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 How to rebuild your own motor//stroke 2.3L lancer EVO

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Number of posts : 468
Age : 37
Points : 1000000
Registration date : 2008-03-02

PostSubject: How to rebuild your own motor//stroke 2.3L lancer EVO   Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:22 pm

A few different people asked me to post pics of my engine build so here
they are. This was my second 4G63 build. I built a 2.4l 6 bolt for my
Talon about a year and a half ago. I don't claim to be a expert, infact
it amazes me that i can build a engine that runs

Here's how the whole thing started out. I was offered a awesome deal on
a 03 EVO with a spun #1 rod bearing. After scrambling to find a truck
and trailer the car came home on July 28th.

Engine out on the 30th. Block to the machine shop on the 31st. Notice
the dirt. The car had been sitting in a machine shed since Feb 05.
The ugly, one piece crank and rod bearing

While I was waiting on parts decided to clean out the engine bay while
there was no engine/trans in the way. I covered all the hoses and pipes
with plastic bags to keep water from getting where it shouldn't be

Decided to go with a stroker, if I have to rebuild a engine might as well have some fun Parts started showing up by Aug 2nd.

Block back from the machine shop on the 3rd. The bores were in pretty
good shape so i had the block decked, honed and hot tanked.
thing to do, give the block a bath. I used foaming engine bay cleaner
and simple green along with a assortment of brushes. After i cleaned
the block i wiped it down with clean motor oil to prevent rust, and
covered it with a bag when i wasn't working on it.

Clean block and all parts. Every things ready to go. Wiseco 8.5:1 2.3L
pistons, Eagle rods, New mitsu 2.4L crank, Mitsu Engine Gasket kit, ACl
bearings, and ARp head studs. Before starting I numbered all pistons
and rods 1-4 so i knew what went where and to keep all my measurements
strait. I also wrote the cylinder numbers on top of the block to
eliminate and possibility of error.

I wanted to measure all clearances. however I'm too cheap to buy a
proper bore gauge (I'm a DSM'r), so I became quite good at using a snap
gauge. I took at least 3 measurements of every thing and averaged them
out. I also used plasti gauge, but I'll show that later. Before i
measured all clearances i cleaned the surfaces to be measured with
brake cleaner and clan rag.

Measuring bore with snap gauge.

Taking measurement from snap gauge with micrometer (I'm actually
measuring a snap gauge used for the crank main bore, but its the same

Measuring the piston Diameter with the mic. This pic is of a piston rod
combo because I forgot to take a pic before I assembled the pistons and
rods. Difference between the 2 measurements is the piston to wall clearance. I had numbers of .0020".

Next I bolted the crank cradle to the block and torqued to spec. So I
could measure the crank main bores in the same way, as the cylinder

To measure the main and rod bearings i used a ball bearing and a small
piece of fuel line attached to the mic so that i could get a true
reading of the bearing thickness. With out the ball bearing the curve
of the bearing gives a inaccurate reading, as the mic has a flat end
that is unable to sit on the bearings curved surface. o get the total
thickness of the bearings I multiplied the thickness by 2 since it sits
on both sides of the crank.

Measuring the crank main journals. The difference between the main bore
and the bearing thickness X2 plus the main journals is the main bearing
clearance. I got numbers rite around .0016"

Since i wanted to plasti gauge the bearing clearances as well I removed
the main bearing cradle and installed main bearings (after cleaning
them), in both the block and the cradle. I then re-installed the crank.
I put a piece of plasti gauge on the top of each main journal. Then
re-installed the main cradle and bearings, and torqued the main bolts
to spec. This compresses the plasti gauge between the crank and
bearings. Once all the bolts have been torqued to spec I removed them,
and the cradle. The piece of plasti gauge is now a smashed piece of wax
stuck to the crank and bearing. Using the supplied measuring table with
the plasti gauge I measured the clearance to get .002-.003" on all 5
bearings. This is pretty close to what i got with the snap gauge and
mic, as well as what I wanted, so I was happy with that. After i was done with this I cleaned the plasti gauge off the crank and bearings with WD40 and a rag.

Bearings installed in block.

Cradle bolted down with plasti gauge.

What it looks like after I removed the cradle and top bearings.

Measuring the plasti gauge.

