All the tools were just ordered from Summit Racing. It's getting serious now.....lol.
Once the rod vise comes in I'll immediately assemble the 2J rods and carefully size-up the required bearings which will be RS rod bearings. Then I can take some time grinding the piston ring gaps to the Carrillo spec. Next, I mount the rings on the Carrillo/2J pistons with the ring pliers and have them sitting waiting for the final install. The ring clocking positions are kind of critical, thankfully I have the service manuals. The Deck bridge and indicator will measure piston/deck clearance and TDC location. There's tons more valve-train checks that I won't do until later. I'm not overly concerned but it's always good to double check the suppliers & machine shops cause you never know.
The goal is to spread the long-block build out over about 3 months while I carefully measure/inspect everything and gather up more parts. Like I said, I'm not happy about the deck resurface, so it doesn't meet my standards and will get re-done to the Nissan spec. I still have to do a quick CVT teardown for the oil pump/clutch drum upgrades which I will budget another 2 weeks for, but I have that down pretty good so I'm saving that for last. The custom machined CVT parts for that take 2-3 weeks with some custom machine work I have to do with the input shaft assembled on the transmission, should be no problem for me. I'm honestly thinking maybe July that everything is mounted on the vehicle. Tuning and everything who knows but I'll take my time with that.
This sounds like an aweful long time, but in reality there are no second chances. There is enough custom stuff on this build that I have to basically check every step twice, because I simply don't know if it'll work or not. Probably the last 1 year I haven't done anything really, with my personal life and work. I might even flatbed the vehicle to a dyno and break it in at AMS. I'll see what they recommend.
So, and getting to the point of this entire build. Whatever I spent was well worth it in terms of experience. This is probably the most comprehensive build I will ever conduct on a vehicle, absolutely. It's by far not the limit of my engineering capabilities, but I'm going to wrap it up and re-evaluate the final results. I probably would want to get the Front mechanical LSD into the AWD transmission before I'm satisfied, but currently it's well beyond my budget.
I'll start posting pics when the tools come in to show the assembly process. Stay tuned.
I got thru totaling up the parts for the timing chain side of the motor for my upcoming parts order. With a full timing chain, tensioners, new oil VTC solenoids, brand new Intake/Exhaust valves, bolts, gaskets, etc. that alone is about $1282. That's lots higher than I was expecting, but it all adds up. The VTC gears are so mega expensive at nearly $600 each (2 required), that I called it quits on that. They aren't rebuildable per say so I'll risk reusing the stockers as is. With synthetic engine oil being used, I think the original ones will be fine for now. I'm reusing the cylinder head, camshafts, camshaft bearing/plate, crankshaft, front timing cover, VTC cover, plastic valve cover, engine block, upper oil pan housing, and the VTC gears. Basically the castings are being reused and refurbished, while all seals, bolts, springs, tensioners, belts, chains, gaskets, etc. are being replaced with new. The rest of the engine components then are another $1770 or so, not including the $358 in engine tooling I just bought from Summit Racing. Finally, there probably is yet another $1500 in the electrical sensors, engine/transmission mounts, axle, and other various stuff to button up the entire car.
I should be sizing up the rod bearings early next week now that I have the tools so I can order them up potentially end of next week and then the deep dive into the full engine rebuild. About the only machine work I have left to do is the block deck resurface. Also, I was custom grinding the Ford valve spring upper retainers to get some weight off as they come in at 10 grams and I was getting them down to about 8.8 grams, stockers are like 4 grams. That and the upgraded springs were going to allow me to rev out to 8,000 rpms without running into valve float. So that'll take some time to get the other 8 done.
