Chrysler Concorde/Intrepid/LHS/New Yorker/Vision 1993-1997

Pistons and Connecting Rods

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This procedure requires removal of the cylinder head and oil pan. It is much easier to perform this work with the engine removed from the vehicle and mounted on a stand. These procedures require certain hand tools which may not be in your tool box. A cylinder ridge reamer, a numbered punch set, piston ring expander, snapring tools and piston installation tool (ring compressor) are all necessary for correct piston and rod repair.

REMOVAL

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4



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Fig. Fig. 1: Identifying the connecting rod with the cylinder number



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the connecting rod cap, then install rod bolt protectors



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Fig. Fig. 3: Place rubber hose over the rod studs to protect the crank and bores from damage



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Fig. Fig. 4: Carefully tap the piston out of the bore using a wooden dowel

This engine uses conventional aluminum alloy pistons. Piston pins are press fit into place to join the pistons to forged steel connecting rods. DO NOT switch pistons with other rods on this engine. Three rings are used. The piston rings include a moly filled top ring and a tapered face intermediate ring. Chrysler Flexible Fuel Vehicles (vehicles designed for high methanol content fuels) use all chrome rings for durability under multi-fuel conditions.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Place a drain pan under the engine oil pan.
  4.  
  5. Remove the oil pan drain plug and drain the engine oil. Remove the oil filter.
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle. Mark the hood mounting at the hinges and remove the hood from the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Drain the cooling system. Remove the radiator and cooling fan assemblies.
  10.  
  11. Remove the engine assembly from the vehicle using the recommended procedure.
  12.  
  13. Remove the intake manifold and the cylinder head(s).
  14.  
  15. Remove the oil pan and the oil pickup tube assembly.
  16.  
  17. Connecting rods and pistons are usually made with a slight offset to reduce starting noise. This means the pistons and rods must be assembled with the correct orientation, in the same relative position as they were when new. The position of each piston, connecting rod and connecting rod cap should be noted before any are removed, so they can be reinstalled in the same location. Check the tops of the pistons and the sides of the connecting rods for identifying marks. In some engines, the top of the piston will be numbered to correspond with the cylinder number. In other cases, a notch or an arrow or a dot stamped in the top of the piston points towards the front of the engine. It may take some scraping to clear carbon off the piston top to see any identifying marks.
  18.  
  19. It is very important that connecting rods and connecting rod caps not be mixed up. The bearing cap must stay with its mating connecting rod. In addition, the bearing cap must not be installed backwards. For this reason the connecting rod and connecting rod cap should have numbers stamped on the machined surfaces next to the rod bolts that correspond with their cylinder number. If not, use number stamps to identify the cylinder number on the machined surfaces of the bolt bosses on the connecting rod and cap for identification when reinstalling.
  20.  
  21. Examine the cylinder bore above the ring travel. High-mileage and/or poorly maintained engines will likely have a ridge at the very top of the cylinder wall at the extreme end of the piston ring travel. This is actually an unworn area of the cylinder wall. If a ridge exists, remove it with a ridge reamer before attempting to remove the piston and rod assembly. Otherwise a piston can be easily cracked if attempts are made to force a piston and ring assembly past a cylinder ridge.
  22.  
  23. Rotate the crankshaft until the piston to be removed is at the bottom of the cylinder. Loosen the connecting rod bolt nuts until the nuts are flush with the ends of the bolts. Using a hammer and a brass drift or piece of wood, lightly tap on the nuts/bolts until the connecting rod cap is loosened from the connecting rod. Remove the nuts, rod cap and lower bearing shell. Many technicians take great care to lay out used bearings in a row when disassembling an engine. Reading and interpreting bearing wear across a row of bearings can give clues as to crankshaft condition (bent, etc).
  24.  
  25. Connecting rod bolts are specially hardened steel to take the stress and abuse of connecting rod operation. The threads are also relatively sharp. This means that connecting rod bolts will easily nick and score the crankshaft connecting rod bearing journal surface if care is not used when removing a connecting rod and piston assembly. To protect the crankshaft surface, install a short length of 3 / 8 -inch rubber hose over the rod bolt threads to act as both a guide and to protect the bearing journal. This will prevent damage to the bearing journal and rod bolt threads.
  26.  
  27. With the crankshaft protected, use a hammer handle or piece of wood or plastic to push the rod and piston upward in the cylinder until the connecting rod is clear of the crankshaft journal. The piston should slide up the cylinder bore for removal relatively easily. If not or if the piston/connecting rod hangs up, DO NOT hammer on the bottom of the connecting rod. Check to see what is holding the rod. In most cases, the rod will have pivoted sideways slightly and the top of the connecting rod bolt head will be hanging up on the bottom of the cylinder wall of the engine block. Hammering on a stuck connecting rod WILL chip and gouge the block. Remember that the maximum overbore for many modern engines is only 0.030 inch (0.762mm). If the cylinder wall is damaged, the block must have the damaged cylinder machined (bored) oversize and an oversize piston installed. If the cylinder wall is nicked or gouged deeply enough, and careless connecting rod removal can do it, a 0.030 inch (0.762mm) overbore may not clean up the cylinder wall and the block may have to be machined for a cylinder sleeve to save the block, an expensive operation. It is good practice to work carefully and never force anything apart during engine teardown.
  28.  
  29. Remove the rod and piston assembly through the top of the cylinder bore. Remove the other rod and piston assemblies in the same manner. Inspect the condition of the connecting rod bolts and replace them if they are necked, or stretched out. Necking can be checked by holding a small steel scale (ruler) across the threads. If all the threads do not contact the scale, the bolt should be replaced. This is often hard to tell. In actual practice, when an engine is torn down for overhaul, reconditioned or new connecting rods are installed so connecting rod bolts will be new.
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  31. Clean and inspect the engine block, the crankshaft, the pistons and the connecting rods for cracks or fractures. Most technicians will send the empty engine block to an automotive machine shop for cleaning in a tank of hot caustic solvent or in a cleaning oven. An alternative is repeated scrubbing the block with detergent and high pressure water. The primary cause of rebuilt engine failure is dirt getting into a vital area such as a bearing. Use care to clean parts as well as possible.
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  33. Inspect the rod bearings for scoring, chipping or other wear. In practice, most rod bearings are not reused since their cost is low. Inspecting the used bearing should help diagnose mechanical problems (dirt intrusion, overheating, oil starvation, etc.) leading to the
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  35. Inspect the crankshaft rod bearing journal for wear. Measure the journal diameter in several locations around the journal and compare to specification. If the crankshaft journal is scored or has deep ridges, or its diameter is below specification, the crankshaft must be removed from the engine and reground or replaced with a new or reconditioned crankshaft.
  36.  
  37. If the crankshaft journals appear serviceable, the existing bearing clearance can be checked. First, clean the crankshaft journal and the used bearings shells until they are completely free of dirt and oil. Blow any oil from the oil hole in the crankshaft.
  38.  

