Connecting rod bearings for the engines covered in this guide consist of two halves or shells. Some are interchangeable in the rod and cap and others have oil holes in the rod shell. When the shells are placed in position, the ends extend slightly beyond the rod and cap surfaces so that when the rod bolts are torqued, the shells will be clamped tightly in place to insure positive seating and to prevent turning. A tang holds the shells in place.
If a rod bearing becomes noisy or is worn so that its clearance on the crank journal is excessive, a new bearing of the correct undersize must be selected and installed since there is no provision for adjustment.
Inspect the rod bearings while the rod assemblies are out of the engine. If the shells are scored or show flaking, they should be replaced. If they are in good shape check for proper clearance on the crank journal (see below). Any scoring or ridges on the crank journal means the crankshaft must be replaced, or reground and fitted with undersized bearings.
ROD BEARING INSPECTION AND REPLACEMENT
Replacement bearings are available in standard size, and in undersizes for reground crankshafts. Connecting rod-to-crankshaft bearing clearance is checked using Plastigageand#x00AE; at either the top or bottom of each crank journal. The Plastigageand#x00AE; has a range of 0.025 and 190.080mm (0.001 and 190.003 in.).
- Remove the rod cap with the bearing shell. Completely clean the bearing shell and the crank journal, and blow any oil from the oil hole in the crankshaft; Plastigageand#x00AE; lengthwise along the bottom center of the lower bearing shell, then install the cap with shell and torque the bolt or nuts to specification. DO NOT turn the crankshaft with Plastigageand#x00AE; in the bearing.
- Remove the bearing cap with the shell. The flattened Plastigageand#x00AE; will be found sticking to either the bearing shell or crank journal. DO NOT REMOVE IT YET.
- Use the scale printed on the Plastigageand#x00AE; envelope to measure the flattened material at its widest point. The number within the scale which most closely corresponds to the width of the Plastigageand#x00AE; indicates bearing clearance in hundredths of a millimeter (thousandths of an inch).
- Check the specifications chart in this Section for the desired clearance. It is advisable to install a new bearing if clearance exceeds 0.076mm (0.003 in.); however, if the bearing is in good condition and is not being checked because of bearing noise, bearing replacement is not necessary.
- If you are installing new bearings, try a standard size, then each undersize in order until one is found that is within the specified limits when checked for clearance with Plastigageand#x00AE;. Each undersize shell has its size stamped on it.
- When the proper size shell is found, clean off the Plastigageand#x00AE;, oil the bearing thoroughly, reinstall the cap with its shell and torque the rod bolt nuts to specification.
PISTON AND CONNECTING ROD ASSEMBLY AND INSTALLATION
Install the connecting rod to the piston, making sure piston installation notches and any marks on the rod are in proper relation to one another. Lubricate the wrist pin with clean engine oil, and install the pin into the rod and piston assembly, either by hand or by using a wrist pin press as required. Install snaprings if equipped, and rotate them in their grooves to make sure they are seated. To install the piston and connecting rod assembly:
- Make sure connecting rod big-end bearings (including end cap) are of the correct size and properly installed.
- Fit rubber hoses over the connecting rod bolts to protect the crankshaft journals, as in the "Piston Removal' procedure. Coat the rod bearings with Assembly Lube.
- Using the proper ring compressor, insert the piston assembly into the cylinder so that the notch in the top of the piston faces the front of the engine (this assumes that the dimple(s) or other markings on the connecting rods are in correct relation to the piston notch(es).
- From beneath the engine, coat each crank journal with Assembly Lube or clean oil. Pull the connecting rod, with the bearing shell in place, into position against the crank journal.
- Remove the rubber hoses. Install the bearing cap and cap nuts and torque to specification.
- Check the clearance between the sides of the connecting rods and the crankshaft using a feeler gauge. Spread the rods slightly with a small prybar to insert the gauge. If clearance is below the minimum tolerance, the rod may be machined to provide adequate clearance. If clearance is excessive, substitute an unworn rod, and recheck. If clearance is still outside specifications, the crankshaft must be welded and reground, or replaced.
- Replace the oil pump, if removed, and the oil pan.
- Install the cylinder head(s) and intake manifold, as previously described.