Once the Intake/Exhaust valves come in I can spend a little time lightly lapping them into place and numbering them to each valve seat. Pretty easy job but that should really button up the Ported Cylinder head and make it dead reliable along with squeezing every last horsepower out of it thru airflow and compression improvements. To recap: The cylinder head was decarbonized, cleaned, pocket ported, 3-angle valve job w/valve lapp, new Intake/Exhaust valves, Supertech Conical valve springs, Custom 4130 lower spring seat locators, Modded Ford Upper forged spring retainers, Supertech forged valve retainer locks, aftmarket lash caps, machined deck surface, & resurfaced exhaust manifold deck, etc. The only thing I didn't do was a competition valve seat grind with radius blending. I kept the valve seat cut's factory wide for reliability. Also, the valve guides were kept stock as the intake's were near perfect, while the exhaust were close enough to the spec limit I didn't want to deal with pounding new ones, which is an enormous job as you have to totally recut the valve seats again. Finally, the Crower camshaft regrind will improve airflow as well. Overall, probably the most you can do to a head without a competition 5-angle radius blended valve job. Finishing all that off is the Cometic head gasket and factory new Nissan head bolts. No shortcuts on this engine rebuild.
It's just a meticulous job of making the list(s), double confirming the dealership still sells those parts, and double checking against those parts I already took off the car.
Pictures of the tools. The dial indicator and Comp Camps deck bridge are for measuring deck/piston clearances. This'll let me know how much compression and valve clearance I'll be seeing. The Mr. Gasket rod vise is for torquing the rods bolts without twisting the rods, super critical & worth the $110. The OTC piston ring pliers are mega cheap but they work are mandatory for installing rings without cracking them. The ARP piston installer is solid and it's a tapered design for easy piston/ring installation. The piston ring grinder is also pretty heavy duty and it has good reviews. I'm using the Carrillo piston spec sheet to grind the ring gaps correctly for my application. The other tools I'm not showing are my Kobalt 3/8" and 1/2" electronic torque wrenches, Mitutoyo dial bore indicator, Newen valve grinder kit, Micrometer sets, Digital calipers, Dial Indicator w/stand, feeler gauges, Digital scales, machinists straight edge, seal installer/remover, bushing installer/remover, etc. This is most if not all of what's needed to inspect the block & cylinder head plus installation of basically everything. There were a couple of specialty tools for checking cylinder head valve runout & valve micrometer, but I decided it wasn't worth the effort to buy those. The CVT transmission specialty tools I won't cover here as I already have in my CVT rebuild thread. But they are even more extensive than the engine tools.
For power tools I'm using very little if anything in terms of impact tools other than my Ingersol Rand air gun for the heavy duty stuff. I have die grinders, dremels, and cordless hand drills but those are mostly for fabrication or port work and not so much for assembly/disassembly.
So, been looking and some Nissan Websites don't give all the detail on the bearing sets. There are multiple sizes for Rod Bearings & Main Bearings that will fit all tolerance ranges, similar to the lifter buckets which come in like 30 sizes. This might be important for those wishing to run looser tolerances for big power setups or heavier weight engine oils maybe for racing or something like this.
All the Nissan Websites used to have this varying bearing selection, now it seems they don't for some reason and that becomes problematic for sizing bearings. I found: PartsNissan.com that still shows all the bearings in multiple sizes, especially the RS rod bearings which I'll be trying out from the 2014 RS model as an upgrade. The 2014 Oil pump from the RS is the same now as the 2011-2014 S/SV/SL models so that is getting ordered (15010-1KC2A). I think there isn't a huge difference but the oil pump has been upgraded/superceded from the original in some way. The RS rod bearings I'm going to try a trick on buying (2) sets, one will be the standard size (12150-3YV0B) Grade = 0.1 and maybe (12150-3YV1A) Grade = 1). Whichever doesn't matter because I have to measure using the Rod Vise, Micrometer, 2J Rods, and ARP rod bolts torqued to spec. This will determine the exact rod bearing to fit. The trick here is to hit the correct rod bearing oil clearance per the factory manual tolerance range. The point is to use the mixing/matching of the RS bearings to get a dialed in rod bearing clearance if needed counting on a bit of tolerance size differences to get it perfect. If not, I spent an extra $24. I'm buying extra spares as the bearings if nothing else are worth having as backups for another rebuild if needed.
