When undertaking his first attempt at rebuilding an engine, our first-timer Patrick Swegles was lucky to have the use of an engine hoist and a sturdy engine stand. Most anyone who has ever rebuilt an engine can attest that doing so on the ground is no fun at all When undertaking his first attempt at rebuilding an engine, our first-timer Patrick Swegle Doing something for the first time is always an experience to remember. Just take that first trip on roller skates or that inaugural pass down the driveway after Dad took the training wheels off the bicycle. Fond memories for sure. Better yet, good learning experiences. Think back to the first time you worked on your car. It may have been a brake job or a tire change. But remember the apprehension about exploring somewhere you hadn't been before. Now try to recall the first time you broke out the socket set and tore down your first engine. Now that was an experience that most of us remember. For me it was a Cox .049 two-stroke model airplane engine. Fortunately, I did it correctly. Because had I failed, I may never have had the courage to rip into that first small-block. While many of you are way beyond the first engine scenario, let's remember that there is a constant flow of newcomers into our hobby. And for them, the thought of removing cylinder heads or popping out pistons is more along the lines of black magic than a simple disassembly. It's not unusual to reuse a lot of the bolts that hold things together when rebuilding an engine. Patrick caught on quick when he chose to use plastic bags for all of those easily lost items. It's not unusual to reuse a lot of the bolts that hold things together when rebuilding an We happened upon a fellow who definitely has aspirations-and the mechanical aptitude-to rebuild his own engine, but had never undertaken the challenge before. With this in mind, and a camera in hand, we followed along as our rookie engine builder, Patrick Swegles, tore into an old small-block that had been resting peacefully-and unprotected-in his backyard. This engine was about as abused as you might possibly imagine, not just from Mother Nature (it had endured a couple of rainy seasons), but when the casting numbers were crunched, it was discovered that the powerplant had seen more than its share of use in a pickup truck. For all of you who are anticipating that first chance to pull an old engine apart, take note of how much fun Patrick had. But don't get discouraged, you'll soon see that you don't have to be a brain surgeon to build your own hot rod engine. Follow along as Patrick does the dirtiest part of the rebuilding process-the teardown. Then, in the next two months we'll show him taking the parts to the local machine shop and then putting all of the components together en route to completing his first engine build. Having air tools can be a big help when it comes to tearing an engine apart. But for the first-timer, learning the correct way components come apart is paramount, so tools as rudimentary as a speed wrench, which Patrick used to loosen the intake manifold bolts, are often the best to use. Having air tools can be a big help when it comes to tearing an engine apart. But for the f Since our donor engine weathered a couple of rainy seasons, many of the parts didn't want to come loose easily. Patrick used a long prybar to break the seal between the intake manifold and the heads. Since our donor engine weathered a couple of rainy seasons, many of the parts didn't want This engine had a throttle body induction system, and the stock intake manifold was made from cast iron. Note the crusty debris, the result of moisture and constant temperature changes, not to mention a few years of misuse in a pickup truck. This engine had a throttle body induction system, and the stock intake manifold was made f With the intake off, the lifter valley was visible. Boy did it have a lot of gunk! The next step in our teardown process was to remove the pushrods. To do this, the nuts holding the rocker arms in place were loosened. The arms were turned sideways, allowing Patrick to pull out the pushrods. With the intake off, the lifter valley was visible. Boy did it have a lot of gunk! The ne Although parts such as pushrods and rocker arms are generally throw-away items when doing a rebuild, the first-timer can benefit by getting in the habit of keeping things sorted out as he goes along. Old coffee cans make good collect-alls. Although parts such as pushrods and rocker arms are generally throw-away items when doing Another tip to learn while doing your first engine rebuild is to make note of the casting numbers. Today, almost any information can be retrieved, such as what the engine came from, its size and what year it was built. This engine is a 350 from a '93 pickup. Another tip to learn while doing your first engine rebuild is to make note of the casting 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!