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Machine shop
Work to be done on the head:

  • Disassemble and clean (hot tank and/or "burn and blast").
  • Resurface as required to flatten.
  • Full three-angle valve grind.
  • (Recommended) Install hardened valve seats.
  • (Optional) Install bronze valve guides.
  • (ipd cam kits only) Machine valve spring seats.
  • Reassemble.

Work to be done on the block:

  • Remove soft plugs and cam galley plug at rear.
  • Clean (hot tank and/or "burn and blast").
  • Mill as required to flatten head mounting surface.
  • Align hone main bearing surfaces.
  • Hone or bore cylinders as required.
  • (Cam replacement) Press in new cam bearings.

Other bottom end work to be done:

  • Dress crankshaft journals.
  • (Piston replacement) Press and size new wristpin bearings.
  • (Recommended) Grind flywheel to flatten.
  • (Optional) Install new soft plugs (not the cam galley plug).

Balancing: extra credit
We think that balancing enhances any rebuild, and is particularly important if you're installing new pistons. Your machine shop should be able either to do the job in-house or farm it out to a specialist.

Balancing ensures that every connecting rod and piston assembly has identical weight and is perfectly counterbalanced by the crankshaft. You can have the flywheel and clutch balanced as well. This makes for a smooth-running motor and increases both power and bearing life. A good balance job should cost you between $100 and $150.

You should provide the following parts to the balancer:

  • Crankshaft
  • 4 pistons with wristpins, clips and bearings
  • 4 connecting rods with endcaps, bolts and nuts
  • 1 set big end bearings
  • 1 set piston rings
  • (Recommended) Flywheel and clutch cover

Prepare to build your new motor
Those of you who are installing new rings will need an additional tool: a ring expander (you already have a ring compressor, right?). We also recommend the following consummable materials (other brands will probably work as well):

  • Red Line assembly lube. Coat all bearings with this as you install whatever mates to them.
  • Yamabond gasket sealer. Apply a thin, even coat of this to all gaskets except the head and manifold gaskets.
  • a tube of "anti-sieze" compound. Use a small amount on the threads of the head bolts and spark plugs.
  • Loctite (the blue kind). Use on everything else external to the block -- not on the innards.
  • a jar of 50% motor oil, 50% STP. Brush this liberally on pistons, cylinder bores, lifters and cam lobes as you install them.

When, what and if you paint the motor is up to you -- just keep it off the shiny parts and gasket surfaces, and out from behind the soft plugs. Three or four thin coats of Plastikote "Ford Red" will produce a durable finish and a close match to the original color.

Before assembling anything, make absolutely sure that all oil passages in the block are clear of sludge and scale produced during the cleaning process at the machine shop. Run pipe cleaners through them where you can, and squirt some oil through them where possible.

There are a few tricks to building the motor successfully, and we'll help you with them. The most important thing is to think each step through before you do anything. Take your time. Take breaks. Do this over several days. Remember how much you've just spent on your new stuff. Remember how much you've just spent on your old stuff. Let's not damage anything now.

One more step before we start building: coat a lifter with oil/STP, and place in its bore. It should sink through the bore on its own. If it hangs up, hone the bore lightly with a brake cylinder hone, clean it out and try again. This will ensure that the lifters are free to rotate -- this is supremely important if you would like your cam to last more than five minutes or so.

OK, let's put things together.

Next section: Building the motor.

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