The green paint on the Austin engine has dried and the infamous self-peeling tape has left the building, which means it’s assembly time for Davin. Of course, assembly is a lot more than just bolting things together, and this time around there are tips to be shared and lessons to be learned about why the engine assembly process is, well, a process.
The bare block is cleaned, painted, and ready for the fun part of installing the bottom end. Before Davin can go about pressing the cam bearings into place, he needs to reference the photos he took during disassembly. You hear him talk about taking reference photos before and during every rebuild, and it’s moments like this when they can make your life so much easier. The cam bearings have a few relief cuts and directional oil holes that need to be clocked correctly. A quick look at photos from disassembly makes the process fast.
Next up, it’s time to check the machine work. This isn’t Davin saying he doesn’t have faith in the team at the machine shop to do it correctly, but more of an assurance that once he starts putting pieces together everything will actually work. Bearings can be accidentally packaged wrong, measurements can be goofed, and if either one of those happens you want to know before you are trying to torque things down and wondering what happened. In this case, it comes down to confirming the rod bearings are incorrect. Davin was optimistic and ordered standard-sized bearings before dropping the crank off at the machine shop, where it was discovered that the rod journals would need to cut one size under after all.
That hiccup is not going to stop Davin from making progress though, and he pivots to installing the crank. Same process, measure the assembled bearings and fresh crankshaft to make sure that oil clearance is correct before slathering it all with assembly lube and torquing down the caps. It was also a quick projects to assemble the valves into the cylinder head before the roadblocks stacked up enough to hinder progress.
New bearings will be in shortly, so be sure to tune in next week to see the continued progress on this engine and the many other projects currently running in the Redline Garage.
— Kyle Smith
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