engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

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engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by BlackKnight » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:46 pm

i want to personally assemble my own engine this time around, and i have bought micrometers and other necessary tools. i am also considering the book by don terrill (the horsepower chain), in an effort to find as many assembly tips as possible to make as much power as possible. anyone know of this book and whether it's worth buying or not? my end question is to engine builders/assemblers; are there any horsepower tips or tricks involved with assembling an engine to make more power, or create a more efficient engine?

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by PackardV8 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:45 pm

There isn't any horsepower in assembly. You can't make it better; all you can hope for is not to make a mistake which makes it go blooey. All the parts are bought, machining done, clearances should have already been verified, so all the horsepower should have already been built in. By the time we're at the assembly stage, it's just a matter of not making any mistakes and getting the engine through break-in.

You mentioned having bought micrometers. Always good to have and always verify each part and whatever it's going in/rubbing against. However, even if you have an inside micrometer, it's not going to be as accurate as the dial bore gauge your machinist should have used to do his final before you get the block/rods back for assembly. For your peace of mind, learn to use the micrometers and if you see something you don't understand, go back to the source and ask. Don't accuse; just ask, "I'm reading this on my mic and I thought it should be that. Can you help me figure out what's going on here." Anyway every dimension should have already been verified before final assembly begins. Micrometers don't belong during assembly.

If you haven't done the same engine a dozen times, have a Shop Manual on the bench and read the whole thing the night before and each step as you progress.

Start fresh in the morning. Don't have any friends, relations, helpers around. Turn off the phone and the music. All the thousands of dollars and dozens of hours will be worthless if mistakes are made here. Some leave ring gap til assembly, but I prefer to have everything sized, cleaned and laid out.

It's old school but I dip the assembled rod/piston/rings in whatever oil is going to be used for break-in and wiggle the pin side to side in the piston. Dry piston pins are a BAD THING.

Again, I've got an old 5-gal pail of moly/graphite grease and dip each pushrod end, rocker tip/ball and lifter in that prior to assembly, then coat each cam lobe with same.

Has your torque wrench been calibrated recently?

Do you have all the sealants, lubricants, gaskets on hand and laid out?

It ain't rocket science, but mistakes are expensive. Make sure you've allowed twice as many hours as you think it should take. Have fun and let us know how it runs.
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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by Turborick » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:51 pm

PackardV8 wrote:There isn't any horsepower in assembly. You can't make it better; all you can hope for is not to make a mistake which makes it go blooey. All the parts are bought, machining done, clearances should have already been verified, so all the horsepower should have already been built in. By the time we're at the assembly stage, it's just a matter of not making any mistakes and getting the engine through break-in.

You mentioned having bought micrometers. Always good to have and always verify each part and whatever it's going in/rubbing against. However, even if you have an inside micrometer, it's not going to be as accurate as the dial bore gauge your machinist should have used to do his final before you get the block/rods back for assembly. For your peace of mind, learn to use the micrometers and if you see something you don't understand, go back to the source and ask. Don't accuse; just ask, "I'm reading this on my mic and I thought it should be that. Can you help me figure out what's going on here." Anyway every dimension should have already been verified before final assembly begins. Micrometers don't belong during assembly.

If you haven't done the same engine a dozen times, have a Shop Manual on the bench and read the whole thing the night before and each step as you progress.

Start fresh in the morning. Don't have any friends, relations, helpers around. Turn off the phone and the music. All the thousands of dollars and dozens of hours will be worthless if mistakes are made here. Some leave ring gap til assembly, but I prefer to have everything sized, cleaned and laid out.

It's old school but I dip the assembled rod/piston/rings in whatever oil is going to be used for break-in and wiggle the pin side to side in the piston. Dry piston pins are a BAD THING.

Again, I've got an old 5-gal pail of moly/graphite grease and dip each pushrod end, rocker tip/ball and lifter in that prior to assembly, then coat each cam lobe with same.

Has your torque wrench been calibrated recently?

Do you have all the sealants, lubricants, gaskets on hand and laid out?

It ain't rocket science, but mistakes are expensive. Make sure you've allowed twice as many hours as you think it should take. Have fun and let us know how it runs.
Great advice!!!!
Rick Yacoucci

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by Dragsinger » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:01 pm

"It's old school but I dip the assembled rod/piston/rings in whatever oil is going to be used "

Mr Packard, I completely agree. It is old school but I don't care. I can not bring myself to assemble with dry rings, pistons, cylinders. I do not dip the assemble but it is liberally oiled as it goes in the bore.

