Engines: Engine Rebuilding: Engine final assembly
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Topic IntroductionHelp

Pre-oil engine

Summary
The objective of this procedure is to show you how to pre-oil the engine. Use an engine oil recommended in the repair manual. Don't use an oil with a detergent additive. This is not ideal for breaking in bearings and seating the new piston rings.

Part 1. Preparation and safety

Objective

Pre-oil the engine

Personal safety

Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

Points to note


Part 2: Step-by-step instruction

  1. Remove engine from stand
    Take the engine off the stand, and place it on dolly wheels , or install engine mounts and prop it up on the floor, so that you can re-install the flexplate and center bolt.
  2. Install camshaft plug
    Once your engine is out of the stand and sitting on dolley wheels or stands, install the rear camshaft plug if it has not already been done. Cam plugs are usually narrower than water jacket freeze plugs.
    Spread a thin layer of non-hardening sealant on the edge of the plug itself. Don't use silicone, and don't put the sealant directly onto the block.
    Hammer the plug flush with the opening of the cam bore. The best way to do this is to use a bearing race driver or some similar oversized flat metal object. Just tap on the plug so that it's flush with the back of the camshaft bore. Then, use a large socket to tap in the plug slightly so that it's just inside the sealing lip of the camshaft bore.
  3. Install oil filter
    Lubricate the rubber seal of the oil filter with a little engine oil and thread it on hand tight. Keep an eye out for oil gallery holes like this. There might be multiple places where an oil pressure gauge could be connected. Seal and plug up any of these holes that would let oil escape.
    If you have the luxury of an extra oil pressure gauge, hook it up to one of the ports that lead to the oil gallery. If you haven't done it already, install your one piece rear main seal to finish closing off the oil system.
  4. Fill block and check oil pressure
    Now fill up the block with the type and quantity of engine oil recommended in the repair manual.
    Don't use an oil with a detergent additive. This is not ideal for breaking in bearings and seating the new piston rings. Most major brands of oil offer a non-detergent oil that will work well.
    When the oil pan is filled, put an oil pump primer rod into the distributor hole. The primer rod will engage onto the oil pump drive rod so you can spin the oil pump with a drill from the outside of the motor.
    The drill should be spinning in the same direction that the distributor rotates when the engine is running. Check the repair manual for this information. If you spin it the wrong way, the pump will not show any oil pressure on the gauge. Even at normal drill speeds, the oil gauge should read plenty of pressure.
    Verify that the crankshaft is still at Top Dead Center for the number one piston. Now run the drill and spin the oil pump for about 30 seconds to a minute and look at the rocker arms.
  5. Check oil is reaching valve train
    When oil pressure builds inside the engine, oil will make it through the galleries and into the crankshaft and the lifters. After oil goes through the lifters it will move up the pushrods and will start to drip out of the holes in the rocker arms. Make sure that this happens for all of the rockers.
    If you run the drill for a minute or two and a few of the rockers don't oil, you should rotate the crank shaft one full turn and run the drill again. This will change the positions of the lifters and should make it easier for the remaining lifters to oil. Since there are no valve covers installed, be aware that oil might spill out of the head when the rockers get full.
  6. Set timing mark
    After all of the rockers are receiving oil, rotate the crank to set the mark on the balancer at the recommended Initial Timing Setting. This setting will be listed in your manual or it may be under the hood of the car. Just be sure that the mark lines up on the compression stroke and not on the exhaust stroke.
  7. Install valve covers
    Once the engine has been pre-oiled, install the valve covers. Rubber style gaskets should not need any sealant. If you have cork gaskets and want to use some kind of sealer, spray one side of the gasket with High Tack aerosol gasket sealant. Stick the sealed side to the valve cover so that the gasket stays with the cover.
    When you place them, make sure that the gaskets contact the edges of the heads on all sides so that you don't have any oil leaks after the engine starts. The valve cover bolts don't have a very high torque rating. Usually it's enough to thread these bolts up hand tight.