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Old 12-31-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
Team Scream
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Default Tricks of the "trade" (group effort)

I wanted to start a thread that would hopefully develop into a community effort with people participating and sharing tricks of the "trade" when it comes to engine building.

I don't really expect the shops that pay their bills by selling you engines will readily come in and share their tricks of the "trade", but if they are so inclined, I think we all would welcome the participation!!!

Please keep replies to each post limited to ways to improve the process if you have a better way. Just replying with "thanks, that is awesome, I was wondering how to do that" will just make it harder to find the "tricks".

It would be nice if this was a reference we could all draw from without having to search through dozens of pages of nonsense to find the gold.

I will update the thread occasionally with more tricks, but more importantly, I will try to index it for easy reference Like the link below:

Case Dowel Extraction
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Last edited by Team Scream; 12-31-2011 at 07:57 PM. Reason: title change
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
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Anyway, I will start it off, with a trick I learned a long time ago building motorcycle engines, but it transitions nicely into the EJ world, so here ya go:

REMOVING CASE AND HEAD DOWELS

These things can be a pain in the A$$ sometimes, and I have actually seen machine shop employees just grab these things with vice grips and start twisting. That usually ends up with heavily scarred dowels that are all but usable when they are done.

I think the case dowels are the most important ones to keep as pristine as you can because their condition will greatly affect your ability to get the cases together nicely when building your engine, and will definitely dictate how hard the cases come apart when it is time to refresh the engine.

With that in mind, here is the "trick":

These are the case dowels I am referencing:




Using a 10mm x 1.25 tap, you just run the tap down into the dowell. No need to drill, the hole is perfect for 10mm x 1.25 - Use WD-40 as cutting oil





As you can see, the threads are perfect





Next, you will want to use a washer or spacer to protect the case parting line. I have a nice aluminum "washer" that fits perfect





Next, get your "stack" together, which in my case is a 3/4" drive short 17mm socket (placed upside down so the dowel has a cavity to extract into), another thick spacer (a few washers will suffice) and a 10mm x 1.25 socket head bolt, and my T-handle allen wrench (USE ANTI SEIZE on the threads to prevent binding), and start twisting






The dowel will be pulled nicely out of the case half! You may have to stop half way, unthread everything and add a couple more washers to the stack to get full extraction, but this is the easiest way to pull these dowels out sans having a special tool. EVERYONE should have a 10mm x 1.25 tap if you work on these engines.







Lets see your Trick of the "Trade" !!!!

Last edited by Team Scream; 12-31-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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Neat trick.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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Sweet, I'll be doin' this soon.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Scream View Post

It would be nice if this was a reference we could all draw from without having to search through dozens of pages of nonsense to find the gold.
I figured I would bump this thread as the above is exactly what I have been doing for "fun" lately

So "thanks, that is awesome, I was wondering how to do that".

But seriously, while I do not have many of my own tricks yet, I would like to request one. What do you guys use to remove RTV and other crap from threads? Do you use a wire brush and a solvent or cleaner, or a tap or thread chaser? While this may not qualify as a trick, I am sure there is an easier way than I am using!
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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Here's how I found my ring gaps and ground the rings:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...light=ring+gap

I'd say good for a home build but too much work for a pro
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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My trick for pulling wrist pins out:

I just use one of the rubber covered handles on my big pliers to shove into the center of the pin... it grips it pretty well and pulls the pin out really easy (assuming you don't have stuck pins).

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Old 02-09-2012, 12:56 AM   #8
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Any tricks to picking the correct main bearing and rod bearing sizes?
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCal_Scooby
Any tricks to picking the correct main bearing and rod bearing sizes?
Plasti gauge or mic the ones you have. If you mic you need to measure three areas bearing crack and block if its ben line honed. It's easier then plasti gauge, since you will have exact tolerances.

Check clearances with oil or assembly lube to substitute oil. Those aren't tricks lol.

You can remove the transmission and rear diff and leave the axles in the hubs that's a trick of mine I've learned.

