How-To Machine a Chevy 350 V8 Small Block Engine

Uploaded by motorztv on 26.03.2012

Today on Motorz, Chris is taking our small-block to the machine shop

Presented by AMP Research.
In our previous engine rebuild episode, we showed you how to tear down a Chevy 350 all the
way to the block .Well the next step is take it to a machine shop so that it can be checked for
cracks and cleaned up before we can rebuild the bottom end using products from Mahle Motorsports
and Eagle Specialiy Products. Britt Bostick the owner of
the owner of NewTech Engine Systems in Ramona California, did an excellent job machining
our block. He took it from a boat anchor to a usable block that
with just a little bit of paint will look like new. Now lets head over to NewTech to see
what it took to get our block to look like this. Britt's shop
NewTech Engine Systems is located in Ramona California, he has a ton of
specialized equipment that most of us just don't have access too. So when it comes
time to machine your block you need to take it to a shop like NewTech, now since
Bret has a full service engine building shop he can build anything from a daily driver to
a full blown race motor. Now we could also have him assemble the motor for us
but that would take all the fun out of it. Well Britt, thanks for letting us
into your machine shop, everybody wants to know the process of machining a block so
what's the general overview of what we're going to do today. [Britt] Ok, well, first off we're
working with a Chevy 350, you guys have already stripped it down
so it's going to go into the jet-wash tank, after it comes out of the dish
washer, then we'll buff it and get it all
clean. [Chris] Using a camshaft bearing tool, Britt removes all the bearings
in our block, we'll use the same tool later to install some new ones
then he removes all the freeze plugs, using a punch, hammer, and some pliers
next step is to magnaflux the block to make sure there aren't any cracks.

[Britt] We're going to mag it with this magnaflux mag, and this powder is basically
blow the excess off and you look for cracks
this powder is
consists of cast iron, talcum
powder and it's got a color in it so you can see it

do the lifter bores
a lot of these later model 350 Chevy's they
lighten up the casting so they have a bad habit of cracking up in the lifter bores

Well, that's that, you guys lucked out. No cracks. [Chris] We're going to take a
quick break while Britt gets our block ready for line honing.

[Chris] Well you've got our block setup in your line hone
machine, what's going to happen here? [Britt] We're going to dress the main
saddles, get all the burrs off them,
the other thing I like to do is go along and ease the edge here, that way when we're done
when it goes on assembly, you're not peeling metal when you
push the bearing in. We're going to go over in a bit and cut the
caps, and then we'll rough line hone it and
we'll get it to the low side of the spec and then at that point we'll measure up
the crank and we'll put a bearing in it
and we'll physically measure and check the clearance. [Chris] Britt uses a belt sander
to deburr and champher the main caps
this will make it easier to install and remove the bearings during the assembly process
then he uses a cap and rod reconditioning machine to square the main caps
in preperation for line honing. [Britt] Now that we've cut the caps
and we've filed these mating surface, we're going to go back and
file the edge here.
[Chris] In preparation for
line honing, Britt puts the all the caps back on in a specific order, adds some
bolt lube, puts the bolts back in, tightens them down, then torques them down
to spec. Britt uses a setting fixture for the Sunnen
dial-bore gauge, setting it on a low side, he'll line hone our block to that
setting. Now once that's done we'll put the bearings in, use a micrometer to measure the
crank size, set the dial bore gauge again and then verify our clearance
and make adjustments as necessary
[Britt] So we're at minus 3, minus 3 and half, minus 3
minus 3 and about 2/10's, minus 3 and this was a minus 2
but we're not going to get excited about that because that cap is wider and it cuts slower

[Britt] This one is half, second one is half a thou, half a thou
half a thou, about 4/10ths

