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How hard is it to assemble an engine?

This is a discussion on How hard is it to assemble an engine? within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Question, I received a couple of quotes from a machine shop to do some work on my block and the ...

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    How hard is it to assemble an engine?

    Question, I received a couple of quotes from a machine shop to do some work on my block and the machining is $850 but they are going to charge $750 on top of that for assembly so I was womdering how hard is it to assemble the block myself. All the bearings will be installed by the shop. The whole rotating assembly should be assembled minus being in the block. So is there anything special about putting everything back in that is different than the way it was taken out?
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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I did my wife's old Jeep. As long as you have the torque wrenches and some odd tools (like to line up the rear main seal you can do it. Just make sure you have quality torque wrenches.

    I have an aliment tool for the front & rear on order from these guys:

    LT1/SBC

    Has an instruction video too.

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    Not hard at all. I have done dozens of engines and they are all the same. Just remember one simple rule. Measure TWICE and cut ONCE. meaning, pay attention to what you are doing. Use plastigauge on the bearings and get a good torque wrench. I like Snap-On.
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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Bearings will be installed by the shop, I am not messing with those, I would hate to mess them up.

    I probably have the book you are talking about. I know I will need the alignment tool and a inch pund torque wrench, I have a craftsman foot poud one. I guess I was asking besides torque sequences and the rear main seal alignment tools if there was any special way of putting it back together or special tools I'll need but it doesn't sound like it. I will look at my "How to build gm ls high performance engines" and "How to rebuild gm ls series engines" books.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 09-12-2013 at 09:18 AM.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    also have the shop tell you what bearings are needed for the crank and the rods. They should tell you anyways. I would have the shop install the cam bearings because they will have the tool needed. It's costing me $60 to do so with the block being tanked.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    also have the shop tell you what bearings are needed for the crank and the rods. They should tell you anyways. I would have the shop install the cam bearings because they will have the tool needed. It's costing me $60 to do so with the block being tanked.
    That is the plan even though Mike at ws6store has said what bearings I need, I want the shop to verify that there is no difference since it is an ls6 block.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    i would be more concern with the wear down on the crank.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    i would be more concern with the wear down on the crank.
    Confused....as to what you are referring to? The shop is going to check everything out.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I was trying to point out that not buying the bearings until the shop looks at it all.

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    Oh...that was what I was trying to say that I was not going to buy them prior.

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    You will need some special tools to do it -- torque wrench, torque angle gauge, piston ring compressor...

    It really isn't all that difficult, but you have to have an eye for detail, patience, and know when to call for backup.

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    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    You will need some special tools to do it -- torque wrench, torque angle gauge, piston ring compressor...

    It really isn't all that difficult, but you have to have an eye for detail, patience, and know when to call for backup.
    Will I still need both of those if using all arp bolts and if the piston rings are already on the pistons, well I know I still need the torque wrench regardless?

    Nevermind I found the answer toy question. The answer is no to the torque angle gauge and yes to the piston spring compressor.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 09-12-2013 at 07:24 PM.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    The ARP bolts should come with torque specs

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    its really not a difficult job if you've ever done a typical small block chevy, maybe check some videos out on youtube,or powerblock just for a heads up before hand.remember plastigage is your friend,double check all machine work, you may want to pick up a dial indicator & stand.arp bolts are torque to spec, unlike factory bolts that are torque to angle or torque to yield,torque to yield bolts aren't reusable.just take your time,think before you do & you'll be fine.

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    It's more of the cleaning part I am worried about..according to my book you should do a vigorous cleaning even if you have had it hot tanked. I am unsure if I have an area that doesn't really dust that I can do most of it at a time and not contaminate what I just cleaned.

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    brake cleaner does a pretty good job,it doesn't leave any residue,& dries quickly
    with a few assorted brushes in different shapes & sizes you should have good results
    use some plastic to keep everything clean until assembly
    just lube everything well before assembly with oil or assembly lube & you should be good to go
    also you may need to clean up a designated area to do your work
    planning ahead is key to a successful job
    think twice & do once
    you'll be very pleased with the outcome

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