Cant seat transmission? Checked everything? Try turning the motor over while having someone push in on the trans. Sometimes the splines wont line up perfect.

Battery can stay in while changing plugs.

*Fill your oil filter before you install it.* I've always done this on everything some cars you can only add so much. Some is better then non on start up.

pb blaster and big end channel lock pliers works great on exhaust hangers. Especially the heavy duty pita ones.

If I think of anything else I'll post it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoolinsti05 View Post
You can remove the transmission and rear diff and leave the axles in the hubs that's a trick of mine I've learned.
Im trying to pull an engine and trans together, and the axles are giving me problems. How do you get them to seperate from the trans once you have the entire assembly in the air?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spoolinsti05 View Post
Cant seat transmission? Checked everything? Try turning the motor over while having someone push in on the trans. Sometimes the splines wont line up perfect.
I have learned an easy trick for aligning the splines. once you get the engine close, and make sure the angles are right, the engine cant be tilted relative to the trans at all, I normally put a jack under the trans to accomplish this. Simply spin the crank shaft using a 22mm socket on the main bolt that holds the harmonic dampener on. Turn it a tiny bit, and try pushing the engine together, if it doesn't go, turn the crank a bit more. simple. (obviously this is if you aren't using a lift, and pulled the engine not the trans.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by spoolinsti05 View Post
pb blaster and big end channel lock pliers works great on exhaust hangers. Especially the heavy duty pita ones.
Pick up a set of THESE. They work amazing for exhaust hangers.



My tricks:

-Keep a putty knife handy when separating an engine from the trans. I have one that has the metal running all the way through the handle, so I can hit it with a hammer, to get that first crack between the engine and trans. 9 times out of ten, what you will be stuck on is the guide pins, so focus on separating the area around the pins.

-You dont need to disconnect the AC or PS pumps to pull an engine, if you simply remove the pumps from the engine lines attached, you can get enough room to pull the engine.

-Radiator fan Plugs have a pull style key. you dont squeeze the connector, you have to pull the key away from the connector.

-Dont be afraid to use a flat blade screw driver to help you pull apart stuck connectors.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:32 AM   #11
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I've got a few I've been meaning to post but since I had to deal with this yesterday Ill post it now.

Use a large putty knife on both front corners of the oil pan to get it off without damaging the mounting surface.

Just gently tap it between the pan and the block.


Ill post more later about splitting cases, do not ever under any circumstance pry the case halves apart.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:16 PM   #12
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I've never pulled a transmission with the engine on one of these cars.

But wrx & 04 sti have dowel pins you need to punch out. idk if thats exactly the issue at hand.

As far as lining up the splines I use a lift with a transmission jack that has a chain to hold the trans to it, and two tilt adjustments. Works awesome. I'll also use a exhaust jack stand to tilt the motor back for extra angle.

I also herd you can just pull the motor forward to do a clutch need to remove the radiator of course. Idk what else never tried
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:01 PM   #13
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Another thing that helps with the oil pan is a rubber mallet or deadblow hammer. Once you get the putty knife in and break some of the RTV as B.R.E.D. mentioned, gently tapping it will break the seal. NEVER use a screw driver to "pry" it off, as you will warp the flange and be buying a new oil pan.

A tranny jack is THE best money I ever spent. I can now install and remove an STI tranny by myself inside of 15 minutes ones everything attached is removed. I use a jack with a block of wood to push the front of the engine back. Once everything is lined up with minimal tension the tranny slips right on/off.

Thanks for the wrist/piston pin trick. Does anyone else have a specialty tool that is easier/cheaper/better than an actual wrist pin puller?
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.R.E.D View Post
I've got a few I've been meaning to post but since I had to deal with this yesterday Ill post it now.

Use a large putty knife on both front corners of the oil pan to get it off without damaging the mounting surface.

Just gently tap it between the pan and the block.


Ill post more later about splitting cases, do not ever under any circumstance pry the case halves apart.
I designed a tool for splitting the case halves. I have not completed it yet, but when I do, I will make a few of them and offer them to those who may want them.

