How-To Rebuild the Top End of a Chevy 350 V8 Small Block Engine

Uploaded by motorztv on 27.03.2012

Today on Motorz, Chris is going to show you how to rebuild the top end of our Chevy small block.

In the previous episodes of our junkyard engine rebuild series we showed you how to
tear down a Chevy 350 small black engine, all the way down to the block. We took that block to a machine shop and got
it cleaned up. We showed you how to rebuild the bottom end using products from Molly Motorsports and Eagle Specialty Products, and
now it's time to assemble the top end. Now our old cam was completely thrashed, plus we wanted to upgrade to a newer system
so Crower hooked us up with a new cam and roller lifter system. The other parts we're going to show you how to install are the
intake manifold and heads from Dart. An oil pump assembly, new push rods, rocker arms, timing chain assembly
and all the hardware and gaskets you need to put it all together. Now to rebuild the top end of your Chevy
small block engine you're going to need a camshaft installation tool, some motor oil and some copper spray gasket.
[Olivia] We're also going to need a half inch box wrench, various ratchets and extensions, a 36 mm socket, and some
basic sized ones too. We need some assembly lube, RTV, a torque wrench, a dead blow hammer,
some gloves and those safety glasses. [Chris] Also, on top of that intake manifold there's a couple bolts that are really
hard to get to so one of these swivel sockets is what you need.
The first thing we'll be installing on our small block from Crower. Now
to make that go a lot easier we have one of these cam installation tools. It mounts on to the front of our camshaft. That gives
us a hand hold to keep this level while we're inserting into the block. But before we install that we're going to take
some of our assembly lube and coat the bearing surfaces and cam lobes.

Insert the cam carefully and slowly so that you don't knick any of the bearings.

With our camshaft
installed we can move on to our timing chain and our sprockets. We're going to start by installing our crank sprocket using a large
diameter socket, as well as a rubber mallet and then move on to our cam sprocket and timing chain. The
crank sprocket has three keyways for different valve timing. Each is marked with a matching symbol that lines up with the mark
on the cam sprocket. The circle is for straight up which is the one we're going to use based on the chain and
cam manufacturer's specification. The triangle is for advanced and the square is for retarded cam timing.
Your keyway selection affects the performance and if done incorrectly it can damage your motor.

Using your cam sprocket for reference, be sure that both of your sprockets are lined up
properly. With your number one piston at top dead center, install your cam sprocket
and turn it until these marks line up. Then without turning it at all, remove your sprocket and then install your
timing chain.

Then torque those bolts down to twenty foot pounds.
Cam timing changes the timing between the
valves opening and closing in relation to the piston's top dead center. Now if we were building a high horsepower motor
the cam timing can be altered for better performance. Since we already upgraded our cam and lifters
we also decided to upgrade our cylinder heads. So Dart hooked us up with a pair of their Iron Eagle cast iron 72 cc
cylinder heads. The provide better performance out of the box due to the increased valve diameter and better air flow.
It comes with all the hardware you need, including the rocker arm studs and guide plates. Before we install these
studs we need to drop them in some motor oil. Add your guide plate and your studs
then torque it down to forty five foot pounds. With our
camshaft installed and our timing chain on we can move on to the top end of our engine starting with these new heads from
Dart. Now they provided these ready to go gaskets, which just pop into place, we'll put our head on top of that and then
torque down the seventeen head bolts in a specific order. After cleaning the mating surfaces of both our heads and our
block to make sure we don't have any debris, grease or adhesives left on there from tape, we can go ahead and put on our head gasket.
Now you can put the head on by yourself, but since we're using these heavy cast iron heads
it's a good idea to have a buddy help you out. Now to keep the head from slipping off go ahead and start
one of the head bolts. There are three different lengths of head bolts. You've got seven of the long ones that go along top
you've got two of the medium length ones that go on the ends of the head and you've got eight of these shorter ones that go on the outside
. Each bolt needs one of the supplied washers and you'll want to dip this in some motor oil before you put them in.
Adding motor oil to the bolts helps reduce friction, giving you a more
accurate torque. We're going to run down all seventeen of our head bolts using a half inch socket
end and extension. When we're all done we're going to torque them down to seventy foot pounds in a specific order.
So when we get to that point we're going to show you that pattern. Now there's a very specific
order in which you need to torque down your seventeen head bolts. Dart provides us information with their installation instructions
right here, but it's the same for all small block Chevys no matter which heads you use. So we're going to take our Craftsman torque wrench
and our half inch socket and torque them all down to seventy foot pounds in that specific order.

