Later, they confirmed the price and set to work. I picked up the block on Wednesday of the following week. However, the block was not assembled to "short block" but it had been painted and the freeze plugs were in. I guess that explains the low price but I'll do what it takes to save a buck. I loaded the block and rebuild kit parts into the car and unloaded.
|The freshly bored and painted block.|
|On the stand. Cylinders bored .030 over.|
|The new "RV-2" cam, cam lube, and re-machined crank. Journals machined .010 under.|
|Cam installed and lubed. Crank journal bearings in place.|
I had previously purchased "How to rebuild small-block Ford engines" by Tom Monroe. This book tells it all step by step. One of the things he suggests is to double-check the crank journals to confirm the specifications. One method is to use Plastigage which consists of a wax string that you place on the journal surface and then torque down the bearing cap and remove it again. You look at the smear left by the wax string and measure the width using a gauge provided with the Plastigage. The width represents distance between the journal and the bearing surface.
|The smooshed Plastigage.|
|This journal was within specs. 15 thousandths clearance. All other journals were also deemed "good to go".|
|Plenty of engine assembly lube. The rear main seal is in place with some RTV on the cap to prevent leaking. This is the kind of stuff Monroe's book covers.|
|All of the caps are torqued down.|
|Engine turned over to start popping in the pistons.|
|A box of new hypereutectic .030 over pistons.|
Installing the rings on the pistons is fairly time-consuming. It can be even more-so if your cylinders have not been bored identically since you would have to "gap" each ring for each cylinder individually. I checked all of my cylinders and found them all to be within 1 or 2 thousandths of exactly 4.030 inches so I felt confident that once I confirmed the ring gap in the first cylinder, the rest should be fine as well.
|Rings, ring expander, and ring compressor. Note the box top indicates the correct channel for the ring.|
|The compression rings had gaps of .014".|
|Here's how you use a ring expander. This one was $5.99 at Harbor Freight and I'm damned glad I got it after doing 16 compression rings.|
|Rings installed (with gaps staggered according to Monroe's book), piston and cylinder lubed.|
|The $9.99 Harbor Freight ring compressor. After the first 4 or 5 cylinders, this started not working so great. I think I would buy a better one if I were to do this agian.|
|First piston in. Seven to go.|
|Journal and rod bearings lubed.|
|First rod is torqued.|
|All pistons are in!|
|From the top.|
|Timing gear test fit.|