we've got our gap in the correct location.
36:49 Once that's done, we can start with the oil ring rails.
36:54 We're going to start here by installing our top rail and we're going to have our gap for our top rail located approximately over here on the piston.
37:03 So we're going to just wind that in again by hand, again with these there's no need to use our expander tool, they're relatively soft, relatively easy to expand by hand.
37:14 And we're just going to locate one end of that rail ring in the groove and then just spiral the other side down onto it.
37:22 Our second oil ring rail is going to be located with the gap over here on our piston.
37:26 So again we'll just get that started, make sure that it is located correctly and again, just need to gently spiral that down onto the piston, make sure that it locates correctly in the groove.
37:41 Now that we've got our oil control ring installed, we can take our second compression ring and we're going to make sure that we've got our orientation correct with the little N facing upwards and we're going to install the ring into our ring expander tool and we're just going to gently expand that out so that we can slip it down over the piston, making sure that we've got it located correctly in the second ring groove.
38:04 We want to expand the ring just enough to get it over the piston, we don't want to over expand that.
38:11 Now looking at our diagram, again we want our gap for our second compression ring to be over on this side of the piston.
38:18 We're going to follow that off of course with our top compression ring, repeating that same process, this time the ring gap is going to be 180 degrees opposed so again we'll just expand that out.
38:30 Get it located in the ring groove, make sure that everything is sitting as it should be and making sure as well that the ring is nice and free in the groove.
38:41 So we've got our rings installed on our number one piston there, everything is aligned correctly, we're comfortable that everything is sitting properly in those ring grooves and all of the rings are free, we're going to carry on now and complete the remaining seven pistons.
39:30 So at this point we've got all of our piston rings installed on our pistons, we've got our orientation of the ring end gaps correct, we can now move on, we're going to bring back in our engine block and start assembling the components into the block.
39:43 Before we can begin installing our pistons and conrod assemblies into our engine block, we need to start by installing our bearing shells into both the conrod body as well as the caps of the conrods.
39:54 Now I've started off already here by laying out all of our components and I've jumped ahead a little bit by cleaning down all of our bearing shells as well as our bearing caps and the conrod bodies, using brake clean and a clean rag just making sure that we're ready for our assembly.
40:09 So what we're going to do is start by installing our bearing shells into our conrod caps.
40:15 And this is very similar to what we were doing with our main bearings into the engine block and the main bearing caps, we want to just locate the locating tang of the bearing shell into the groove in the conrod cap or the conrod body for that matter, and then using light pressure from our thumbs we're going to compress the bearing shell and drop it into location.
40:36 Being sure that we're not going to be scraping any of that backing material off on the sharp edge of the conrod cap.
40:41 So let's go ahead and do that now.
40:59 With our bearing shells now installed in the conrod caps, we're going to go ahead and repeat this process with the body of the connecting rods.
41:05 And to do this we're just going to locate the piston upside down on its crown on our workbench, so let's go through that process now.
41:28 So at this point we've got all of our bearing shells correctly installed and it is worth mentioning here that it's really obvious when you're installing the bearing shells into the connecting rod caps and bodies that the bearing shell is offset in the cap and again this is just to clear that chamfer that is machined into one side of the connecting rod and again just really important to make sure that that chamfer matches the redius in the big end journal of the crankshaft.
41:51 If you don't get this around the right way, you're going to have a lot of problems as we progress.
41:56 So now it's time to fit the connecting rod and piston assemblies into the block.
41:59 We're going to start with number one cylinder here, and the process we're going to go through here, we're going to take our piston and rod assembly, we're going to thoroughly lubricate the skirt of the piston as well as the ring pack with clean mineral based oil, we're also going to lubricate the bearing surface and then we're going to use our tapered ring compressor in order to install the piston and rod assembly into the cylinder.
42:23 So let's start with oiling or lubricating our piston.
42:32 What we're looking to do here is just apply a generous amount of this mineral based oil to the skirt of the piston and the ring pack, just making sure everything is thoroughly lubricated before we install the piston into the block.
