Next, fit the lower bearing shells into the caps. The caps should be marked with numbers and an arrow indicating proper position and direction. The cap in the front of the block is always number one, and the arrows always point toward the front. The caps should be a tight fit into their registers in the block. You can use a dead-blow hammer to gently tap them into position. Never use the main cap bolts to pull the caps into place. This can damage the threads in the block.
Before threading the cap bolts into place, lubricate both the threads and the underside of the cap with motor oil. This will produce more consistent torque results.
A Ford Windsor uses half-inch bolts, which means they should be torqued between 95 and 105 lb-ft. Torque the bolts in threeapproximately equal steps (35, 70, and 95 lb-ft), alternating sides of the cap at each step instead of pulling the bolts directly to the final torque setting.
If you haven't already done it, take a moment to make sure the crank is completely clean. Use a brush to eliminate metal shavings hiding inside the oiling holes, and then wipe down all the journals.
Using a micrometer, measure one crank journal. On this Windsor crank, the journal size was dead on at 3.00 inches. Lock the micrometer down so that it won't move.
Next, calibrate your dial bore gauge. The easiest method is to gently hold it in place in a vise. Place the micrometer (still locked to the size of the crank journal you just measured) over the dial indicator and zero out the gauge. Now use the dial bore gauge in the corresponding housing bore for that journal. It should read approximately 0.003 inch larger. Of course, it rarely will be perfect. On a Ford with a 3.00-inch journal, your working range can be between 0.0015 and 0.0047 inch. On a Chevrolet with a standard 2.448 journal, you should hold your clearances between 0.0015 and 0.0027 inch. If you find your bearing clearances outside that range, you can purchase a set of bearings that are either oversized or undersized by 0.001 inch. By mixing standard and under- or oversized shells, you can change your bearing clearance by 0.0005-inch increments. When you do this, make sure to keep all the shells of one type in the same location. For example, if you use one standard shell and one undersized shell, keep all the standard shells in the cap and all the undersized shells in the block, or vice versa. The location isn't important as long as you are consistent.
Once you have measured all your journals and matched them to their specific bearings, you are ready to lay the crank in place. Before doing that, however, spread a coat of assembly grease on the bearings to protect the crank. Do not lubricate the thrust faces of the thrust bearing at this point.
Now lay the crank into position. Without installing any of the caps, use a dial indicator on the nose of the crank to measure endplay. You should be able to move the crank back and forth by hand. Crankshaft endplay for both Fords and Chevys should be between 0.004 and 0.009 inch.
If you have the correct amount of endplay, go ahead and install the rear main seal before bolting on the main cap.