350 chev rebuild

Discussion in 'Inboards' started by mikealston2428, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. mikealston2428
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 203
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: aussie

    mikealston2428 Senior Member

    Hi all,
    As I am sure the regulars on this fantastic site will have relised I have been rebuilding a 350 chevy to go back in my boat.
    I have had nothing but great advise from the beginning of my rebuild from a couple of people on this site, many thanks to you all
    We'll I am ready to start the engine and have so many people tell me different things I should do before first start up ?
    Can I please have your input on the steps I should take before the first wind over so I don't do damage to my 12 month rebuild.
    Cheers mike
  2. Dave T
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 250
    Likes: 14, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 158
    Location: Anamosa Iowa and North Buena Vista on the Mississi

    Dave T Senior Member

    Before starting a rebuilt motor I always ran the oil pump with an electric drill to make sure all the lifters were pumped up and everything was lubed. I used an old distributor that had all the teeth on its drive gear removed and the top of the shaft adapted to fit a 1/2" drill. After reinstalling the distributor check to make sure that it is timed correctly. Remember that the timing mark on the dampener will line up with the TDC timing mark twice once on the top dead center of the exhaust stroke and again on TDC of the compression stroke you can check this by watching the rocker arms on the Number one cylinder. Make sure the rotor is pointing at the number one plug wire on the distributor cap when it's on the TDC of the compression stroke. Double check that you have plug wires correct. The distributor on a small block chevy rotates clockwise and the firing order is 18436572. Turn the motor over by hand with a breaker bar and socket on the bolt in the front of the crankshaft and check that all the rocker arms are set so that you cant move the pushrods up and down when the valves are closed. Push down on the pushrod end of the rocker arms if you can push them down then the lifter is not pumped up and if there are several like this you will have a hard time starting the motor because they will open the valve part way and for a short duration. I always installed the valve covers after setting the lifters at about zero lash before starting and then removed them after setting the timing to adjust the lifters after warming up the motor. You will find that setting the valves with the motor running is a real messy deal if you don't have the right equipment. I used an old valve cover cut in half and notched so you could get a socket on the adjuster nut and I had a set of clips that snapped on to the pushrod end of rocker arm and deflected the oil. Do you have the motor on a test stand or is it in the boat ? Remember you must have the block full of water and a supply of water to it such as a radiator or from a hose.
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 497, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Assuming you have everything checked (timing, wire routing, etc.) I only pre-prime the lubrication system on high performance applications. Assuming you used plenty of assembly lube on stuff, when you put it together, you'll be fine to just crank her up. In the first 30 seconds, check for oil pressure and look for leaks. She'll quickly settle down and stop smoking, then you can adjust timing and carb settings to tune her in. Get some heat in the motor and vary the RPM's continuously during the initial start up, from say idle to 2,500. Just walk it back and forth with the throttle. The half a valve cover trick works well and most engine builders have a set, for the most common engines laying around their shop. Crank her up again and let her warm up, then do the valves. Wipe up the mess and install the real covers and she's ready for some mild runs in the boat. Again vary RPM for the first 20 minutes of running time. After the first hour of operation pull the oil filter and have a good look at the oil.
  4. mikealston2428
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 203
    Likes: 1, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: aussie

    mikealston2428 Senior Member

    Thanks guys for your answers
    Yep used assembly luve in all the required places
    I have custom leads that I will be fitting soon then I'm getting the wiring all replaced

  5. 40grit
    Joined: Dec 2013
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Santa Ana ca

    40grit New Member

    Many of my car folk say, upon initial start up immediately hold motor to 2000 rpm to break in the cam and lifters. We have a oil primer tool and will use it to help lube the journals but will also use it to determine dip stick levels. If you have a ten qt pan as a lot of boat motors have, you will fill the motor w 9 qts this will be your low setting. Then prime your motor using the converted distributor. Fill to the full mark. It will surprise you how much it can take. With oil coolers remote filter hose it can be as much as 4 more qts
    Also take care when initially starting. Float levels need to be fairly level. Holley carbs have the viewing port. Any can give a false reading double check. It can become a pesky tuning issue. Once in the boat, double check fuel connections. I have had issues w small hose leaks at the mechanical lift pump. Where a small leak caused the pump to Cavatate eventually failing.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.