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Old 06-04-2008, 09:32 PM
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HELP!! What do I really need to build my SBC 350?

Okay I want to rebuild my 350. What kind of tools do I REALLY need to get this done?

First I am almost finished disassembling it how the books I have says. Then I will take it to the Machine Shop. And have the block and the crank honed

Now they will tell me the size pistons I need. Will they tell me the size bearing, etc. I need also?

And when I have all this I have to then buy a engine kit. And reassemble by the book. Now will I have to measure all this like the book says? Or can I "trust" the machine shop?

I am really confident I can do this...But the entire part about measuring clearances and assembly stuff is just making me a bit nervous. Trying to decide if I really need 300 or more bucks in new tools.

Thanks

brian

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Old 06-05-2008, 02:06 AM
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Brian, the way I see it is that buying tools to check the work of someone else is like buying an insurance policy. Remember too, that the tools you purchase will likely be with you forever, through many engine builds. So, you can amortize the cost of them over a period of time or a number of motors. Yep, that's the way I'd explain it to her.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:45 AM
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Techinspector1's right. You dont have to buy the most expensive tools. If you have a Harbour Freight Tools store they have very cheap prices. Digital Calipers, Micrometers, Dial Bore Gauges, Torque Wrenches etc.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurchbiotch
But the entire part about measuring clearances and assembly stuff is just making me a bit nervous. Trying to decide if I really need 300 or more bucks in new tools.
You could have the machine shop assemble the engine. Ask them what kind of warranty they might have on an engine assembled by them.

You could also assemble the engine without buying expensive measuring tools. Just don't place the blame on anybody else but yourself if you have any problems with your $2000+ engine, or if anything wears out prematurely.

There is always Plastigauge too...
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:39 AM
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Hurray for plasitgauge! It does a bearing good.

You can use that stuff to check bearing clearances and those shim gauges to check ring gap width and piston to wall clearance.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:00 AM
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Just remember, even if the best tools are used by the worst builder, there's no guarantee it'll be any better than the worst tools used by the best builder.

ALWAYS check everything, NEVER assume anything.

Buying tools is an investment, you don't need the million dollar stuff, but you don't necessarily want the absolute cheapest.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroke
Just remember, even if the best tools are used by the worst builder, there's no guarantee it'll be any better than the worst tools used by the best builder.

ALWAYS check everything, NEVER assume anything.

Buying tools is an investment, you don't need the million dollar stuff, but you don't necessarily want the absolute cheapest.
I agree with everyone you do not have to buy the star wars tools but don't buy the yugo type. This is the best investment you can make. I would use the plastic gauge very simple system that works. Also follow the book to the letter make sure you keep the engine free of dirt always cover when you are not working on it. I truly believe on triple checking everything, because we are human and we all make mistakes. If you have questions and not sure ask. Another thing is check pushrod lengths when you get to that, do not order until you intsall the heads onto the motor otherwise this could be disaster down the road. The other thing I can say it is when you get the motor running there is no greater statisfaction in the knowledge you did it yourself.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:09 PM
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+1 ^^^

Aaand you get to know the guys at the tire store very well.

Maybe find yourself some 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5" mics (set), calipers, feeler gauges, dial indicator with mag base, degree wheel. You can pick these up in el-cheapo's or for amounts that will drain your bank account. If you plan on doing more of this later, a bore gage is nice to own too... as are digital scales, die grinders, and a variety of other engine building tools. You can get by with the basics and do fine. The big thing is accuracy and checking, both, together. Learning to read measurements is not difficult, nor is the math. There are lots of little things builders do, secrets if you will, that aid in longevity and performance, some of those you will never get out of guys, but here you can get some good advice. Don't be afraid to ask any questions. Doing your first motor is a tad overwhelming, having set goals and a plan that will work with your budget is another big thing to consider. It always seems costs more than you think, believe me. Another thing, never ever cut corners thinking you have saved yourself time or money, usually things like that will get you into trouble, and you will kick yourself in the arse many times over for such antics. Opinions abound, some things work, some are hogwash, some people like certain things they have found to work and accept no other. This is good at times and other times not so good. You getting the gist of this?...
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:57 AM
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These guys are absolutely right. Get tools.

I had a block sent to a relatively reputable machine shop to have it torque plate bored and line honed. I'm still not quite sure how it happened, one of the cylinders was +.020" instead of +.030". If I hadn't mic'd the engine to double check, I would've had some trouble later on,lol.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:28 PM
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if you plan to make a habit out of rebuilding engines then get some tools.

If you plan on doing a rebuild every 15 or 20 years then let the machine shop do it.

However, you really don't need many tools to put an engine together. A engine stand, a torque wrench, some plastigage, a feeler gage set, a piston ring compressor, a big rubber pallet, oil squirt can, and two short pieces of 3/8's fuel line for the rod bolt covers is about all you will need for tools.

It would be a good idea to have the machine shop check the lid to gear clearance on you new oil pump. I have seen a lot of new pumps with inadequate clearance there.

Let the machine shop supply the bearings, pistons, and rings. This way they know exactly how much to bore and turn down. If you are doing a stock to moderate build, use cast pistons.

Also, tell the machine shop to set rod and main clearance at 0.0020" and the rear main at 0.0025". Around here they seem to like to use 0.0030 to 0.0035 and that kills oil pressure when hot.
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