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Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions
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67 Sunroof
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:17 pm    Post subject: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

Tomorrow I plan on installing rod bearings and installing them on the crank.
I purchased green plastigauge and want to check the clearances.
If the rods are new and call for, say, 28ft lbs of torque what’s the method I use to check the clearance?
New rods...
Install bearings in rod
Cut about an inch off of the strip
Lay it length-wise or width-wise on rod bearing?
Install rod and torque to spec using oil or no oil?
Loosen rod and read measurement
IF measurement is within spec
THEN:
Use rod bolt lube that is provided in package and torque back to spec again?
When does rod stretch come into play? Before or after pre-install?
I’m a bit confused.
Is it the same for the main bearings as well?
Thank you for any help!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

You pretty much have it.
No oil. Lay across. Torque.
Lube after. Check stretch after torque to make sure you’re within spec.

You can plastigauge the center main but the other ones you’ll either need fancy measuring tools or a good set of feeler gauges.

I just assembled my 2276 with all new parts. Scat crank, BugPack rods, Web cam, Silverline bearings.

Rods, mains and cam were all on point, but of course the cam bearing thrust surfaces needed attention.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

From the "How To Hot Rod Volkswagen Engines" book, page 123:

"As you assemble the rods to the crankshaft, use a piece of Plastigage for a trial assembly of each rod so that you can check how close you are to the desired clearance of 0.0025 inch. Disregard early VW manual torque recommendations of 32-36 lbs. ft. because these values will stretch the bolts and could cause failures. Use 22 lbs. ft. torque with Loctite on the threads during your final assembly of the rods to the crank. Rods with a forging mark on the shank must be positioned so that the marks will be up when the engine is installed. 1200 and 1300 rods with bolts only should be equipped with new bolts at every rebuild and rods with both nuts and bolts should have the nuts replaced at rebuild time. Lubricate the bearings as you install them after the clearance check."
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

When using Plastigauge you must make sure that there is no rotation of the part. This will smear the Plastigauge giving a false reading.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

Basically, if you try to use plastigauge on an air cooled engine you are an idiot,,,,,,. It does not work on an air cooled engine. Never has,, never will.
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67 Sunroof
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

So I’m an idiot. Thanks for your kind words.
Actually I guess we all start out as idiots so you’ve got a point there.

I have the “how to hot rod a vw engine” book. Dated but still full of useful information. I read through the samba search engine that it was next to impossible to check the rods without moving them. Crank I can see but the rods are another story.
These are cb race rods and have directions with them to follow. I just wasn’t sure about the first torquing, then checking the plastigauge and then the second torquing being an issue with rod stretch. Some use red loctite and some do not. Ugh-decisions decisions.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

I just installed a set of CB H-beam rods and the instructions are to apply a special and supplied grease to the rods, Then torque them to 10/15/20/29 ft-lbs. They use real ARP 2000 12 point bolts tangs down.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

Sorry for off topic. Glenn my CB Uni-tech rods with “regular” bolts follow that same torque sequence.

My scat rods with ARP2000 12-pt bolts required 50 ft/lbs. It may be worth checking with CB to confirm the torque value.

Glenn wrote:
I just installed a set of CB H-beam rods and the instructions are to apply a special and supplied grease to the rods, Then torque them to 10/15/20/29 ft-lbs. They use real ARP 2000 12 point bolts tangs down.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

The reason for the comment is you cannot hold VW rods still to accurately use plasti-gauge.

This is easy in a V8 engine where the rods/pistons are held still in the bore


67 Sunroof wrote:
So I’m an idiot. Thanks for your kind words.
Actually I guess we all start out as idiots so you’ve got a point there.

I have the “how to hot rod a vw engine” book. Dated but still full of useful information. I read through the samba search engine that it was next to impossible to check the rods without moving them. Crank I can see but the rods are another story.
These are cb race rods and have directions with them to follow. I just wasn’t sure about the first torquing, then checking the plastigauge and then the second torquing being an issue with rod stretch. Some use red loctite and some do not. Ugh-decisions decisions.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:18 am    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

Scat rods have 3/8" bolts, CB have 5/16" bolts torque values are ok for both.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:23 am    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

I've done it, before I had the right tools. I would smear just the lightest coat of wd-40 on ONE side. Even if you don't turn the engine over, if both sides are too clean, the plastigauge sticks to both sides, and gets torn as you separate for the reading.

If you want to immobilize rods, why not try threading a piston pin between two rods on adjourning throws? Neither would be able to turn, if you do them one at a time.

When you have nothing else, plastigauge can do quite a lot. And better than nothing, for sure.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:46 am    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

txoval wrote:
Sorry for off topic. Glenn my CB Uni-tech rods with “regular” bolts follow that same torque sequence.

My scat rods with ARP2000 12-pt bolts required 50 ft/lbs. It may be worth checking with CB to confirm the torque value.

Glenn wrote:
I just installed a set of CB H-beam rods and the instructions are to apply a special and supplied grease to the rods, Then torque them to 10/15/20/29 ft-lbs. They use real ARP 2000 12 point bolts tangs down.

The torque sequence is print on a large label on the outside of the box... you can't miss it.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

Ok, just remembered that and wanted to give a heads up. But as posted above the Scat bolts are 3/8 vs 5/16.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

Ok I think it was a success.
ARP recommends using the “lube” that comes with the bolts and screw them in/out 4-5 times to get the lube into the threads for proper torque. 15, 20, 25, and finally 29ft/lbs-I didn’t use any thread locker-CB instructions didn’t mention it!?
All rods swing freely-not too loose and not too tight.
Here’s the picture below. I’m quite sure the gangs and rods are facing the correct way but need reassurance anyway. Haha


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

jeffrey8164 wrote:
You pretty much have it.
No oil. Lay across. Torque.
Lube after. Check stretch after torque to make sure you’re within spec.

You can plastigauge the center main but the other ones you’ll either need fancy measuring tools or a good set of feeler gauges.

I just assembled my 2276 with all new parts. Scat crank, BugPack rods, Web cam, Silverline bearings.

Rods, mains and cam were all on point, but of course the cam bearing thrust surfaces needed attention.


I thought silver line bearings were too soft for a performance engine???
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

It looks like you have it backwards and the tangs are actually down.

The rod closer to the flywheel is #3 and the numbers are on the tang side.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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67 Sunroof
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

I’ll check tonight when I get home from work.
I read that with h beams the orientation doesn’t really matter but people still follow the philosophy like installing the oe rods.
I have all number facing the correct direction and kept them together in matched sets.
I appreciate you checking it out for me.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

So did you use plasigauge like an "idiot"? Or did you just go for it?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:49 am    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

Ha! I knew as soon as I read the title to this thread that someone was going to get all bent out of shape!

I've used it, with much success, for years before I got the "right" tools. Perhaps it's not the most accurate way to do it, but I gotta say I didn't find it that difficult to use, and I'd use it again in a pinch. Perhaps that's what was meant by the "idiot" comment- plastigauge is so easy to use, even an idiot can do it.

It's kinda funny, but I've got a whole list of things that I am used to doing and/or have been doing for years, but according to the Samba are actually impossible! Plastigauge is one of them.

Good luck on your engine build, man!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: Plastigauge, torque specs, mock-up questions Reply with quote

How does Plastigauge know it's being used in a Volkswagen Type 1? Or a Ford or a snowblower?
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