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Hey everyone,

   Recently I have gotten the time (and funds) to continue, and hopefully complete, my engine rebuild on my 230 Flathead. About 6 years ago I purchased a '55 Flathead from a buddy, while taking an engine rebuilding course at my nearby community college. This was after learning my lesson when buying a cracked engine from an unmentionable forum. After finding the one my buddy sold, I began the teardown. I photographed as much of the teardown as I could. I'm also pretty anal (can I say that here?) about labeling everything. I zip-locked each bolt set and labeled their size, count, and where they belonged. Now, here is my issue: After receiving my 230 crank from a local shop I am ready to plastigage it with the bearing caps, but I don't remember how my caps go. Attached is a photograph of my setup. I could have sworn I stamped them, but also notice there's oil caps, as well. I have looked through my Service Manual from 1955 and don't see any diagram or illustration as to the order in which these caps go. I've checked images online of similar engines and nothing close to what I'm looking for. Long story short, if anyone has any photographs of their rebuild on a 230 I would really appreciate a shot of the bottom end install. 

 

Also, Could I get away with replacing my Bearing cap bolts with some grade 8 bolts? I have called various suppliers (i.e. Burnaby and Vintage Power Wagons) and they don't carry any. Any info would be appreciated!

 

=Adrian=

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Looks like you have the rear and front caps figured out which leaves only the middle 2 to worry about.  The notches for the bearing inserts go to the same side of the block so at least they'll be facing the right way.  With just snugging the caps down to the block, can you feel any minute lip where the cap and block meet?  If that's the case, swap them and try again.  Otherwise you'll need to install brgs, torque them and check your plastigauge readings.  If they're ok, check the rotational effort of the crank for changes when torqueing them individually.  Do that without the rear seal installed and do that regardless of your plastigauge readings.

 

As for the bolts, I'm sure it's been done before but I wouldn't recommend it.  That's a shouldered bolt with a predetermined amount of stretch engineered in to it. A G8 bolt may or may not stretch properly for the application.  I would put an ad in  the wanted section for  a set of good used bolts and perhaps acquire some ARP ultra torque assembly lube to use on them.  I'm sure there are several members that have had more than one engine around that's been scrapped and ,may have a set or several on hand.

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you should be able to use the plasti guage at the dividing line and carefully torque down and then remove and read...if not matched the upper side of the dividing line (cap) should show thick and think when compared to the lower....matched set will show same distortion of the plastic both sides...

 

if doing the above does not result in a good fit by gauge...and you are nervous..(actually do both caps same journal for test fit reading)  then carry back to the machine shop and spring for a line bore to ensure all is right..

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

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I don't recall ever seeing bearing caps not marked. Even a center punch dimple with a corresponding dimple on the engine block. Look closer at the area where the cap meets the block outside of the bolts.

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many engines are not marked at the factory but are a requirement of the rebuilder at time of dismantle..the factory manual also states this is a requirement on the flathead..

Correct when I take them apart the caps get 1 2 and 3 dimples and the block also on the same side. So when reassembling you know # and orientation.

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A while back there was a Wanted post looking for a main bearing cap that got broken in half when put in the wrong location.

My repair Manuel also warns about this and has a pic. of a cap with the lower edge broken off.

 

Take it to a machine shop and have them carefully attempt to locate the proper install.

If unable they will have to do what Plymouthy said and line bore all the caps!

 

Just don't break one! :o

 

Good luck,

 

DJ

Edited by DJ194950

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Most of the older engines I've seen didn't have marks on them until someone needed to give them some serious attention and then most often they were marked with center punches.  As the engines became newer, I saw more of them number stamped by the factory.

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I don't recall ever seeing bearing caps not marked. Even a center punch dimple with a corresponding dimple on the engine block. Look closer at the area where the cap meets the block outside of the bolts.

I did notice the dimples you mentioned and matched those with the bolt holes. They appear to be lined up. I will plastigage and see what type or readings I get, once I get some replacement bolts. Thanks guys!!

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A while back there was a Wanted post looking for a main bearing cap that got broken in half when put in the wrong location.

My repair Manuel also warns about this and has a pic. of a cap with the lower edge broken off.

 

Take it to a machine shop and have them carefully attempt to locate the proper install.

If unable they will have to do what Plymouthy said and line bore all the caps!

 

Just don't break one! :o

 

Good luck,

 

DJ

Thanks for the tip! My manual says the same  :o I will be careful!

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Looks like you have the rear and front caps figured out which leaves only the middle 2 to worry about.  The notches for the bearing inserts go to the same side of the block so at least they'll be facing the right way.  With just snugging the caps down to the block, can you feel any minute lip where the cap and block meet?  If that's the case, swap them and try again.  Otherwise you'll need to install brgs, torque them and check your plastigauge readings.  If they're ok, check the rotational effort of the crank for changes when torqueing them individually.  Do that without the rear seal installed and do that regardless of your plastigauge readings.

 

As for the bolts, I'm sure it's been done before but I wouldn't recommend it.  That's a shouldered bolt with a predetermined amount of stretch engineered in to it. A G8 bolt may or may not stretch properly for the application.  I would put an ad in  the wanted section for  a set of good used bolts and perhaps acquire some ARP ultra torque assembly lube to use on them.  I'm sure there are several members that have had more than one engine around that's been scrapped and ,may have a set or several on hand.

Hi Dave72dt, With snugging the caps I did feel a small lip where cap and block meet. I think I will attempt to install bearings and see what my readings are. I think I'll stamp them once everything is in it's right place, too!! Just in case there's a future rebuild.

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 Try swapping the positions of the 2nd and 3rd caps and recheck for that lip.  It shouldn't be there.

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Found some replacement Bearing Cap bolts online. Gonna see how the positions of the 2nd and 3rd caps differ them hopefully start assembly. Thanks for your help everyone!

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StreamlineDeco47, on 05 Dec 2014 - 4:52 PM, said:StreamlineDeco47, on 05 Dec 2014 - 4:52 PM, said:

Found some replacement Bearing Cap bolts online. Gonna see how the positions of the 2nd and 3rd caps differ them hopefully start assembly. Thanks for your help everyone!

IF you use caps from another engine you will most assuredly need a line bore...testing the caps known to be original to your block as described above will give you a better than average chance of finding what cap goes where by reading plastic gauge at each side of the dividing line....I do not think you are making progress if you introduce foreign caps to your block without a line bore..I think that is a recipe for disaster..however...you are free to do as you wish..it is your baby...

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

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I believe you are right...such egg on my face now..apologies to the man....and I do try to read twice before posting so not to miss the obvious..so much for that theory...but my synopsis on co-mingling caps still stands...lol

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

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Good point to bring up, though.

 

IF you use caps from another engine you will most assuredly need a line bore...testing the caps known to be original to your block as described above will give you a better than average chance of finding what cap goes where by reading plastic gauge at each side of the dividing line....I do not think you are making progress if you introduce foreign caps to your block without a line bore..I think that is a recipe for disaster..however...you are free to do as you wish..it is your baby...

I would stray away from using caps from a different engine-unless I knew they were interchangeable! No worries. I'm looking for more assembly photos of the similar engine's bottom end, if anyone has or knows of any.

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If I saw Don's bottom end......I don't think I'd be thanking him...lol!

 

Lol! I looked through all his pages. There's so much to try and make out, but I got an good idea of what's going on in there. More pictures would definitely help out a lot!

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Had my 1955 Plymouth 230 crank checked for cracks and size, I asked the shop to order bearings, they asked if it was auto or stander trans, evidently the rear main bearing is different. any info will help.

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