Engine Rebuild Day 3 - Sunday July 20

Well apart for an interruption for the British GP (what a superb race, so much great overtaking) I worked all day on stripping the motor.  You can see it in various stages of undress below.

All the bits virtually fell off compared to the first time I stripped it down, but I suppose it has only done 4,000 miles and red hermitite was still not dry.  The only problem I had was getting the strainer and oil pump off.

A comparison of the new and old heads.  It doesn't look like the old valves were that small, but its deceptive as the old head is closer and appears larger (look at its overall width).

I then started to rebuild the block with my reconditioned 302 crank to a level where I could check the piston to valve gap.  When the main caps were bolted down (not tight) the crank spun very freely.  I carefully installed the new Edelbrock cam.

I did hit a problem with the new crank.  Someone had obviously used a Mexican wrench to remove the damper and the score marks stopped the new timing chain gear from going on.  I used some emery paper and a block to smooth the dents.  I tried removing the crank key to make the rubbing down easier but it wouldn't budge, so I was forced to work around it.  Anyway eventually I could just push on the cog and remove it without it jamming or being loose.

I then installed one of my new rods and pistons (without rings!).  The bolts on the rods were done up really tight which necessitated putting the rod in a vice (in an ally sandwich to avoid damage) and even using my breaker bar to shift the nuts.  Maybe they are shipped like this for a reason (to avoid them going out of round??)

MAJOR PROBLEM.  I had installed the piston to check clearance to the head but thought the piston rather sloppy so I checked it with a feeler gauge.  These pistons should be 1.5 to 2 THOU clearance to the bore, but at the top and for about 1.5" in I could insert a 0.5mm (20 thou) feeler!

So then I started to think why should there be such a huge gap.  I will have to measure the old pistons but since I did notice some wear on the skirts, I think these were sloppy too.  I am concerned about the machining I had done 3 years ago now.  He re-bored from a unrestored block which had bores close to 4.000 ins to +030 oversize.  Should you expect to get this amount of wear in 4,000 miles, I think not.