[Chris] a micrometer
or a mic, is a precise measuring device when you need to measure something
down to 1 thousandths of an inch or smaller, Now we've got our crank
from Eagle Specialty Products, what do we need to do to it? [Britt] For right now
we're going to mic it, because we want to get the size of it, put a bearing in that
block and then set the dial bore gauge to the size of the crank and then that way
we'll get an accurate on what the oil clearances will be
but since we're here, we're going to go ahead and mic the main and the rod journals
and record those on a build spec sheet for later references
because we'll need the rod sizes when we compare the oil
clearance on the rods, when we get to that part. Now we got the gauge set and bearings
in there and the caps torqued up, gauge is set to the size of the crank
we'll just gauge this hound dog and see what
we got for clearance. All right, we checked out clearances with a
standard bearing in here, it so happens the crankshaft, a lot of these
manufacturers will put the performance cranks on the low side
so we ended up with 2 and a half clearance, and
since you're going to run synthetic oil we want a little
less than that, so we put some 1 under bearings in here and we're going to check that
now. And we in fact have
1 7/10ths clearance, so we're going to call it a day

[Chris] All right Britt, we're done line honing the block and we're standing in front of
the block master, what is this thing going to do to our engine? [Britt]
We've got a fixture that BHJ makes, and we're going fixture is all
up, put it in there and when we're done it'll
lines up the cam and the mains
and the deck surface 90 degrees to each other
and then at a 45 to the centerline of the block
you'll find these blocks will be rolled one way or the other and they'll be off
end for end, so this makes all the cylinders will end up being the same size
when we're done. [Chris
when we're done. [Chris] When we're done squaring up our block in the Block Master we're
going to move onto our cylinders. So hang in there, we'll be right back
with more Motorz

[Chris] We need to use the micrometer to verify the diameters of each piston before
we hone the cylinders, that way we'll make sure we end up with properly
sized cylinders. We'll bolt on a torque plate to
simulate the stress that the head will put on the block and then finish honing our cylinders

[Chris] Next, Britt cleans out the lifter bores
so that the lifters are free of rust and debris
then to prevent damaging the skrits of our new Mahle Motorsports pistons
Britt chamfers both the top and bottom of each cylinder
then finally he chamfers the distributor hole which makes our block
more accomodating to an aftermarket distributor with an o-ring

