Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturn engine starts to take shape.

I had some time today to start assembling the engine for the Saturn that has been sitting in front of my house for awhile. I have everything to get it put back together now so the time has come to get to work. I found a machine shop in town that rebuilt the head for a really good price and their work looked great. I had the head rebuilt because the valves were leaking pretty good which made the compression too low.They also milled it so it's nice and flat. Here is the head ready to get installed. The machine shop is called JR Automotive Machine. The prices are fair and the work is great. Here is the website.  Check them out if you need some machining done.
 I finished cleaning up the block and it is now ready for the pistons and connecting rods to be installed.
 I did the first one and it went in really slick. Here's how I did it.
 The first thing you need to do is remove the bearings and clean between the connecting rod and the bearing. You do not want to put any oil or assembly lube there. After it is cleaned, install the bearing and then put assembly lube on the side of the bearing that will mate with the crank.  
I installed the rings earlier. Make sure you install them with the right sides facing the right direction. These rings get installed with the markings facing the upper side of the piston. Make sure you offset the ring gaps when you get ready to install the pistons in the cylinder. DO NOT install the rings with the gaps in line. You will have an oil consumption problem if you do.
 Here is the ring compressor that I used. It worked really good and is pretty much self explanatory. Put the piston in with the bottom of the piston facing the bottom marking on the ring compressor.
Be very careful when you install the piston and rod. You don't want to scratch the cylinder wall with the rod or damage the crank. These connecting rods have caps with bolts. Some rods have studs installed and then the caps are installed with nuts. If you have those rods, you can install some fuel line on the studs so you can have more protection when installing it. I turned the crank so the pistons would be at the very bottom of the stroke and then pushed them down to the bottom of the cylinder.  
 A rubber mallet works good to lightly tap the piston in. I coated the cylinder walls with assembly lube and then put oil on the rings. I figured a mix of both will be the ticket to protect the walls and let the rings seat correctly.  
2 pistons almost completed
 Here are the bolts for the connecting rod caps. I used medium strength loctite. It doesn't tell you to use loctite but I did for a couple of reasons. 1. These are suppose to be torque to yield bolts which means you should replace them every time you remove them. (I actually could not find new ones to buy which has been a common problem with this engine throughout this build.) and 2. I do not want a rod bolt coming out on this engine so I figured it would't hurt to use some. You can choose for yourself on what you want to do. The torque is suppose to be 19 ft-lbs+75 degrees. I torqued mine to 33 ft-lbs because I reused my bolts. Again, you can do what you like.
 I marked everything really well before I took it apart so it was easy to get everything back together correctly. If you forgot to mark it or if you have cleaned all your marks off, the book is very helpful in getting things in the right place. Here is the cap on and torqued.
 4 pistons in and torqued. We are making some progress now!
I had to make a tool to install the inserts for the tie plate. They wanted 37 bucks for this stupid tool so I decided to just make my own out of a 10 MM socket. It worked perfect and was way cheaper. Here's my homemade tool. It took about 5 minutes with a die grinder and it was ready to go
 The insert is down by the stud. They basically get screwed down onto the main cap nuts and are used as a spacer for the tie plate. If you don't get them installed right you take a chance of cracking and breaking the tie plate. They tell you to use new washers on these before you install the nut but it is a discontinued item. I reused mine. They are just a regular washer so I felt they would be just fine.
 Tie plate is on and torqued along with the oil pickup tube. remember to install a new o ring on the tube.
 Time to install the head now. Here is the head gasket in place and ready to go.
The head is ready to be lifted on. I cleaned the sealing surfaces with brake cleaner and a paper towel. Paper is preferred over cloth because it will disintegrate it some happens to get left behind. Cloth will not and could harm your bearings at some point.
The head is on and torqued. I did get new head bolts because they are torque to yield and they are available still. I torqued the head on to 48 ft-lbs in the proper sequence with the new bolts dry to insure that the proper clamp load is achieved.. I then removed the bolts, oiled them and torqued them to 22 ft-lbs, then to 33 ft-lbs. The final step I did was to torque the bolts 1/4 turn more in sequence which is the 90 degrees they call out for. If you are not using new bolts you may not need to do the first step. It's up to you. I mark the bolts so I don't have to think much when I am torquing them. You can see my numbers in the picture.
 Next install your lash adjusters in the proper places with plenty of oil. I then filled them up after to make sure they had oil in them.
 Throw your rockers on and your ready for the cams. I have the intake side done here.
Here all the rockers are installed along with both the cams. Use plenty of oil or assembly lube. Be careful when installing your cam caps. Tighten them a little at a time and equally or you take a chance at breaking your cam or damaging your head.
 Make sure you install the cams correctly. They are marked IN for intake and EX for exhaust. Don't mix them up or your engine will not run properly.
 To install your timing gears you use a 24 MM wrench to keep the cam from spinning and then torque the gear on with a torque wrench.
 Line up your cams and install (2) 3/16 inch drill bits into the holes in the gears and the head. They will be at the 6 o'clock position as seen here. Your timing mark will be at 12 o'clock.
Now you can move your crank 90 degrees CCW and line up your timing mark with the mark on the block.
 The timing chain will have 4 links that are colored differently. Line up the top 2 with the cam gears like this.
 The 2 that are next to each other go at the 6 o'clock position exactly opposite of the timing mark at 12 o'clock on the crank gear as seen here. Now you can install your fixed chain guide, then your moveable guide along with your tensioner.  
Here is what it looks like when it's all together. Give it some slow spins and make sure your marks work out and there is no valve to piston contact and then you should be golden. Time to put your front cover on!
Install a new crank seal in the front cover and then flip it over and remove the oil pump cover. There are 9 star bolts that hold it on. this picture shows it removed already. You need to pack all the open spaces in the oil pump full of Vaseline. This will prime the pump so you can get oil pressure right off the bat. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of it with all the Vaseline in it but just fill all the open spaces with it. 
 Install the cover and wipe off any excess Vaseline that may have squished out. You are now ready to install the front cover and then the oil pan. Make sure all the sealing surfaces are nice and clean especially from any old RTV sealant. It's a pain in the butt but a necessary evil.
 The front cover and oil pan are sealed up by RTV. I used ultra gray sealant. Make sure you torque them to the proper torque and in the proper sequence and hopefully your engine will not leak. The covers on and I am just about to install the oil pan.
The oil pans on and buttoned up. This is where I left it today. I am planning on installing it next Saturday so this week I will put the intake, exhaust, and accessories on to get it ready to put on the hook early Saturday morning. I was hoping to get a little bit farther today but life gets in the way and that's not a bad thing. 
Overall, I did get a lot done and it should be fairly easy to get it finished up for Saturday. Check back and see if this thing will run.


Anonymous said...

Bug Boys.

I appreciate the info on the Saturn rebuild. I pulled my SC motor last weekend and your description and pics are a big help seeing what I'm about to get into.


Northern VA

George Davis said...

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