October 5 - 11, 2002
Before I ordered any parts for the rebuild, I wanted to tear down the engine and see what was needed.  In order to keep track of which parts went with which cylinder, we marked off a piece of plywood into eight squares and labeled them 1 through 8.  As we removed parts from each cylinder we were careful to place the  parts on the corresponding square on the plywood.  

A careful inspection of the pistons, cylinders, and bearings didn't reveal any major problems so we decided all we needed was new standard bearing and rings.  I checked around on the internet for engine re-ring kits and stumbled across a local company, Nebraska Engine, that carries a full line on re-ring kits at competitive prices.  I've always been partial to buying local when I can, so I drove over to their store and ordered the kit.  The re-ring kit consisted of Clevite rod and main bearings, Hastings cast iron rings, and a full set of Fel-Pro gaskets.  In addition to the re-ring kit I also picked up a set of timing gears and chain, oil pump, oil pump pickup screen assembly, and a complete set of hydraulic lifters.  

In every project (at least every project of mine) it seems there are a few bonehead incidents.  This project was no exception.  In our haste to "get on with it" we rushed into installing the main top main bearings with the crank shaft still in the engine.  It took a little ingenuity and the fabrication of a special tool, but we were able to get all the top main bearings in place without removing the crank shaft.  Feeling pretty smug about our progress, I happened to mention our "great accomplishment" to my machinist.  He's reply was, "Did you run a brush through the oil passages in the crank before you installed the bearings"?  I mumbled something about how I thought they were probably clean enough, even though I knew I had no idea how clean they were.  The next day we proceeded to do it the right way.  We pulled the crank, which was as simple as lifting it out, and gave it a proper cleaning.  Then we cleaned the top main bearings, reapplied pre-lube, and reinstalled them.  Who'd have thought -- the main bearings go in a lot easier with the crank removed. Duh!  

Next we installed the front and rear mains seals following the instructions provided with the gasket set.  With those in place  we inserted new bearings in the main bearing caps, liberally  applied pre-lube, and torqued the caps to specs.  To torque the cap bolts, we first torqued to 1/3 full torque, then 2/3, then full torque.  We had two torque wrenches, which made it go a lot faster.  One of us would torque to 1/3 and the other would follow behind and torque to 2/3.  We then used one torque wrench to torque each bolt to full torque and then retorqued each bolt to full torque a second time using the other torque wrench.  We were careful to reinstall the main bearing caps back to their original location.  Having the plywood to keep track of the original location came in real handy here.

Before we installed the new rings on the pistons, I cleaned the pistons using diesel fuel and a tooth brush.  It took a lot of elbow grease to get the baked-on carbon off the top of the pistons, but eventually they cleaned up real nice.  Some folks say to just leave the carbon on but I couldn't see putting dirty pistons back in my clean motor.  Call me anal.

It was at this point, our second bonehead incident reared its ugly head.  I had purchased a deglazer from Bob's Tools to deglaze the cylinder bores before re-installing the pistons.  It now occurred to me that I should have done this job before we reinstalled the crank shaft.  Oh well, I wasn't going to take the crank shaft back out, so I went ahead and deglazed the bores with the crank installed.  Definitely not the best plan but sometimes that's just the way it goes.  I was careful to keep the hone away from the crank and I kept the crank wrapped in a diesel-soaked rag to catch any fillings.  All in all I don't think it hurt anything.   After deglazing I used 150 grit sandpaper on a sanding block to clean up the block surface.  I was going to use Scotch-brite pads in a drill to clean them but my machinist said there's too great a risk of rounding edges.  He recommended using the sand paper on a sanding block for the job.

With the cylinders deglazed and the pistons all cleaned up we could now start installing the pistons.  First, we put the new rings on the pistons.  Not much to this job, other than making sure to follow the directions on how they are to be installed.   We worked on one piston at a time to make sure we didn't get them out of order.  Again, the plywood location board came in handy here.  We waited until we installed the piston in the cylinder before we applied a liberal coat of motor oil to the rings and the wrist pins --  easier to keep clean that way.

With all the rings on we began installing the pistons.  Two sets of hands sure comes in handy for this job.  To install each piston we first installed the rod bearing and applied pre-lube to the bearing and the rod journal.  We then placed about 6" of plastic gas hose over each of the rod bolts to keep them from damaging the rod journals.  Using a long hose rather than a short piece that only covered the bolt threads make it much easier to guide the rods in place.  I would grab the hoses while Dave compressed the rings and tapped the pistons in the cylinder with a rubber mallet.  As Dave was getting the next piston ready I would put the bearing on the rod cap, apply pre-lube, and install the rod cap.  Only took about 30 minutes to get them all installed.  We then torqued them to specs using the same procedure we used for the crank shaft.

The machine shop wasn't finished with the heads yet, so we put a big plastic bag over the engine to keep everything clean.  Waiting on the heads would give me time to work on restoring the various engine parts and cleaning up the engine compartment.  I'll detail that work in the next episode.




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