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It’s not a speedy engine, but the Cadillac 365 is sure coming together fast. Davin has been cracking away over the last few weeks to clean the parts that are going to be re-used and source the parts that needed to be replaced. Now the time has come to start some reassemble processes, even though the block is still at the machine shop.
The main thing on the to-do list is to confirm the sizing on the big end of the connecting rods. The process is pretty simple, but there are a few tips that separate proper assembly from “just slapping it together.” The first is the clean and careful insertion of the bearing shells to the rod and rod cap. The final measurement is done down to ten-thousandth of an inch, and since foreign material between the bearing shell and the connecting rod will affect things, most engine assemblers will have a clean room where dirt and grime are banished to keep these precision parts exactly that—precise.
With the bearings placed, the cap is torqued in place as if it was being installed on the crankshaft. A key in this step is to make sure the threads of the rods bolts are properly lubricated so the torque spec is an accurate reflection of the clamping force between the two parts. Once clamped together, the diameter of the bearings is taken, numbers that can then be relayed to the team at Thirlby machine shop, which can cut the crankshaft to the perfect size.
The team at Thirlby has been busy while Davin was checking that clearance. The Caddy V-8 block got the cylinder mating surface decked and a 30-thousandths bore on the cylinder to match the new pistons. The next steps are to take everything back to the Redline Rebuild garage and start the real assembly.
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