On the piston rings, I have the Carrillo piston ring gap chart. For the Turbo setup it's: Bore I.D. +.0055" Top ring gap, +.004-.008" Bigger than top ring gap for Second Ring Gap, Min .015" DO NOT File for Oil control ring. So those are the specs that have to be nailed correctly for the rings to seat correctly, not burn oil, and hold compression. There is a bore cross finish spec of Ra= 15 - 35 micro inch and cross hatch angle requirement for 35-40*. I might check the Ra with a profilometer but the hatch angle will be tricky. I pray the machine shop got it right. The I.D bore is speced for 3.1692" and I remember quickly checking it with the Mitutoyo bore gauge and it was bang on. The piston O.D. was checked and came spot on at 3.1655" per spec. All this stuff will be double verified and documented in a build sheet after I wash the block.
On the main bearings I've already done the bearing clearances with the block and polished crankshaft and since nothing has changed, I'm reordering A2208-1KC0A standard bearings, the originals have the same size markings. The main clearances aren't all identical, but this is how the factory designed it so I'm not messing with it. Same goes for the thrust bearings, no change from factory sizes. This is where measuring everything with a micrometer really pays off. Then when everything is assembled, I'm using a torque wrench to confirm the free cranking torque resistance of the assembled motor. Before I took the engine apart it took about 12 lb-ft to rotate the crank fully oiled up with the spark plugs removed. This'll get rechecked on the full assembly of the engine to make sure everything is freely moving. Then a thrust bearing end play check using the dial indicator mounted to the engine block and crankshaft.
Anyway, this'll give me some time to prep/measure the block before all the parts come in.
Good point Mac. The thinking here is if the bearing clearances are set right, it should be very close to 12 lb-ft. If it’s a lot higher than something bad happened like a spun bearing or zero clearance. I’ve heard this happening after the engine was installed, which is too late. This is a great gut check to make sure your build is bang on before moving onto the cylinder head install.
For sure. You gotta spin it anyway to get things worked around. Might as well make sure.
Fingers crossed that all that head work doesnt lead to a cylinder valve leak of some sort. After install of course. Cause you know that on the bench it will be perfect and after install #3 will go PSSSSSTTTTT. Its always #3 cylinder with this car. Haha
Yes, spinning absolutely the right way to go from what I've read. The Juke came in around 12 lb-ft, see the chart below for typical values.
The cylinder head /valves are 100% liquid tight and light tight. I probably re-did the valve/seat seals (5) times to get it correct. The blue dykem shows perfect valve seat seal. There is a fixture for measuring vacuum leakage but rarely it's used if the dykem is perfect. I'm not worried at all about valve leakage.
The piston ring seal is going to be TBD after the break-in. Before I will leak test it to test the gap ring seal, but after break-in will be critical. I'm using Piston Ring assembly lube and then some Valvoline Racing break-in engine oil. I have no idea but I think the Machine shop cross hatch and surface finish are pretty good and the bore I.D. is bang on. Hoping no issues but this is probably the biggest unknown. I'm still investigating how to break it in though I have a couple of guides from AMS and some others. Most likely it'll be fine. This isn't a race motor and I didn't bore the block with a deck plate, so it'll be what it is but maybe plenty good for a street motor.
Below is a picture of an engine pre-lube setup using pressurized air and an oil tank. The fitting hooks up to the oil pressure sender fitting, and you rotate the crank and wait for oil too shoot all over the camshafts with the valve cover off. This'll be done on the engine stand when the engine is fully bolted up. This'll also prime the oil pump. I've seen some fairly elaborate pump setups but this is extremely simply with air & engine oil to get the job done using 75 psi air pressure. I'm taking ZERO chances on this motor.
And finally, there are a lot of checks for the TDC and cam timing, valve lift, valve/piston clearances, chamber CC volume, etc. I will step thru each slowly to get the specs and clearancs in the nominal. It takes time, but I'll use it to document on the build sheet. The Crower cams are the main variable as the extra lift is going to be interesting to see if the valve clearances & cam timing will play nicely with each other.
