3Cleaning Process Request that the shop not heavily oil the block after the work is done. This will only cause you to have to thoroughly wash the block to remove all of the oil. Once the block is back from the machine shop, a light washing is always a good idea to remove any particles left over from the machining process, but you shouldn't have to scrub hard if the block has not been oiled. Don't let a few small patches of surface rust bother you. This can easily be removed by lightly sanding with a very fine grit paper.

Go through all oil passages and make sure all of them are free of sludge and grit. You can lightly oil the block with WD-40 or equivalent to prevent rusting until you can assemble the parts.

New parts are often coated with a heavy oil to prevent rusting. This protective covering has to be removed. Wash all new parts in a solvent that will dissolve the protective coating. Lightly coat the parts with a spray lubricant such as WD-40 or equivalent. Never use silicone lubricants. These contain water and will cause rust to form.

An area of concern is with the pushrods in your valvetrain. These units are coated with oil before they are packed. The rods are then packed lying on their sides, and the oil inside the rod lies on one side of the rod and gels. If this oil is not removed, the rod will exhibit strange characteristics when run at high rpm due to greater weight at one side of the rod. Uneven heating of the rod can occur also as a result of the residue oil, and this can cause the rod to bend. Even a small amount of rod displacement can cause unwanted valvetrain harmonic vibrations that inhibit the valvespring function.

4Ordering Parts One of the most important ways to ensure the success of your build is to communicate the correct information to your parts supplier. Use detail when telling them your parts needs. Nothing slows down an engine build like getting the wrong parts and then waiting for the new parts to arrive.

Tell the supplier your exact plans for the engine. A valvetrain kit intended for a 600-plus horsepower motor that will turn 8,000 rpm is no good for a Limited Late Model motor that will produce less than 400 horsepower and turn no more than 6,800 rpm. The harmonics will be wrong when using the high-rpm components in a lower-rpm motor. The valvesprings designed for high rpm will not live long at the lower rpm.

Measure your old pushrods to make sure the new ones that come with the cam kit will fit properly for the optimum valve geometry. This is extremely important to help provide the best flow at high rpm. If the pushrods you install are too short or too long, the geometry, or angle of the rods and valves to the rocker arms, will be wrong. This affects the timing of the opening of the valves as well as the amount of lift of the valve. Improper timing and reduced lift equals less horsepower for all of your effort.

5Preparing the Parts The rods, pistons, intake manifold, cam, block, and other internal engine components need to be deburred and thoroughly inspected before assembly. This includes removing all casting marks and rough edges left over from the machining processes. This step takes considerable time and effort, but cannot be overlooked if you intend for your motor to live a long and happy life. Rough edges on highly stressed parts are the exact areas where cracks will form. Once these edges have been removed, there will be much less chance that a rod or piston will fail.

The sides of the cam lobes are often left rough and jagged after the cam has been ground. You must take the time to deburr and smooth these edges so that when installing the cam you will not gall the cam bearings. Every hole where a piston pin, crankshaft, or piston will fit must be inspected and deburred where necessary. This means that the entire block must be gone over and worked on.