Subaru ff-1/1300/1400/1600/1800/Brat 1970-1984 Repair Guide

Crankshaft, Pistons and Connecting Rods

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Component parts of crankcase



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Fig. Fig. 2 Exploded view of the crankshaft and related parts

  1. Refer to the engine removal and Installation procedures in this section and remove the engine from the vehicle. Separate the engine from the transaxle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the intake manifold, the oil pan, the clutch assembly (MT), the flywheel (MT) or drive plate (AT) and the flywheel housing.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3 A special tool is used to remove the piston pins

  1. Remove the rocker arm covers, the rocker arm-to-cylinder head assemblies, the pushrods and the valve lifters.
  2.  


WARNING
When removing the pushrods and the valve lifters, be sure to keep them in order for reinstallation purposes. If equipped with solid lifters, install valve lifter retaining clips (Subaru part # 899804100 or equivalent) to keep the lifters from dropping out of the upper crankcase. If equipped with a hydraulic lifter engine, tilt the crankcase and remove the lifters; it is not necessary to loosen the valve rocker adjusting screws.

  1. Remove the cylinder head-to-engine bolts, in the reverse order of the tightening sequence and gaskets. Remove the oil strainer retainer nut/bolt; use a chisel to remove the oil strainer.
  2.  
  3. Using the holes in the camshaft gear, remove the camshaft thrust plate-to-engine lockwashers and bolts.
  4.  
  5. Using a 0.55 in. (13mm) Allen wrench, remove the crankcase plugs (of No. 3 and No. 4 piston side) from the rear of the crankcase.
  6.  
  7. Using a wrench on the crankshaft pulley bolt, rotate the crankshaft so that the No. 3 and No. 4 pistons are at the Bottom Dead Center (BDC) of the their compression stroke.
  8.  
  9. Using the piston circlip (needlenose) pliers, insert them through the crankcase plug holes and remove the wrist pin-to-pistons circlips.
  10.  
  11. Using a Wrist Pin Removal tool No. 399094310 or equivalent, through the rear service holes, remove the wrist pins through the crankcase plug holes.
  12.  


WARNING
Keep the circlips and the wrist pins together for each cylinder so that they DO NOT become mixed.

  1. Using a 0.55 in. (13mm) Allen wrench, remove the crankcase plugs (of No. 1 and No. 2 piston side) from the front of the crankcase.
  2.  
  3. Using a wrench on the crankshaft pulley bolt, rotate the crankshaft so that the No. 1 and No. 2 pistons are at the Bottom Dead Center (BDC) of the their compression stroke.
  4.  
  5. Using the piston circlip (needlenose) pliers, insert them through the crankcase plug holes and remove the wrist pin-to-pistons circlips.
  6.  
  7. Using a Wrist Pin Removal tool No. 399094310 or equivalent, through the front service holes, remove the wrist pins through the crankcase plug holes.
  8.  


WARNING
Keep the circlips and the wrist pins together for each cylinder so that they do not become mixed.

  1. Rotate the engine, so that the No. 1 and No. 3 piston side is facing upward, then remove the crankcase halves nuts and bolts. If equipped with 4WD, be sure to remove the crankcase hanger and the stiffener.
  2.  


WARNING
Before separating the crankcase halves, be sure to pull the camshaft rearward so that it doesn't interfere with the crankcase.

  1. Separate the crankcase halves. Remove the front oil seal, the O-ring and the back-up ring; be sure to replace them with new ones when reassembling the engine.
  2.  


WARNING
Keep the pistons and the wrist pins together for each cylinder so that they DO NOT become mixed. Mark the pistons and the connecting rods so that the direction is not changed when they are installed.

  1. Remove the crankshaft together with the connecting rods, the distributor gear and the crankshaft gear as an assembly. Remove the camshaft, the camshaft gear and the thrust plate as an assembly. On the 1970-75 models, remove the cylinder liners, complete with individual gaskets, using a suitable cylinder liner puller.
  2.  


WARNING
Keep the gasket from each cylinder with its respective cylinder liner. Mark each cylinder liner flange using a felt tipped pen, with the cylinder number from which it was removed, as an aid to proper installation.

  1. On the 1976-84 models, remove the ridge from the top of the cylinder (unworn area), using a Ridge Reamer tool, to facilitate the removal of the pistons by performing the following procedures:
  2.  
    1. Place the piston at the bottom of its bore and cover it with a rag.
    2.  
    3. Cut the ridge away using a ridge reamer, exercising extreme care to avoid cutting too deeply.
    4.  
    5. Remove the rag and remove the cuttings that remain on the piston.
    6.  



