Looking for some seasoned opinions
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Thread: Looking for some seasoned opinions

  1. #1
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    Looking for some seasoned opinions

    Well I've done a lot on cars over the years and rebuilding my sons Opel engine soup to nuts is a first well at least doing a bottom end. I got the block back from the machine shop and my goody list from Gil came in today so I'd thought I try and get the crank installed. The block and crank were checked and polished and needed stock crank bearings.

    I took the bearings out, lightly lubed and installed with a plastigage on number 2 (no lube or oil there) and torqued to 36ft lbs per the manual etc etc and came up with 0.002 which was in specs per the manual. So I proceeded to lube all the bearings and journals and firmly finger tightened them all down. I was able to freely spin the crank at this point with little effort.

    I then lightly snuged them down offset towards the center to maybe 20 ft lbs. I then tried to turn the crank and it seemed locked solid. Does this seem right? I thought before I torqued it down it should still be somewhat able to spin but it felt like I needed a serious amount of strength to turn it.

    Should I need that much strength before torquing down to 72 to turn the crank? I expected it to be tight when torqued down but not barely past finger tight.

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  3. #2
    Opeler Yellow73GT's Avatar
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    You checked one (1) crank bearing? And figured all must be the same so just go? You check ALL first, and then once you know they are right, then tighten up, and with nothing else attached it should turn fairly easy, and it will become progressively "stiffer" as you install rods and pistons, but should NEVER feel "locked up". Something not right there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow73GT View Post
    You checked one (1) crank bearing? And figured all must be the same so just go? You check ALL first, and then once you know they are right, then tighten up, and with nothing else attached it should turn fairly easy, and it will become progressively "stiffer" as you install rods and pistons, but should NEVER feel "locked up". Something not right there.
    This.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow73GT View Post
    You checked one (1) crank bearing? And figured all must be the same so just go? You check ALL first, and then once you know they are right, then tighten up, and with nothing else attached it should turn fairly easy, and it will become progressively "stiffer" as you install rods and pistons, but should NEVER feel "locked up". Something not right there.
    OK after taking your overly judgemental response in consideration I retested all the journals and we have 4 at. 002 and 1 at .0023 per my Mishimoto caliper. So ALL in specs. Any suggestions not jumping to conclusions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwschumm View Post
    This.
    Was not helpful.

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    Not normal at all. As said, stop and figure this out.

    Let's get some things a bit clearer, please.
    - When you say #2, do you mean the #2 main bearing or the #2 rod bearing? You referred to 36 ft lbs and that refers to the torque on the rod bolts.
    - What do you meant by 'offset towards the center'?

    I'll make my best guess on what is going on:
    1. The main caps have not been kept in order 1 to 5
    2. 1 or more of the main caps is reversed
    3. One or more rod caps have been swapped on the rods
    4. One or more of the rod caps is reversed
    5. Either main or rod bearings are not STD size.

    The main and rod caps are final-machined in place to exact bore size and mains alignment, and they cannot be swapped or reversed.

    To tell if a main or rod cap is reversed, look for the small slots in the main caps and block, and in the rod caps and rods, which receive the tabs on the bearings. They should both be on the same side, by the same bolt for each mated main cap & main web, and for each rod and rod cap.

    The bearings should have the letters 'STD' stamped on the outside of the bearing shells. If they have a marking like '.025' or 1.0" In increments of 0.25) then they are undersized bearings.

    If things are right, you can put the crank in alone (oiled, of course), and torque all the mains, and it will spin free, with little effort.
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  9. #7
    Opeler Yellow73GT's Avatar
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    Wasn't being judgemental, responded based upoun your statement of facts. Can only work with what YOU tell us.

    Best to back up a step and check crank for straightness. As per the FSM "If crankshaft has been removed to check straightness
    the following procedure is suggested. Rest crankshaft
    on “V-blocks” at number one and number five
    main bearing journals. Check indicator runout at
    No. 3 main bearing journal. Total indicator reading
    should not exceed .C012”.

    Again, it should NEVER be so tight as to feel "locked up". Something not right yet.
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    Opeler Yellow73GT's Avatar
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    And if after that point, it checks out, I would ask how you are turning the crank, by bare hand on the end of the crank shaft, or with a socket wrench on crank bolt, because there really should be NO reason for it to be that tight, those are your only points of contact and if lubed and in tolerance nothing should prevent it from turning.
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    "Be Water, My Friend" Bruce Lee, December 9, 1971
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    Opeler Yellow73GT's Avatar
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    And everything Manta said
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    "Be Water, My Friend" Bruce Lee, December 9, 1971
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    If the engine was running before, then not likely to be much of a crank runout issue. It would take a lot of runout to lock up the crank with light torque.

    OP, if you suspect that a cap or caps has been swapped, then get back on here for some tips on how to figure out which cap goes where.

    FWIW... it is standard procedure (for me at least) to mark the main caps 1 to 5, and the rods and rod caps, before disassembly. That's not much help at this point through!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCSteve View Post
    Was not helpful.

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    Agreeing with someone is not helpful? If you measured one, and then installed the crank and torqued, and *then* it hard's to turn over by hand, then there's a problem somewhere in the installation of the crank, torque specs, or bearings. I suppose the crank could be bent, that would cause it to bind.
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    If they line bored the block maybe that is screwed up. Or maybe the main caps got swapped around and are a little wacky.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manta Rallier View Post
    Not normal at all. As said, stop and figure this out.

