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Old 07-10-2009, 01:06 PM
V8 Super Beetle's Avatar
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383 SBC Bearing Clearance Issues. Fresh Rebuild.

For starters, this is my first build and I'm on a strict budget, but want to get this done right.

Parts list:
383 Internal balance Eagle 3.75" crank. Std bearing size.
Stock 5.7" rods, ARP 383 rods pressed in and resized.

I recently got my engine and rotating assembly back from the machine shop. I had the block decked to 9.020, honed, magnafluxed, hot tanked, the rods big end resized and ARP 383 rod bolts pressed in. Not in that order, but that's what I had done.


Upon pre-assembly I have run into a few problems.

Problem 1: The main bearings checked out fine, .0018-.002, but I'm getting a clearance of .001 or less on some of the rod journals using plastigage. Some of them have checked out fine at .0015, but then some are WAY wider than the .001 strip measurement. Sometime these measurements are on the same rod journal.

What should I do?

a) Try plastigaging again cause perhaps I messed up somewhere removing the rod / piston squishing the plastic giving me a bad reading.

b) Take it the machine shop and have them check / mic the clearances. The rod ends or journals might not be to spec. I'll explain what the machine shop would do to correct this problem.

c) Sell it to me for $1


Problem 2:

During pre-assembly I've found that the flange was bent a little either during shipping or somewhere along those lines making it a REALLY tight fit for the #3 & 4 rod caps. With the journal at BDC the rod ends slide in fine but the caps have a REALLY tight fit. So much so that when assembled I can't hardly turn the crank. The cap is really hard to get on. Without the #3 rod in all turns smoothly. You can even visually see where it was slightly banged in.

What should I do?

a) Wrap the journal with card board, poster board, or something along those lines and use a fine file to knock down the bent in peace.

b) Take it the machine shop cause they'll have a tool to fix this problem.

c) Use your 5 lb. hammer, put on a blindfold and swing away.


Problem 3:

Other than the bent in part of the crank, the rod caps have zero gap between them. I did some reading and have found that some prefer a .008 - .015" side clearance.

What should I do if anything?

a) Use a flat fine file and slowly work and check to achieve this clearance.

b) Let a machine shop do this.

c) Get out the belt sander in one hand, hold the rod in the other and hope for the best.


Last but not least, Problem 4:

Concerning all above. Seems like some metal is going to have to be resized somewhere which means weight will be removed off parts. So balancing comes into question. All parts are within 1 gram weight.

Should I?

a) Not worry about it cause it's not enough metal to throw it out of balance.

b) Spend a little on the time to rebalance just to be sure.

c) Let's try and balance it ourself by using a grinder and having at it.


Thanks for all the help and thanks for not helping to those who chose C for every answer.

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Old 07-10-2009, 02:54 PM
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Not that it's going to help you at this point, but that's the beauty of the search feature on this forum. Before buying anything, run a search on it and find out if others have had a problem with that particular part. Had you done that, you would have found out from others that Eagle cranks suffer from exactly the problems you are describing. Scat cranks, on the other hand, seem to be ready to run as received from the manufacturer.

Aside from biting the bullet and starting over with a Scat crank, I would turn the rod journals 0.010"-under to square them up and establish a bearing clearance of 0.0015" to 0.002", side clearance of 0.010" to 0.015" and re-balance if necessary.

Aftermarket cranks are normally cut with a larger fillet on the corners of the journals where they meet the counterweights than production cranks. This feature adds strength to the crank, but also makes it necessary to use a bearing insert with a more generous cut on the fillet side to clear this larger crank fillet. Make certain you're using the correct bearing inserts to clear the fillets on the crank. Of course, if you have the rod journals cut undersize to square them up, the crank grinder can adjust the fillet to anything you want by dressing the grinding wheel to the fillet desired.