We've torqued down all our head bolts twice to seventy foot pounds, now repeat this entire
process on the other side to install your other head. Now when we come back from our break, we're going to show you how to install the lifters
the pushrods and the rocker arms.

Hey, welcome back. Now that we've got both of our heads installed I can show you how to install the
Crower roller lifters as well as the pushrods and the rocker arms. Evenly apply some moly-lube
to each lifter.
Drop your two pushrods in.
Now we previously showed you how to torque down the
guide plates, but when we went to install the pushrods we found they were out of
alignment and we needed to re-adjust them. Drop your rocker arm into place
put some moly-lube on the rocker ball,
drop that down inside
then take the nut and just hand tighten this for now. When we're all done
we'll make some measurements and snug them down good. Install the nut
and tighten it down until that stud starts to poke through. Now once we're done
with all the rocker arms we'll make some final adjustments.
With all of our rocker arms installed, we're going to hold off on making our final
valve lash adjustments until we've installed our harmonic balancer, which is going to make it a whole lot easier
to turn that crank. For now go ahead and install our new intake manifold from
Dart. To prepare our small block for the installation of our new intake manifold
we first cleaned the mating surfaces of both of our heads. To prepare our gasket
we sprayed the head side of it with copper spray gasket. It's not only going
keep it in place for when we install the intake manifold, but it's also going to create a nice
seal between the gasket and the head.
Before we install our intake manifold we want to cover up this oil pressure
port on the back of our block with some tape to make sure that we don't get any sealant in there.
With our intake manifold gaskets in place and oil pressure
port taped up, we can finally get to the installation of our Dart intake manifold.
Now we're going to start by creating a gasket on both ends of our lifter valley just using some
rtv. Then we're going to secure it down using these twelve inttake manifold
bolts using a Craftsman ratchet. When we're all done we're going to torque them down to
20 foot pounds. Now, just like our heads, there's a specific pattern in which we want to torque those
down. When we get to that point we'll show you how to do it. Take your RTV
and run a quarter inch bead from gasket to gasket. You want to let that sit for about
5 to 10 minutes to develop a light skin.

With all of our intake
manifold bolts snugged down by hand, we can now take our Craftsman torque wrench and
torque them all down to twenty foot pounds. Starting with a criss cross pattern in the center and working
our way out. Now due to the design of this intake manifold, we need to use a swivel
adapter for these ones in the center.

Now all these parts
would seize up if we didn't have proper lubrication, so we're going to install our oil pump next.
I've got our oil pickup already installed as well as the driveshaft, so all we've got to do is
drop it in and torque down the bolt to seventy foot pounds.

[Olivia] Partz, brought to you by Craftsman
at Sears. [Chris] You see us using them all the time on our show
and if you've been following along with our Chevy small block engine rebuild series
you know that we use them in every single episode. Now of course you don't have to be
rebuilding an engine to justify getting one because just about every single bolt
on your vehicle has some sort of torque specification. Now, as much as
we all love to tear things apart, eventually we have to put them back together correctly.
That's why a torque wrench is a critical tool for your tool box.
Craftsman makes every kind of torque wrench that you can imagine. We have many
of them here in our shop that we use on a regular basis. Half inch drive,
three eighths inch drive, long, short, inch pounds, foot pounds,
newton meters, you name it. They even have some we don't have in our shop like the
old beam style torque wrench or the brand new Craftsman Digi-Click which
combines the digitial awesomeness of this bad boy with a traditional click
style torque wrench. Most of them come with a plastic carrying case too.
Take a look at all the options at or stop by your local
Sears store and check them out. Are you rebuilding a Chevy small block
engine like we are? As you already know, there's a ton of after market products available
for them, it's just crazy. And air cleaners are no exception.
One finishing touch that everyone you show your rebuilt engine too first
so you want to make sure that you look at all of your options before settling down on one.
Take this one for example. It's Holley's Power Charger air cleaner
assembly. Not only does it look cool but it's also functional and practical.
Originally designed and produced by Wyan before the company was purchased by
Holley, this 64280 is ideal on applications where hood
clearance is at a minimum. It will clear just about any hood even
with a high rise intake manifold or engine blocks with a higher deck height.
These die-cast aluminum air cleaners have a highly polished finish and
include the red filter elements and hold down screws. Now, if the
red filters aren't your style Holley offeres Power Shot air filters which is part number
90633 in blue and they run about $20.00 each.
Now this air cleaner fits most four barrel carbs without the need for an adapter
and has a dropped base style and the rectangular shape is unique
measuring 18.5 inches long by 7 inches wide.
For more information just visit the Partz page at our website. If
you haven't yet improved the handling and performance of your vehicle suspension, you
need to. And it's not as expensive or as difficult as you think. Now
I'm talking about sway bars like these Hellwig bars right here for a Ford F-150
lightning. I've got them on my F-150 too, and every time I turn a corner
or need to swerve out of the way from something in the road I thank Hellwig products.
Engineered specifically for the Ford Lightning, these are heat treated and
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driving and make your vehicle much more fun to drive. Hellwig
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41/40 chro-moly steel and high tech polyurethan bushings are easy to bolt
on with simple Craftsman hand tools and come with a life time warranty.
Now, to see how easy it is to install them on a Mustang or an F-150 just
check out our two previous episodes on our website. So whether your vehicle's
suspension is stock, lifted or lowered you need to pickup a set of Hellwig sway bars
they're available for most cars, trucks and SUVs.
Now, for more information, visit the Partz page at our website.

