All new parts must be inspected for defects, proper fit, and suitability for your application. We often see where the parts supplier makes honest mistakes or misreads your needs. The quicker you inspect the parts upon arrival, the sooner you can return them for the right part. Do not assume all of the parts are exactly what you ordered.

6Assembly There are several areas where we can make huge mistakes when we assemble our motors. Some of these might just surprise you, but when you hear the logic, it will all make perfect sense.

The simple act of torquing the motor can be much more complicated than we often think. Paying proper attention to details like these can make the difference between a great motor and an average motor. All bolts are designed to be torqued differently for various applications. There are usually instructions on properly torquing the bolts, such as: whether to lube or apply a locking agent to the bolt first; exactly what kind of lubricant or locking agent to use; how to apply the lubrican cking agent; the proper sequence for tightening a set of bolts such as head bolts; and, of course, the proper torque to apply in measured steps.

After all of the bolts are torqued, many engine builders will tap the top of the bolt head with a flat punch and hammer to help redistribute the torque loads along the threads. The bolt will have a distinct sound, and if one bolt sounds different, it might not have seated properly, or the threads may be defective or worn. Try this the next time you torque down the heads. You will hear a distinct ring to a properly seated bolt. Torque one bolt halfway and listen to the different sound it makes when tapped with the punch.

An improperly torqued bolt can lead to thrown rods, head gasket leaks, stretched or broken bolts, and other maladies. Know when to use locking agents on your bolts. For some applications, such as bolting into aluminum, there is a real possibility that some stronger locking agents will pull the threads out of the part when we remove the bolts.

7PreLubing the Parts We need to prelube many of the parts that will be assembled inside the engine to help prevent initial startup wear and tear. Most parts will come with the proper lubricant to use. Don't outsmart yourself and use a different lube than is provided. Contrary to some builders' beliefs, these lubes are specially designed to be the correct composition for the part you are installing, and not just a cheap lubricant that saves the company money.

The areas of concern relate to how the lubricant will break down after the engine has been assembled and run. If the lube will not dissolve in the engine oil, you will have problems with blockage in the oil passages or in the oil filters. Never use silicone or moly lubricants in your engine.

One area even professional engine builders sometimes miss is lubricating pistons and rings when installing them. We do not want to apply oil or heavy lubricants to the pistons, rings, or cylinder walls when installing the pistons. The oil will prevent proper break-in and seating of the rings against the cylinder walls. If oiled, these surfaces will take a longer time to wear in for a proper fit to provide maximum compression and reduced blow-by.

Experts will tell us the break-in related to rings and cylinders begins whenever we turn the crankshaft with the pistons installed, even turning by hand before final assembly. As we turn the crank to position it to install the next piston, the previously installed pistons/rings are already beginning the break-in process. This is very important to know. The initial compression numbers and the horsepower generated by the engine all depend to a great extent on the seal between the rings and the cylinder walls.

Robert Yates, one of America's top engine builders, once answered a fellow who asked, "What kind of oil do you lube the pistons with when installing them?" Yates said, "We are on a tight budget and don't use any lubricant." What he was really saying was, don't use heavy oil-based lube on the pistons and rings.