Note: Work in progress. Pictures and artwork to follow.


Number one.

The disassembly of number one engine was fun as well as educational. You end up saying a lot of "So that's how that works" ( and the lights come on!) and "Oh my god, look at all that crud". Now in the case of my number one engine, I had removed most of the on-board parts while the engine was still in the boat. Heads, pumps, hoses and alternator. That kind of thing, so tear down went pretty fast. Be sure to have a box of the right size latex gloves on hand, you'll need them. When you use gloves, gone are the days of oil and grease stained fingers, and clean up is a snap. Besides, that stuff can’t be good for you. Of course I drained all the oil from the pan first. As it drained, I held my gloved fingers in the stream of oil feeling for foreign mater. It came out like mud at the end. I’ll bet that oil pan bolt had not been removed since its' installation in 1969. Be sure to put a large auto type drip pan under the unit before you flip the engine over on the engine stand! It will puke water and oil and shit all over the place. When I pulled the oil pan off mine, I could not believe the amount of clay/mud sludge lining the bottom of the oil pan. It was at least 3/4 inch thick! I believe this build up is due to not changing the oil enough. Also, years of removing oil by sucking it out through the dip stick tube, due to the inaccessibility of the oil drain plug on the bottom. This is ok to get the bulk of the oil out, but I believe it will tend to leave behind the thickest stuff at the very bottom. It was then that I promised myself to install a oil removal tube in the drain hole in the pan, and plum it up higher for ease of access and a more complete removal of the worn out oil.

During disassembly I take lots of notes, and take lots of pictures. I also keep all the bolts and light hardware for each separate item in a plastic ziplock bag, then mark their names or where they belong on the bags with a permanent marker. This will alleviate a lot of the guess work and make reassembley smoother. Set them aside for cleaning and inspection at a later date, like when all the big parts are in the machine shop.

Take all of your larger parts that are covered in crud down to the machine shop of your choice and have them all hot tanked first. That way you can see what you've got to work with. The engine block, heads and exhaust manifold must be magnafluxed first to determine  if there are any hidden cracks. If so, replacements will be needed. Once I got the ok on the integrity of the parts from the machinist, I brought them back home for a little extra clean up.

Some people might say it's a waste of time, or "what the hell you want to do that for?" But keeping in the whole spirit of a hobby, and not a job, I go the extra five miles and used a high-speed hand grinder to buzz off all the excess material on and around the casting seems. Taking any sharp edges off and rounding over rough spots. This will not only make it look better but will hopefully keep the scraped knuckles and hand lacerations to a minimum during any future maintenance operations. For an extra touch, I couldn't resist, and used a bastard file on some of the raised casting numbers and letters to bring them into a brighter contrast.

Once the heads, block and manifold were deemed fit by me, back to the shop they go. I dropped a thousand cash on counter to cover parts. The kit ended up costing $990.00 That bought me pistons, rings, and pins, oil pump, cam, lifters and a gasket set. Did you know that Chrysler Marine is on the average about 30% more money for parts then Chevy. Could that mean maybe Chrysler is 30% better then Chevy?

The shop sent the crank and harmonic balancer off to be serviced elsewhere. I was asked if I wanted to just trade in the crank for a different one that was already done, and I said no. This original crank was forged and not cast. I'm told forged is better, so we'll just stick with this one. Plus, I know for a fact this one was never in a car wreck or an engine that came apart.

The piston rods, or connecting rods if you will, must be serviced as well. This is a step that some people skip. Not me. The idea of this whole rebuild is to make this engine as bullet proof as possible. Of course they all need to be inspected for bends or twists in the shank. If so replacements would be required. The common thing with connecting rods is that they can go out of round on the crank side. The fix is easier than I thought. A small amount of material is removed from the mating surface of the cap to make the hole smaller than normal. The end caps are re-fastened, and the hole is then re-bored to an exact size. It is also a good idea to replace the connecting rod cap bolts with brand new ones. It will cost extra but to me it is worth the peace of mind.

The reassembley of the short block is a very exacting process. Sure it would be fun to insert the new pistons, and put all the new cool shiney parts in the newly refurbished block myself. But I don't do this kind of thing every day, like the guys in the shop do. So for the sake of safety I opted to spend the money and have the shop build the short block for me. This would include the installation of the cam barrings and cam, main barrings and crank, pistons and timing chain. Freeze plugs too. Basically, all the guts. By having the shop do the work I get somewhat of a guarantee on the block should something catastrophic occur inside the short block. But let's hope not! Knock on wood!...

Time to bring that baby home! Of course after paying off the balance on the bill. Ooh, ouch. Well, that behind me, forward we go. Now starts the fun part. Putting it all back together. Correctly. I got a copy of the "How to rebuild the Chrysler B and RB engine" book. Simply a must. It will keep you on the strate and narrow path to completion by following the steps outlined therein. I have been using this book as a guide from the very beginning.

I guess the first step would be to get the beasty thing on the engine stand as soon as possible. Be sure that the engine stand you’re using has a high rating and is able to hold a big engine. Like 1,300 lbs. or so.

Assembly started with the timing chain cover. Big difference here between the auto type, and the marine type. The marine cover is cast, and has a bunch more holes in it for mounting stuff like power steering, seawater pump and fresh water pumps. You have to be careful to put the right bolt in the right hole as they differ a little bit in size and length. One trick I used to keep all the bolts in their proper place was to draw or trace the outline of the cover on to a piece of cardboard then push the bolt through the cardboard in its' respective place. There was a difference in the gaskets as well. The water jackets were larger and higher. This required me to custom cut a gasket to fit the larger water jackets.

Next was the oil pump. The rebuild kit the shop orderd was for autos. Fortunately, the base on both pumps were the same as well as the relief spring and plug. It was a simple task to remove the auto type cover of the new oil pump, and install the marine cover off of the old pump. The big difference being that the marine oil pump cover is plumed for a "in and out" port to feed through the oil cooling unit and back into the oil pump. This will keep the oil the same temperature as the coolant in the block. When installing the pump on the block, be sure to use the right length bolts in the right holes. I ended up stripping out the first three threads of one hole by using to short of bolt. I had to use the same size tap to fix the threads I striped, then locate a bolt the correct size. Luckly, there were enough threads remaining in the hole to give sufficient bite to tighten to the required 30 lbs. Close call on that one… Before the oil system can be charged with oil the cooling lines must be connected to the cooling unit to close the system.

More to follow.

Yall come back now, ya hear!