[Olivia] Letterz, brought to you by E3 Spark Plugs
born to burn. [Chris] Now before we get to our letters I want you to
do me a huge favor. Write down our facebook page and our twitter address and when
you're done watching this episode go check it out and follow us. We've got all sorts of exclusive
content, videos and photos and all sorts of stuff that you won't see anywhere else.
Also, check out our website. Every month we're giving away a free car cover from
Covercraft and katzskin and here's a look at one of our recent Ridez winners.

Now that could be your Motorz branded car cover. All you gotta do is
visit our website and click on the Partz button. Now our first letter comes from
Adrianne. He says... hey Chris, great small block rebuild. I was wondering how long
that orange duplicolor paint would last on the block? It looks great. Thinking
about trying it on mine. Well we actually got a lot of questions after that episode aired
because that duplicolor engine looks so good on our small block.
Now, as long as you clean the surface and make sure it's free of grease and other liquids
it'll last for a very long time as long as you don't put any harsh chemicals or de-greasers on it.
Hayden wrote us and said... Hey Chris, I really love the show! It's super
helpful to actually see things done step by step. You've helped me a lot
but one place I am still afraid to go is the transmission. Are you planning on doing any episodes
about the mysterious transmission? We actually are. I mean we're
finishing up our small block 350 right now and we're also working on another project
vehicle, an 87' Mustang where we're doing a complete over haul on that thing
with an engine swap. Now, one of the things that we've gotta do on both of these is
a transmission. So if you keep on watching we'll probably end up doing two for you.
And finally a guy by the name of Pat el'Toro Bravo writes...
The new blue shirt just really rocks and I was looking for it in the store but I couldn't find it.
I'd be proud to wear one with the Motorz logo on it. I hope I'm not the only one.
Keep on going and keep up the great job Chris! Well Pat you're definitely not alone,
we get this question all the time and I know I keep telling you guys to keep checking the store because we'll have them
at some point and they're not there right now but... they will be soon! We're working with
a new apparel company to come up with some new crew shirts and we'll have some T-shirts that will
be up pretty soon as well. So, definitely keep checking back.
Now I want to thank Pat and everybody else for sending in their Letterz. you guys get free E3 Spark
plugs for your ride. Now to find out if they're available for your ride or to learn
more about their awesome diamond fire technology, just visit

