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Old 04-06-2009, 08:38 PM
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I'm the new guy with a lotta questions. Questions concerning Engine disassembly

Man! I spent like 30 minutes writing down like 20 questions. The site said I wasn't logged on and told me I wasn't posting a valid thread. Now my thread is gone. How annoying! Sorry, i'm just venting. So unfortunately, this post will be much less coherent than my last attempt. Anyways here are my questions. I'm a newbie by the way.

1) So I've got a 351W engine sitting in my shed. The money set aside to rebuild it was put into tools and workspace. Now it'll have to sit there for up to a month, and it's mostly disassembled. What would be the best way to shield it from rust? Would layering it with WD-40 do the trick? What are your suggestions?

2) Crankshaft rotation. I had trouble rotating the pistons to bottom dead center when the crankshaft accessories were removed. What should I use to rotate a stubborn crankshaft next time? Would crank rotator sockets do the job? What do you guys do?

3) I'm a newbie, so I make mistakes. The big one was that I mixed the rod bearing inserts. I have no idea which insert goes with which rod. Does this mean I'll have to machine the crankshaft and/or rods? I'll probably have to buy new bearings won't I? Will this be the same case for the main bearings as well?

4) What is a journal? What's it gotta do with the bearing? I'm confused, please help.

5) This is the last question I can remember. It's about a ridge reamer. I've been trying to use one but whenever I try to turn it with a socket, it just ends up tightening. Also, should I even bother with a ridge reamer? I heard they can damage the cylinder if you're not careful. There's this little plastic pad at the bottom of the blade. Could it possibly scratch the cylinder? Or is it there for protection? I really don't know what to do here. Please make some suggestions

There were more questions but I forget... Oh wait.

6) The camshaft looks pretty corroded. The lobe edges look chipped. I'd upload a picture but the site says the photo is too large. Anyway to bypass this? Anyways, what are the signs a camshaft needs removal? It looks pretty bad on some lobes, but camshafts are expensive...

Well that's all I got for now. Thanks for attempting to answer my questions. Good luck.

Last edited by LittlePwny; 04-06-2009 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:09 PM
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Hello newbie,
Sounds like you should bring a coach or friend with a little more experience than you are describing to your project! The experience you describe (or not) makes me wonder if you should attempt this feat by yourself? First it takes money to do it right. Unless you have mucho dolleros you will make some very expensive mistakes. All the free info provided here will not build your engine before folks run out of patients with your basic questions. You must first ask yourself how much money do I have to spend?

Perhaps you should take one step at a time and lay out this build to some sort of expectations that might be doable with the amount of cash available to you?

There is nothing more satisfying than building you own motor and I don't want to discourage you but you will be disappointed if attempted based on the questions you have provided. It's always more fun and responsible to work with and learn from a hands on buddy!

Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:10 PM
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you really need to invest some money in a book like "How to Rebuild a Small Block Ford" or similar. You will learn so much vital information. Don't take another step without reading a book such as this.
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:12 PM
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buy a book

buy a book on rebuilding ford small blocks. read it thoroughly. and decide if you want to tackle this by yourself.these books have lots of info.i still use them regularly.you will still have to take the block to be machined,might as well pay the extra and have them assemble it.that way you should have warranty.don't get in over your head,it will just discourge yourself.good luck.
P.S. welcome to the site
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:31 PM
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Journals are the machined parts of the crankshaft on which the bearings ride. Your 351 (and most American V8s) have five main journals that match up with the 5 main bearings and caps, and 4 rod journals (two rods per journal). This photo shows a couple of them on a small block ford crankshaft.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:05 PM
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1. Don’t use WD-40 to protect bare metal. It will work temporarily but evaporates much more quickly than other types of protectants and penetrating oils. I prefer PB Blaster but if it’s going to be sitting for quite a while, say 3 months or more, use grease. Cold air has the ability to carry moisture better than warm air, so making sure bare steel is covered especially when its cold out is important.
2. Yes, crank rotator sockets are good for turning cranks, that’s why they’re called “crank rotating sockets” . If it takes a fair amount of force to turn the crank don’t just use a socket on the bolt at the end of the crank shaft, they have a tendency to sheer off and can be a booger to get out.
3. Personally I always replace bearings after removing the caps on an engine that has been run a fair amount. Bearings are made with a “crush”, or an extra area that extends slightly past the edges of the main cap. When the cap is torqued down to the block this crush is removed and the two inserts form a complete circle. Mixing these inserts on other journals opens the possibilities that the bearings could fit loose in the cap causing several problems, the two biggest being a tendency to eat up the crank surface and a drop in oil pressure.
4. The bearing journal is the surface of the crank or rod that actually rides against the bearing “insert”.
5. A ridge reamer helps to remove the pistons from the bores. It removes the ridge created from cylinder bore wear between the top of the compression ring and the top of the block. If your block needs to be bored a significant amount you are probably ok. The reason that your reamer seems to be getting tight may be due to the shape of the bore wear. Although its hard to see, cylinders wear in an oval or egg shaped pattern. Don’t try to remove all the material with one pass, make several passes and use plenty of oil.
6. Camshafts are a critical part of engine operaton and will cause a major headache or even a catastrophic failure if they go bad. If your luckey you’ll only have to tear the engine apart and thouroughly clean everything. Never reuse a camshaft unless you have every lifter marked for each matching lobe. The cam lobes and lifters create a unique wear pattern between each other, putting the wong lifter in creates a microscopic equivelent of two pieces of sand paper rubbing together and your cam lobes will be wiped out quickly.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:21 PM
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The ridge reamer you're talking about sounds like a Lisle #36500 or similar.