WARNING
If the ridge is not removed and new rings are installed, damage to the new rings may result!

  1. If the piston rings are to be replaced, remove them with a ring expander. Keep the rings in removal sequence and with the piston from which they were removed.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the pistons, connecting rods and cylinder bores following the procedures outlined in this section.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 4 Be sure to install the connecting rods facing the correct direction

To install:

  1. When assembling the engine, be sure to note the following:
  2.  
    1. Rotating or sliding parts should be coated with engine oil prior to installation.
    2.  
    3. Coat all oil seal lips with grease prior to installation.
    4.  
    5. Always use new gaskets. Apply liquid sealer to the gaskets, where necessary, to prevent leakage.
    6.  
    7. Replace any worn or defective parts, such as nuts, bolts, washers, etc.
    8.  

  3. Fit the woodruff key(s) on the crankshaft and then install the following components: distributor drive gear, timing gear (if removed), needle bearings, and oil seals.
  4.  
  5. Assemble each connecting rod to the crankshaft throw from which it was originally removed. Tighten the cap bolts or nuts to the figure given in the Torque Specifications chart.
  6.  


WARNING
Place each connecting rod on the crankshaft so that the circular Fuji trademark faces the front, and install the rod cap so that the protruding ridge on it also faces front.

Determine the clearance between the sides of the connecting rods and the crankshaft, using feeler gauges. 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 re-ground, or replaced.

  1. Fit the rails of the piston oil control rings by hand, after first installing a ring expander.
  2.  
    1. Use the expander to install the lower and upper compression rings in the same position from which they were removed.
    2.  



WARNING
Be sure that the R marked on each of the rings is facing upward.

  1. Position the ring gaps, as illustrated.
  2.  

  1. Coat the pistons and cylinder liners with SAE 10W-30 engine oil, compress the rings with a ring compressor, and fit each piston into the liner from which it was removed.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5 Correct piston ring gap spacing


WARNING
Align the pistons with the marks made during removal so that they face the front of the liner. Be sure that each piston is mated with its original liner. Make sure that the wrist pin hole in the piston aligns with the installation hole in the liner.

  1. If they were removed, install the woodruff key and plate on the camshaft. Use a press to install the timing gear on the camshaft.
  2.  


WARNING
The camshaft plate should be installed with its protrusion facing away from the cam journals, and the timing gear should be installed with its 1 1 / 2 in. boss facing toward the journals.

  1. Assemble the rocker shafts to the cylinder head.
  2.  
  3. Install any parts which were removed from the intake manifold.
  4.  
  5. Install the crankshaft bearings in the crankcase. Be sure that none of the oil passages are clogged.
  6.  
  7. Install the valve lifters in their respective positions in the crankcase.
  8.  
  9. Install the camshaft and the crankshaft in the crankcase so that the marks on each of their gears are properly aligned.
  10.  


WARNING
The bolt hole with the large chamfer on the crankshaft gear should be aligned with the camshaft gear so that the punchmark on the camshaft gear is visible through the chamfered hole.

  1. Apply liquid sealer to the joining surfaces of the crankcase halves. Be sure that the surfaces are clean and free of oil or grease.
  2.  
  3. Install clips on the valve lifters to keep them from falling out.
  4.  
  5. Fit the halves of the crankcase together. Install the front crankcase lifting hook (hanger) at the same time.
  6.  
  7. Secure the crankcase halves with the proper fasteners. See the Torque Specifications chart, for the type, size, and torque figures for the different types of fasteners used on each engine.
  8.  
  9. Secure the camshaft mounting plate to the crankcase with the lockwashers and bolts. Work through the holes in the cam gear. Be sure to bend the lockwasher up around the bolt head. Recheck the camshaft gear backlash at this time. With the crankshaft and camshaft installed, and the crankcase halves joined, measure the crankshaft end-play. Mount a dial indicator stand on the front of the block, with the dial indicator stem resting on the nose of the crankshaft, parallel to the crankshaft axis. Pry the crankshaft the extent of its travel rearward, and zero the indicator. Pry the crankshaft forward and record crankshaft end-play.
  10.  


WARNING
Crankshaft end-play also may be measured at the thrust bearing, using feeler gauges. Piston and cylinder liner (if so equipped) installation must be performed with the cylinders in a vertical position.