42:58 With our ring pack and skirt now nicely lubricated, we're going to just turn the piston and rod assembly upside down and we're going to apply lubricant here, our engine oil to our bearing shell and again just using a finger there we can move that around and spread that out across the bearing shell.
43:16 For the moment I'm just going to put that piston back into our rack and we'll take our tapered ring compressor which we're going to be using.
43:24 So it's important when you are using a tapered ring compressor to make sure that you've got a ring compressor that matches the size of the bore you're working with, in this case we've got a 3.9 inch ring compressor from ARP.
43:36 Now if you are dealing with one of these that has been used, it's important to start by making sure that the inside is cleaned down.
43:43 If it has been lubricated, it's likely that it'll pick up contaminants in the form of dirt and debris.
43:49 Once we've got that cleaned down, again we'll just apply a generous amount of clean engine oil to the inside of that ring compressor.
43:55 We can just use our two fingers there to spread that around so it's covering all of the surfaces.
44:01 We're going to now take our number one piston and rod assembly out of our rack and we're going to install it into our ring compressor, so we just need to drop that gently down through the top, get our ring pack located into the ring compressor and what we want to do is get to a situation where the skirt of our piston is just protruding out the bottom of our ring compressor.
44:23 That'll allow us to get that skirt located correctly into the top of the cylinder.
44:27 We want to also take note of our marking on our piston, making sure that our dot is facing forward and this is another good opportunity to just do a final check that our chamfer on our connecting rod is matched to our crankshaft.
44:41 Now at this point, before we drop the piston in as well, I'm just going to rotate the crankshaft and just make sure that our number one big end journal on our crankshaft is directly down.
44:52 That way we're going to make sure that it's easy to align our connecting rod in our big end bearing shell onto that journal.
45:00 So now we'll get our skirt just located into the top of our bore.
45:04 And we'll again check our orientation and make sure we've got everything nice and square here, we'll move the piston down gently.
45:12 Now using pressure from our two thumbs, we should be able to push the piston down into the cylinder.
45:23 Once we've got the piston initially located into the cylinder, what we want to do is push it down the bore until the big end journal contacts the bearing shell.
45:33 And it can be helpful here to place one hand underneath the engine block and contact the bottom of the conrod and just guide it into place, so let's do that now.
45:48 Alright we've got our number one piston assembly fitted into our block now.
45:51 What we're going to do here instead of fitting the bearing cap straight away to number one conrod, we're actually going to fit our number two piston and conrod assembly as well, this only requires a small rotation of our crankshaft.
46:05 And the reason for this is it just speeds up the process, this way we're fitting two caps at the same time and we can work down the engine block fitting two pistons and rods at a time.
46:14 So what we'll do is we'll rotate the engine block so that we've got our number two bank of cylinders facing directly upwards and we're simply going to repeat this process with our number two piston and rod assembly.
46:26 Before we can install our number two piston and rod assembly, we do need to rotate the crankshaft very slightly, just aligning the big end journal so it is vertically below our number two cylinder.
46:36 While we're doing this it's a good idea just to hold the big end of the conrod for number one piston and rod assembly, just make sure that that stays in contact with the big end journal as we rotate it.
46:47 So let's do that.
46:55 Alright with our crankshaft now aligned, we can go through the same process, installing our piston and rod.
47:08 With number one and two pistons installed, we're going to now rotate the block upside down and we can fit our bearing caps.
47:18 Before we install the bearing caps of course, we're going to perform exactly the same exercise by applying some lubricant to the bearing surface and smearing that around with our finger.
47:32 Of course we're going to take special note of which bearing cap goes with which conrod, in this case I'm starting with our number one bearing cap and we're just going to locate that in place.
47:45 With our number one cap in place we can repeat the process with number two cap.
47:53 The next step is to install our connecting rod bolts and here we are going to be using a moly based lubricant that is supplied by K1 Technologies, we're just going to apply a small amount of that lubricant to both the threads as well as the underside of the head.
48:09 And for the moment all we're going to do is just get those started in the threads, so let's go through that process.
48:21 Once we've got those fasteners initially started by hand, we're just going to use a socket and a ratchet just to nip them down, now we're not trying to torque them up at this stage.