Here is the original post I made about it last year:
Team Scream Case Splitter

And here is a drawing I sketched up in Illustrator to show the concept.





I will be diving into this tool to try and complete it as soon as I get these 2 engines built.

The concept is to use the crank as a fulcrum, a used set of head bolts as the pulling agents, and tooling that bolts to the flywheel contacts @ the back of the crank, and uses a rubber pad between the tooling and the front of the crank.

Essentially, the used head bolts will separate the case halves from the dowels and sealant by keeping the crankshaft stationary.

This is a rough sketch of what it looks like so far, but if you visualize it, you will get the picture pretty easily.

No pounding on the case, no prying, no damage the the mating surfaces or dowel pins from cocking the case halves. Just clean, perfect separation which is what you want when you want to inspect main bearings and impart no additional scoring or damage during the case splitting process.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:13 PM   #15
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What do you guy's do for seized wrist pins. I Have a older ej25. I Was thinking a hook slide hammer deal. It's seized bad..

Yea with the tranny jack my best time is 35 minutes to get it all apart. With hand tools I only used air on wheels, mounts, shaft loop's. And leaving axles in the hub's trick.

if I didn't quit smoking an hour lol.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.R.E.D View Post
I've got a few I've been meaning to post but since I had to deal with this yesterday Ill post it now.

Use a large putty knife on both front corners of the oil pan to get it off without damaging the mounting surface.

Just gently tap it between the pan and the block.


Ill post more later about splitting cases, do not ever under any circumstance pry the case halves apart.
I have seen a scissors jack used in the bell-housing area of the engine to split the block. Anything wrong with this method?
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:26 PM   #17
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Here is my wrist pin puller. I used a 20$ slide hammer from harbor freight for the puller, and made a custom adapter out of a screw driver. I broke the handle off, and welded on a nut to the back so the hammer had somewhere to grab. then I Bent the tip over in a vice, and welded the tip for strength.





\

And, that case breaker is awesome team scream!
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:58 PM   #18
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Not to take anything from your idea BUT

The easiest(cheapest - no special tools required) way to take out piston pins is by PUNCHING them OUT , NOT PULLING OUT

I just use long 0.25" metal rod I bought for $3 at ACE and a mullet(hammer)

You slide it trough #1 pin to punch out #3 (and vice versa)
You slide it trough #2 pin to punch out#4 (and vice versa)
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:13 PM   #19
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I have a long rod that I put a slight curve in, I use it to push the pins out from the other side of the case.

Once you do a couple its easy to get a feel for.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manys
Not to take anything from your idea BUT

The easiest(cheapest - no special tools required) way to take out piston pins is by PUNCHING them OUT , NOT PULLING OUT

I just use long 0.25" metal rod I bought for $3 at ACE and a mullet(hammer)

You slide it trough #1 pin to punch out #3 (and vice versa)
You slide it trough #2 pin to punch out#4 (and vice versa)
I'll try this.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manys View Post
Not to take anything from your idea BUT

The easiest(cheapest - no special tools required) way to take out piston pins is by PUNCHING them OUT , NOT PULLING OUT

I just use long 0.25" metal rod I bought for $3 at ACE and a mullet(hammer)

You slide it trough #1 pin to punch out #3 (and vice versa)
You slide it trough #2 pin to punch out#4 (and vice versa)

I didn't know that was possible, I would think that the inner CIR clips would be in the way of getting the rod through. But if it works, That is defiantly a good trick!
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #22
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I thought everyone used that trick lol. By far best way to go.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #23
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I thought everyone used that trick lol. By far best way to go.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:49 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squarebush

I didn't know that was possible, I would think that the inner CIR clips would be in the way of getting the rod through. But if it works, That is defiantly a good trick!
I'm sure that's why I didn't do it. I'll see if I can get to them with two long picks idc if they fall in the block coming apart anyways.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:59 AM   #25
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You don't have to take the inner ones out there is room to get the rod through there.
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