The journal surfaces and bearing shells must be completely free of oil to get an accurate reading with Plastigage®.

  1. Carefully install the piston and connecting rod assembly along with the original (used) upper rod bearing shell in place into the bore from which it came. Protect the crankshaft by again padding the rod bolts with rubber hose. Pull the connecting rod back onto the crankshaft rod journal and remove the rubber hoses.
  2.  
  3. The bearing clearance can be checked with Plastigage®. This is a thin, wire-like piece of soft plastic that spreads under load. Place a strip of Plastigage® lengthwise along the bottom center of the connecting rod lower bearing shell (use the old bearing), then install the cap with the bearing and tighten the connecting rod nuts to specification. Do not turn the crankshaft with the Plastigage® installed in the bearing.
  4.  
  5. Remove the bearing cap with the bearing shell. The flattened Plastigage® will either be sticking to the bearing shell or the crankshaft journal. Using the printed scale on the Plastigage® package, measure the flattened Plastigage® at its widest point. The number on the scale that most closely corresponds to the width of the Plastigage® indicates the bearing clearance in thousandths of an inch or hundredths of a millimeter.
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  7. Compare the actual bearing clearance with the bearing clearance specification. If the bearing clearance is excessive, the used bearing must be replaced and/or or the crankshaft must be ground and the bearing replaced.
  8.  