Now that our block has been machined, the next step is to
test fit our brand new crank from Eagle Speciality Products, but before we do that we
have to pop our caps off, put everything back in the jet washer and get that thing clean
again, after adding some assembly lube
we can install our crank and our caps and then take one of the pistons and put it in each
cylinder to make sure we don't have any clearance issues, our cap bolts did
clear, but it was a little bit too close for comfort, so Britt took a sharpie and marked the area
and then opened it up a little bit
while the maching of our block is done, we're
not, so hang in there for Partz, coming up next
Partz is brought to you by the Sears Blue Tool Crew
We have just about every size standard
and metric Craftsman socket in our shop so that we can quickly finish our project
and meet our deadlines, now we've got the standard chrome sockets as well as impact
sockets for our air tools in both standard and deep sizes.
Most of the time that's all we need, but occasionally we encounter a fasterner like this guy
where our deep sockets just aren't deep enough. In tight situations like this
quite often the best tool is an open end box wrench, but as you probably
already know, unless the sitation is ideal, which it rarely is, you can never get
the leverage you need and the open end wrench just keeps wanting to slip off. That's why
Craftsman came out with this max access socket ratchet and drive tool system
there isn't a bolt in the world that is too long for this innovative tool
due to its pass-through system, which elminates the need for deep sockets, plus
the max access system provides exceptional fastener clearance for long bolts
and it fits in spaces where traditional sockets and ratchets can't
included in the system are two low-profile pass-through ratchets that are 40% stronger
then traditional ratchet designs, only have a 5 degree ratcheting arc
which allows you to turn a fastener in tight spaces without a huge swing
just like the standard ratchet versions these feel great in your hands thanks to the ergonomic
paint handle design, also included with the system are extensions and a
adapters for both 3/8" and 1/4" sockets so you can even use these ratchets with
your regular sockets, pack it all up to go with the included plastic carrying
case and have a piece of mind that if one breaks you can replace it thanks to Craftsmans
lifetime warranty. Check them out at websites partz page, at
or visit your local Sears store. You probbly
already know about vehicle programmers that plug into your OBDII port
they quickly increase the performance of your vehicle, conduct tests and more.
SCT has been making them for years, like their SF3, X3, or
even their touch screen Extreme. SCT's automotive programmers can increase your
vehicles horsepower, torque and throttle response and a whole lot more all by
optimizing your vehicles engine management computer. But what if you've already got a
iPhone, an iPod touch, or an iPad. Now if you're like me
you're wondering why the heck we can't use the mobile devices that we're already carrying
around to tweak our rides brain. But the only way to interface with you cars computer
is via the OBDII port, which is located under the dash
in 1996 and newer vehicle. So how do we get this to talk
with this. Well our good friends over at SCT figured it all
out by creating the first bluetooth OBDII interface of its kind
that communicates with your iOS device. It's called the iTSX
and not only will it give your vehicle more perfromance in 15 minutes
without getting your hands dirty or even cracking open the hood, but it can also monitor
your vehicles engine parameters, read and clear diagnostic trouble code and measure
your vehicles performance by using the built in performance calculator
all wirelessly. It includes a variety of configurable
on-screen virtual gauges and layouts and for parents with younger drivers
the iTSX also has the ability to set a vehicle speed limiter for increase safety
Yeah, my daughter is going to just love me for that one [female] Dad!
[Chris] It's currently available for 1996 on up, Ford and GM
gas and diesel vehicles, this is by far one of the coolest and most useful
gadgets I've seen in a long time. We're already having a lot of fun with it
the iTSX app is available right now in the Apple AppStore and
you can find out more about the iTSX hardware by clicking the Partz
button at our website, If you want to give your late model Mustang that
classic retro Shelby look there are a number of things that you can do, from suspension
to wheels, a body kit, and a whole lot more. But one of the
simpliest accent pieces you can add that will make a huge difference in achieving that
look are these side quarter panel scoops from 3d Carbon. They give you
bold styling with a tight, flush kit that is very easy to install
using the OE approved 3M double sided tape
there isn't any drilling or cutting, either. They're manufactured using 3D Carbons high
pressure injected polyurethane and they're backed by their factory matching
warranty. The kit comes with a side quarter panel scoop for each side, polyurethane
dome mesh decals for the side scoop insert, 3M adhesion
promotor, and of course the 3M tape to stick it on. They come in
a matte white finsh, but they can be painted to match your vehicles paint code
available for Mustangs 2005 and up, you can learn more by visiting the Partz page at
our website. Do you have one clunky old garage door openers
that just make a ton of noise every time you open and close them? Then you should check out the new
garage door openers from Craftsman. This belt driven model includes a DieHard backup
battery for when your power goes out, two remotes for your vehicle
wall control, as well as an exterior keypad. Now the really cool
thing about this whole setup is the Assurelink connectivity. You hook this litlte guy up
to your Internet router and you can control and monitor your garage door from any mobile
device or computer. Now we already have a garage door opener here in the Motorz studio
that and the excellent step-by-step instructions from Craftsman are going to make
installation a breeze. Now lets get that old garage door opener out of here!
Now that we've old garage door opener removed, we can assemble the trolley
which is going to our garage door on a rail which is really easy to assemble
it just snaps together like this.

Which our belt looped
through the front of our rail, we can install our pulley with the supplied hardware then loop it around
the gear on top of the garage door opener, then connect and adjust our tension
Install the door bracket at the top of the garage door then attach the
door arm, we removed our old senssors using some Craftsman
wire cutters, we're going to take our new ones and add em onto our existing brackets
make some adjustments, check the alignments and tidy everything up
Installing the DieHard backup battery couldn't be any easier with its built in
storage area, connect your wires for the sensors and the wall control and then set your
thresholds for the garage door. The only thing left to do is to mount your wall control
customize your settings, set the time, and test everything out to make sure that it
all working properly. If you'd like to monitor or control it remotely
all you've got to do is visit Craftsman website and add your device. The installation of a Craftsman
garage door opener, especially if you re-use your existing wiring
like we did. Now we've got 4 different ways to open up our garage door whether its from a vehicle
remote, our wall control, our keypad outside, or anywhere in the world
from a mobile device.

