Hi everyone and welcome back! The last month hasn’t slowed down much for me. I have been smokin’ busy at the shop and have been trying to spend some time at home with my baby son Michael along with getting the new “Hemi-eater” done for this season! Holy crap! I can’t believe it’s already July! Where has the time gone? I seem to get busier the older I get, and I‘m only 38! So, lets get to it!
This article will cover most of the assembly of the 348 cubic inch short block. Last issue I left you at the point of final honing the block. All of the pre-assembly has been done and bearing clearances checked, block notching for connecting rod clearance has been done, and the O-ring grooves have been cut into the deck surface. So, on to the final hone. The first step is to once again run the block through my jet spray tank to wash away the chips and grit from some of the previous machining operations including the O-ringing. After that I installed the main caps along with the Moroso main cap girdle (#22928) and supplied bolts and torqued them to 80 lb.ft. with ARP moly assembly lube.
Some of the sharper eyed readers will realize that 80 lb.ft. is not the factory spec. You are correct. I almost always torque main and cylinder head fasteners to approximately 10 lb.ft. more than the listed specs. I guess I got into this habit after the first time I used a rod bolt stretch gauge instead of just torquing the fasteners to the recommended spec. and discovered just how inaccurate a torque reading can be. Not really inaccurate I guess but maybe a better word would be variable. I’ll cover this concept more later in the article but suffice it to say I see no harm in adding an additional 10 lb.ft. of stretch to the fasteners. I do however make sure to use this same 80 lb.ft. during all pre-assembly through final assembly and I checked the main housing bores for a out of round condition after torquing the fasteners.