If the crankshaft is still at standard size (has not been ground undersize), bearing shell sets of 0.001 (0.0254mm), 0.002 (0.050mm) and 0.003 inch (0.0762mm) over standard size may be available to correct excessive bearing clearance.

  1. After clearance measuring is completed, be sure to remove the Plastigage® from the crankshaft and/or bearing shell.
  2.  
  3. Again install the rubber hose on the rod bolts. Push the rod and piston upward in the cylinder until the piston rings clear the cylinder block. Remove the piston and connecting rod assembly from the top of the cylinder.
  4.  

CLEANING & INSPECTION



See Figures 5, 6 and 7



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Fig. Fig. 5: A telescoping gauge may be used to measure the cylinder bore diameter



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Fig. Fig. 6: Measure the piston's outer diameter using a micrometer



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Fig. Fig. 7: You can use a piece of an old ring to clean the piston grooves, BUT be careful, the ring is sharp

If the piston is out of specification or otherwise unusable, it must be replaced. If the cylinder is worn or damaged, the engine block must be bored and oversize pistons installed.

  1. Remove the piston rings from the piston. The compression rings (top and middle rings) must be removed using a piston ring expander, to prevent breakage and/or scratching the piston.
  2.  
  3. If there is no obvious damage to the piston and the intent is to reuse the piston, clean the ring grooves with a ring groove cleaner, being careful not to cut into the piston metal. Heavy carbon deposits can be cleaned from the top of the piston with a scraper or wire brush. Do not, however, use a wire wheel on the ring grooves or lands. Clean the oil drain holes in the ring grooves. Clean all remaining dirt, carbon and varnish from the piston with a suitable solvent and a brush. Do not use a caustic solution on aluminum parts.
  4.  
  5. After cleaning, inspect the piston for scuffing, scoring, cracks, pitting or excessive ring groove wear. Replace the piston if obviously worn.
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  7. If the piston appears serviceable, measure the piston diameter using a micrometer. Measure the piston diameter in the thrust direction, 90 degrees to the piston pin axis, 1 1 / 4 inch below the top of the piston.
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  9. Inspect the cylinder bores for taper and out-of-round. The cylinder bores must be measured at 3 levels top to bottom in directions of East-to-West and North-to-South. Measure the cylinder diameter using a bore gauge, or with a telescope gauge and micrometer. The measurement should be made in the piston thrust direction at the top, middle and bottom of the cylinder. On 3.3L engines, the specification should be measured 0.50 inch. (12 mm) from the top of the bore and 0.50 inch. (12 mm) from the bottom of the bore. The maximum out-of-round measurement should be 0.003 inch. (0.076 mm). The standard bore specifications are 3.661-3.6617 inch. (92.993-93.007 mm). On 3.5L engines, the specification should be measured 0.50 inch. (12 mm) from the top of the bore and 0.50 inch. (12 mm) from the bottom of the bore. The maximum out-of-round measurement should be 0.003 inch. (0.076 mm). The standard bore specification is 3.780 inch. (96.0 mm).
  10.  

Piston diameter and cylinder measurements should be made with the parts at room temperature, 70°F (21°C).