OK, just got done measuring the Crank Shaft Rod Journal & 2J Rod "Big" I.D. They were 1.73065," 1.73060", 1.73060", 1.73060" and 1.8510, 1.8510, 1.8511, 1.8509" respectively. Using the Service manual lookup chart this is a "Grade-3" & "Yellow" color size Bearing #1250-3YV3A & Grade-4 & "Blue" Bearing #1250-3YV4A. The Grade-3 bearing thickness is rated at .0592-.0593 thk & Grade-4 is .0593-.0594" thk. This was done with the 2J Rod torqued to 55 lb-ft using the ARP bolts and ARP moly-lube.
Basically the manual lookup chart then recommends: Rod#1 is a Grade-3/4, Rod #2 is a Grade-4, Rod #3 is a Grade-4, and Rod #4 is a Grade-3/4. I'll have to buy (2) sets of Grade-3 and (4) sets of Grade-4 bearings to mix and match for the correct oil clearances @ $24 each set. Using my math this gives about: .00088", .00085", .00090", & .0085" oil bearing per side, about .00176", .0017", .0018", .0017" total rod bearing oil clearance. Nominal spec range is about .0015" thru .0019" for total clearance, max limit is .028" total clearance. So this should work nicely at the middle of the spec range. High horsepower setups recommend keeping the tolerances tighter for more load bearing capacity, so this'll work out nicely.
I used the Mitutoyo 1-2" dial bore indicator and a 1-2" Micrometer and measured each about (10) times to get an accurate reading. I'll throw some pictures up of the setup for checking the rods.
I've been slammed with work plus other stuff so haven't had time to order up parts last week. I'll be ordering up on Monday most of the shortblock parts, plus the intake/exhaust valves for the head. This'll split up the purchase over (3) parts: Engine Block/Head, Timing Chain/Pumps, Misc. I really don't need all the parts sitting here as the Block/Head will be done first. The timing chain get's put on kinda last. Then I have all the random stuff that will get bolted to the block like the water pump, oil cooler ($400), mechanical fuel pump, etc.
As I mentioned, the rod head bolts will need to be clearanced for the engine block. I'll have to now build up the piston assembly to do this correctly. I'll probably slap the old stock rod bearings onto the new 2J rods, toss it onto the crankshaft and start measuring out what needs to be grinded on the block to clearance the ARP bolt heads. This'll probably take a good couple of hours but then the block will be ready for cleaning in the tub.
First batch of OE replacement parts were ordered, came in around $1670 shipped. I bought the parts from NissanPartsDeal.com. I got hit with a $157 shipping/handling fee but considering this is equal to tax if I bought locally, it was worth it. It's still substantially less expensive than the Nissan online dealerships. The spreadsheet is tracking every purchase, and the total I'm still finalizing but it's gonna be a fairly good sized dollar amount. Splitting the purchases monthly is keeping it reasonable.
RockAuto ships auto parts and body parts from over 300 manufacturers to customers' doors worldwide, all at warehouse prices. Easy to use parts catalog.
Also figured I'd mention that some parts are going "Discontinued". Don't take that as impossible to get, as other websites will still carry those parts. But some stuff looks like it's getting phased out completely so keep that in mind if you are rebuilding an engine.
In terms of where to save some money, I've looked extensively at RockAuto.com. I'll be buying the VVT gear(s) from RockAuto as it's difficult to afford $550 each from the dealer. The VVT oil solenoids are about $100 vs. $168 from Nissan, another place to save some cash. The replacements are OE quality though I will be testing them as an alternative so we will see. Same goes for all the engine sensors. Most are Bosch, Denso, & NTK which are outstanding suppliers. The cost is about 50% of the OE Nissan stuff and a sensor is a low-risk item as I can swap it out at any time. So the entire engine will have (11) brand new sensors, plus a fresh OE Nissan Engine Harness, along with (4) new NGK coil-on-plugs. The fuel Injectors I'm going to attempt to have them sonic backflushed & blueprinted along with purchasing all new seals (o-ring & teflon). The mechanical fuel pump, RS oil pump, & water pump will be brand new, along with the 2J 255 lph in tank pump. The alternator and power steering pumps I'm debating but I have time before they go back on. This particular stuff I will buy probably over the next 2-3 months when I need them, but for now not required.
