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  1. #1
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    Default rod bearing prep

    whats the best way to prep a rod bearing for install.

    i have read that you shouldnt wipe them with a rag or anything since they are so fragile but i dont think that they should be installed without some type of cleaning.

    i am guessing that a spray with brake cleaner is all that is necessary but i just wanted to make sure.

  2. #2
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    I use a lint free rag and alcohol. Wipe both sides, clean the rods the same way, look closely for any trash- dirt, lint, cookie crumbs, nicks, dents, dings, just anything. Then install them in the rod, look at them again make sure they seated, put socks on the rod bolts, lube with your favorite assembly lube, and go. And all that is after everything gets measured.

    FWIW- I don't think they're all that fragile- I pulled a rod bearing half out of a brand new tire. Bearing was still round, but the tire was not. Flat and not repairable.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimAT View Post
    I use a lint free rag and alcohol. Wipe both sides, clean the rods the same way, look closely for any trash- dirt, lint, cookie crumbs, nicks, dents, dings, just anything. Then install them in the rod, look at them again make sure they seated, put socks on the rod bolts, lube with your favorite assembly lube, and go. And all that is after everything gets measured.

    FWIW- I don't think they're all that fragile- I pulled a rod bearing half out of a brand new tire. Bearing was still round, but the tire was not. Flat and not repairable.

    cool,
    i had read that you couldnt wipe the dull face of the bearing because it would mess them up.
    shop is going to measure and tell me what size to get once they are done with the block.

  4. #4
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    I never had a problem wiping one, but I'm not talking about scrubbing the crap out of it either. Just a lint-free rag with alcohol to make sure there are no goobers on either side. I've never done any coated bearings yet (It's coming with the next BB!)

    I like cotton or cheesecloth- it's soft enough if there are any defects it'll catch.

    Anotehr thing I like to do is take a flat file and break all the sharp corners at the bearing parting lines. Like where the 2 halves of the rod come together, just a tiny chamfer.

  5. #5
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    Bax , get the shop to assemble the bottom end , that way they take the can for any mess ups and clearance problems
    I assume they are a decent reputable machine shop.
    If not , rather take the whole thing to an experienced engine builder who knows chev V8's and let him laise with the machine shop.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gold View Post
    Bax , get the shop to assemble the bottom end , that way they take the can for any mess ups and clearance problems
    I assume they are a decent reputable machine shop.
    If not , rather take the whole thing to an experienced engine builder who knows chev V8's and let him laise with the machine shop.
    yes but that totally defeats the experience of learning how to do it myself.

    i bought the old vette for the sole experience of being able to work on it.
    if i mess something up.
    i take it back apart and do it over again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxsom View Post
    yes but that totally defeats the experience of learning how to do it myself.

    i bought the old vette for the sole experience of being able to work on it.
    if i mess something up.
    i take it back apart and do it over again.
    Good for you,I love your attitude. The best thing to do is find a competent engine builder and build it together,that way the mistakes don't become too costly.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxsom View Post
    yes but that totally defeats the experience of learning how to do it myself.

    i bought the old vette for the sole experience of being able to work on it.
    if i mess something up.
    i take it back apart and do it over again.
    Here, here!!!

    That's the spirit that got many of us into the hobby. The above is how I thought when I began working on cars. Now, I'll cop to, later, having gotten a degree in automotive service technology and going on to work several years in the trades, but I started on a DIY basis with putting a 350 into my 63 convertible.

    On bearings: take 'em out of the box, clean them with a sovent and a fine scotchbrite or Briterite pad, blow them off with shop air then install them. If you're using top quality bearings (which you should be in a street hi-po rebuild of your 454), you don't need to do anything more than that.

    Good luck and I like your attitude.

  9. #9
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    the shop that did my pistons and crank sent me clevites.
    they measured the ID of the rods and the OD of the crank and recommedned 30 unders. thats what came out of it. plus now i get to learn how to use plastigauge to check it all.


    its only money. if i totally screw the motor, i'll pull it again, figure out what went wrong and try again.

    its not a daily driver, its a keep me in the garage and out of the wifes hair car.

    worst month of my life was when it was running great and i hadnt thought of pulling the motor and rebuilding it.

  10. #10
    Jimmy C
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hib Halverson View Post
    Here, here!!!

    That's the spirit that got many of us into the hobby. The above is how I thought when I began working on cars. Now, I'll cop to, later, having gotten a degree in automotive service technology and going on to work several years in the trades, but I started on a DIY basis with putting a 350 into my 63 convertible.

    On bearings: take 'em out of the box, clean them with a sovent and a fine scotchbrite or Briterite pad, blow them off with shop air then install them. If you're using top quality bearings (which you should be in a street hi-po rebuild of your 454), you don't need to do anything more than that.

    Good luck and I like your attitude.

    Hib, Are you saying not to use some type of lube? I've always used two stroke oil on all my rebuilds. That's after I plasti-gauged each bearing f/ a fool proof job. I trust only what I see f/ myself. I've built several Chevys, big block and small block, besides Ford, Chrysler and a number of motorcycle engines, and the two stroke oil has always worked perfectly. My '62 Ford p/u engine, a 223ci 6 cyl., is still running great since rebuilding it in August, '89. Using the two stroke oil f/ assembly and spinning the pump until the oil comes through the push rods and rockers into the top of the heads prior to initially cranking the engine has never failed me.
    *** I'm sure you meant to lube the bearings after cleaning prior to installing.

    Bearings aren't fragile, but they can be "dinged" very easily as they're of soft material, easy to scratch and mar.

  11. #11
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    Good luck , you will learn a lot , to help you on your way my advice is to buy the 2 righteous bibles of BB building
    How to rebuild a Bb chevy
    Amazon.com: How to Rebuild Your Big Block Chevy: Tom Wilson: Books
    and How to hot rod a BB chevy
    How to Hotrod Big-Block Chevys: 396, 402, 427, 454 ó 1965 and Later

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy C View Post
    Hib, Are you saying not to use some type of lube?(snip)
    I think the question which began the thread was asking about what to do to bearing prior to installation.

    As for lube. Of course you lube the bearing shells but, I apply lube after I've installed them into the block and the big-end of the rods. Because the question concerned cleaning and prep, I didn't mention lubrication.

    I use Red Line Engine Assembly Lubricant. Also, good is plain old engine oil.

    Once the engine's in the car, I prelube the oiling system with a dedicated Chevrolet engine prelubing tool and a drill motor. I run the drill for about 15 seconds after oil pressure shows on the gauge.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hib Halverson View Post
    I think the question which began the thread was asking about what to do to bearing prior to installation.

    As for lube. Of course you lube the bearing shells but, I apply lube after I've installed them into the block and the big-end of the rods. Because the question concerned cleaning and prep, I didn't mention lubrication.

    I use Red Line Engine Assembly Lubricant. Also, good is plain old engine oil.

    Once the engine's in the car, I prelube the oiling system with a dedicated Chevrolet engine prelubing tool and a drill motor. I run the drill for about 15 seconds after oil pressure shows on the gauge.
    i read your sticky on break in and saw the part about the redline lube.
    i have enough to do bearings, cam, lifters, rocker arms, paint a fence, and still have some left over. it does seem to stick to whatever you put it on.
    the stuff that came with my cam was very thin and runny

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