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Unread 06-04-2008, 10:29 PM   #1
CJman77
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1977 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Nokomis, Florida
Posts: 726
What do I really need to rebuild my SBC 350?

Okay I want to rebuild my 350. What kind of tools do I REALLY need to get this done?

First I am almost finished disassembling it how the books I have says. Then I will take it to the Machine Shop. And have the block and the crank honed

Now they will tell me the size pistons I need. Will they tell me the size bearing, etc. I need also?

And when I have all this I have to then buy a engine kit. And reassemble by the book. Now will I have to measure all this like the book says? Or can I "trust" the machine shop?

I am really confident I can do this...But the entire part about measuring clearances and assembly stuff is just making me a bit nervous. Trying to decide if I really need 300 or more bucks in new tools.

Thanks

brian

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Unread 06-05-2008, 06:52 AM   #2
HackFabrication
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1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Canton, Michigan
Posts: 2,556
Just my take on most of the stuff I've had 'proffessionals' do: Trust no one, unless you're right there watching every step of the way.

You will need:

Feeler gauges to check ring end gaps and piston clearance
Ring Expander (I don't like doing this 'by hand')
Ring Compressor to install pistons with rings into cylinders
Rubber tubing to cover connecting rod bolts (so you don't score up the pretty cylinders or nick the pretty crankshaft)
Micrometer/Caliper (a decent one)
Bore gauge is nice, because... Well you just never know...
Torque wrench(s) (3/8" and 1/2" Get the click type. They are cheaper than the digitals, and nicer than the beams)
Plasti-gage kit to check crank/rod bearings
Dial Indicator and magnetic base (nice for checking a number of things)

There's probably a few more that I've forgotten, since I don't rebuild automotive engines anymore. It's more cost effective, IMO; to purchase a Short/Long Block or a Reman. Unless you're building some super exotic, one off, ultra high performance engine....

Personally, I would have the machine shop (if they have a good reputation) assemble the Long block for you. That way, they can do all the measuring/fitting. A reputable shop will check all the critical clearances, even if they've done the machining. Sometimes ya get a bearing, piston, piston ring that aren't right. Rings that are too loose or too tight are just bad news. Same with bearings.

I'm assuming they are also doing the heads? Because if you're assembling them yourself, there are a number of other specialty tools that you should have.

JMO: If you just gotta do it yourself: Have them assemble the short block and heads. Go get the assembled parts and put the engine back together. There's enough 'hands on' just doing that.
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Unread 06-05-2008, 07:02 AM   #3
BESRK
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1980 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Newport News, VA
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I'd at least check piston/bore clearance and bearing/crank clearance.

I got a bunch of parts back from a machine shop for a 327 I was building several years ago. They had turned the crank 20/20 but gave me 10/10 bearings. I didn't check clearances. Fired the engine up and had "0" oil pressure. At about 2000 rpm it had 5 psi or something like that. Sooooo... ended up pulling the engine, stripping it down and I found the bearing problem. I'd check.
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