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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 5.7L 4-bolt Vortec short block that I just purchased from an individual claiming 39K mi. I have limited in-engine experience and I'm on a budget. I would really like to check out the short block myself to make sure all is well before spending on a top-end kit and completing final assembly. I would rather not rebuild the short block if it dosen't really need it. The cylinders look really good to me. They are not glazed. I can see the honing marks. They measure 4.00" diameter plus or minus 1.0 thousanth measured with a telescoping gauge and a good micrometer. Also, I cannot detect any ridge at all on any cylinder. My question is: Is it adviseable for me to continue my inspection by rolling the engine over (it's on my new stand) and removiing all rod and main bearing caps (marking everything first), visually inspecting the journals, and if they look good, check clearances of each bearing with a plastigauge, and if all is in-spec, simply bolt it all back together and move on? Am I asking for trouble by disturbing things? I do have good reference books and I'm comfortable with what seems to be involved. I suppose the question boils down to "what are the chances that disturbing the caps and bearings on a seasoned engine will introduce a problem?" Will every part find its "home" again if I'm careful? Tips and advice welcome. And Thanks!
 

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boatbob2
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1,385 Posts
short block......

HI,if I really dont know the condition of the short block,i would pull the main caps (number first) look at the condition of the bearings,if good,buy plasti guage, remove oil from crank,before using plasti guage,,put plasti guage on the crank,do all main bearings at the same time,torque all caps to specs,recheck torque,pull main caps and check width of plasti guage for clearances. if in specs,remove plasti guage,oil mains,replace caps,torque to specs,re check torque. then move onto rod bearings,do the same to rod bearings. (number rod caps) if you do all checking of caps correctly,and torque to specs,then
re-torque,there is no chance of messing anything up.but,you will know the true condition of the short block,of course,you could always pull the pistons,to check rings and bore.
 

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WFO
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5,030 Posts
Where things get touchy, is the ridge that forms at the top of the bores.

This is caused by the rings wearing, and if left in place, new rings will not have worn in the same way and will collide w/the ridge.

You can either remove the ridge and then hone the cylinders for fresh rings, or take your chances on re using the original rings in the bores they came from.

If you opt for the latter, a light honing is still recommended (by me, that is- others might not agree), in order to give the cylinders a little "tooth" to reseat the rings. If the rings are moly filled, the emphasis is on LIGHT honing.

The bores-as well as the entire engine- must be immaculately cleaned before reassembly.
 
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