My engines run excellently, have a good service life, win races. I will stay with old school,
Larry Woodfin, Flyn with the Race Bird

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by dirtracr5 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:10 pm

imo there is definitely power in assembly. it must be done right with correct practices. ring seal is greatly affected by assembly.

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by ProPower engines » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:44 pm

Dragsinger wrote:"It's old school but I dip the assembled rod/piston/rings in whatever oil is going to be used "

Mr Packard, I completely agree. It is old school but I don't care. I can not bring myself to assemble with dry rings, pistons, cylinders. I do not dip the assemble but it is liberally oiled as it goes in the bore.

My engines run excellently, have a good service life, win races. I will stay with old school,

There are ring packs that will never seat using the old school dip it in the bucket of oil deal.
I have seen many engines never seat period using too much lube on the piston and rings.
The ring manufactures such as total seal will tell you the same thing. and I learned that the hard way better then 25yrs ago.
Too much lube is just as bad as not enough in the right places.
With todays smooth bore finishes and skinny ring sets too much lube during assembly is as bad as synthetic oil use during break in. As we all know that is a no no so why would you not want to follow the advise of the ring manufacture???
Total seal has a product called kwik seat which we all have seen or used. That is a dry film lube applied to the bores sparingly and while a small amount of lube is applied to the skirt only in 200+ race only engines in the last 5 yrs I have had no ill affects with respect to ring seal or skirt scuffing etc.
Hell HP import engines I do get no more then a shot of CRC on the bores during assembly and rings seat right away and last for years on the street/track

Just saying too much lube behind the rings will not allow them to seat correctly or the will take a very long time to finally seat and seal.
JMO
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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by BlackKnight » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:51 pm

PackardV8 wrote:There isn't any horsepower in assembly. You can't make it better; all you can hope for is not to make a mistake which makes it go blooey. All the parts are bought, machining done, clearances should have already been verified, so all the horsepower should have already been built in. By the time we're at the assembly stage, it's just a matter of not making any mistakes and getting the engine through break-in.

You mentioned having bought micrometers. Always good to have and always verify each part and whatever it's going in/rubbing against. However, even if you have an inside micrometer, it's not going to be as accurate as the dial bore gauge your machinist should have used to do his final before you get the block/rods back for assembly. For your peace of mind, learn to use the micrometers and if you see something you don't understand, go back to the source and ask. Don't accuse; just ask, "I'm reading this on my mic and I thought it should be that. Can you help me figure out what's going on here." Anyway every dimension should have already been verified before final assembly begins. Micrometers don't belong during assembly.

If you haven't done the same engine a dozen times, have a Shop Manual on the bench and read the whole thing the night before and each step as you progress.

Start fresh in the morning. Don't have any friends, relations, helpers around. Turn off the phone and the music. All the thousands of dollars and dozens of hours will be worthless if mistakes are made here. Some leave ring gap til assembly, but I prefer to have everything sized, cleaned and laid out.

It's old school but I dip the assembled rod/piston/rings in whatever oil is going to be used for break-in and wiggle the pin side to side in the piston. Dry piston pins are a BAD THING.

Again, I've got an old 5-gal pail of moly/graphite grease and dip each pushrod end, rocker tip/ball and lifter in that prior to assembly, then coat each cam lobe with same.

Has your torque wrench been calibrated recently?

Do you have all the sealants, lubricants, gaskets on hand and laid out?

It ain't rocket science, but mistakes are expensive. Make sure you've allowed twice as many hours as you think it should take. Have fun and let us know how it runs.
The above imformation is my new bible, and I can't thank you enough. I will let you know how it turns out. It should be a nice peice. Ford race block, 3.90 x 4.155, 16:1, C3s and other stuff that's pretty good.

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by BlackKnight » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:10 pm

dirtracr5 wrote:imo there is definitely power in assembly. it must be done right with correct practices. ring seal is greatly affected by assembly.
Care to go deeper with this? I was looking for something like this.

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by BlackKnight » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:14 pm

There are ring packs that will never seat using the old school dip it in the bucket of oil deal.
I have seen many engines never seat period using too much lube on the piston and rings.
The ring manufactures such as total seal will tell you the same thing. and I learned that the hard way better then 25yrs ago.
Too much lube is just as bad as not enough in the right places.
With todays smooth bore finishes and skinny ring sets too much lube during assembly is as bad as synthetic oil use during break in. As we all know that is a no no so why would you not want to follow the advise of the ring manufacture???
Total seal has a product called kwik seat which we all have seen or used. That is a dry film lube applied to the bores sparingly and while a small amount of lube is applied to the skirt only in 200+ race only engines in the last 5 yrs I have had no ill affects with respect to ring seal or skirt scuffing etc.
Hell HP import engines I do get no more then a shot of CRC on the bores during assembly and rings seat right away and last for years on the street/track

Just saying too much lube behind the rings will not allow them to seat correctly or the will take a very long time to finally seat and seal.
JMO[/quote]

So, oil everything except the rings and lightly coat the pistons with the oil I intend to use, and buy some the kwik seal. Got it, thanks.