Next i installed the crank into the block, but in hind sight I should
have measured the rod to crank clearances first. It would have been
much easier to do with the crank out of the block. I measured the rod
bearing clearances much the same as the mains.

bolting the rod caps on and torquing to spec I measured the bore
diameter with the snap gauge, just like the main bores. Then i measured
the bearing thickness the same way as the main bearings. I found my
clearances just like the mains. Rod race diameter minus bearing
thickness X 2 + rod journal diameter. My clearances were all about
.0020", what I wanted

Measuring the rod journals, just like the mains.

Just like the mains I plasti gauged the rod bearings. Install the clean
bearings in the rod and rod cap. Bolt them to the crank with a piece of
plasti gauge and torque to spec. All of them showed .0020" with the
plasti gauge, so I was satisfied.

Something the got me all worked up just before i started the build was
Eagle has a sticker on the inside of the rod box that says their rods
are to be used with 6 bolt (89-92) rod bearings. Well by the time I saw
this I had already ordered all my parts and I ordered 7 bolt rod
bearings, I figured i was building a 7 bolt engine with 7 bolt
bearings. So when I noticed this sticker I called all the local parts
stores looking for 6 bolt bearings. NAPA got me Cleviete 77 6 bolt
bearings by the next morning. After all the calling around and worrying
I had the wrong bearings, it turn out the 7 bolt bearings work just
fine. The 6 bolt bearings are 23.5mm wide vs. 7 bolts 21.1mm. The
thickness are the same. Since i was building this engine due to a spun
rod bearing I was happy about the extra 2.4mm of surface area offered
by the 6 bolt bearings. However the 6 bolt bearings didn't fit in the
. The tang is too wide for the slot in the rod, and its on the edge of
the bearing, which causes the bearing to sit off center in the rod. It
was recommended by another member on here to file the tang down to make
it fit. But I didn't feel real comfortable doing that, and i preferred
to use the coated ACL bearings vs. the Cleveites. So I ended up using
the 7 bolt bearings I origionally had . This pic shows the difference between the 6 bolt (left) and 7 bolt (right) bearings.

Alright next up was filing the rings. Each manufacture has different
recommendations for ring gap. After talking with a few different people
I decided on .017 for a top gap and .020" for the bottom ring. Wiseco's
web site has a good bit of technical info about their rings and
recommended gaps. I filed the rings one cylinder at a time, keeping the
rings with their respective piston in the box. I filed the top rings
first and the bottom second. I installed the bottom ring on one piston
to use as a gauge for pushing each ring the same distance into the bore
and to keep them flat in the bore. The ring sits on the top of the
block and doesn't allow the piston to go any farther into the cylinder
than the ring.

Here's a pic of the piston I used to seat each ring in to the cylinder.

Here's what the ring looks like in the cylinder.

Once the ring is square in the cylinder I measured the gap with feeler gauges.

All the gaps were smaller than the .017 and .020 I was looking for so
they needed filing. To file the rings i used my cheap Summit ring
filer. It has worked fine for the 2 engines i have built, but I can see
how a nice filer that measures the amount of material cut would speed
things us. Spinning the disk so that it cut from the out side to the
inside of the ring I took off a little at a time and re-checked the
gap. After each time I took a little material off the ring I re-checked
to make sure the ends of the ring are square with each other.

After the desired gap was reached, using a fine hand file I cleaned off
any small burs left from filing the ring and put them back with their
piston in the box.

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Age : 37
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Registration date : 2008-03-02

PostSubject: Re: How to rebuild your own motor//stroke 2.3L lancer EVO   Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:23 pm

Once all the rings were filed I assembled the pistons and rods. First I
installed one of the retainer clips in the piston. Then I used a little
assembly lube on the wrist pins and the rods to allow the pin to slide
through the piston and rod easier. After the wrist pin was in the
piston rod combo I installed the second retainer clip on the other side
of the piston. These little things are kinda tough to seat in their
grooves, but with a little patience and a plastic screw driver handle I
only had 1 go flying across the garage
After installing the wrist pin in each piston rod combo I installed the
rings on the piston, so I had a complete piston, rod, and ring setup. I
installed the oil ring retainer first, then the lower oil ring, then
the oil ring spacer and finally the top oil ring, making sure to space
the gaps as Wiseco recommended. Once i had the oil ring set up
installed I installed the lower ring followed by the top ring. I used a
Sears ring pliers for the compression rings. This little $8 tool makes
installing the rings much easier. When installing the compression rings
I made sure to have the writing on the ring facing up and space the
gaps according to Wisecos instructions. I didn't get any pics of me
doing any of this, but its all pretty strait forward, and Wiseco has
some great instructions that explain it. Here's a pic of the finished
piston, rod and ring combos.