Either take the rods with the crank to the grinder so he can measure the width of big end pairs or measure them yourself and give him the four widths. There is tolerance in production pieces and every once in a while, you'll encounter two parts made on the plus side of the blueprint (big end rod width for instance). When you use these two pieces together on a rod journal, the combined width could exceed the standard width cut on the journal and make a problem. It's not likely, but it's possible. Just trying to cover all the bases for you.

While you have the crank in the block, check for end play. I like 0.006" or a thou or two either way. Use a piece of wood and swing a BFH against the crank on each end to seat the bearings, then measure the end play. You may have to have the crank grinder adjust the thrust also. Or maybe not.

Not sure what you are saying about a bent flange, but it doesn't sound good.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:09 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I guess I'll just take it all to the machine shop again and have them tell me what's needed to be done. That sucks. This has become just as if not more expensive than buying a ready to go short block.

See attached. I don't know what it's called but it's the part of the crank on the other side of the throw. That part that butts up against the rods, but isn't the throw end. If that makes sense.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:11 PM
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Thanks again Tech. You're the man.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:43 PM
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So somewhere along the way between grinding the crank at the time of manufacture and you receiving it, some dumb*** has dropped it. Now you also have to worry about it being cracked. What a freakin' NIGHTMARE. Spending the money to have it magnafluxed will be cheaper than the carnage wreaked on the motor due to a 2-piece crank!!!!!
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Super Beetle
See attached. I don't know what it's called but it's the part of the crank on the other side of the throw. That part that butts up against the rods, but isn't the throw end. If that makes sense.
That part of the crank is the "counterweight". And it took a hell of a blow.
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:44 PM
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Geez, I was looking for a hit around the journal, didn't see the counterweight. The crank would have to be dropped from a considerable height or have something REALLY HEAVY dropped on it to make a hit like that.

Must have been shipped by UPS. I've seen those gorillas break camshafts in half with their shipping procedures!!!
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:11 AM
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Sounds like that crank needs to go back, or file an insurance claim with the shipping company if it was insured.
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Old 07-11-2009, 02:19 AM
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WOW!!! I'd be talking to the shipping company or Eagle about that. On the note of the plastigauge, I know this sounds super simple, but when is the last time you calibrated your torque wrench? If your wrench is off and your tightening to specs (so you think), this could throw everything off. Also some of the really cheap torque wrenches are never right even out of the box. I've seen guys tighten things down with an out-of-wack torque wrench just to see the motor fly apart not long after. It's something simple to check but looking at the condition of the crank I'd say it's the crankshaft
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:29 PM
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I didn't read all of this but it seems that Techinspector1 is telling you exactly what I would but with more experience obviously on the aftermarket cranks. If you have a tough time turning the rotating assy... you are loosing exactly that much potential torque from the engine. I believe before I read anyone's response that your crank needs cut and the co. that does it needs to get the appropriate bearings for you and let them do the measureing etc.

I have had a hell of a time with my pontiac cam bearings and have found that the original bearings can have a marking indicating their + or - thousandths. It turns out that even factory stuff is held to a large tolerance and potentialy you could be at the extreme + or - of the spectrum. I didn't know about the aftermarket cranks being that some are ground more equaly than others but that sounds just like what's going on.

On youtube there is a vid where a guy shows impropper rod to rod clearance and uses a torque wrench to spin the rotating assy as a short block. Then clearances it properly and it took something like 20 less ft/lbs of torque to spin it manualy. That = 20 more lbs of torque... even at idle. So, if it dosn't spin free or you feel there is too much resistance don't settle for it. As a matter of face I tore down dad's boat's 455 olds. It had wrist pins that were realy stiff. You would know if you played with them. I mean in my hand they were hard to pivot. So, anything that has a bearing surface needs to have proper clearance or you are robbing power and it won't last long. That's my 2 c. And I hate working so hard and thing tear up. Don't settle until you know it's right bud or you will be doing it all again. I think you need your crank cut and the right bearings and you'll be cool. Just take everyone's suggestions be sceptical and take what you think is right. Talk to as many builders as possible. Especialy older ones. They can blow your mind. All you can read dosn't compair to the older seasoned, done it a thousand times guys. I'm humbled by the guy helping me now. He is about 75. Good luck bro.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:32 PM
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383 rebuild

