A Studebaker Reference Guide

Engine Tips

This is a list of engine related tips/tricks:

  • Check each main bearing with plastigauge for specifications. Do this with the journals dry.
  • Check rod bearings with plastiguage for specifications before installing.
  • Don't use oil or white grease to assemble engine and bearing assemblies - use engine and bearing assembly lube
  • Check crankshaft end play with dial gauge to check for specifications.
  • To help prevent bearing failure, use a thin walled socket not a standard socket when tightening main or rod bearings.
  • When lubing camshafts, use camshaft and lifter break in lube on the lobes.
  • Stock valve springs will often "coil bind" when combined with the higher lift of a new camshaft with the valve at a full lift. There should be a minimum of .06 inches between the spring coils.
  • Don't use old lifters on a new camshaft and visa versa.
  • Use compressed air blown through the spark plug hole to hold valves in place in order to replace valve springs.
  • Check side clearance of rings on pistons, and check end gap of rings in cylinders to make sure that they are within specifications.
  • When dialing in an engine, the #1 cam journal should not have assembly lube on it. Apply the lube after you have dialed in the engine.
  • Oil wrist pins before installing the pistons in engine with regular engine oil.
  • Oil rings and skirts of pistons before installing pistons.
  • Pack the oil pump with grease to prime the pump before installation.
  • When installing heads, coat the bolt threads with sealer if they thread into the water jacket. Otherwise use lubricating oil to ensure even torque.
  • Use "antiseize" compound on header bolts to make it easier to remove them at a later time.
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