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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I just got my engine block back from the machine shop and I am putting the main bearings and caps on. I see that the manual says to use a DTI tool (Dial Test Indicator) to measure crankshaft end float. Has anybody done this and is it necessary. It seems these parts have only one way to go back together. Can someone offer an explanation since this is my first engine rebuild?
Thanks!
-Heather
 

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Hi Heather
Having fun with the rebuild?
its mostly important for manual engine cars - almost irrelevant these days on automatics.
the crank end float refers to how much the crank can move forwards and backwards against the main bearing shoulders.
Originally the engine had bearings called thrust washers which sat edge on to the crank item 10 in the picture and the main bearings Item 9 carried the crank - these are now integrated in the main bearings today and curl over usually on the center main bearing. (picture is from a 1960's MG)
their job was as the name implies to handle the thrust caused by the driver pushing down on the clutch pedal and the clutch assembly pushing down on the flywheel and separating the drive from the engine so you could change gear.
Every time you pushed down on the clutch the crank would slide backwards a bit and run on the main bearings but also the thrust washers (or thrust bearings) when these wore out you would start to pull the crank back into the journals and that would cause big problems :grin

with automatics there are minimal thrusts on the crank so the thrust washers were incorporated into the mains. the amount of play is not super critical but you dont want the crank moving fore and aft too much anyway because of timing chain alignment etc but unless you have done major modifications to your engine it is really unlikely that you need anything more that whatever is provided by the main bearings.
If you are feeling anal about it just buy a $20 dial indicator from HF and a magnetic clamp base, clamp the dial indicator to the end of the crank and set to zero then pull the crank in and out - the float measured on the dial will be the crank end float - I personally wouldn't bother with an autobox car unless there was a lot of mods and you could feel the crank moving significantly in and out.
hope that helps
cheers
Barri
 

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I'm actually in the middle of rebuilding a manual austin mini 1275 engine right now so dashed up to take some pictures. The first is the old thrust washers and then where they sat on the journals. For manual cars they come in multiple sizes of oversize - 5 thou over , 10 thou over etc - its possible on the mini engine - because of the way the transmission sits in the oil pan under the engine and the drive is carried down the back of the engine to the pan by transfer gears - that too much end float and the clutch just wont work as the crank is moving in and out too much to allow the clutch plate to properly disengage.
with your bearings the thrust washers are pre built in to the center bearing
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Barri for taking the time to share the info and pictures! That makes a lot of sense especially since the thrust washers are already incorporated in that middle bearing. The teardown went great except for me neglecting to detach the engine from the torque convertor. Guess I will get to learn how to install a torque convertor and put a new oil seal there as well. PTSchram said it will be a pain in the butt if I don't get it seated properly on both sets of splines. I'll cross that hurdle after the rebuild:smile. Thanks Barri and good luck with your rebuild as well.
-Heather
 

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PT is right although they can also just slide on with no problems - sometimes even the same box, you can try for an hour and then come back 20 mins later and the whole lot just slides together. I hate to say too that its often easier with the gbox sitting on its tail and you drop the TC (torque converter not transfer case) into the bellhousing :laugh
not a good option though in our case with a big 4x4 box and transfer case.
The good thing is that you will definitely feel the outer splines engage as the TC drops into the second set of teeth.
post pictures as you go
cheers
Barri
 

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Thanks Barri for taking the time to share the info and pictures! That makes a lot of sense especially since the thrust washers are already incorporated in that middle bearing. The teardown went great except for me neglecting to detach the engine from the torque convertor. Guess I will get to learn how to install a torque convertor and put a new oil seal there as well. PTSchram said it will be a pain in the butt if I don't get it seated properly on both sets of splines. I'll cross that hurdle after the rebuild:smile. Thanks Barri and good luck with your rebuild as well.
-Heather
That happened to me too. I ended up having to remove the transmission after the engine was installed. I thought I had seated the converter correctly before installing the engine. I was wrong. I backed out of the garage and lost all drive at the bottom of my street. Had to get towed back home, 200 meters.

The tangs on the torque converter have to properly engage the transmission oil pump. I was told by a friend of mine who was a mechanic at a Land Rover dealership (has since defected to Mercedes) that the transmission needed to be removed and stood on its end to do this properly, so that's what I did, with his help. I was lucky that neither the torque converter or the oil pump were badly damaged.

Perhaps people on this forum are adept at fitting torque converters with the transmission in place. I had to remove the transmission anyway for access. You should get someone who knows what they are doing to be certain the torque converter is installed correctly or you will be in for a real nightmare of a job. Not really difficult to drop the transmission with the engine out. But there is still a knack to seating these things.

Once the converter is installed secure it in place with a wrench, say 15mm fastened to the bell housing with a bolt and some washers.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Barri for taking the time to share the info and pictures! That makes a lot of sense especially since the thrust washers are already incorporated in that middle bearing. The teardown went great except for me neglecting to detach the engine from the torque convertor. Guess I will get to learn how to install a torque convertor and put a new oil seal there as well. PTSchram said it will be a pain in the butt if I don't get it seated properly on both sets of splines. I'll cross that hurdle after the rebuild
. Thanks Barri and good luck with your rebuild as well.
-Heather
That happened to me too. I ended up having to remove the transmission after the engine was installed. I thought I had seated the converter correctly before installing the engine. I was wrong. I backed out of the garage and lost all drive at the bottom of my street. Had to get towed back home, 200 meters.

The tangs on the torque converter have to properly engage the transmission oil pump. I was told by a friend of mine who was a mechanic at a Land Rover dealership (has since defected to Mercedes) that the transmission needed to be removed and stood on its end to do this properly, so that's what I did, with his help. I was lucky that neither the torque converter or the oil pump were badly damaged.

Perhaps people on this forum are adept at fitting torque converters with the transmission in place. I had to remove the transmission anyway for access. You should get someone who knows what they are doing to be certain the torque converter is installed correctly or you will be in for a real nightmare of a job. Not really difficult to drop the transmission with the engine out. But there is still a knack to seating these things.

Once the converter is installed secure it in place with a wrench, say 15mm fastened to the bell housing with a bolt and some washers.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Hey Optimusduff or Barri,
Is there supposed to be a strap connected to the torque converter? I see a reference to a strap in the manual but mine did not have one.
-Heather
 

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Hi Heather
I believe the strap is a temporary thing you put on to hold the torque converter in whilst the engine or gearbox is separated so the TC cannot fall out. Its not something that lives in the TC and bell housing.
you would remove it to refit the gbox to the engine. Its just something you use to keep the TC engaged in the gearbox :wink
as your TC is already lying on the garage floor its not something worth worrying about :crying
cheers
Barri
 
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