  1. Subtract the piston diameter measurement from the cylinder measurement. This is the piston-to-cylinder wall clearance. If the clearance is excessive or if the cylinder wall is badly scored or scuffed, the cylinder may have to be bored and an oversize piston installed.
  2.  
  3. Verify that the cylinder has a proper cross-hatch pattern. These tiny marks are the result of the honing operation during engine manufacture. They retain engine oil to lubricate keep the piston rings from scuffing during engine break-in after overhaul. If little or no cross-hatch is evident, the cylinder may require re-honing if the cylinder is in otherwise good condition or rebore if the cylinder is worn or damaged.
  4.  
  5. If the piston-to-cylinder wall clearance is within specifications, check the ring groove clearance. Roll the piston ring around the ring groove in which it is to be installed and check the clearance with a feeler gauge. Compare the measurement with specification. High points in the ring groove that may cause the ring to bind may be cleaned up carefully with a small flat file. Replace the piston if the ring groove clearance is not within specification.
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  7. Check the connecting rod for damage or obvious wear. Check for signs of overheating (blue appearance) or fractures and check the bearing bore for out-of-round and taper. A shiny surface on the pin boss side of the piston usually indicates that the connecting rod is bent or the wrist pin hole is not in proper relation to the piston skirt and ring grooves. Abnormal connecting rod bearing wear can be caused by either a bent connecting rod, an improperly machined journal or a tapered connecting rod bore. Twisted connecting rods will not create an easily identifiable wear pattern, but badly twisted rods will disturb the action of the entire piston, rings, and connecting rod assembly and may be the cause of excessive oil consumption.
  8.  
  9. If the piston must be removed from the connecting rod, mark the side of the connecting rod that corresponds with the side of the piston that faces the front of the engine, so the new piston will be installed facing the same direction. Most pistons have an arrow or notch on the top of the piston, indicating that this side should face the front of the engine. If the original piston is to be reinstalled, use paint or a marker to indicate the cylinder number on the piston, so it can be reinstalled on the same connecting rod.
  10.  
  11. The piston pin is a press fit in the connecting rod. If the piston and/or connecting rod must be replaced, the pin must be pressed into the connecting rod using a fixture that will not damage or distort the piston and/or connecting rod. The piston must move freely on the pin after installation.
  12.  

RIDGE REMOVAL & HONING



Ridge Removal

See Figure 8

This particular procedure applies to all vehicles. Inspect the upper portions of the cylinder (near the head) for a ridge formed by ring wear. If there is a ridge, it must be removed by first shifting the piston down in the cylinder and then covering the piston top completely with a clean rag. Use a ridge reamer to remove metal at the lip until the cylinder is smooth. If this is not done, the rings will be damaged during removal of the piston.



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Fig. Fig. 8: Removing the ridge from the cylinder bore using a ridge cutter

Honing

See Figures 9 and 10



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Fig. Fig. 9: Using a ball type cylinder hone is an easy way to hone the cylinder bore



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Fig. Fig. 10: A properly cross-hatched cylinder bore

Before honing the cylinders, stuff plenty of clean shop towels under the bores and over the crankshaft (if still in the engine) to keep the abrasive materials from entering the crankcase area.

  1. Used carefully, the cylinder bore resizing hone equipped with 220 grit stones or equivalent, is the best tool for this job. In addition to deglazing, it will reduce taper and out-of-round as well as removing light scuffing, scoring or scratches. Usually a few strokes will clean up a bore and maintain the required limits.
  2.  
  3. Deglazing of the cylinder walls may be done using a cylinder surfacing hone (or equivalent). Use a tool equipped with 280 grit stones if the cylinder is already straight and round. Usually 20-60 strokes, depending on the bore condition will be sufficient to provide a satisfactory surface. Inspect the cylinder walls after each 20 strokes, using a light honing oil available from an automotive parts store.
  4.  

Do not use engine or transaxle oil, mineral spirits or kerosene.

  1. Honing should be done by moving the hone up and down fast enough to get a cross-hatch pattern. When hone marks intersect at 50-60°, the cross-hatch angle is most satisfactory for proper seating of the rings.
  2.  
  3. A controlled hone motor speed between 200-300 rpm is necessary to obtain the proper cross-hatch angle. The number of up and down strokes per minute can be regulated to get the desired 50-60° angle. Faster up and down strokes increase the cross-hatch angle.
  4.  
  5. After honing, it will be necessary to clean the block to remove all traces of abrasive.
  6.  


WARNING
Be sure that all abrasive is removed from the engine parts after honing. It is recommended that a solution of soap and hot water be used with a brush and the parts then thoroughly dried. The bore is considered clean when it can be wiped with a white cloth and the cloth remains clean. Oil the bores after cleaning to prevent rust.