Use at your own peril- they are very touchy as to staying in the bore w/o cocking.

If you do insist on using it, go S L O W, and it'll really help if you have a helper to bear down on the tool to keep it on the deck evenly as you turn it. Do Not turn it backwards.

Far better to have the machine shop do the ridges if they are so bad that the pistons can't be coaxed out as-is, IMHO.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePwny
Man! I spent like 30 minutes writing down like 20 questions. The site said I wasn't logged on and told me I wasn't posting a valid thread. Now my thread is gone. How annoying! Sorry, i'm just venting. So unfortunately, this post will be much less coherent than my last attempt. Anyways here are my questions. I'm a newbie by the way.

Best suggestion was you get some books on rebuilding the Ford. This is a complex process.What is this going into or is it going to sit once rebuilt?
First thing is all the major parts need to be tested for cracks. There is no point in putting the money into refurbising the block, heads, or crank only to discover a crack. Cracks are more common than anyone wishes they were.


1) So I've got a 351W engine sitting in my shed. The money set aside to rebuild it was put into tools and workspace. Now it'll have to sit there for up to a month, and it's mostly disassembled. What would be the best way to shield it from rust? Would layering it with WD-40 do the trick? What are your suggestions?

WD40 is OK if you take further precautions such as bagging the parts. 30 gallon trash bags down to zip lock freezer bags for smaller parts. WD40 evaporates from exposed surfaces so this additional step is necessary. Even the use of Cosmoline requires wrapping parts.

2) Crankshaft rotation. I had trouble rotating the pistons to bottom dead center when the crankshaft accessories were removed. What should I use to rotate a stubborn crankshaft next time? Would crank rotator sockets do the job? What do you guys do?

Just put a socket and breaker bar on the damper retainer bolt and rotate. Engines that are old and dirty inside are hard to rotate, oiling everything with a penetrating oil helps loosen 'em up. New engines will also be hard to turn over because of good fitting parts that aren't broken in yet.

3) I'm a newbie, so I make mistakes. The big one was that I mixed the rod bearing inserts. I have no idea which insert goes with which rod. Does this mean I'll have to machine the crankshaft and/or rods? I'll probably have to buy new bearings won't I? Will this be the same case for the main bearings as well?

You wouldn't want to do this on a competition engine, but for a street engine it probably isn't very significant. You don't need to machine anything. A normal rebuild replaces the bearing inserts. A competent mechanic/engine builder needs to review the crank and rods for re-usability. Those in super condition don't need much if any machining. Some use may just require polishing journals. Well used to mild damage will require turning the journals to a standard undersize with appropriate new bearing inserts. Rods need to be inspected for twist, the big end changing dimension, and cracks. Depending on condition this can range from just reusing them, to straightening and resizing. The block is typically checked for straightness thru the bearing bores and flatness across the head deck, machining corrections of align boring/honing the bearing saddles and milling the head deck are commonly required.

4) What is a journal? What's it gotta do with the bearing? I'm confused, please help.

The journal is the bearing surface of a shaft, the crank has mains and rods, the cam has mains. The shaft's journals ride typically ride in or on what's called a bearing insert. The insert is a softer material than the journal, the idea being that any foreign material getting into the interface will embed or apply any damage to the softer and replaceable insert.

5) This is the last question I can remember. It's about a ridge reamer. I've been trying to use one but whenever I try to turn it with a socket, it just ends up tightening. Also, should I even bother with a ridge reamer? I heard they can damage the cylinder if you're not careful. There's this little plastic pad at the bottom of the blade. Could it possibly scratch the cylinder? Or is it there for protection? I really don't know what to do here. Please make some suggestions

I highly recommend that you stay away from ridge reamers they require a lot more art to operate than they let on. If you're contemplating a rebuild that uses a ridge reamer and hone on the cylinders, don't. This is a technology that should have died along with pre-WW2 vehicles, it is a process that is not effective on modern high speed, high compression engines, such an overhaul technique lasts but a few miles. In the good old days when people didn't drive much nor far this would work for a year or two. Today this process's life expectancy is closer to a few weeks or months at best. As a process to get the engine apart it's sometimes used so the pistons can be driven out the top of the bore, I usually take the bottom end apart and knock the pistons and rods out that way to avoid the time it takes to cut the ridge. Proper technique to restore the bores is to rebore the cylinder using a boring machine done by a shop. This is followed by a precision hone which has to be matched to the ring selection, moly getting a fine finish and chrome a coarse finish. The pistons and rings are replaced new, with a size appropriate to the oversize bore.

There were more questions but I forget... Oh wait.