Word of caution here, RockAuto have some amazing prices on stuff.......but there are some risks. I almost bought an oil pump drive gear for $6 vs $75 for the OE Nissan part. Well, the RockAuto part is a powder metal gear that costs nothing to make. The OE Nissan oil pump gear is billet steel. Huge enormous difference in strength/durability. They offer an "Economy" line of parts and also "Daily Driver" parts. Typically I stick with name brands like Delphi, Gates, Denso, etc. Lots of choices but you have to weigh the risks and where the part goes. The timing chain and all timing components will be OE Nissan, with the exception of the VVT gears. Some motor mounts and stuff I'll save some money, and so forth.
So doing this type of rebuild or restoration, I had to decide what to re-use and what to refurbish. I basically decided anything that was an aluminum casting would be refurbished. Anything with moving parts or solenoids is getting replaced (i.e. VVT gears, VVT solenoids). The engine block, upper oil pan casting, cylinder head & cam girdle, front timing case cover, plastic valve cover, crankshaft are all being refurbished. The steel oil pan is getting replaced. All chains, belts, gears, pulleys, pumps, gaskets, seals, clips, bolts, etc. etc. are getting replaced. The crank pulley & flexplate w/bolts are also getting replaced.
The cost is almost approaching a brand new long block, so this is a lesson in what to do and not to do. I feel on a performance build, reusing the engine block with a slight overbore is worth it as this engine block is so heavily overbuilt. A normal engine rebuild wouldn't be approaching what I'm spending as I've replaced stuff I could easily have reused.
While I'm waiting on part to arrive I have some time to do prep work. Next steps are grinding the piston rings to size. Then loading up the piston/rings/rods to assemble for clearancing the rods & block. Finally taking it all back apart to thoroughly wash the cylinder block bores & oil galleys along with a complete cleaning of the cylinder head. I may quickly send the block out to get the deck surface reground to spec as that is really the only area I'm still not happy with.
Canceled my order from Nissanpartsdeal.com, they snuck in a 10% handling charge on top of their fairly high prices.
I instead found Nissan were offering about 25% cheaper prices (or 15% off standard pricing) until Jan1st. This was some kind of end of year 2020 pricing good till Jan1st. Too good to pass up as my order was up around $3,378 without tax. That covered just about the entire engine parts except the VVT cam gears and half the sensors/harness which I'll pickup later. I literally bought every nut, bolt, gasket, seal that comes on the motor. Keep in mind a bare engine runs about $4,400 and doesn't include anything bolted to the outside. To give you an idea, when they were available a Juke "long block" would run about $7500 which included nearly everything strapped to the outside of the motor. Most of what I upgraded essentially is a rebuilt engine equivalent to a long block upgrade. I skipped the fuel injectors and ignition coils for now as the cost was getting up there but I'll slap those on later when I have the means. Those types of things I can swap any time in the future with ease.
Just for kicks I totalled up everything I have into the build including: Aftermarket bolt-ons, custom CVT transmission upgrade, & plus custom engine upgrade/rebuild. It's an absolutely staggering amount. I'm not going to list it until the end of this thread but it's up there. I could have saved money here and there, but this really illustrates the difference between bolt-ons and a full comprehensive build. I've rationalized this as basically this will be my daily driver for the next 5-6 years, so it'll pay itself off in about 3 years compared to just buying a new car which I refuse to do anymore.
Given the high cost of just about everything, I will NOT be running a maxxed out tune but something very conservative to keep the vehicle reliable on the road while I build my EVO X and eventually the WRX STi.
It was enjoyable in the beginning, now it just needs to get done. Usually I lose interest in projects about 2 years in, so I'm due to just complete it and move on.
Possibly I'll do it again on the STi or EVO in 5 years...lol.
There will be lot's of pictures coming next month as I start rebuilding the cylinder head and start moving to completing the short block.
Yep, pics will definitely be coming. Been a slow last 6-9 months as I procrastinated and saved up money to finish the build. That's mostly done now so it'll be me walking thru as I put the block backup on the engine stand and methodically re-assemble everything back to factory spec. The service manual is gonna be so critical as there as many areas that can be screwed up if not assembled per factory procedures.