PISTON PIN REPLACEMENT



The piston pins covered by this guide are press-fit into the piston/connecting rod assemblies. The piston pin must be heated up to an extreme temperature often as high as 1500°F (815°C) or higher, and then the pin must be pressed into the piston and connecting rod with a special press. Therefore, because of the special machinery and specific skills needed to either remove the old piston pin or to install the new piston pin, the piston, connecting rod and piston pin should be taken to a qualified machine shop.

PISTON RING REPLACEMENT



3.3L Engine

See Figures 11, 12, 13 and 14



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Fig. Fig. 11: Each piston ring has its own location and must not be changed



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Fig. Fig. 12: Use you hands to install the side rails NOT a ring expander



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Fig. Fig. 13: Use a ring expander tool to install the piston rings



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Fig. Fig. 14: Piston ring end gap position

  1. Wipe the cylinder bore clean. By hand, gently compress the piston rings to be used in the cylinder, one at a time, and using an inverted piston to to keep the ring square to the cylinder bore, push the piston ring down into the cylinder bore. Using a feeler gauge, check the piston ring gap with the ring positioned at least 0.50 inch. (12 mm) from the bottom of the cylinder bore. Make sure the measurement is within specifications. A gap that is too tight is more harmful than one that is too loose. If ring end gap is excessively loose, the cylinder is probably worn beyond specification.
  2.  
  3. If the ring end gap is too tight, carefully remove the ring and file the ends squarely with a fine file to obtain the proper clearance.
  4.  

If the instructions on the ring packaging differ from the following piston ring installation information including ring gap positioning, follow the ring manufacturer's instructions.

  1. Install the rings on the piston, lowest ring first. The lowest or bottom groove ring is the oil control ring and is a a multi-piece ring set consisting of an upper and lower rail and a center expander ring. These pieces are installed by hand. Do NOT use a piston ring expander tool to install the oil control ring top and bottom rails. Install the oil ring expander in the bottom ring groove. This expander goes on easily since it has very little tension. Make sure the ends butt together and do not overlap. Start one end of an oil ring rail ring into the oil ring groove above the expander, hold the end firmly and push down the portion to be installed until it is in position. Finish installing the rail ring by spiraling it the remainder of the way on. Repeat the rail installation with the other (lower) rail ring. Pay attention to the location of the ring gaps in relation to the piston circumference. On the oil ring rails, the gaps must be 180 degrees apart.
  2.  
  3. The upper and intermediate piston rings may have a different cross section. Use care to select the proper ring. Install the piston rings with the manufacturer's identification mark facing UP. The piston ring packaging should contain instructions as to the directions the ring sides should face. The top 2 (compression) rings must be installed using a piston ring expander tool. There is a high risk of breaking or distorting the compression rings if they are installed by hand. Spread the intermediate ring carefully with the expander tool and install it on the piston. Repeat this step to install the top compression ring using the piston ring expander tool. Stagger the ring end gaps by approximately 120 degrees. The compression ring end gaps must not be aligned, nor should the upper two piston ring gaps align with the oil control ring rail gaps. Staggered ring gaps are important for oil control.
  4.  

3.5L Engine

See Figures 15, 16, 17 and 18



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Fig. Fig. 15: Clean the piston grooves using a ring groove cleaner



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Fig. Fig. 16: You can use a piece of an old ring to clean the piston grooves, BUT be careful, the ring is sharp



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Fig. Fig. 17: Most rings are marked to show which side should face upward



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Fig. Fig. 18: Checking the ring-to-ring groove clearance

  1. Wipe the cylinder bore clean. By hand, gently compress the piston rings to be used in the cylinder, one at a time, and using an inverted piston to to keep the ring square to the cylinder bore, push the piston ring down into the cylinder bore. Using a feeler gauge, check the piston ring gap with the ring positioned at least 0.50 inch. (12 mm) from the bottom of the cylinder bore. Make sure the measurement is within specifications. A gap that is too tight is more harmful than one that is too loose. If ring end gap is excessively loose, the cylinder is probably worn beyond specification.
  2.  
  3. If the ring end gap is too tight, carefully remove the ring and file the ends squarely with a fine file to obtain the proper clearance.
  4.  

