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Practical Engine Building: Step 4: Block Preparation

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Step 4: Block Preparation


00:00 - Once we've received the parts back from the machine shop, we can actually begin the task of assembling the engine.
00:06 One of the first steps we need to cover here is preparing the engine block.
00:10 While the bores may now have been bored and honed, and perhaps the deck surface may have also been surfaced, there's still a lot of work left for us to do at this stage.
00:19 When it comes to block preparation, it's usually easiest to start with the engine fitted to an engine stand so that we can easily move the block around as well as being able to easily gain access to the top as well as the underside of the block.
00:34 The prep work you're going to do at this stage will depend a little on the block you're working with, as well as the method of construction.
00:41 For example is it a cast iron block or is it alloy? A consideration here is that we'll want to paint the outside of a cast iron block to prevent corrosion, whereas an alloy block will normally be left in its bare finish.
00:56 I'll start by cleaning out all of the threaded holes in the block.
01:00 This will help remove any dirt or debris from the threaded holes, and ensure that the fasteners can be installed easily.
01:07 This will prevent the chance of a bolt breaking off in a threaded hole, but it will also help ensure that you achieve the required clamping force from any of the more critical fasteners in the engine.
01:19 Next we can complete a thorough deburring of all of the sharp surfaces of the engine block.
01:25 This helps remove stress raises in the block, ensures there are no small pieces of engine block that may break off in operation, and also helps reduce the chances of you cutting yourself on the sharp machined edges whilst handling or assembling the block.
01:41 Once the deburring process has been completed on the upper surfaces of the block, it's time to flip the engine over and pay attention to any casting flash remaining on the mould parting lines inside the crank case.
01:54 This casting flash is material remaining from the casting process when the block was manufactured.
01:59 And in some instances it may break off and cause damage to your engine while it's in operation.
02:05 It's important to remove any suspect casting flash to eliminate this possibility.
02:11 What you'll have to deal with here will vary from one engine to the next, and some will require little to no work, while others will have significant material requiring attention.
02:22 The last task while we have the die grinder out is to consider the oil galleries or the flow path of the oil through the block.
02:30 Again this will depend on the particular engine and some will require no work.
02:36 A small amount of work here with the die grinder can smooth the cast finish on the block and radius the direction change into the oil galleries, resulting in an improvement in the oil flow.
02:47 You can refer to the improving oil supply module to get a better understanding of what we're looking for, and how this can be accomplished.
02:56 Next we're ready to begin cleaning down the engine block, and then if we're dealing with a cast iron block, we'll want to paint the external surfaces to protect them from corrosion.
03:07 As I've mentioned, if you're dealing with an alloy block, then it's not necessary to paint the block, as the aluminium surface won't corrode.
03:15 Of course if you wish to though, there's nothing to stop you painting it.
03:19 The individual tasks that I've just discussed which we need to cover to adequately prepare, clean and paint the engine block, are all covered in the Practical Engine Building Skills section of this course, so you can refer there for a complete and thorough demonstration.
03:37 At this stage our engine block is complete and ready for the assembly work to begin, so we can move on with the next step of our process.

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