6) The camshaft looks pretty corroded. The lobe edges look chipped. I'd upload a picture but the site says the photo is too large. Anyway to bypass this? Anyways, what are the signs a camshaft needs removal? It looks pretty bad on some lobes, but camshafts are expensive...

Well that's all I got for now. Thanks for attempting to answer my questions. Good luck.
The camshaft sounds shot, pits, rust, gouges asymmetric wear spell doom to camshafts and lifters. The cam lobes should have a slight angle to them front to back, the lifters a slight dome. The combination causes the lifter to spin in its bore, this is necessary to long lifter and lobe life. Any-other combination of shape is grounds for replacement.

Rebuilding an engine is a fairly expensive proposition a note that "camshafts are expensive" may be an indication that this is an activity you need to save a bit longer for. You don't want to start and be unable to finish it as freshly machined surfaces are expensive to get and are worthless when rusted.

Bogie

Last edited by oldbogie; 04-07-2009 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:53 PM
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hi there

you should use actual grease and plastic wrap to store steel parts.

any kind of chassis or bearing grease works great.

wd40 is basically worthless for anything at all except maybe for stain removal, or to clean your hands of paint, grease, or to help melt ice in key locks, etc,


good luck

Last edited by fast68; 04-11-2009 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:32 PM
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Alright, you guys got me. So yes, I am a newbie and I have so much to learn. So really what's stopping me from making a fine motor is money and experience. These are the two issues I need to tackle. First money. OF course the issue is always getting more money, but really what I need to assess is the cost. As you know, I've never done this before, and I want to build this motor back to working state. I'm not aiming towards performance, so top notch parts is out of the question. I'm just wondering what cost range am I looking at for an engine rebuild? This is not including the carb, headers, or intake. I'm looking at possibly a new cam, overbore, new pistons, surfaced heads, pulley, gears, timing chain... Wow, I just realized all the parts... Hmmm. Maybe you guys could give some stories of your own financial woes and put me into perspective...

As for experience, when it comes to learning from an hardened mechanic, I don't know what to do there. I have no relatives. What are your suggestions? Should I try a auto repair shop? Do you have any positive testimonies with apprenticeship? Please enlighten me.

How can I upload pictures? The site says my pictures exceed the limit. How could I get around this?

Anyways, thanks for the replies.

Also, any grease brand recommendations? Or is a plain just fine?
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePwny
Alright, you guys got me. So yes, I am a newbie and I have so much to learn. So really what's stopping me from making a fine motor is money and experience. These are the two issues I need to tackle. First money. OF course the issue is always getting more money, but really what I need to assess is the cost. As you know, I've never done this before, and I want to build this motor back to working state. I'm not aiming towards performance, so top notch parts is out of the question. I'm just wondering what cost range am I looking at for an engine rebuild? This is not including the carb, headers, or intake. I'm looking at possibly a new cam, overbore, new pistons, surfaced heads, pulley, gears, timing chain... Wow, I just realized all the parts... Hmmm. Maybe you guys could give some stories of your own financial woes and put me into perspective...

As for experience, when it comes to learning from an hardened mechanic, I don't know what to do there. I have no relatives. What are your suggestions? Should I try a auto repair shop? Do you have any positive testimonies with apprenticeship? Please enlighten me.

How can I upload pictures? The site says my pictures exceed the limit. How could I get around this?

Anyways, thanks for the replies.

Also, any grease brand recommendations? Or is a plain just fine?
Best suggestion I have is get over to the local JC and get signed up in the automotive maintenance program. That will teach you what you want to know and prepare you for a career if so desired.

Bogie
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittlePwny
Man! I spent like 30 minutes writing down like 20 questions. The site said I wasn't logged on and told me I wasn't posting a valid thread. Now my thread is gone. How annoying! Sorry, i'm just venting. So unfortunately, this post will be much less coherent than my last attempt. Anyways here are my questions. I'm a newbie by the way.
I will leave the advise on engine building to the experts but will give you a tip to avoid the above frustration. Type your question in a word processor (MS Word or even the Notepad). Then use cut and paste to enter in your post.

About your pictures being to large - resize them with an editor such as photoshop. I may be wrong but i think this site resizes them when entered into your album.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by oldbogie
Best suggestion I have is get over to the local JC and get signed up in the automotive maintenance program. That will teach you what you want to know and prepare you for a career if so desired.

Bogie
Uhm, my lack of knowledge precedes me. What's JC?
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:41 AM
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JC= Junior College/Community College
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:23 PM
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Myself, and most machinists and technicians I know, will actively discourage the use of a ridge reamer in almost any case. If there is a significant ridge at the top of the cylinder, you need a bore and new pistons anyway, so piston damage on removal is a moot point. Also, a ridge indicates cylinder wear. That "ridged" area is the original bore size, and as such is round and straight. It is a perfect place to "center" the boring bar, and I advise leaving it, as the machinist will thank you.

Bogie's advice is golden - sign up with a JC or a vocational school. The knowledge you gain will be priceless, and educational facilities often have tools for the students to use, and will very likely get price breaks on the parts used wile you are there (an added bonus!!). A stock rebuild of a SBF is probably going to start at $1500, especially if there are machining processes required.
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