5.3L Engine Rebuild Page 8

Assembling the piston to the connecting rod
Figure 29

Figure 29. Lubricate the pin bore in the piston with Royal Purple 1335 Max Tuff Assembly Lube. Install the pin retainer in one side of the piston. Lubricate the pin bushing in the connecting rod with assembly lube. Lubricate the piston pin with assembly lube. Make sure the rod is oriented correctly in the piston and push the pin all way into the piston and connecting rod assembly. Install the remaing pin retainer. Repeat this 7 more times.

All the pistons and rods assembled
Figure 30

Figure 30. All the 12649190 Gen IV Floating Pin Connecting Rods are now assembled to the pistons, and we are now ready to begin piston ring fitting. We will use the piston as a ring squaring tool in the bore when we gap the rings.

LS6 Valley Cover installed with ARP 1348002 Valley Cover Bolt kit
Figure 31

Figure 31. Painted the valley cover, with the same method as the transmission. Several coats of self-etching primer, followed by several coats of engine enamel. The copper color will look very nice in contrast to the black block. The hardware will be changed to the ARP 134-8002 Valley Cover Bolt Kit later.

the Proform 66785 Piston Ring Filer
Figure 32

Figure 32. The Proform 66785 Manual Piston Ring Filer showed up finally. The piston rings all measured .018 top and .015 2nd, with .026 oil rings. These are too tight for this engine and must be re-clearanced.

The rule of thumb for this is .005 per inch of bore for the top ring, so 3.78 bore x .005 = .0189, which means .019 minimum for the top ring. A little more will not hurt and still be in spec, so we are going to take the top ring to .020 gap. The rule of thumb for the 2nd ring is .0055 per inch of bore, so 3.78 x .0055 = 0.0208, which means .021, but again, a little more will give a safety factor, and we are going to take them to .022. The oil rings are good as is. The 2nd ring gap must be larger than the top ring to allow gas to escape and prevent ring flutter from over pressurization between the two rings.

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