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6/27/11 1:54am - Original Message: 'Back from the machine shop'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Picked up the block, assembled heads, and a whole bunch o'parts from the machine shop yesterday.  Any tips out there for a first time engine assembler?  

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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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6/27/11 4:30am - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
yostusota
Former Member
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
Don't take this the wrong way but why didn't you let the machine shop put it together..its what they do..the main reason is..if you have a problem you will have a hard time claiming that they did anything wrong..like if the motor blows up 10 minutes after you start it...or the crank eats itself..or you have a vibration at 2500 rpm..things in life are simple..you may be making it hard..other than that there is nothing mystical about a sbc..a little research and all specs can be found..a good torque wrench and a ring compressor is all you need.

Richyostusota2011-06-27 01:32:59

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My first parade at Carlisle 2010
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6/27/11 3:12pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
ceastham1
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greer, SC - USA

Vette(s):
C(6-5+2)VR - 1964 convertible 327/365 & 2003 convertible - 50th Anniversary Edition & 2010 3LT Coupe

Joined: 10/15/2007
Posts: 746
I agree ... I'd be letting my shop put that baby back together  .... good luck ! 

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6/27/11 6:36pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
I would also agree I would let the shop that did the machining do the assembly. As Rich said above, that way if you have any issues it makes it easier to have them stand by their work. I have seen engines that have been bored and the new pistons were to tight or maybe a rod bearing doesnt have the proper clearance after a crank has been turned. So many things could happen, its not that you cant do the assembly and check everything as you go but for the little extra $ its just good insurance. Now if the motor was yours to start with and you didnt have any boring or crank work done and your just reringing and new bearings I would do that myself, but with any type of changes to the actual block or crank I feel better having the shop do the assembly. I just got mine back and I even had them put the heads and adjust the lifters so all I have to do is put the pan, intake and valve covers on, And if it werent for the possibility of something getting damaged while loading and unloading it I would have them do that part as well! Oh yea, Im lazy as well and this saved me work!LOL
By the way, when you start to paint the block and heads and other parts I highly recommend the POR15 Products. I used them on motors for a long time and it holds up great and the colors are bright and glossy. Makes a nice looking job if you follow their instructions. Engine pic
No matter what you decide to do from here good luck and keep us informed on your progress.
Rodney
rod75152011-06-27 15:55:02

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6/27/11 9:23pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Wow, not the responses I expected from this forum.  Everyone is usually so encouraging.  As to why, well, why do people climb mountains or run marathons?   I've always wanted to rebuild an engine and here's my chance.  When I bought this car 10 years ago I did it with the intention that I'd do most of the work myself if at all possible (and my wife holds me to that promise that I made three weeks before we got married).  So far the only things I haven't done myself are paint, rear wheel bearings, and a rear-end rebuild.  I do, however, plan on installing the rotating assembly and cam and then taking it to the machinist to degree the cam and check things out.  He's a pretty easy going guy and when we were negotiating this work he told me he works pretty well with self-assemblers and will help them work through most issues.   (He's willing to answer the phone and take questions).  Are there risks?  Sure.  But if I was adverse to some financial risk would I have bought a '76 Corvette in the first place?  Probably not.  

____________________________________

 

1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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6/27/11 10:27pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
yostusota
Former Member
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
Dave my response was based on my experience with past machine shops..I guess that's how I ended up with the one I use only now..I went thru a good bit if motor work over the past many years..had a good many problems also..I am a ASE master tech recertified several times over and can do this job with very little effort..but that's mainly because of the machinist I use..he makes it easy..I still check everything before assembly..as of yet I haven't had a problem with anything he has done..and that goes for a bunch of foriegn engines that most machine shops wont touch..so if you have that machinist who really is that good then go for it..I really want you to succeed and you can..I just really don't want you to get burned..like I said in my first post..this engine is very easy..for ring installer get the oil filter style clamps..not the full circle style that use a allen wrench to tighten the rings to pop them in..get yourself a good sized hammer with a wooden handle and gently tap on the top of the piston with the wooden part of the handle..kinda like when you are making the hammer part seat itself back on the wooden handle when its loose..if the hammer stops moving the piston at all stop..redo the ring clamp and try again..only the wieght of the hammer should be applied to the piston..for the bearings get the plastigauge and measure everything..make sure everything is in spec..one major tip do not try and turn or move the motor at all when plastigauge is on the bearings..clean off all and I mean all of it after you have taken your measurement..I can't remember the first motor I built..the last one was in a 02 sonata with a melco motor..runs perfect..I think this could be fun..yostusota2011-06-27 19:35:15