48:31 While we can certainly torque them as we go, my preference, just to avoid missing any, is just to get everything just snugged down, just a little bit beyond finger tight and once we've got all eight piston and rods installed, we can go through and torque each one all at the same time.
48:47 So let's tighten those down now.
48:56 Alright we've got our first two pistons and rods installed, we're now going to rotate the block over and we're going to work our way down the engine block, installing the remaining pistons and rods.
49:05 Obviously a rinse and repeat of the process we've just seen, let's go through that now.
49:41 Alright we've got all of our piston and rod assemblies fitted to the engine block now and we're ready to torque up our big end connecting rod bolts.
49:49 However there is one other aspect I did want to mention here, a check that we do need to make as we're installing these components, particularly with a stroker crankshaft like this.
49:58 We need to make sure that after we've installed our components that the crankshaft will still turn freely and that we've got sufficient clearance between aspects such as the beam of the connecting rods in the underside of the cylinders in the bore.
50:11 If we've got a stroker crankshaft it's quite likely that the stock clearance will be reduced and in some instances we may end up needing to clearance these components.
50:19 In this case with our K1 Technologies crankshaft we do have sufficient clearance so we're good to carry on.
50:26 The other check that we can make here is to ensure that we've got sufficient side clearance between our connecting rods.
50:32 Now this is a relatively wide range that GM specify, anywhere from four through to 20 thousandths of an inch.
50:41 Now the way we can check this is to just use a set of feeler blades and for an example here we'll check our clearance on our number five and six rods.
50:49 So if we start by taking our 10 thou feeler blade and we'll find that we can really easily work that between the two connecting rods so straight away we know that we have a clearance that is looser than 10 thousandths.
51:01 We'll jump up here to 12 thou and we'll get that in there.
51:04 12 thou we've got a little bit of tension there so we're a little bit looser than 12 thou, we'll try 13 thou now.
51:12 And with 13 thou now I've got a good amount of drag on that feeler blade so we know that our clearance there is 13 thou, obviously well within that specification range so we can carry on.
51:23 Now that we've got our piston and rod assemblies fitted to the block and we've got our caps tightened down just a little bit beyond finger tight, we can go through and torque down those fasteners to K1's specifications.
51:33 We want to make sure here that we're using the specification for the correct bolt.
51:37 In particular we need to take note of the diameter of the thread, in this case 7/16th of an inch and also the under head length of the bolt which in this case is 1.4 inches.
51:48 We can use either a stretch measurement or a torque plus angle.
51:52 In this case we are using the torque plus angle method and we're going to be using our Snap-on torque wrench which does give a digital angle function.
52:00 Of course this is just as easy to do if you want to use an external angle gauge for measuring that angle.
52:09 With these particular fasteners, the specification we're going with is 30 foot pound of torque plus 50 degrees of rotation.
52:16 And what we're going to do here is go through and torque all of the fasteners down initially to 30 foot pound and then we're going to go through and do a further stage tightening them down the 50 degrees.
52:28 Now once I've tightened them down to 30 foot pound, I'm also going to mark the head of the fastener and this just allows a nice visual representation to know that we haven't missed any fasteners when we've been doing through and doing that torque angle stage.
52:42 Alright so let's go through that now with our first stage of torque to 30 foot pound.
53:03 With our first stage of torque complete, we're going to go through and complete the torquing sequence with an additional 50 degrees of rotation so let's go through and do that now.
53:39 Alright we've got all of our connecting rod fasteners now correctly torqued down.
53:42 And this is a good place to just take a quick look at those paint marks that we placed on the head of the bolts, make sure that the orientation of all of those marks is approximately identical.
53:53 And this is going to make sure that we haven't overlooked torquing down any of those fasteners.
53:58 So at this point with everything torqued down and our crankshaft fitted to the block, the pistons and rods fitted to the block, we know we've got clearance on all of those components, our short block assembly is complete and we're going to move on with the next step with our cylinder heads.
54:12 Now I will mention that at this point, you may choose to install your camshaft, your timing gear and your oil pump.
54:18 We're going to be completing that as part of the long block assembly.
54:22 So let's move on.

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