Letterz, brought to you by E3 Spark Plugs
Burn to Burn
Welcome to Letterz, now we love hearing from you guys now all you've got to do to get your letter on
the show and possibly get some E3 Spark Plugs along the way, is head on over
to our website, click on that Letterz button that is right there on the home page. We want to
hear what you think about this episode, what you think about our website, anything else
we want to hear your suggestions and comments, everything is valuable. We listen to every
thing, whether its at our website, our Facebook or our twitter. Now our first
letter comes from Nicholas King, he writes. - What's up Chris
I have been watching your show since the first season and it's helped me work on my Mustang.
What I love most are all the tools you have on the show, and it got me thinking..
Where;s the hot tool girl? Keep it up, DIY guy! [Chris] Well Nicholas, you've already met her
she was at the top of the show and you'll see her again in the credits with our bloopers, her name is
Olivia Korte, we found her during a recent casting call for the
Motorz Girl, she fit the bill perfectly, she's beautiful, she's got a great voice, she's got
experience in the automotive industry, I could just go on and on and on, but if
you want to find out more information just head over to our website at
to find out yourself, and stay tuned for more episodes where she'll be doing
even more with us. Our next letter from Raylon
who writes - I'm a big fan of your show! I'm a college student in Lousiana and I've
modified my 2002 Honda Accord Coupe SE by watching your show.
I've switched to E3 Spark Plugs, installed a cold air intake, aftermarket headlights
and I've even installed a Viper alarm. Thanks man! [Chris]
Well, you're welcome Raylon. Now not only did he send in this awesome letter he also sent us
a couple videos to show us all the things he's done to his Accord
Take it away, Railan! [Railan] Hey Chris Duke, This is Railan just wanted to say thanks
for the helpful tutorials and this is my 2002 Honda Accord coupe SE
So here's a couple of modifications I've done to my car, aftermarket headlights
with HID lights
underneath here I have 4 E3 Spark Plugs
and the cold air intake
and to wrap it all up I have the Viper alarm with remote start

[Chris] Well, Thanks Railan, your Accord
is looking pretty nice, that's a lot of work! Now if you'd like to have your
vehicle featured on the show, like Railan's, just head on over to our website and click on the Letterz
button and send us a letter. Next up is Tyler
who writes - Hey Chris, I love the show and watch it all the time. I own a used
1997 Chevy S10 and it needs a lot of work. ANy advice for
a DIYer like myself? And do you know of a good place where I can get a cheap OBDII reader?
[Chris] Well Tyler, of course in additional to Motorz you can check out other shows on television
and online, but the best thing for you to do is to check out a Chevy S10
enthusiast website, there are a lot of great people at those forums and they can help
you out with everything you're trying to do, because they've probably already done it before
as far as your OBDII reader, head over to or check out
your local Sears store, because last time I was there they had a ton of options
and check their Facebook and Twitter accounts as well, because they often have discounts
Iggy wrote in and said - How should I
install an oversized drain plug in a 1989 302 HO motor?
I started to slowly turn it into the oil drain pan, but there was too much resistance.
This is a stock double hump oil pan with two drain holes
[Chris] Well Iggy, you should try to use a thread tap to try and repair those threads to you can use a factory
sized plug, now if those threads are so far gone you're going to have to use the thread tap
to create some new threads, then get a new, slightly larger plug for it.
and finally Chris asks - I've got a 2003 Kia Sedona
with 80,000 kms and the crankshaft needs to be replaced at Kia.
They asked me for $2,500. Do you think it's worth it or buy another car?
If so which minivan would you recommend? Thanks for your help!
[Chris] Well Chris, you should check out what else may be wrong with your Kia Sedona, as well as the
status of your pocketbook to make that decision on your own, but if you
do move ahead with a new minivan, check out the new 2012 Dodge Caravan
RT, and the copperhead pearl coat. Now that's a swagger wagon!
I want to thank Chris and everybody else for sending in their letters to the show, you guys get
E3 Spark Plugs for your ride, now for more information about E3 Spark Plugs
or to find out if they're available for your ride, just head on over to
As you can see, machining a block is
quite and involved process requiring a lot of specialized equipment you can't get
at your local Sears store, now in our next episode we're going to show you how to install new
pistons from Mahle Motorsports, and the bottom end from Eagle Speciality Products
Now we want to thank Britt at NuTech for helping us bring our junkyard engine back to
life. For more information on all the products used in this episode, head on over to
We'll catch you next week on Motorz!