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6/27/11 10:40pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
yostusota
Former Member
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York, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 daytona conv. all original 350 350 380 4 sp w/air..and hard top

Joined: 5/18/2010
Posts: 1518
I ran out of space..my phone wouldn't let me post anymore..get yourself a real torque wrench..find a tech that you know and see if you can borrow his..we cherish these things because they are so dern expensive and rarely get used..but they are perfect..mine is aircraft approved..torque angle included..which is the way most all bolts are these days..I really like things to be right on and torque is one thing we can control..make sure you tighten the head bolts to spec and in the specific order as per the book..post any and all questions ..I am here 24/7..

Good luck

Rich

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6/27/11 10:54pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19447
Take your time, make sure everything is clean, and ask someone before doing anything that you have doubts or questions about.
Be vewy careful installing the cam...you can nick the bearings easily, and can knock the rear cam plug out if you slap the cam in too hard.
Use PLENTY of assembly lube. The white lithium based assembly lube is good, and you can mix in a little engine oil with it if ya want. Moly lube is good too, but it will stop up the oil filter quicker than the lithium lube. You'll wanna change the oil filter after break in, anyway.
Installing the piston rings takes patience...don't try to force them, or rush thru installing them on the pistons...you'll regret it. Be sure to stagger the gaps on all of the rings. THere is also a "Top" and "Bottom" to the piston rings. THey usually have a small dimple close to the end gaps to identify the Top, but I have seen some that actually say "Top".
Be sure to pay attention to the "front", or arrow on the pistons, and make sure they all point to the front. Same with the rods...be sure you are installing them in the correct side of the engine, as well as the correct cylinder. There IS a front/rear to rods.
LOTS of assembly lube on the cam and lifters. Most cams come with special lube...USE IT! Even if it is a roller, use plenty of lube.
Be sure your heads go on the correct side of the engine, if they don't have accessory bolt holes in both ends...you'd be surprised at how many people miss this...especially if the heads have been changed.
Check to make sure ALL of the oil galley plugs are in the block, in the back, where the cam plug is, as well as in the front, where the timing chain runs. Most machine shops remove these plugs when they clean the block, but they sometimes forget to put them back in.

How's that?
 Just take your time...don't get in a hurry to do anything. Remember, "Every 1/2 hour job is 1 broken bolt away from being a 3 day ordeal."


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Joel Adams
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6/28/11 2:43am - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Thanks guys, this is great stuff.  Actually more than I expected when I posted the first time Smile  I know y'all are looking out for us less experienced shade tree types, but I'm pretty excited about it and I think I'll be able to pull this off.  I have a number of resources available to me, namely the buddy that lives in my 'hood that just finished his '79 (he let me drive it a few weeks ago).  He assembled the motor as well as most of the rest of the car.  (Rolling chassis with a straight body, but everything else was in boxes).   He's retired and I think he's looking forward to turning a wrench or two on mine now that his is done.  Yep, I'll go slow -- I'm not in any real hurry.  I was hoping for completion for the end of the summer, but since I'm doing front suspension at the same time, I'm OK stretching it out into fall or winter or next spring....  There'll probably be a few more questions coming your way.   Also, the machinist hung the rods for me, assembled the heads, and I'm using a new Eagle crank that he balanced with the full rotating ass'y incl clutch and flywheel.  Got a DVD and three different books as well.  Oh, and I talked torque wrenches today with a guy at work -- he'll let me borrow his high end one that he has from his mechanic days.  