If the instructions on the ring packaging differ from the following piston ring installation information including ring gap positioning, follow the ring manufacturer's instructions.

  1. Install the rings on the piston, lowest ring first. The lowest or bottom groove ring is the oil control ring and is a a multi-piece ring set consisting of an upper and lower rail and a center expander ring. These pieces are installed by hand. Do NOT use a piston ring expander tool to install the oil control ring top and bottom rails. Install the oil ring expander in the bottom ring groove. This expander goes on easily since it has very little tension. Make sure the ends butt together and do not overlap. Start one end of an oil ring rail ring into the oil ring groove above the expander, hold the end firmly and push down the portion to be installed until it is in position. Finish installing the rail ring by spiraling it the remainder of the way on. Repeat the rail installation with the other (lower) rail ring. Pay attention to the location of the ring gaps in relation to the piston circumference. On the oil ring rails, the gaps must be 180 degrees apart.
  2.  
  3. The upper and intermediate piston rings may have a different cross section. Use care to select the proper ring. Install the piston rings with the manufacturer's identification mark facing UP. The piston ring packaging should contain instructions as to the directions the ring sides should face. The top 2 (compression) rings must be installed using a piston ring expander tool. There is a high risk of breaking or distorting the compression rings if they are installed by hand. Spread the intermediate ring carefully with the expander tool and install it on the piston. Repeat this step to install the top compression ring using the piston ring expander tool. Stagger the ring end gaps by approximately 120 degrees. The compression ring end gaps must not be aligned, nor should the upper two piston ring gaps align with the oil control ring rail gaps. Staggered ring gaps are important for oil control.
  4.  

ROD BEARING REPLACEMENT



See Figures 19, 20, 21 and 22



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Fig. Fig. 19: A notch on the connecting rod bearing surface matches a groove on the insert



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Fig. Fig. 20: Use the gauge supplied with the Plastigage® to check the bearing clearance



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Fig. Fig. 21: Connecting rod bearing specifications-3.3L engine



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Fig. Fig. 22: Connecting rod bearing specifications-3.5L engine

The engine crankshaft and connecting rod bearing clearances can be determined by the use of Plastigage® or a similar product. The following is the recommended procedure for the use of Plastigage®:

  1. Rotate the crankshaft until the connecting rod boss to be checked is at the bottom of its stroke.
  2.  
  3. With the connecting rod and the connecting rod bearing cap removed from the crankshaft, remove the oil film from the surface to be checked. Plastigage® is soluble in oil.
  4.  
  5. Place a piece of Plastigage® across the entire width of the bearing shell in the bearing cap approximately 1 / 4 inch (6.35mm) off center and away from the oil hole. In addition, suspect areas can be checked by placing Plastigage® in the suspect area.
  6.  
  7. Before assembling the rod bearing cap with the Plastigage® in place, the crankshaft must be rotated until the connecting rod being checked starts moving toward the top of the engine. Only then should the cap be assembled and tightened to specifications.
  8.  

Do not rotate the crankshaft while assembling the cap or the Plastigage® may be smeared, giving inaccurate results.

  1. Remove the bearing cap and compare the width of the flattened Plastigage® with the metric scale provided on the package. Locate the band closest to the same width. This band shows the amount of clearance in thousandths of a millimeter. Differences in readings between the ends indicate the amount of taper present. Record all readings taken.
  2.  

Plastigage® generally is accompanied by two scales. One scale is in inches, the other is a metric scale. Plastigage® is available in a variety of clearance ranges. The 0.001-0.003 inch (0.025-0.076mm) is usually the most appropriate for checking engine bearing proper specifications.

INSTALLATION



See Figures 23, 24, 25 and 26



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Fig. Fig. 23: Cylinder bore and piston specifications-3.3L engine



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Fig. Fig. 24: Piston measurements-3.3L engine



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Fig. Fig. 25: Cylinder bore and piston specifications-3.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 26: Piston measurements-3.5L engine

  1. Make sure the connecting rod and rod cap bearing saddles are clean and free of nicks or burrs. Use care to make sure the BACK of the bearing shells are clean. A speck of dirt on the back of the bearing shell cause a small high spot on the front of the bearing face. This high spot will become a hot spot and if bad enough, will fail the bearing, connecting rod and crankshaft journal. Install the bearing shells in the connecting rod, making sure the bearing shell tangs are seated in the notches.
  2.  