  1. On EA61, EA62 and EA63 engines:
  2.  
    1. Set crankcase so that #1 and #3 cylinders face upwards.
    2.  
    3. Place the connecting rod of #3 piston at TDC.
    4.  
    5. Install #3 piston and cylinder liner, with a cylinder liner gasket fitted under the cylinder liner.
    6.  
    7. Check the amount which the cylinder liner protrudes above the crankcase surface. It should be within the following limits:

      EA61: 0.0024-0.0035 in. (0.06-0.088mm)
       
      EA62 and EA63: 0.0028-0.0035 in. (0.07-0.088mm)
       

    8.  
    9. If the liner protrusion is not within limits, adjust it by means of a selective fit cylinder liner gasket. Gaskets are available in varying sizes for each type of engine.
    10.  



WARNING
Cylinder liner gaskets are not interchangeable between different engine models. Be sure to specify which engine you have when you order selective fit gaskets.

  1. Align the wrist pin hole in the connecting rod with the hole in the piston.
  2.  
  3. Insert the wrist pin through the crankcase plug hole with a suitable piston pin press. Using circlip pliers, fit the circlip on the wrist pin.
  4.  

  1. Keep the cylinder liners which were just installed, in place with a holding fixture mounted over the stud bolt which is located between the cylinders. A piece of stock, large enough to retain the lips of both installed liners, may be used. Secure the stock with a cylinder head nut.
  2.  
  3. With the cylinder liners secure, invert the engine so that the cylinders on the opposite side of the crankcase are now facing up.
  4.  
  5. On EA71 and EA81 engines:
  6.  
    1. Position crankcase so that No.2 and No.4 cylinders face downward.
    2.  
    3. Place the connecting rod of the No.2 piston at bottom dead center and insert the No.2 piston into the cylinder using a piston installation guide.
    4.  
    5. Line up the hole in the connecting rod with the piston hole.
    6.  
    7. Install the piston pin and circlip.
    8.  
    9. Repeat steps b-d for the #4 cylinder.
    10.  

  7. Turn the crankcase upside down so that #1 and #3 cylinders face downward. Install the pistons as described above.
  8.  
  9. Install the cylinder head assembly, on the side of the engine which is facing up. Then invert the engine, remove the cylinder liner holding fixture (on appropriate models) and install the cylinder head (with the cylinders vertical) on the other side of the engine.
  10.  


WARNING
When installing the cylinder heads, pay particular attention to the torque specifications and tightening sequences.

  1. Apply liquid sealer to the crankcase plugs and install them, using new gaskets, in the crankcase. Tighten them to 60-70 ft. lbs. (81-94 Nm)
  2.  
  3. If it was removed, fit the oil screen complete with O-ring, by securing it with its stays.
  4.  
  5. Install the flywheel housing and oil seal. Install the rear engine lifting hook at the same time.
  6.  
  7. Install the flywheel, after coating its bolts with liquid sealer. Tighten the bolts to the specifications given in the Torque Specifications chart.
  8.  
  9. Install the clutch assembly, as detailed in , for manual transaxle models.
  10.  
  11. Attach the oil pan, complete with gasket, to the crankcase.
  12.  
  13. Install the part of the transaxle housing which is retained on the engine.
  14.  
  15. Install the water pump and hoses.
  16.  
  17. Fit the water elbow, pipe, and hose.
  18.  
  19. Attach the oil filler tube, water by-pass tube (if used), and gasket.
  20.  
  21. If it was removed, apply liquid sealer to the threads of the oil pressure light sending unit and screw it into the block.
  22.  
  23. Install the oil pump.
  24.  
  25. Install the front oil seal with a suitable drift.
  26.  
  27. Insert a screwdriver through the hole in the flywheel housing and use it as a brake to keep the crankshaft from turning, then secure the crankshaft pulley. Tighten the pulley bolt to the figure given in the Torque Specifications chart.
  28.  


WARNING
Remember to remove the screwdriver.

  1. Adjust the valve clearance. See .
  2.  
  3. Install the valve covers, with their gaskets.
  4.  
  5. Install the distributor with the No. 1 piston set at TDC. Connect the distributor vacuum line. Install the power steering pump on models so equipped.
  6.  
  7. Attach the halves of the alternator bracket to the cylinder head and crankcase. Be sure to install the water hose clamp along with the bracket.
  8.  
  9. Install the intake manifold assembly, complete with carburetor or throttle body, as detailed above.
  10.  
  11. On models equipped, install the air suction manifold and EGR pipe.
  12.  
  13. Connect the water by-pass hoses if fitted, to the intake manifold connections.
  14.  
  15. Install the alternator and adjust the drive belt tension.
  16.  
  17. Install the spark plugs. Connect all of the spark plug and distributor cables.
  18.  
  19. Install the engine in the car. Remember to replenish the oil and coolant. Adjust the throttle, clutch, and manual choke 1970-73 cables.
  20.  

