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New to Engine Rebuilding - Tips and Tricks

 
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BillyGoatBluff
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:57 pm    Post subject: New to Engine Rebuilding - Tips and Tricks Reply with quote

I have never rebuilt an engine before, but I really want to try and do it. I have average knowledge about engines but not nearly enough to start a rebuild just yet. If anyone has any tips for me about anything related to rebuilding an engine that would be a great help for me. What would be a good engine to start with. I would like to be able to rebuild an engine so I can upgrade it in the future to make some good horsepower. Right now I just want to wrench on something and learn how to rebuild an engine.
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10sec.et
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

welcome to SMOKEmUP Cheers

i suggest a small block Chevy. they are stout little motors and dont require a lot of "trick" items for a stock/near stock rebuild. plus, parts are cheaper and more abundant for that than anything else. do you currently have a vehicle to put it in ?

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BillyGoatBluff
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually don't have a car to put it in yet, I was planning on just getting an engine puller and a stand to rebuild, then find something to put it in later. I was thinking about possibly getting a 32 or 33 Ford 3 window, or a 30's to 50's pickup.
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Blown65
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Engine How too Reply with quote

When it comes to rebuilding an engine there is so much info it could fill a text book. My advice is to get yourself one of those "how to rebuild an engine" books and read it through. I will say about those books "don't believe everything you read" but they are a good start. At least they will show you the logical progression of a rebuild project.


My 2 cents
Corey

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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also agree that the SBC is probably a great starter motor, very forgiving and an expert is available in one out of three people you meet. That said if your building a Ford 32 high boy, low boy coupe, plastic or metal slam in a SBF motor. Makes same level of power and they are nearly as cheap to build. I think out ofrespect to the Blue Oval ya gotta put a blue motor on display to power it.

Big Dave
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clay
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too suggest either a SBF or a SBC. I would also suggest getting something in the later model years. Over the years they corrected a lot of the sealing issues, especially on the Chevy, that can make your life easier and eliminates some of the "tricks" required. One piece rear seals, one piece oil pan gasket and center bolt valve covers REALLY helped. One that I have recently done and highly recommend is a late model 350 Vortech. The one I did was a '99 model I believe and even in stock form (internally anyway) performance was impressive. I also agree with reading anything you can get your hands on. Over the years, you'll figure out what you have to pay attention to depending on what you are going to do with the engine. One big pointer I can offer is attention to details. Take care of all the little details and the big things will tend to fall into place. Welcome aboard and feel free to ask questions when you start getting your hands dirty. Clay
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BillyGoatBluff
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thanks a lot for all the info guys!

I think I'd like to have a carb on top of the engine, whatever the brand is, so what's involved in rebuilding an EFI engine like the 350 Vortech that clay suggested, to run a carburetor? I think the only reason I want to run a carb is that there is less wires to deal with, am I right on that? (wiring scares me) And what do you mean by small details clay? Picking the right parts to begin with? Making sure everything is measured to correct tolerances?

All you guys suggest reading everything I can get my hands on, and that's why I joined this forum, but can you recommend any particular books I can pick up?

I'm very excited to get my hands dirty in the garage, but I want to try and do this right the first time. I know that I'll make some mistakes on the first try that's why I want to start with a junkyard engine just to see if I can take it apart, clean it, add a new part here or there and slam it back together and fire it up. That leads me to another question...but I better not get ahead of myself. Thanks again for the help and I hope you guys can walk me through I first rebuild.

Kyle!
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Big Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To run a 1996-2003 Vortec motor on a carb you rip off the EFI stuff (sensors and wires, about 23 in total from memory) and install a carburetor on top of an aluminum manifold and throw in an aftermarket small cap HEI distributor with a separate coil. Since it is no longer computer controlled you can now install a more aggressive cam since a carb is not only easier to tune than efi but is much more forgiving as changes in manifold pressure.

Details is everything in the hot rod world as nothing works well unless everything is fitted and screwed together correctly. For the small block Chevy I recommend Rick Voegelin's "The Step by Step Guide to Engine Blueprinting", a similar book centering on the small block Ford was written by Tom Monroe entitled "Engine Builders Handbook". I also strongly recommend you buy and read David Vizard's many books on building (designing more than building by which I mean picking the correct parts to work together) motors.