I'm here now at the
2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas and we're once again at the Covercraft
booth with Jeff to find out what new product announcement they've got and to find out what else
is going on. So Jeff, what exciting new products do you have this year? [Jeff] Well this year we're introducing
a seat heater, a seat heating kit. That's an after market
heater for applications that don't already have heated seats.
It's easy to install with a quick release buckle underneath
it keeps you nice and warm and you recommend that they be used underneath our seat covers
, the seat savers, and seat gloves. [Chris] Ok, now how do you plug that thing in? I see a cigarette lighter
adapter over there. [Jeff] Exactly. It plugs right into a cigarette lighter or other outlet that's in
the vehicle. It has two switches to operate either the seat bottom
or the seat back element. [Chris] Well Jeff I notice that this year you have some vehicles in
your booth. You have a Jeep JK here with some of your products on it. Why don't you tell us what you've got here.
[Jeff] We have several products on the Jeep. Most notably the Seat Savers.
On the front we have our standard poly-cotton fabric but on the rear we're
showcasing the true timber camo, which is available in five different patterns.
[Chris] Now featured your Pocket Pods on the show before on our Mustang and I see you've got
three of them here on the JK. Tell us a little bit more about these guys. [Jeff] We have a seat back version that
can go on the rear of a front seat. We also have one that's
mounted on the rear gate of the Jeep. Yeah, we've outfitted this
Jeep with a Dash Mat, the original Dash Mat. We also
have the floor mats, a LeBra brand front end mask
and one of our UV Shields. [Chris] Now Jeff you got your
2011 Ford Mustang here and you've got a custom logo on here. [Jeff] Yeah,
we have a Ford Program that allows customers to get a
variety of different Ford licensed logos on covers and other items we manufacture. [Chris] Now what if
I've got my own custom design? Is that something you guys can do too or is that just pre-set?
[Jeff] It's pre-set, it's set by Ford. [Chris] Ok, excellent. Well, lets get this thing off and find out what kind
of products you've got inside. [Jeff] Well this is the Colgan
custom bra, it's the original car bra. Very nice fitting, high
quality fabrics. Two different fabrics available. A standard
black vinyl or the carbon fiber. We also have from Colgan
the custom mirror bras, which are available in the same fabrics as the
front mask. It helps to protect the mirrors from bugs, rock chips
different things like that. On the inside we have the UVS 100
ultraviolet shield to help keep the vehicle cool. We have the Seat Gloves which are a
seat protector built more for comfort but also adds a touch of style
to the seats and interior of the vehicle. Also on the Mustang,
we have canine covers which are a full line of protective covers
for cars, trucks, SUVs and they range from a full
universal type cover to a fully custom cover like is in the Mustang.
[Chris] And we've got a restraint here on our pooch? [Jeff] Yes, the roadie pet restraint
is available in seven sizes, so just about any dog can use this
restraint. [Chris] And he seems to be enjoying it. [Jeff] Yeah he likes it a lot.
[Chris] Now Covercraft's core product of course are all of their car covers. So Jeff tell us a little about
all these guys you have up on the walls here. [Jeff] Well car covers are our
core business. We have13 different fabrics that
fit any situation that the customer may need. Our weather shield HP
is our premier outdoor fabric. Excellent UV protection
and helps in wet situations...rain, snow
and one thing that's very important is that it's breathable. Which all car
covers should be. It's available in nine colors also. Dustop is our premier
indoor cover. Strictly for someone that's keeping a garaged vehicle but
wants to keep dust off of it. Evolution is our most popular all weather
fabric. It's been around for many years and most people are familiar with the name.
Fantastic UV protection, it's a layered fabric so it's soft but also provides
a small level of ding protection. It's good for all weather conditions. We also have the
form-fit fabric which is indoor protection only. [Chris] That's the one we just pulled off the Mustang?
[Jeff] Right, that was on the Mustang. It's a polyester knit with spandex
material so it's very form hugging. Most collectors like it
because it does show off the lines of the vehicle while it's on. One of our other popular and newer
fabrics is our Reflec-Tec. It provides light weight sun protection.
The silver color UV reflective finish is really the main feature of this
and does help protect actually against sun damage. [Chris] Well Jeff thank you for showing us all
of Covercrat's products here at the SEMA show. It looks like Covercrafts got all aspects of vehicle
protection covered from inside and out. Now I don't know about you but I think we should fire up
the JK and hit the strip. [Jeff] Lets go
From our Crower cam and lifters all the way up
to our new Dart heads and intake manifold, the top end of our Chevy small block
is complete. Now you may have noticed we don't have our valve covers on yet. That's because we're waiting to install
our timing chain cover and harmonic balancer so we can adjust our rocker arms.
Now on our next epside we're going to show you how to install everything else. From the oil
pain, the headers, the carburetor and ignition system. Now as always we'd like to thank
Molly Motorsports and Eagle Specialty Products for their help with this build. Now for more
information on all the tools and parts we used on this episode just head on over to our website.
We'll catch you next time on Motorz!