CLEANING & INSPECTION




WARNING
Do not hot tank clean any aluminum parts or they will be ruined. Use carburetor solvent for cleaning.

Pistons

Using a piston ring expanding tool, remove the piston rings from the pistons; any other method (screwdriver blades, pliers, etc.) usually results in the rings being bent, scratched or distorted and/or the piston itself being damaged.



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Fig. Fig. 6 Using a ring expander tool to remove the piston rings



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Fig. Fig. 7 Clean the piston grooves using a ring groove cleaner

Clean the varnish from the piston skirts and pins with a cleaning solvent.

DO NOT WIRE BRUSH ANY PART OF THE PISTON.

Clean the ring grooves with a groove cleaner and make sure that the oil ring holes and slots are clean.

Inspect the piston for cracked ring lands, scuffed or damaged skirts, eroded areas at the top of the piston. Replace the pistons that are damaged or show signs of excessive wear. Inspect the piston ring grooves for nicks or burrs that might cause the rings to hang up.

Measure the piston skirt perpendicular to the piston pin axis and note this figure for the piston clearance check. If installing replacement pistons, follow the manufacturers recommendations on where to measure the piston.

Cylinder Liners and Bores

WARNING
1970-75 models use cylinder liners. Later model engines use conventional cylinder bores. Refer to the appropriate procedure.



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Fig. Fig. 8 Cylinder bore inspection dimensions

LINERS

Visually inspect the cylinder bores (liners) for roughness, scoring, or scuffing. If evident, the cylinder bore (liner) must be bored or honed oversize to eliminate imperfections, and the smallest possible oversize piston used. Since 1970-75 model engines use removable cylinder liners these can either be replaced or honed to oversize so long as the honing will not exceed 0.020 in. (0.508mm)

The new pistons should be given to the machinist with the block, so that the cylinders can be bored or honed exactly to the piston size (plus clearance). If no flaws are evident, measure the bore diameter using a telescope gauge and micrometer, or dial gauge, parallel and perpendicular to the engine centerline, at the top (below the ridge) and bottom of the bore. Subtract the bottom measurements from the top to determine taper, and the parallel to the centerline measurements from the perpendicular measurements to determine eccentricity. If the measurements are not within specifications, the cylinder must be bored or honed, and an oversize piston installed. If the measurements are within specifications the cylinder may be used as is, with only finish honing.

BORES

Using a telescoping gauge or an inside micrometer, measure the diameter of the cylinder bore, perpendicular (90°) to the piston pin, at 1-2 1 / 2 in. (25-64mm) below the surface of the cylinder block. The difference between the two measurements is the piston clearance.

If the clearance is within specifications or slightly below (after the cylinders have been bored or honed), finish honing is all that is necessary, If the clearance is excessive, try to obtain a slightly larger piston to bring the clearance within specifications. If this is not possible, obtain the first oversize piston and hone the cylinder or (if necessary) bore the cylinder to size.

When measuring the cylinder bore, take measurements in several places. If the cylinder bore is tapered or is out-of-round, it is advisable to rebore for the smallest possible oversize piston and rings. After measuring, mark the pistons with a felt-tip pen for reference during assembly.


WARNING
Boring of the cylinder block should be performed by a reputable machine shop with the proper equipment.

Connecting Rods and Rod Bearings

Wash the connecting rods in cleaning solvent and dry with compressed air. Check for twisted or bent rods and inspect for nicks or cracks. Replace the connecting rods that are damaged.

Install the cap on the rod and torque to specification. Using an inside micrometer, measure the inside bore diameter perpendicular (90°) to the axis of rod and once again along the axis of the rod. If the two measurements are not within specification, have the rod resized by a competent machine shop.


WARNING
It is normal for the inside diameter of the rod to be slightly larger when measured perpendicular (90°) to the axis of the rod.

Replacement bearings are available in standard size and undersize (for re-ground crankshafts). Connecting rod-to-crankshaft bearing clearance is checked using Plastigage® at either the top or the bottom of each crank journal. The Plastigage® has a range of 0.001-0.003 in. (0.0254-0.0762mm).

