Classic Inlines
603 W Pecos Ave
Mesa, AZ 85210

Engine Rebuild & Safety Tips

Here's a few tips to help you out when you start rebuilding your motor. If you have any comments you'd like to share with your fellow inline enthusiast, please e-mail them to Classic Inlines.

Before your pick up a wrench, purchase a good shop manual and read through it twice, highlighting the important information and tips, and refer to it constantly during the process. I like to make a check list of all the important steps, so I don't forget to do something if I get interrupted, even if its for a few minutes.
Before doing any disassembly, sit down with a couple boxes of zip lock baggies, a few coffee cans, a black marker, and a pack of self stick labels. Label the baggies and lids with the names of the various parts or sub-assemblies (fuel pump, water pump, starter, alt, timing cover, oil pan, v/c, head bolts, etc). Then when you tear your motor down, put the parts in the appropriate bag or can. While the block is being hot tanked and machined, clean, inspect, and paint each group, one at a time, and replace the worn or damage parts. Then when you start assembly of your engine, your small parts will be easy to find, in good condition, and ready to use.
Set up an area solely dedicated for doing the rebuild, allowing plenty room to move around, and keep the area as clean as possible. An adequate sized work bench with a hard surface, and a rubber mat for delicate parts, is essential. Have plenty of rags & paper towels, hand cleaner, engine degreaser, scrapers, razor blades, gasket sealer, anti-seize & break in lubricants, thread sealer, loc-tite, WD40, and plasti-gage on hand. Purchase or rent the proper tools for the job, preferably of a good quality, including a set of mics, gauges, and a torque wrench.
Three of the most over-looked parts when rebuilding a motor, are the transmission mounts, motor mounts, and the harmonic balancer. Failure of these parts can lead to costly repairs and can be dangerous, even life threatening, if a catastrophic failure results in an accident.  Inspect your old parts and replace them if they show any signs of drying out, cracking, or old age. If your not sure of their condition or have any doubts what-so-ever, replace them. It's some of the cheapest insurance you can purchase to ensure safe motoring. For more information, please read our tech article on Harmonic Dampers.
For most engine rebuilds we recommend using ARP studs, and for good reason. Using studs makes it much easier to assemble an engine, as well as insuring proper alignment of the cylinder head and head gasket. Studs also provide more accurate and consistent torque loading, which aids in prevention of head gasket failures. For more information, please read our tech article on ARP Bolts/Studs.
Classic Inlines highly recommends degreeing the camshaft when replacing the timing chain or installing a new cam. Always refer to the manufacturers cam card when degreeing the camshaft for the best possible results. We guarantee you won't regret taking the time, even if you have to rent a cam degree kit from your local rental shop or auto parts supplier. Classic Inlines has loaner kits (with video) available for our preferred customers, however we require a deposit and shipping expenses in advance. For more information, please read our tech article on Degree your Cam.
Never reuse your old lifters on a newly installed camshaft. Using those old worn out lifters will destroy the new camshaft in short order. A good rule of thumb is to replace the timing chain set as well. Don't forget to torque the cam thust-plate bolts and install the spacer before installing the cam gear. For more information and tips, please read our tech article on Camshaft Installations.
Prior to building a performance motor, make sure your suspension, steering, and brake systems are in perfect working order. Repair or replace any worn or damaged parts. You may even want to upgrade the systems for additional safety. Remember, if you are going to go faster, you'll also need to stop faster. SAFETY FIRST.
Always calculate your Compression Ratio. This requires taking accurate measurements and verifying the combustion chamber size (cc's), but it's well worth it in the long run. When the guys are sitting around talking about Compression Ratio's, they are generally referring to the engines Static C/R. While this is OK, you should always build a motor based on the Dynamic C/R, rather then the Static C/R. This will also help you out when it's time to select your cam profile. For more information, please read our tech article on Static vrs Dynamic Compression Ratios.

If you have a tip, please share it with us.

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