At this point I should have installed the oil squiters. I didn't, I
forgot about them till I had the whole rotating assembly together
. So I had to pull the cradle off and was then able to get them in and
torqued to spec. Thankfully I didn't have to pull the crank and

Now it was time to install the crank. First I cleaned the block and
cradle where the bearings sit really well with a clean rag and brake
cleaner. Then i cleaned all the bearings with the same rag and break
cleaner. I didn't want any dirt or oil between the bearing and its
mating surface. Once i had everything clean I installed the bearings in
the block and cradle, as well as the 2 thrust bearings.

Next I liberally applied assembly lube to all the bearing faces and the crank.

Once i had every thing lubed to satisfaction I carefully installed the crank.

Then I installed the cradle and torqued all the main bolts to spec
using 30wt motor oil and the method described in the factory service
manual. Once all the bolts were torqued i checked to see if the crank
would spin with little resistance. It did

Once the crank was in and the cradle all bolted down I checked the end
play of the crank. I did this by attaching a dial indicator to the end
of the block. Once the needle is set to zero I pried the crank each way
and watched how much play was present. There was a total of .005",
which is with in mitsu's factory specs. Again I was happy

Now it was time to install the pistons and rods. First i cleaned the
bearing mating surfaces on the rod and rod cap, as well as the back
sides of the bearings. I used a clean rag and brake cleaner, just like
on the main bearings. I then inserted the bearings into the rod and
cap. Before installing each piston I soaked them in new motor oil. This
makes a mess, but makes it easier to slide the pistons and rings out of
the ring compressor and in to the block.

While the piston was in its oil bath
I lubed the bearing surfaces and crank rod journals with assembly lube.
I applied assembly lube to the cylinder walls to help lube the piston
as I inserted it in to the cylinder. I also coated the ends of the rod
bolts with the ARP molly lube.

Next I pulled the piston out of the oil and put the ring compressor on
it. I tightened the ring compressor till it was pretty snug.

I rotated the crank so the rod journal for the cylinder I was working
on was at the bottom. I then carefully lowered the rod into the
cylinder making sure the mark on the piston was facing the correct
direction. Once the ring compressor was flush with the top of the block
I gently tapped the piston into the cylinder with a handle of a plastic

Once the piston was all the way into the cylinder I slowly pushed it
down the cylinder as I guided the rod on to the crank with my other
hand. Once the rod was tight with the crank I installed the rod car and
tightened the bolts to spec. I repeated this procedure for all 4
cylinders taking my time and being careful not to catch a ring on the
top of the block, or knick the cylinder wall with the rod.

Now I had the rotating assembly all together.

I decided to go with ARP head studs for good measure and perhaps some future boost I installed all the studs till they were snug in the block and about the same height.

Next I cleaned the head and threw on a new mitsu head gasket.

Next i bolted up the oil pump and front cover, timing belt tensioner, t
belt tensioner arm, water pump, timing belt gear on the crank.
Something I didn't mention earlier is that I decided to eliminate the
balance shafts. I re-used the factory balance shaft bearings to block
the oil holes, and I replaced the balance shaft in the oil pump cover
with the stub shaft. I used the same method described in the VFAQ. I
have done 6 or 7 balance shaft eliminations this way not and recommend

Next up was the head. After cleaning the mounting surface of the head
and checking it to make sure it wasn't warped I put it on the engine
and torqued the nuts to APR's recommendation using their molly lube. I
used a 3 step torquing process following the factory pattern. Once i
had the head on I put the timing belt on, and started bolting up all
the accessories.

Unfortunately I could not attach the main seal and its holder with the
engine on the stand, due to the bolts holding the arms on the stand. So
I had to hang the engine from the hoist to put the main seal on, along
with the oil pan.

Here it is, one engine ready to go back to its home

And FINALLY its back in. I finished installing the engine exactly 2 weeks after I rolled the car into the garage.

I have only got to put about 150 miles on the engine so far. I had to wait another week to get my License Plates But now here it is, my new 2.3L EVO.

Hope you enjoyed this, I think it took me longer to write this up than it did to build the engine. If you have a 56k modem its probably on fire by now, you may want to put it out. :lol
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How to rebuild your own motor//stroke 2.3L lancer EVO
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