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primolee

1976 '02 engine rebuilding with engine left in car

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Hi, I have a 76 '02 and I want to put new rings and bearings in it and leave the block in the car, has anyone done this and if so how difficult was it to do? Thanks, Bill

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Guest Anonymous

Your about 10 bolts away from making a job that's hard into a job that's easy.

You do something called "Rolling in bearings". Also leaving it in there will prevent replacement of the rear main seal. You'll also need to get a hand cylinder hone. Very similar to how farm tractors are done. Out in a field.

You pull a main cap. Roll out the uppershell out the bottom. Roll a new bearing around the crank journal into the upper spot. Replace the bottom.

Some people will call this a "ghetto" rebuild. Rightfully so.

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...do you wash your underpants while wearing them in the shower ?

same thing here. Think it all the way through.

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...do you wash your underpants while wearing them in the shower ?

I'd like to nominate this for best FAQ quote of the month...

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I would rather get a car with a worn out smoking & knocking engine than ever get stuck with a backyard rebuild like that.

Seriously, this is a very bad idea... How do you expect to hone the cylinders without all the abrasive grit & cast iron flying all over into places you'd never be able to clean? An oily block that is still half assembled is like fly paper to catch that sh*t which will contaminate the whole works

It's not that hard to take it out & disassemble it properly to allow a proper cleaning after any machine work (even if it's just dingle ball brush hone to break glaze you're going to need to wash it more thoroughly than you ever could in the car.

Not to mention how many engines have issues not long after some shade tree bearing swap is performed without regard to checking & resizing rod & main bores as required. You can't see when the bearing bores are pinched across the parting line (like they tend to be after hard use) by plastigage.

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Guest Anonymous
I would rather get a car with a worn out smoking & knocking engine than ever get stuck with a backyard rebuild like that.

Seriously, this is a very bad idea... How do you expect to hone the cylinders without all the abrasive grit & cast iron flying all over into places you'd never be able to clean? An oily block that is still half assembled is like fly paper to catch that sh*t which will contaminate the whole works

It's not that hard to take it out & disassemble it properly to allow a proper cleaning after any machine work (even if it's just dingle ball brush hone to break glaze you're going to need to wash it more thoroughly than you ever could in the car.

Not to mention how many engines have issues not long after some shade tree bearing swap is performed without regard to checking & resizing rod & main bores as required. You can't see when the bearing bores are pinched across the parting line (like they tend to be after hard use) by plastigage.

While this sounds like a crazy idea. If you've been around for many moons, You'll find that kwikway's FN boring bar which is like the standard automotive shop boring bar.. Is defined by kwikway as portable. Why is that? Say you had a cylinder that required boring because a piston broke a ring. This was in a farm tractor that was in the middle of a field. What you would do is take the piston and rod out of the cylinder behind it. Install the kwikway mounting post in the rear cylinder. Drag a generator and that Boring bar out there. Mask off everything. Bore the hole. Then take a real hone head. Not a dingleberry hone. Mount it in a heavy duty 1/2" drill and hone the block. WD-40 or motor oil was used as lubricant. Wash off the grit. Untape the surfaces and put it back together. This is quite common place on industrial engines. Also pistons didn't come in oversizes and they weren't cammed. Pistons came in a large casting and they were turned down on a lathe at the machine shop to fit your engine. Ahhh the old days.

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You guys are making me feel bad. I replaced the rod bearings, piston rings, head gasket and (flex) honed the bores in my 150K engine last year - with the engine still in the car. The engine was rebuilt by a PO about 10,000 miles ago, but it was down on power due to multiple issues.

Would I do it again? Probably not. You cannot access all the portions of the engine easily while still in the car.

Why did I do it this way? The head gasket was suspect after my uneven compression figures (front to back). The block was already 2nd oversize and the pistons looked very good after a thorough scrubbing and checking the ring lands with a feeler gauge. The cylinder head had to be surfaced due to a poor previous machine job - it's now at the minimum thickness.

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Now that's funny Oldguy02-1 I bought an old Kwikway boring bar that earned it's keep at an old Chevrolet Dealership for years. They hadn't used it since the 60's and we use it for boring KB liners in a dedicated fixture.

Having hand honed a lot of blocks, the thrill of the hone hanging on the main web is priceless. Especially with a 3/4 drill motor 1/2 inchers don't cut it, not enough power and too fast.

The CK10 was a giant step froward.

An in frame rebuild really is a poor choice, although common to trucks, locomotives, and tractors, it is just too easy to remove the engine and do a proper job.

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Hi, to all that replied I thought this was a bad idea when someome mentioned it to me, I have rebuilt a lot of motors and never heard of doing this, now I know that this was a stupid thought in the first place. Afterall there is nothing better looking than a freshly hot tanked and preped block on a stand getting ready to put the good stuff back in. Please forgive me for a brief moment of insanity. Bill

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IMHO: It isn't a terrible idea in theory but there are a lot of gotchas that mean you will end up pulling the engine anyway. What if the crank or rod journals are egg shaped for instance? Kind of a test of character when you start mic'n stuff and find out it's out of round or at the limit of specs. It's really a crap shoot. You maybe save a couple of hours but need to replace your clutch or rear main seal in another 4,000 miles.

More memory lane: I vaguely remember there even was a tool for grinding rod journals with the engine in the car and the crank still in. Lots of spun bearings and holed pistons back in the dark age of lubricants and metals.

Rick

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