Friday, April 27, 2012

Well we couldn't let well enough alone. The 401 has been sitting, tightly covered for a bunch of years now and we couldn't help but wonder what the inside looked like. We had acquired a full gasket set from another profitable venture and decided to freshen it up. And besides Jeffrey was set on a metallic AMC blue color rather than the solid blue. But that also changed when he had the good fortune of getting his hands on a black and silver speckled powder coated Edelbrock Performer intake with Edelbrock carb. So he decided, black block with silver heads and black timing cover. We wanted to check the oil pump clearances and when that came
apart and found some light grit and rough gear teeth the rest should be checked out also. Well apart it came. Now if you have been following, this engine had 7000 miles on the rebuild, which we believe to be accurate considering the cross hatching was still evident on the cylinder walls. The decision was made to pull the bearing caps and plastigage the clearances. We were venturing into unknown territory but better safe than sorry. Main bearings were excellent with nice finish on crank and in the middle clearances. Ah, so far so good. The connecting rod bearings were not as good. Crank finish again was excellent but the bearings had wear
spots and one had some gouging, but nothing on the crank. Maybe some of that grit we found in the oil pump made it through.
So we pulled the pistons and ordered up a set of Clevite bearings from Z & M Jeeps While we were waiting for the bearings to arrive the block was steam cleaned, primered and painted Rust-oleum 2000 deg. high heat primer and top coated with the same in black. Ah good the bearings arrived, cleaned everything up, did the plastigage thing and came up with middle of the road tolerances that were nice and straight. The timing cover was cleaned and a new Melling K-85 oil pump rebuild kit was bought at Advanced Auto
 for around $17.00 (can't beat the quality) Lightly scothbrited the inside cavity, deburred the gears with a honing stone and came up with some very tight tolerance, should have some good oil pressure. Right now we are looking into different cam options and for now the fuel injection will be a later option to look at since we got the performer set up. Funds are running a little low again with another semester of college, but with a very good paying summer job at a power plant in the works he might be able to sneak some into the Jeep fund. We'll keep pluggin away.


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