Looking at the picture of the counterweight you should have caught this problem while you installed the crank. Even the machine shop should have seen this. If ordering parts and shipping is involved I check the parts as soon as I receive them. I have received damaged parts before too. I would contact the company you purchased the crankshaft from first. Hope it hasn't been that long since purchased it. They will either tell you to return it for an exchange or tell you to file a claim against the shipper. This is a bad situation, hope everything turn out good for you. BTW, Eagle cranks use chamfered bearings. The Clevite brand bearing would be the H-series.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Super Beetle
For starters, this is my first build and I'm on a strict budget, but want to get this done right.

Parts list:
383 Internal balance Eagle 3.75" crank. Std bearing size.
Stock 5.7" rods, ARP 383 rods pressed in and resized.

I recently got my engine and rotating assembly back from the machine shop. I had the block decked to 9.020, honed, magnafluxed, hot tanked, the rods big end resized and ARP 383 rod bolts pressed in. Not in that order, but that's what I had done.


Upon pre-assembly I have run into a few problems.

Problem 1: The main bearings checked out fine, .0018-.002, but I'm getting a clearance of .001 or less on some of the rod journals using plastigage. Some of them have checked out fine at .0015, but then some are WAY wider than the .001 strip measurement. Sometime these measurements are on the same rod journal.

What should I do?

a) Try plastigaging again cause perhaps I messed up somewhere removing the rod / piston squishing the plastic giving me a bad reading.

b) Take it the machine shop and have them check / mic the clearances. The rod ends or journals might not be to spec. I'll explain what the machine shop would do to correct this problem.

c) Sell it to me for $1


Problem 2:

During pre-assembly I've found that the flange was bent a little either during shipping or somewhere along those lines making it a REALLY tight fit for the #3 & 4 rod caps. With the journal at BDC the rod ends slide in fine but the caps have a REALLY tight fit. So much so that when assembled I can't hardly turn the crank. The cap is really hard to get on. Without the #3 rod in all turns smoothly. You can even visually see where it was slightly banged in.
What should I do?

a) Wrap the journal with card board, poster board, or something along those lines and use a fine file to knock down the bent in peace.

b) Take it the machine shop cause they'll have a tool to fix this problem.

c) Use your 5 lb. hammer, put on a blindfold and swing away.


Problem 3:

Other than the bent in part of the crank, the rod caps have zero gap between them. I did some reading and have found that some prefer a .008 - .015" side clearance.
What should I do if anything?

a) Use a flat fine file and slowly work and check to achieve this clearance.

b) Let a machine shop do this.

c) Get out the belt sander in one hand, hold the rod in the other and hope for the best.


Last but not least, Problem 4:

Concerning all above. Seems like some metal is going to have to be resized somewhere which means weight will be removed off parts. So balancing comes into question. All parts are within 1 gram weight.

Should I?

a) Not worry about it cause it's not enough metal to throw it out of balance.

b) Spend a little on the time to rebalance just to be sure.

c) Let's try and balance it ourself by using a grinder and having at it.


Thanks for all the help and thanks for not helping to those who chose C for every answer.
Sounds like the shop that resized the rods did not cut the caps or the rods as there were from the factory, Some caps are not square with the sides and shops will cut them square and once they are put together they are not flat and you will loose your side clearance.

I don't size many stock rods but when I do I make a referance cut and some times have to tip the rod or the cap to maintain what the factory did when they were machined.

Sounds like the shop involved did budget machine work as well.

Some times buget builds cost more money in the long run. I would have to say this is another budget build gone bad.
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:00 AM
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No use giving advice folks, this thread is 3 yrs. old
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