Be careful when handling any plain bearings. Hands and working area should be clean. Dirt is easily embedded in the bearing surface and the bearings are easily scratched or damaged.

  1. Make sure the cylinder walls and the crankshaft bearing journal are spotlessly clean.
  2.  
  3. Position the crankshaft journal at its furthest position away from the bottom of the cylinder.
  4.  
  5. Install the protective rubber hoses over the connecting rod bolts to protect the crankshaft during installation. Make sure the piston rings are properly installed and the ring end gaps are correctly positioned. Thoroughly coat the piston and rings with clean engine oil. Install a piston ring compressor over the piston and rings and compress the piston rings into their grooves. Follow the ring compressor manufacturer's instructions.
  6.  
  7. Verify that the crankshaft is positioned so that the connecting rod journal is on the center of the bore and at the bottom of its stroke. Place the piston and connecting rod assembly into the cylinder. Make sure the piston and connecting rod are facing in the proper direction. Most pistons have an arrow or notch on the top of the piston, indicating that this side should face the front of the engine.
  8.  
  9. Make sure the ring compressor is seated squarely on the block deck surface. If the compressor is not seated squarely, a ring could pop out from beneath the compressor and hang up on the deck surface as the piston is tapped into the cylinder, possibly breaking the ring.
  10.  

Piston and connecting rod assemblies are NOT interchangeable between cylinder bores. Install each piston and connecting rod in its original cylinder bore unless replaced. Use care when installing the piston and connecting rod do NOT allow the rod journal to scratch or nick the crankshaft.

  1. Make sure that the connecting rod is not hung up on the crankshaft counterweights and is in position to come straight on to the crankshaft. Tap the piston slowly into the cylinder, making sure the compressor remains squarely against the block deck. When the piston is completely in the cylinder, remove the ring compressor.
  2.  
  3. Seat the connecting rod upper bearing onto the crankshaft journal and then remove the protective guide hoses pieces. Install the connecting rod cap and bearing. If the connecting rod bearings were replaced, check the bearing clearance before proceeding further. The clearance can be checked with Plastigage®. Tighten the connecting rod nuts to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn.
  4.  
  5. After each piston and connecting rod assembly is installed, turn the crankshaft over several times and check for binding. If there is a problem and the crankshaft will not turn, or turns with great difficulty, it will be easier to find the problem (rod cap on backwards, broken ring, etc.) than if all the assemblies are installed.
  6.  
  7. Check the clearance between the sides of the connecting rods and the crankshaft using a feeler gauge. Spread the rods slightly with a screwdriver to insert the gauge. If the clearance is below the minimum specification, the connecting rod will have to be removed and machined to provide adequate clearance. If the clearance is excessive, substitute an unworn rod and recheck. If the clearance is still excessive, the crankshaft must be welded and reground, or replaced. The clearance should be 0.005-0.013 inch. (0.13-0.32 mm).
  8.  
  9. When satisfied that all reciprocating components are correctly installed, continue with the rest of the engine buildup.
  10.  
  11. Install the oil pickup tube assembly and the oil and pan.
  12.  
  13. Install the cylinder head and intake manifold assemblies.
  14.  
  15. Install the engine assembly into the vehicle.
  16.  
  17. Install the radiator and cooling fan assemblies.
  18.  
  19. Refill and bleed cooling system, install a new oil filter. Refill and check the oil using SAE 5W-30 or SAE 10W-30 engine oil only. Do not mix the 2 grades of oil.
  20.  
  21. Check to be sure that all hoses, wiring connectors, cables and fluid lines are all reconnected.
  22.  
  23. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Check the ignition timing.
  24.  
  25. Install the hood. Be sure that it is correctly positioned and tighten the mounting bolts.
  26.  
  27. Verify no oil leaks and road test.
  28.  

 
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