Hot Rod Blog Engine Assembly Blog, Day 1

This blog is based on my master checklist, and each blog page corresponds to about one day of work for me. The amazing thing about this project is how much measuring is involved when building a blueprinted race engine. There is much more time spent measuring than bolting parts together!

My workshop, where a lot of the details get taken care of...

Couldnt' resist when all the blue stuff got together in a frame...

Put the Block on an Engine Stand

Some folks work on engines on a workbench, but the stand seems infinitely better to me because you can rotate the block to get at all angles.

Clearly an SVO block...

Stamping number should we ever need it...

Number the Rod Caps and Rods as well as the main caps

The shortblock I got came with the main caps already numbered 1-4, with 1 being at the front of the motor. They were numbered with a stamp at the machine shop. If yours aren't numbered, I highly recommend doing so so that everything goes back together the way it should. As for the rod caps, I've got Carillo rods, and I'll be careful to keep the rod with the right cap for each one.

Numbered, and with an arrow that points to the front. I kept the bolts with their proper cap and hole too.
Nice beefy 4-bolters, eh?

Remove the main cap bolts and the main caps and lift crank out

You're going to have to tap the caps out with a rubber mallet--they're press fit and that's how they're supposed to be. Keep the bearings with their respective crank journals. Store the crank vertically, as they will distory if left lying on their side for a long time. The easiest way to keep the bearings straight is to masking tape the two halves together and label which journal they go with using a felt marker.

Remove Oil Gallery Plugs

This was done for me before I ever got the engine. One minor issue is that the plugs didn't come with the engine! So, I've got to go out and find some to fit.

Gallery plugs out? Shoot, they're just gone altogether!

Detail the Block cosmetically with a die grinder and gasket scraper

We're going to build a way cool hot rod here, right? Gotta make sure the motor looks show quality.

These little rust spots disappeared quick with the wire wheel...

Scrape any gaskets so surfaces are clean. Use a wire brush in your die grinder to get rid of any rust spots. Take the die grinder to any rough spots. It helps to paint the block so you can see what the paint will fill and what will need more work. I have lucked out here again, as my block was pretty nice from the get go, so very minimal clean up was required. The heads are going to be another story.

No place for an oil pump! Will have to go dry sump...

Siamese the holes at the center rear of the lifter gallery

As long as you've got that die grinder out, let's make this Gapp & Roush mod to the block for better oiling. In my case, the NASCAR engine builder had a better idea. He hogged out some major holes and then screened them to keep the debris from getting into the whirly parts. Check it out:

One at each end...

Looks like window screen, epoxied around the edges...

Clean the oil galleries

You need to take a rifle cleaning brush together with plenty of soapy water to clean these galleries good. When done, blow them out good with compressed air.

Open wide and say, "Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh"...

Clean the coolant passages

Use a round file, being careful not to damage deck surfaces, to make sure the holes are good and clean. Then switch to soapy water and brushes, followed by compressed air and WD-40.

Every hole got a serious blast of air...

Chase all holes to clean threads

Use a bottoming tap (not a tapered tap) and apply WD-40 to the hole.

Final air and WD-40 pass

Give all holes a final pass with the compressed air and WD-40.

The Second Day of Work...

All material 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.