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Discussion and questions related to the course Engine Building Fundamentals
When you use the dial bore gauge checking the clearance for conrods should you do this with the bearings installed and the end cap torqued to spec or no?
I don't think you need to torque the bolts to the stretch spec, just make sure they are tight, there is no force with a bore gauge that need the extra clamp loading.
You should do it as close to the installed condition as practical, but as David said, tight - 75-80% of spec' - rather than fully torqued/stretched should be OK with steel rods.
However, alloy rods can distort the material around the big end more and it may be a good idea to run them fully torqued/stretched as per intallation instructions, using the correct thread lube, etc.
If you have one, or can make one, a rod vise/clamp will help hold it while tightening. A bech vice, preferably with offset jaws, can work with soft jaws fitted to avoid damaging the rods.