351 Cleveland Rebuild

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The Bottom End:

In the beginning
The block comes back
Pistons and Rods
Windage Tray and Cam Timing
The Timing Set
The Eccentric Problem
First Solution to the Eccentric Problem
Final Solution to the Eccentric Problem
Oiling Part 1: Pump and pickup
Oiling Part 2: External Plumbing

The Top End:

The 4V Heads
Putting the Heads On the Block
Installing the Hydraulic Roller Conversion Kit

The Transmission:

The Case:


Darryl's Stang Stable

The Block and Bottom End:
Installing Pistons and Rods

Originally I had wanted to bore the block .010 over. I had mic'd it as being under that value, but pulled a real dumbass attack when ridge-reaming the block. The bottom line is, never ridge-ream unless you can't get the pistons out. And even then, you might as well not worry about breaking the pistons since they are going to be too small anyway. Okay, on with the show.

So I get the block bored .030 over, and I wanted to put Keith Black hyperuetectic pistons in, but Keith Black seems to not want to sell us any, so we end up with Federal Mogul hyyperuetectic Flat Top Pistons and moly rings.

Here you see the self-described master at work. We are installing the rings in accordance with the factory manual's illustration. We are holding the piston rod in a vise (use blocks or sticks of wood to prevent damage to the rod). Using a ring spreader is a good idea since you run the risk of breaking a ring if you "spiral" them on. The machine shop had already mounted the pistons on the rods for me, so I didn't have to do that part. I just made sure each piston moved freely on the wrist pin. Oil everything up and install a ring compressor.
Placing a piece of rubber fuel line on each rod bolt, the piston is inserted to the cylinder bore with the arrow toward the front of the block. I use the handle end of a plastic hammer and gently tap in the piston past the ring compressor. Sometimes a gentle re-alignment of the compressor is in order so you don't cath the rings on the block when pushing in.
From the bottom end, the rod is mated with the journal and the rubber hose removed from each rod bolt. The rubber is to protect the crank journals from damage when installing the pistons and rods. A piece of Plasti-gage is then placed and the rod cap torqued to spec. Again, we are checking for clearances and referencing them back to the factory manual.
No close up photography yet. The arrow is pointing to the Plasti-gage paper gage that shows what the clearance is, based on the width of the Plasti-gage after torquing the cap. These clearances are very critical for a good running, long lasting engine.

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