Mr. Vizard was an engineer for Chrysler but has also worked with both Ford and GM. He is best known for his independent testing of aftermarket parts to see how well they actually work without the bias of advertising dollars affecting the outcome in any way (at least so long as people continue to buy his books anyway). He has a very clear and tactile way of explaining engineering principles so that a layman may understand what is happening inside his motor and why a certain combination of parts will work better together while choosing only one of them alone will kill a stock motor.

Big Dave (gotta plug a fellow engineer).


Last edited by Big Dave on Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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squeeezer
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rule #1 cleanliness is godliness

clean

then

clean some more

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clay
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can get you some ISBN #'s for Vizard's books and some others I have found useful over the years. I've posted them on here somewhere in the past, I'll have to dig it up. Squeezer pointed out one major detail - cleanliness. When we say an engine is clean and ready to assemble, we don't mean like it comes from the machine shop in the plastic bag. We mean it has been throughly washed with HOT water and soap, blown dry, and all cylinders wiped down with something like WD-40 and a clean paper towel until it wipes completely clean - no discoloration. All gasket mating surfaces need to be cleaned with brake cleaner or something equivalent like rubbing alcohol. Another example of the details taking care of the big things is bearing clearances. If you get them set correctly, oil pressure will be there, no problem. As Big Dave pointed out, our motto is "bolt on parts won't" meaning almost everything requires a certain amount of "finessing" to make it better. An example of this is on my recent build, the radius on the crank barely interfered with the bearing insert throwing off my end play measurements. Simple clearancing with a scraper solved it. The Vortech engine I mentioned is mostly a standard SBC with the sealing improvements I mentioned. Most of the sensors you will remove are located on the intake itself. Edelbrock sells intakes that allow you to easily stick a carburetor on it. If you go this route, keep in mind the heads do have a pretty low lift limit, so this will keep you mild on the camshaft and not you get wild (which is good). About the only other one is located in the timing chain cover - crank postion sensor. Chevrolet does make a cover without the sensor mounting hole as you have to replace this cover at rebuild (it's plastic). Part #'s for both covers are molded into the cover itself (actually pretty smart for Chevy for a change). Like I said before, this engine is pretty impressive completely stock internally. You could just do a re-ring job to start with to get you familar with the entire process. That way you aren't swapping in a lot of different parts and this almost eliminates having to finess a lot of parts. Sorry for the ramble, I'll try to find that post with the books in it. Clay
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clay
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the excerpt from the post with the book info.
Quote:
Here is the information on some of the better books I have.
1. How To Build Max. Performance Small Blocks On A Budget
By David Vizard ISBN# 1-884089-34-8
2. How to Build And Modify Chevrolet Small Block Cylinder Heads
By David Vizard ISBN# 0-87938-547-2
3. How to Build Horsepower Vol. 1
By David Vizard ISBN# 0-931472-24-5
4. How to Build Horsepower Vol. 2 Carburetors and Intake Manifold
By David Vizard ISBN# 1-884089-14-3
5. How to Build and Modify Chevrolet Small Block V-8
Camshafts and Valvetrains
By David Vizard ISBN# 0-87938-595-2
6. Small Block Chevy Engine Buildups
From Chevy High Performance ISBN# 1-5578-400-5
7. Horsepower Handbook
From Hot Rod Magazine ISBN# 0-7603-1814-X
The first two I listed are to me the most beneficial to you right now. #3 repeats a lot of what is in #1. #4 is beneficial if you plan to extensively modify a manifold or carburetor - I haven't really used much out of it. #5 is pretty good to read - it talks a good bit about camshaft selection for specific uses and setting up the complete valvetrain. #6 and #7 are made up of articles from the magazines. I like them because they get all the best articles in one place - you don't have to try to find them in a 5 year old stack of magazines. Good to look at and get ideas. Other than that, I pretty much agree with all of the advice that has been given so far. All I can say is right now - read, read, read. Get information from any source you can to learn. Keep in mind, people are trying to sell parts at times, so you have to take some information as so. Clay

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BillyGoatBluff
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a a few days, I've been busy with work this week. Thanks a lot for all the info guys! Clay I think I'm gonna get all those books as soon as I can get to the city, and read them cover to cover. I'm gonna try and find a motor soon also, so I'll be back with more questions soon, thanks for all the tips so far.

Kyle.
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