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Old 12-25-2011, 05:19 PM
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sbc 350 assembly problems

I am currently assembling a sbc 350. Ive got the crankshaft installed and all the main caps torqued to spec and all the clearances are good. Ive got engine assembly lube on all of the bearings but the crankshaft is really tough to turn over what could be the problem? I live in Minnesota and its 30 degrees and the garage is not heated.

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Old 12-25-2011, 05:32 PM
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How did you measure bearing clearences?

Is the crankshaft new or reground?
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Old 12-25-2011, 05:47 PM
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I used a plastigauge to check the clearance and the crank is new with stock journals. the bearings a stock size too.
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Old 12-25-2011, 06:01 PM
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Here,s what I would do.

Take all the caps off and try to turn the crank with one hand off the front snout. You should be able to spend the crank freely by hand.

If so put the two end caps on turning the crAnk as you go. If you feel any resistance at all stop and try to determine what the problem is. Tighten these two caps (no need to torque) If all is well install the center cap the same way.

Still turns by hand?
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Old 12-25-2011, 06:15 PM
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do you have the connecting rods installed in the proper direction and order?
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro8791
Ive got engine assembly lube on all of the bearings but the crankshaft is really tough to turn over what could be the problem? I live in Minnesota and its 30 degrees and the garage is not heated.
THAT is the problem!!
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBCRMAN@aol.com
THAT is the problem!!
Are you saying the assembly lube combined with cold temperatures
are making it hard to turn?
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amature
do you have the connecting rods installed in the proper direction and order?
I think he is saying the crank is hard to turn with no pistons/rods installed.
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:26 PM
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With available assembly lube and cold temps the crank, installed by itself will be hard (drags) to turn. Been there many times.. Working in a cold shop. First thing in the morning before the heat/furnace warms things up. The crank will be very hard to turn.. Assembly lube (most) is a heavy bodied lubricant if not a grease base..

I changed to my own blend of oils for assembly and it helped the problem. A blend of Lucas stabilizer, motor oil and ATF. Haven't had an assembly problem for thirty + years..
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:30 PM
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It's hard to turn with no pistons or rods installed and yes it does turn fine when the caps are removed Ive tried that before. I'll remove the caps tomorrow and test them one by one like you said. I'll get back to you asap. thanks for the help I really do appreciate it
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro8791
It's hard to turn with no pistons or rods installed and yes it does turn fine when the caps are removed Ive tried that before. I'll remove the caps tomorrow and test them one by one like you said. I'll get back to you asap. thanks for the help I really do appreciate it
Things to look for:

Large radius on the crank contacting the bearing. If this is the problem,
you should be able to see the contact area on the bearing.

Bent crank, this should show up with the two outer caps and the center cap
in place causing the binding. This is best measured with a dial indicator, turn
the crank on the two outer bearings with the indicator on the center journal
(might need to remove the center three top bearing halves).

If the crank is straight and the three cap test shows binding you might have
a line bore issue. (Are the caps in the correct location and orientation? Do
the caps fit tight in the block?)

Check thrust clearance, this should not be a problem but with new parts you
never can tell. I have seen very poor thrust surface finishing on new cranks.

Inspect every part and surface, don't assume a part is right because it's new.
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Old 12-25-2011, 09:28 PM
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camaro8791,

Loosen one cap at a time and try turning the crank. When you loosen the one that is tight the crank will turn freely. Then check to see if that cap is on backwards.

Scholman
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Old 12-25-2011, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBCRMAN@aol.com
... A blend of Lucas stabilizer, motor oil and ATF...
I like this idea.

Bob, I don't have a lot of experience building engines in cold shops, I hate the cold.
You are right, the crank will have some drag to turn with cold assembly lube.

Without knowing anything about the lube, parts and experience of the engine
builder, I would say be extremely cautious here. Engine bearings will not live
with any sort of rubbing or binding. Nows the time to make sure its right,
before the pistons are installed in the bores, then you have ring drag
complicating the issue.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:41 AM
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Too much or too thick of a lube in the cold is going to make it bind, period.Take it apart, clean off the lube and put a little very light oil and see how it turns. You could also use a heat lamp to warm it up and see if it turns easier. Everyone seems to forget that any type of lubrication takes up space, this is why it theory the bearings never touch the crank.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-bucket23
Too much or too thick of a lube in the cold is going to make it bind, period.Take it apart, clean off the lube and put a little very light oil and see how it turns. You could also use a heat lamp to warm it up and see if it turns easier. Everyone seems to forget that any type of lubrication takes up space, this is why it theory the bearings never touch the crank.

Do you got different lubes fore assembly and running an engine?
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