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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, this started as a thread just on my crank seal but then question creep got in. Sorry.

First, an update on the ongoing adventure of the D2 my son was given (as in free) with a slipped sleeve (#4 cylinder).

Pulled engine, tore it down, tried to document everything as best a possible (so far so good on re-assembly).

Had new sleeves pressed into the block by Q&E in Anaheim (I found it hilarious that you can send a 75lb bare block via UPS and not need to freight ship it).

Been spending past week rebuilding the short block by the book: had crank polished, rods checked and "rounded", plastiguaged all the new bearings to be sure the tolerances were within spec and gapped rings (the pistons slipped in fine though they still seem a little tight when we rotate it -- they drag ever so slightly, but then they aren't marring the cylinder wall and aren't fully seated yet and won't be until you actually run it, right? you can hear a little "drag" in the cylinders -- this is normal for fresh cylinder and rings, right? We used GM EOS on the cylinder walls and redline assembly lube with EOS afterwards on all the bearings. Without the heads on, the whole short block required about 15 ft-lbs to rotate it: everything I read said that anything below 20 for an American small block V8 is ok).

Heads were also rebuilt (decked just in case slipped sleeve led to warpage, springs checked, valves reseated, new seals) and are on, rocker covers are polished (had to do it given how good the rest of the engine looked) and we are getting ready to put it on the engine hoist and put it back in. (our engine didn't have hoist rings: where should we attach the chains to lift it? it looks like there are places on the ends of the heads where you can attach a lifting bracket -- is this the right point to do it?)

However, before we do that, I wanted to make sure I had the rear main seal in correct.

My son actually set it and held it in-place while I focused on getting the crucifix seals in on the end cap and tapping the end cap down into place. Rather than press in the main seal after the end cap is tightened like the manual says, we installed it on the crank, then tightened the end cap down on it.

It seems to be in-place OK, but I was wondering whether tapping around it with say a 1/2" wood dowel just to make sure it is fully seated is a good idea.

Right now it is sitting right below the face of the end cap by probably 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch -- you can just feel it with your finger.

Does this sound about right, or should it be seated deeper into the end cap? I can't remember what it looked like when we took it off, and I would hate to have it pop out once we turn this sucker over.

Any thoughts or advice on this would be appreciated.

Also any thought on priming the engine and general break-in procedure would also be appreciated.

'03 Disco SE
573 Posts
Regarding block tightness and "drag" - what you're experiencing is perfectly normal. You will hear a bit of a faint "scraping" noise as you rotate the assembly after installing new rings - they haven't seated yet so there will be some irregularities in the bore that they scrape on. 15 lb/ft is a little on the high side but as long as the rotation is smooth without any drags or binding you should be good.

Did you mic the new bores & pistons to make absolutely sure they were within the required spec? Were the liners properly bored and honed? New liners are usually slightly oversize to allow the builder to fine tune the fit and sometimes need boring. Piston-to-bore clearance should be between .001"-.002". Anything less than that and you could have issues with binding and anything more and you could be dealing with piston slap.

The rear seal installation sounds fine. There is a lip on the block and bearing cap that allows the seal to "bottom out" so the face will be slightly below the block/cap surface.

However, it's bad form to slip the seal over the crank and then tighten the bearing cap over it. For beginners, it could distort the seal itself and cause leaks later down the road, especially if it went in at a slight angle or wasn't perfectly square. The biggest issue however is that the added resistance from the seal could throw off the torque readings as you tighten the main cap, leading to improper bearing crush which could cause them to wear unevenly or even spin at some point.

However, given the fact that you'd have to pull the whole rotating assembly and likely replace the main bearings and seal to correct the issue, it's probably fine to run it as-is. If I was in your situation I would leave it.

Regarding break in - you can't really "prime" an engine without a distributor, so your only option is to pack the oil pump gears with petroleum jelly, make sure you used plenty of assembly lube on the bearings and plenty of cam grease on the cam lobes and lifters. For the first start, make sure you have a fresh filter, a bottle of zinc (break in) additive, and conventional (NOT SYNTHETIC) oil.

I doubt I'm ever going back to synthetic oil with these motors. And certainly not the lighter 10w-30 or 10w-40 weights the manual recommends. Nearly all Rover V8 experts recommend at least 15w-40 or 20w-50 oil, and plenty of it. I think using lighter weight stuff (particularly Mobil 1 synthetics that I'm used to) lead to my accelerated bearing wear.

I'm going to assume you've replaced the camshaft and lifters? Reusing flat tappet lifters and cams is a mistake as they're heavy wear items. If they are new, you have a very small window after startup in which to break them in properly. This means that once the car is started, immediately raise the engine RPM and vary between 2000-2500 RPM every few minutes for 30 minutes to make sure you break the cam in properly. DO NOT LET IT IDLE. The cam is largely splash-lubricated and won't get enough oil in idle which WILL wear it out in no time at all. Also if the engine doesn't start within 10 seconds or less, stop cranking it, find the issue, fix it, and try again. Extended cranking will harm the cam.

After the 30 minute "break in" is up, drain the oil, replace the filter, refill, and go for a test drive. Usually 30-45 minutes is sufficient. Go somewhere where you won't get stuck in traffic or idle and make sure you vary engine RPM constantly. Using the transmission to downshift occasionally will also oppose the rotation of the motor and allow the rings a better chance to seat.

After that, go careful on the throttle for a few hundred miles to make sure nothing is leaking or broken, then drive as you normally would.
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