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by dirtracr5 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:22 pm

cleanliness is #1 to making power and getting best ring seal. setting up proper ring gap, centering the heads on the bores as best as possible, intake to head alignment, cam timing are a few little things that add up. its more than just a matter of "putting it together".

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Re: engine assembly horsepower tricks/tips

Post by ProPower engines » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:00 am

Just saying too much lube behind the rings will not allow them to seat correctly or the will take a very long time to finally seat and seal.
JMO[/quote]

So, oil everything except the rings and lightly coat the pistons with the oil I intend to use, and buy some the kwik seal. Got it, thanks.[/quote]

Kwik seat is only for smooth bore finishes. Having the block finished for a moly ring by most basic shops is finishing with a 625 stone which is not smooth enough.
If you do a google search on honing sealed power moly rings there is an informative article regarding bore finish that was conceived by FM to maintain a proper finish for optimum ring seal and longevity without tearing the moly out of the groove in the top ring. I use it on every block that goes out of here regardless of what its for either stock or HP all the same way.

When you show this procedure to plain jane OEM repair shops they just look at you like you got 3 heads and they will ask who came up with this stupid deal. You can show them that the rings they sold you need to have the bores finished in this manner it's called plateau honing and its done in several steps to arrive at finished size.
Then the kwik seat will benifit and allow the rings to seat in almost the first minute of run time and you will see the vent stop breathing when they are.

But regular shops don't do it this way and if you present this to them the test is a finger nail will not catch or a penny will not leave a mark on the bore finish. I have seen some shops just use a cast ring finish and give the bores a few strokes with a ball hone and say its done right.
Ring seal is free HP and blow by is lost HP.
Next week the class will discuss gas porting of pistons HA HA
Real Race Cars Don't Have Doors

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by steve cowan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:33 am

the best money i ever spent was buying reher and morrison engine assembly book $90 it covers everything you can think of-i am with propower i use crc/inox on the rings and joe gibbs assembly grease and assembly lube on rotating parts 2-3% leakdown on all of my n20 engines,cleanliness,no dust or lint-as far as blueprinting goes-ring seal,correct quench for the application,cam timing(i degree each cylinder to make sure the cam is ground correctly) rocker geometry,correct alignment of intake,exhaust manifolds,also block prep-de burr oil return etc i also use a stretch gauge for rod bolts-there is no easy way it takes years and years and alot of mistakes. nobody ever knows everything we are always learning,what i will say is there are some very smart people here on speedtalk and they will send you in the right direction.

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by fdicrasto » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:17 am

dirtracr5 wrote:cleanliness is #1 to making power and getting best ring seal. setting up proper ring gap, centering the heads on the bores as best as possible, intake to head alignment, cam timing are a few little things that add up. its more than just a matter of "putting it together".
The cleanliness part and ring seal is extremely important. Just for an eyeopener, take a white paper towel,a quick shot of carb cleaner spray and vigorously wipe and rub down a cylinder wall and see what you come up with. Then consider what you find on the paper towel will want to become adhered to the piston skirt and ring face. There is where horsepower and assembly standards coincide! Phil D.

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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by 900HP » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:14 am

steve cowan wrote:the best money i ever spent was buying reher and morrison engine assembly book $90 it covers everything you can think of-i am with propower i use crc/inox on the rings and joe gibbs assembly grease and assembly lube on rotating parts 2-3% leakdown on all of my n20 engines,cleanliness,no dust or lint-as far as blueprinting goes-ring seal,correct quench for the application,cam timing(i degree each cylinder to make sure the cam is ground correctly) rocker geometry,correct alignment of intake,exhaust manifolds,also block prep-de burr oil return etc i also use a stretch gauge for rod bolts-there is no easy way it takes years and years and alot of mistakes. nobody ever knows everything we are always learning,what i will say is there are some very smart people here on speedtalk and they will send you in the right direction.
This is perhaps the best advice in this thread for a first-time builder. EXCELLENT reference book.

Clean, clean, clean, clean, and clean some more................... the engine should be cleaner than anything you eat off of.
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Re: engine assemply horsepower tricks/tips

Post by racinnut15xm » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:31 am

I see a couple folks mention intake alignment. This is one i've always had issues with. How can you assure you get it properly seated? You spend all that money on porting/gasket matching and then its not lined up.

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