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Old 02-12-2006, 06:17 PM
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454 Short block binding

Hello, I purchased a 454 block that was bored .060 over. I sent it to the machine shop to have it tanked,checked, and the cyliders honed to accept moly rings. The block came back looking great with the cylider walls smooth as glass. The crank was turned .010. I bought a set of.340 pop up forged pistons, eagle rods and clevite bearings (main and rod). A buddy had some times on his hands and assembled the short block for me, he is fairly knowledeable regarding engines and mechanics.The problem is whenever I tried turning over the short block (without heads) it is really hard to turn over. I put a bolt in the end of the crank,iknow its not ideal to turn over the engine like that but I used a torque wrench and set it at 110 ft/pds, it turned about 1/4 of an inch then the the wrench clicked. Is it normal for the shortblock to be so tight? Should I try to turn the engine over again, if so how should I go about turning it? It has the gear drive and cam installed into it also. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:23 PM
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Pull that gear drive off and try to spin the rotating assembly.. If still tight find out where the bind is.. Mis-matched rod caps, piston pins hung wrong, ring problem. etc . THROW THE GEAR DRIVE IN THE TRASH! put on a double roller chain..
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:56 PM
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THROW THE GEAR DRIVE IN THE TRASH! put on a double roller chain..
I too dont care for gear drives, even the quiet ones make to much noise for my taste (blocks out what you need to hear)
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Old 02-12-2006, 07:01 PM
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Drain the oil, and flip it over, and take off the oil pan, and inspect the caps, rod and main, without the gear drive on it.. Some thing is amiss here. I also don't like gear drives
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Old 02-13-2006, 07:30 AM
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re: 454 Short block binding

Thanks for the replys. I only used the gear drive because it came with the block and was brand new, but I will definetly switch it out for a double roller. I am going to tear it down tonight and investigate, hopefully it isn't anything serious.
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:08 AM
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More Information

I pulled off the gear drive and pulled out the cam and it is still hard to rotate the crank. I did notice that the rods are really tight in the crank journals, isn't there supposed to be some endplay between the rods? The rods are after market eagle rods and I can't even get a feeler gauge in between them. What do you guys think?
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Old 02-13-2006, 09:32 AM
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You use the right bearings?

You should have a few thou side clearance.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:15 PM
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You need to check all the clearances!!!

First of all, how did the machine shop bore the block without knowing what pistons you are going to use. Typically the machine shop will want the pistons in hand before they bore anything.

Forged pistons need large clearance as compared to cast. I would think 3 to 5 thousands clearance for a forged piston.

Second, the side rod clearance needs to be something like 0.010" to 0.015". I'm going by memory so please look that up and verify. You also need to check piston side clearance, ring end gaps, and bearing oil clearance.

When using new parts (pistons, rods, bearings, ring, etc) you need to check everything!!!! Find all the specs!

Sounds like a rod side clearance problem to me, since you are using new rods and can't get any feeler gage in there. Your machine shop can machine the rod sides to the proper thickness if you tell them how much you need off.

You need to check the piston side clearance because forged pistons expand a lot when they heat up and will lock the engine if the pistons are too tight when cold. That is why forged pistons are loud when cold.

Main and rod bearings on a BBC should be 0.0015 to 0.0025" clearance and the rear main bearing should be a little larger at 0.0025 to 0.0035".
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:52 PM
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re: 454 Short block binding

Thanks 454c10, I am going today to purchase a set of micrometers to verify all information. The machine shop had the pistons because they installed the rods on the wrist pins. I am thinking I need to get the rods sides shavedso I can have the proper clearance. What I am trying first is to remove the whole right side bank of pistons to see if it moves more freely with just on rod per journal and then remove them all and start from the beginning and check clearances. I'll let you know how I make out.
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Old 02-13-2006, 01:03 PM
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No need to buy expensive micrometers.

A good set of feeler gages and some plastigage for autozone should be enough to do the job. I think the green plastigate is the range you need (0.001 to 0.0035").

You do need a book on BBC to find the specs. I use an old MOTOR book for my BBC specs. The pistons will have their own clearance specs from the manufacture.

To measure side clearance on the piston, remove the rings and insert the piston in the bore. Then side in a feeler gage in between the piston skirt and the cylinder bore. The side clearance is 1/2 the feeler gage thickness used (1/2 on each side).
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:37 PM
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re: 454 Short block binding

Hello,
Just a final update on the problem I was having. I took the block to a local machine shop and it turns out that the rods were installed wrong, it seems that there is a chamfer on one end of each rod that faces the rod journal and the chamfers need to face out away from each other to ride on the crank journal. I overlooked that important step(DUMMY!) while I was assembling the engine. A word of advice to other novice engine builders, when it comes time to assemble your engine make sure you have no other activities going on at the time. I assembled it at work in between phone calls, etc and missed that important issue. Thanks to everyone for their input and advice.
Thanks
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