I made a little more progress on engine assembly over the weekend. I fitted all of the timing gear, timing chain guides, and front cover. I replaced the OEM cam gear with a Rollmaster billet steel adjustable cam gear, and installed a new chain & guide kit provided to me by Tunnel Vision Turbocharging. I cleaned, inspected, and reused the crankshaft gear and auxiliary shaft gear. The front cover is powdercoated with heavy silver.
I also disassembled and cleaned the hydraulic timing chain tensioner. I was able to source some replacement o-rings locally and will reassemble later this week or weekend. After that I can mock up the cylinder head on the short block, degree the cam, and verify piston-to-valve clearance. If all of that checks out, then I can proceed with final assembly of the cylinder head and completion of the long block assembly.
Yella Terra billet steel flexplate arrived from Australia. This flexplate will accommodate GM-based torque converters with a 3 x 10.75-inch bolt circle, Ford C-4 torque converters with a 4 x 10.50-inch bolt pattern, Australian Ford BTR and ZF torque converters with a 4 x 9.75-inch bolt pattern, and Hughes Performance billet converters with an 8 x 9.75-inch bolt pattern. This flexplate will fit any of the Australian Ford single cam engine family (EA - AU) as well as the Barra engine family (BA - FG).
Mocked up the cylinder head on the short block last night in order to degree the camshaft and check piston-to-valve clearance. Had to stop because I forgot that I didn't have a piston stop to thread into the spark plug hole, and didn't even have an old plug to cut up in order to make one. Ordered a piston stop today. Should be here in a couple days. I also decided to ditch as much of the OEM external engine hardware as possible in favor of ARP polished stainless 12-point fasteners just because I want a high level of fit and finish on this build since I've never gone all out on my own stuff before.
Finished setting intake centerline on the camshaft and checking piston-to-valve clearance this evening.
Cam is a Camtech Cams custom grind 809-114:
• 290* advertised duration
• 247* duration at 0.050-inch
• 0.541-inch valve lift with AU rocker gear
• 114* lobe separation angle
Initial ICL with everything at 0 checked at 108*. Cam card calls for 110*. Retarded the cam timing accordingly and locked it in at 110*.
Valves are 48mm intake and 41mm exhaust on head O.D.
Pistons are custom forgings from Manley that duplicate the OEM AU piston face, which means they have a small intake valve relief and no exhaust valve relief like the OEM pistons.
I ran my piston-to-valve clearance check using a dial indicator at 0.005-inch valve motion increments through the entire range of valvetrain motion and found 0.073-inch P-to-V at the tightest point on the intake, and 0.070-inch at the tightest point on the exhaust.
That's a little tighter than I'd normally like, but I've also ran stuff this tight before with no issues, so I'm going to send it as-is.
Just thought I'd share all this if it's at all helpful for anyone considering a similar build or wondering how much cam you might be able to get away with in an AU with either stock pistons or pistons with OEM-style valve reliefs. That being said, *always* degree your cam and check P-to-V clearance for yourself!!
Engine mount kit arrived from Australia today. I was originally planning on fabricating a set of engine mounts, but after looking through the offerings from Tuff Mounts I discovered that they offer a kit that will allow this engine to literally bolt in to my car. The price was incredibly reasonable, the quality is outstanding, and the customer service from Tuff Mounts is second to none. If all goes well I should be able to finish assembly of the long block this weekend and can then actually get this thing fitted to the car!
Ground clearance into the rocker shaft stands as needed to clear the washers on the head studs. Assembled the hydraulic lash adjusters into the rocker arms, and then assembled the rockers, shafts and stands. Installed the rocker assembly onto the engine. That's it for the weekend. Getting closer!!
Thanks!! I'm hopeful for some time this fall/winter, but really not sure if I'll get it done that quickly. Still have a long road of assembly ahead of me with all of the supporting systems into the car, plus fitting the engine & transmission. Fingers crossed!