Crank completion – finally!

I finished up the rod journals.  They only needed two goes with 600 grit before polishing.  So I’m hoping all will be good with .001 undersize rod bearings. But before that I cleaned out the crank oil passages.  Using my .22 gun cleaning kit and some small white patches, it worked well.  The first few back and forthings gave me a dirty patch.

Just a couple more goes and the patches came out pretty clean.  I then oiled up a new patch and ran it back and forth a few times.  Finally I gave each passage a blast of air to be sure no fibers from the patches remain.

The crank polishing is complete including the front snout and the rear main seal contact area.  The crank looked so nice I couldn’t leave the rusty rear flange even though it would not have affected anything and it isn’t in view.  But, like using brass recessed plugs it is nice to go the extra bit to clean up the rust.  I taped off the rear main seal contact area, sanded the majority of the rust off and put on a coat of satin black rust paint.  One more coat should do it fine. No paint on the back face where the flex plate will be mounted.

  Before I start installing the crank I decided to install the camshaft.  It is easier to ease it into place without the crank in the way.  All that holds it in place is the cam plate with a spacer sitting inside.  The spacer will keep the cam gear away from the cam plate.  The clearance is the difference between the thickness of the cam spacer and the cam plate.

I cleaned up both parts with 800 grit sandpaper before taking the measurements.  The clearance is supposed to be between .003 and .006.  Using my dial caliper I found it to be about .005.  Good enough to install.

Time to get out the engine assembly lube.  This stuff is about as thick as STP and maybe even more sticky.  I will put it on all the bearing, gear and other surfaces that are lubricated by engine oil.  It will save the engine until the oil starts to flow.

A shot of the cam in place with its coating of assembly lube.  I also coated the cam bearings and cam bearing surfaces.

The cam is in place.  I used shake free washers as they are about as thick as the original lock washers.  Not sure why such a small lock washer was used, but I’m not going to take the chance that the bolt heads stick out too far.  The threads were coated with Permatex thread sealant and torqued to spec – this likely over torques the bolts slightly as the torque numbers usually refer to clean and dry threads.  Oily threads should be torqued 10% less to account for the slippery threads.

The cam spacer is recessed in this shot.  The installation of the cam gear will pull the cam and spacer forward until the cam buts up against the back of the cam plate.  The spacer then provides the necessary clearance for the cam to move freely back and forth without binding.

Next is the crank installation.  Looking at the photo above reminds me to install the oil gallery plugs too!

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