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» Assembly Tips

Ford Modular Oil Pumps

GM LS Oil Pumps

Oil Volume vs. Oil Pressure

Oil pump pressure and flow

We wanted to take a moment to give our customers a few simple tips that will increase the success and the life of their engine rebuild.  While this is not an all-inclusive list, we hope to address many common issues our customers face.  Any engine assembly will require the proper tools and experience to be successful. 

45.4% of bearing failures are due to dirt or debris in the oiling system of the engine.*  Here at C&P Machine we clean every engine we assemble,  inspect every engine part, and carefully assemble the engine in a clean room separated from the rest of the machining operations of our facility.  You should clean your parts even if they have been degreased in a machine shop.  It is the engine assembler’s responsibility to do the final cleaning of each component.

We recommend using hot soapy water to clean your engine block, running brushes into the cylinders and oil galleys, and using compressed air to remove any remaining water from the block.  After polishing, crankshafts are sprayed with rust inhibitors and should be cleaned. Our parts department can help you with the proper oil galley and cylinder brushes that will make this task easier.

Thoroughly clean your engine prior to assembly.

While assembling your engine it is recommended to use connecting rod boots that cover the rod bolts.  It’s very easy to introduce burrs onto a crankshaft when installing the rod & piston assembly.  Using these will prevent damaging the crankshaft.

Cover the rod bolts during assembly.
bolt boots

36.8% of bearing failures are caused by misassembly, misalignment, or insufficient lubrication.*  Properly checking your bearing clearance could prevent many of these failures.  Plastigage is a strip of waxy material that, when installed between the bearing and crankshaft journal, will flatten out as the cap is torqued.

It comes with a scale to convert the width of the wax strip to the actual clearance.  Our skilled staff can explain the proper procedure for using plastigage.  It is still recommended to use plastigage even when your components have been machined to size.

Check bearing clearances using plastigage.

Prior to installing the rings on your pistons you should carefully put the compression ring into the cylinder bore and measure the end gap using a feeler gauge.  This check can catch cylinders that are the incorrect size, mispackaged rings, or you may have rings that are considered “file fit.”

In many performance applications file fit rings are sold because each engine’s cylinder bores may be different, and you gain more control over having the proper end gap.  Once again, our skilled staff can guide you on the proper end gap and measuring procedure for your engine.

Check your piston ring end gap using feeler gauges.

This can vary depending on your engine, and application.  Many passenger car and street performance engines will require special additives to be added to the engine oil prior to break in.   Engine oils of today have changed dramatically from what they were in years past.

Stricter environmental controls have eliminated many of the beneficial ingredients such as Zinc and Phosphorus.  Under running conditions these additives help form a barrier between the camshaft and lifters preventing failure on break in.   If required for your application, we recommended purchasing an engine oil break-in oil additive that contains these ingredients. Add before your break in, and with the first oil change.

Use proper oil additive during engine break in.

We assemble engines every day here at C&P Machine and are happy to assemble your reconditioned engine for you as well.  Contact our service department for more information.