I Might Just Know What I'm Talking About
Join Date: Sep 1999
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Re: rebuilding an engine
Well let's keep our heads about us here...
My very first car project was a 67 impala fastback, 327, 4 barrel. Ran when I got it, but it had a bad cam - flattened lobes. I wanted to learn how a motor worked, so.....
I got a ridge reamer, took it all apart, checked to make sure things weren't beat to crap, bought new parts, and put it back together. Sent the heads out to a machine shop for a valve job. I put new rings on the pistons (just ran them onto the pistons with my hands), ran one of those hones down the bores on the end of a hand drill, dipped the new bearings in motor oil, bought a cam and some cam lube, new lifters, and bolted it all together. Bought a typical "rebuild kit" from the local speed shop. Gaskets, oil pump, bearings, timing chain and gears, etc.
Thing ran great for years. Was a great car, too.
Things don't always have to be perfect. So, measure your parts - bores, crank - make sure you buy the right parts. If you can get an inside mic, measure the bores to see if they're egg shaped. If they're not bad (find a spec for the motor you're using) don't sweat it.
Obviously, if the crank is all scored, or you find a spun bearing, or obviously damaged parts, shouldn't be reused. If it all looks ok though when you take it apart, just worn, just put in fresh parts and go to town.
Is this the best? No.
Does it work? Sure.
How long will it last? Not as long as a perfectly built motor.
But it's only a jeep, and the 6 cyl jeep motor is no rev monster. It doesn't all need to be balanced and blueprinted.
I used to shift that 327 at 5000 rpm, ran great. Now, I was fortunate, I got to hear the motor run before taking it apart, so I knew it had no serious knocks, or that kind of thing. Still, it had like 130,000 on it when I "rebuilt" it.
Just my $0.02.