    Let's get some things a bit clearer, please.
    - When you say #2, do you mean the #2 main bearing or the #2 rod bearing? You referred to 36 ft lbs and that refers to the torque on the rod bolts.
    - What do you meant by 'offset towards the center'?

    I'll make my best guess on what is going on:
    1. The main caps have not been kept in order 1 to 5
    2. 1 or more of the main caps is reversed
    3. One or more rod caps have been swapped on the rods
    4. One or more of the rod caps is reversed
    5. Either main or rod bearings are not STD size.

    The main and rod caps are final-machined in place to exact bore size and mains alignment, and they cannot be swapped or reversed.

    To tell if a main or rod cap is reversed, look for the small slots in the main caps and block, and in the rod caps and rods, which receive the tabs on the bearings. They should both be on the same side, by the same bolt for each mated main cap & main web, and for each rod and rod cap.

    The bearings should have the letters 'STD' stamped on the outside of the bearing shells. If they have a marking like '.025' or 1.0" In increments of 0.25) then they are undersized bearings.

    If things are right, you can put the crank in alone (oiled, of course), and torque all the mains, and it will spin free, with little effort.
    Thanks for the info here, I've only got the crank and the main caps in the bock at the moment. No pistons or rods ie rod caps installed yet. The bearings are std and I'd think if they were anything else ie .025 then I'd not be having this questions as things would be spinning more freely. Earlier when I said the #2 I was referring to the number main bearing or the closest cylinder to the front of the block. When I referred to offset towards center I worked from the outside towards the inside when finger tightening to and gradually snugged down in the same manner. Each bolt alternating side and end toward the center.

    So you raise an interesting question that makes me unsure of something. You mention that the tabs on the caps should be in the same direction, is this the same for both sides of the main caps as well? My pictures during unassembled appear to show the main caps being backwards from the inner bearings but there is so much oil it's difficult to say for sure.

    With the crank in and lubed with assembly lube how free should the crank feel when the mains are lightly snugged ie <20 ft lbs? should it turn freely with 1 hand? Assembly lube isn't well shall we say liquid teflon so could that thickness be the cause of my friction?

    When I disassembled I bagged and tagged everything as it came off and the machine shop stamped each piece ie 1 thru 5. I guess it's possible they got one out of order but if thats the case how would I test for that? The crank and journals were both cleaned up while there. I feel like a discussion with them is in place tomorrow in any case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow73GT View Post
    And if after that point, it checks out, I would ask how you are turning the crank, by bare hand on the end of the crank shaft, or with a socket wrench on crank bolt, because there really should be NO reason for it to be that tight, those are your only points of contact and if lubed and in tolerance nothing should prevent it from turning.
    I'm using my hands trying to rotate it and everything is moderately slathered with assembly lube, which IMO isn't the most slippery substance I've ever run across
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwschumm View Post
    Agreeing with someone is not helpful? If you measured one, and then installed the crank and torqued, and *then* it hard's to turn over by hand, then there's a problem somewhere in the installation of the crank, torque specs, or bearings. I suppose the crank could be bent, that would cause it to bind.
    Right my point being that you "This" someone elses posts is not helpful it simply says I got nothing else try why he says. How do you see that as helpful?

    So to address the couple of points here of attempted help, the crank was a very well running pull prior to this service and was serviced by the machine shop. The journals were minimally serviced since they were in quite tight tolerances prior to the machining, the same with the crank bearings. Based on some of the other suggestions I'm focusing my attention now on the main bearings may be out of order after the month at the machine shop. Thats gonna be hard to narrow down though and I'm planning on discussing tomorrow with the machinist.
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  18. #16
    Über Genius First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwschumm View Post
    If they line bored the block maybe that is screwed up. Or maybe the main caps got swapped around and are a little wacky.
    ^This^

    Check to make sure you have the right caps per journal. They are marked.
    Also make sure they are notch to notch. It's easy to overlook something silly like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    ^This^

    Check to make sure you have the right caps per journal. They are marked.
    Also make sure they are notch to notch. It's easy to overlook something silly like that.
    Where are they marked on the factory journals? I could find no factory marks and labeled them as such where they came from. The machine shop then stamped them when they got them.

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  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCSteve View Post
    Where are they marked on the factory journals? I could find no factory marks and labeled them as such where they came from. The machine shop then stamped them when they got them.

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    They're stamped on the flat part of the cap.
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    Humans are not an endangered species!
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  21. #19
    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    In a case like this, when nothing makes sense, you have to check everything. For example, if the machine shop dropped your crank and said "Whoops" and returned it to you anyway. I'm not saying they did but you can't prove they didn't.
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    1000 Post Club kwschumm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCSteve View Post
    Right my point being that you "This" someone elses posts is not helpful it simply says I got nothing else try why he says. How do you see that as helpful?

    So to address the couple of points here of attempted help, the crank was a very well running pull prior to this service and was serviced by the machine shop. The journals were minimally serviced since they were in quite tight tolerances prior to the machining, the same with the crank bearings. Based on some of the other suggestions I'm focusing my attention now on the main bearings may be out of order after the month at the machine shop. Thats gonna be hard to narrow down though and I'm planning on discussing tomorrow with the machinist.
    OK, gotcha. Here's something nobody has suggested. Maybe you grabbed the bottle of loc-tite instead of assembly lube.
    Thurston County, WA, effective motto: "Gophers, Gophers Über Alles"
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