Joel - your comment about installing heads on the wrong sides was interesting.  I'm using production vortec "062" heads (yep, I have a GMPP manifold that fits) - the accessory bolt holes match up with my original 882's so I'm assuming I'm OK.  I thought that was true of all SBC production heads but maybe some of the aftermarket ones are left/right specific?


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1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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6/28/11 8:12am - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19447
My warning about the heads comes from experience. I have seen early heads that had bosses for all of the acc. bolts, but were not drilled/tapped. I have also seen them that were only drilled/tapped on one end. The time to make sure is when assembling the engine...not once it is installed, and you gots no place to hang the alternator, or A/C.
If you have already checked, and your heads have the correct threaded holes for all your accessories, yer good to go. I'm fairly certain most late, and aftermarket heads will have provisions for the accessories, but you do have to watch out if using early heads.
 I was just throwing that out as a general "Hey...check this out" thing.


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


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"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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6/28/11 8:48am - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
eldredjames Lifetime Member
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Temple City, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1969 Daytona Yellow. 350 / Automatic.

Joined: 10/3/2010
Posts: 361
Daveo76, here's a link I've been saving in case I ever rebuild an engine.  He seems to be pretty thorough and has lots of pictures.  Maybe it will help.  Good luck with the rebuild and keep us posted.

http://www.corvette-restoration.com/restoration/corvette_restoration_updates_engine_transmission.htm



Jim


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6/29/11 2:23am - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Thanks for the link, eldredjames.  Looks like that's a big block, though?  Might be useful for some general info, though.  

Joel, thanks for the clarification.  I just went out and checked to make sure - the 062's I'm using have three tapped holes on both sides.  The familiar 3 hole pattern on one side and a slightly different 3 hole pattern on the other side.  My original 882's have the one of those same 3 hole patterns, but on the other side they just have one hole that I don't think was used for anything.  But in any case - it appears as if there is no way I could install the new vortecs wrong - the correct three hole pattern will be in front on the driver's side (alternator) and in back on the passenger side (lifting lug).  I will, however, run bolts in those holes before installing to make sure everything's kosher....  Thanks again for all the info.  


____________________________________

 

1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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7/1/11 3:15pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
68vet427
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macedon, NY - USA

Vette(s):
68 COUPE 454 HAS MOTION HOOD SCOOP, REVERSED GILLS ZL-1 FENDER FLARES AND MOTION REAR SPOILER, LEMAN'S GAS CAP, BUCKET HEADLIGHTS. CAN-AM FRONT RACING SPOILER. CHROME HOOKER HEADERS AND SIDE PIPES! 4 SPEED M20, LOOKS FAST STANDING STILL !!

Joined: 7/20/2006
Posts: 356
Hey Dave,
cool you want to do the engine yourself.
I also wanted to do mine too. I ended up working with the machinist and helped him put it together. He showed me what to do.  My engine ,454  .030 over, was  balanced and blueprinted.
I did let him do all the bearing tolerance specs and anything critical. I assembled the heads, put all the pistons and rings in, with him showing me how to position them to get the least blow by.
By doing this he knocked off a bunch of his labor costs and I still got to have a part of engine assembly.
You said your machinist is willing to help, why don't you ask him if you could do the same as i did?
hope this helps!
Joe



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7/2/11 12:10pm - Reply: 'Back from the machine shop'
daveo76
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Vancouver, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1976 Silver/Firethorn. L48, 4spd. Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.

Joined: 8/25/2005
Posts: 829
Thanks for the suggestion, 68vet427 - I'm definitely going to have him check things out for me, but it might be a little bit later stage.  He's already balanced everything and hung the rods and assembled the heads, so I'll put the rotating ass'y in and the cam and then bring it to him to degree the cam and ask him to perform some of the clearance checks.   Then I'll bring it home and put the heads on and all the other stuff.  I'll probably rely on my books and video for piston ring placement.  (and my neighbor).  Your project is looking good -- took a look at your pics.  

____________________________________

 

1976 Silver/Firethorn.  L48, 4spd.  Original 2 bolt, vortec heads, 9.4:1 CR, Speed Pro Cam: 224/224@0.050, 112 LSA, Eagle Steel Crank.
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