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Old January 6th, 2019, 20:39
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Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Well, since Project Unicorn blew the engine some time back, I've been considering what to do for a replacement.

I talked about it with Mr. Russ Pottenger, and he kindly took the blown engine from 4643 apart and found that a surprising amount of it would be reusable, and figured we could probably knock a stroker together without even getting into 4 digit dollars. I liked that idea, so we set out figuring the details and getting parts on ordered.

Somewhere something went terribly askew. I've forked the build thread off here so we can document the build of "GLOM - The strokerator". Because I refuse to own anything called the "unicorn stroker".
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Old January 6th, 2019, 20:46
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Cool, looking forward to the thread. I need to call Russ and talk to him about an engine or 2. Have one I need to reassemble into a stock class baja racer and the other for my badly knocking DD.
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Old January 6th, 2019, 20:57
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

I'm going to go slow here and may cheat with my moderator powers to come back and correct the technical stuff here on this thread as Russ straitens me out, but we've decided to try and drop some details here.

Started off with a 99-04 NVH block.



Russ punched it out to .060 over and chopped the top off of the deck, and set me to washing it.

Started off with a large assortment of brushes.



Lots of scrubbing the outside.



Lots of scrubbing the inside.




And into every oil passage.







And a good hot water rinse.



I didn't take any pictures, but after this I wiped every machine surface down with Marvel Mystery Oil to prevent flash rust, and then painted it.



And then I got criticized for not painting the back red. I don't know why red, but it got done.

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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:03
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

And then into the shop for some work.

Cam bearings.









Russ marks the bearings with an "up" line so the oil hole stays lined up.




Even though he carefully aligned them, he went back and checked to make sure the holes passed through correctly for every oil hole.

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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:16
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Next Russ started prepping the rods and pistons.


Russ has his own rods made. They are forged steel H beam chromoly and bushed for floating wrist pins.




The caps are doweled for additional strength.



Next to a stock rod you'll notice they are far more substantial, and you will also notice there are no balancing pads - so they clear the girdle in a late model block without grinding. I managed to not get a picture of it, but they also have ARP bolts.



So he installs the bearings, torques the bolts. He measures the corresponding rod journal on the crank, and zero's his dial bore indicator to that exact size, and then uses it to check the rod bearing clearance on a per rod basis.





This rod has roughly 2.5 thousands bearing clearance.



Number the rod (and cap) so you are sure to put it in the right place later, and then also label which side points forward.



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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:27
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Russ also has his own pistons made. In fact I think a bunch of you are familiar with his pistons.

But you aren't familiar with *these* pistons.

Edelbrock a couple of years ago released a new aluminium head for the 4.0. They missed a lot of opportunities as far as upgrades goes, but the one thing they got right was reengineering the combustion chamber instead of re-using the same AMC chamber from 1941 (1941! jeep used it until 2006). The combustion chamber is a bit smaller both in CC (55) and overall footprint, giving you a better quench zone.

Russ had new custom pistons made to take advantage of that.



You'll notice unlike any other 4.0 piston (at least that I have seen) to date, these are not all the same. They are asymmetric to match the intake/exhaust orientation of their cylinder. They are forged high silica aluminum (4041? he told me and i don't remember the exact compound). He feels its the best compromise between strength and user friendliness. My particular pistons are a 3.935 bore, 1.385 compressed height and a 14cc dish.




Compare to his standard iron head pistons.



And to really show what we mean.




Back to building.

Once we establish which pistons belong to which holes, we need to label 'forward' so we don't put them on backward.



Toss the rod in the rod vice, slide the piston on, slide the pin in, drop in 2 C clips, and then re-mark 'forward'.




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Last edited by cal; January 6th, 2019 at 22:04.
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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:31
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Once the pistons are hung, its time to toss the crank bearings in, and torque the caps down.



Measure each main journal.



Zero out the bore indicator.







Measure the corresponding bearing.



And repeat the entire process over and over again, removing caps as we go.

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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:35
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Back to the pistons, its time to install new moly rings.

Russ made a point of going in and filing the ends of every ring back just a little to make sure they aren't going to scratch the cylinder wall.





He installs the rings not only with the gap 180* out from each other, but also makes a point to put them on the sides of the piston, where there is no cylinder wear from the skirts and its not a thrust wall.

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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:37
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Russ keeps an old cam around just for testing cam bearing installs. Once the bearings are in, he slides his cam in and spins it to make sure there is no binding and it has the anticipated amount of drag.



Apparently its pretty common in the graybeard builder crowds to actually grind all of the lobes off of a cam to keep around just for this job, but he feels its unnecessary.
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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:39
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

And now onto the crank. Drop the crank in, with the first, last, and thrust bearing, and spin to to check for drag and make sure there is proper fore/aft movement in the thrust bearing.



No gauge for this one, he does it by feel, with a screwdriver he apparently only uses for this job.





When I asked about the spec, "it just needs to move a little". It does just move a little.
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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:43
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Now to liberally lube up all of the rod bearings (everything else got lubed up, but usually I was doing it so i didn't stop to take photos).





One last marvel mystery oil of the cylinder walls before dropping the pistons in.



Piston into the ring compressor.





Making sure the compressor is seated and square




And gently tap it home.





Now doing number 6 since they run in sync.



You'll notice that the rods had no studs, so there was no reason to cover them with a sleeve or hose.
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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:48
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Roll it over and install the caps. Remember they are numbered and have forward marked, so its pretty easy to not fail here.



Nice bolts. Lubed, like everything else.



One of the bearings moved a little. Russ just pushed it back in place with a screwdriver.



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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:52
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Pistons are a little out of the hole. We'll get to do some math on that shortly.



Russ taps the pistons on all 4 corners to square it up in the bore (I was shocked how much they move).



And then measures how far out of the hole it is at all 4 corners, and marks them.





They average about 12.5 thousands above deck.
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Old January 6th, 2019, 21:58
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

Next Russ dropped the oil pump on there. We went with a high volume Melling.

In my application we don't need to clearance the pump, but for most oil pans you do have to, so he did it to document it in this thread.





This mark is where you hit the pan. Clearancing involves sanding the corner of the pump and pounding the baffle in the pan with a balpean until the pump clears.





45 seconds on the belt sander.



Russ wanted me to point out that there is a machine ledge on the surface the oil pump mounts to. On most blocks there is miles of clearance, but every now and then the aftermarket pumps do hit the ledge and do not sit flush, in which case you need to grind the block a little bit.

You can see the ledge here. Loads of clearance.

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Old January 6th, 2019, 22:02
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Re: Gratuitous Lack Of Moderation - A little stroker build

While we're talking about grinding.

On Renix blocks, the Russ Rods get really close to a boss cast in the block for the knock sensor. On some blocks you do have to grind the back of that boss.

This isn't a renix block, and we have miles of clearance, but you can see it here.



We did have to clearance it on the stroker for Dallas's MJ that we built last month.
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