  1. Remove the rod cap with the bearing shell. Completely clean the bearing shell and the crank journal, blow any oil from the oil hole in the crankshaft; place the Plastigage® lengthwise along the bottom center of the lower bearing shell, then install the cap with the shell and torque the bolt or nuts to specification. DO NOT turn the crankshaft with the Plastigage® on the bearing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bearing cap with the shell. The flattened Plastigage® will be found sticking to either the bearing shell or the crank journal. DO NOT remove it yet.
  4.  
  5. Use the scale printed on the Plastigage® envelope to measure the flattened material at its widest point. The number within the scale which most closely corresponds to the width of the Plastigage® indicates the bearing clearance in thousandths of an inch and millimeters.
  6.  
  7. Check the specifications chart in this section for the desired clearance. It is advisable to install a new bearing if the clearance exceeds specification; however, if the bearing is in good condition and is not being checked because of bearing noise, bearing replacement is not necessary.
  8.  
  9. 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 Plastigage®; each undersize shell has its size stamped on it.
  10.  
  11. When the proper size shell is found, clean off the Plastigage®, oil the bearing thoroughly, reinstall the cap with its shell and torque the rod bolt nuts to specifications.
  12.  


WARNING
With the proper bearing selected and the nuts torqued, it should be possible to move the connecting rod back and forth freely on the crank journal as allowed by the specified connecting rod end clearance. If the rod cannot be moved, either the rod bearing is too far undersize or the rod is misaligned.

Crankshaft and Main Bearings

Measure the bearing journals at each end twice (90° apart) using a micrometer, to determine diameter, journal taper and eccentricity. The journal diameter is given in the Crankshaft Specifications chart earlier in this section. The taper limit is 0.008 in. (0.20mm) for 1970-76 models, 0.0028 in. (0.071mm) for 1977-84 models. The eccentricity limit is 0.0012 in. (0.030mm) The grinding limit is 0.0098 in. (0.248mm). Using a telescope gauge and micrometer, measure bearing I.D. parallel to piston axis and at 30° on each side of piston axis. Subtract journal O.D. from bearing I.D. to determine oil clearance. If crankshaft journals appear defective, or do not meet tolerances, there is no need to measure bearings, for the crankshaft will require grinding and/or undersize bearings will be required. If bearing appears defective, cause for failure should be determined prior to replacement.

Measure the oil clearance on each crankshaft bearing by means of Plastigage® as follows: Wipe off oil, dust, etc. on the surfaces to be measured. Install the bearings in the crankcase and set the crankshaft in position. Cut the Plastigage® to the bearing width and place it on the journal parallel with the crankshaft axis. Be careful not to put it on the oil hole or groove. Bring together the crankcase halves and tighten the bolts and nut to the specified torque.


WARNING
During the work, the crankshaft must not be turned nor the crankcase inverted.

Remove all the bolts and nut and separate the crankcase. Measure the Plastigage® width with the scale printed on the Plastigage® case. If the measurement is not within the specification, replace the defective bearing with an undersize one, and replace or recondition the crankshaft as necessary.

Ring End-Gap

The piston ring end-gap should be checked while the rings are removed from the pistons. Incorrect end-gap indicates that the wrong size rings are being used; ring breakage could result if not corrected.

  1. Compress the new piston ring into a cylinder (one at a time).
  2.  
  3. Squirt some clean oil into the cylinder so that the ring and the top 2 in. (51mm) of the cylinder wall are coated.
  4.  
  5. Using an inverted piston, push the ring approximately 1 in. (25mm) below the top of the cylinder.
  6.  
  7. Using a feeler gauge, measure the ring gap and compare it to specification. Carefully remove the ring from the cylinder.
  8.  
  9. If the gap is smaller than specification, file the ring ends using an appropriate piston ring file. If greater, the cylinder bore must be honed to the next oversize or the piston rings are incorrect.
  10.  

BREAK-IN PROCEDURE



Start the engine, and allow it to run at low speed for a few minutes, while checking for leaks. Stop the engine, check the oil level, and fill as necessary. Restart the engine, and fill the cooling system to capacity. Check the point dwell angle and adjust the ignition timing and the valves. Run the engine at low to medium speed (800-2,500 rpm) for approximately 1 / 2 hour, and retorque the cylinder head bolts. Road test the car, and check again for leaks.

Follow the manufacturer's recommended engine break-in procedure and maintenance schedule for new engines.

 
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