Tips when rebuilding an Atomic 4 engine

Engine alignment


Subject: Re: Piston Rings direct from manufacturer

From: "Hess"

The original Atomic Four rings didn't have an oil ring backing spring, but the replacement Hasting rings do. It doesn't say in the instructions included with the Hastings rings, but the oil ring backing spring has to be installed with the gap in the spring over the slot in the piston at the bottom of the oil ring land. If you cover the slot with the backing spring the engine will usually burn oil after a rebuild.

The engine will also sometimes burn oil after a rebuild if the cylinder bores are not properly deglazed to a hone finish with a 60 degree cross hatch, or if the valve guides are worn beyond limit and are not replaced during the engine overhaul. (Oil burning after a ring job is sometimes attributed to a need for a break-in oil, when it is actually usually caused by incorrect cylinder deglazing. A break-in oil should not be necessary.)

Subject: Re: resurfacing head and block

From: "Hess"

There was a question the other day about the correct grinding finish when resurfacing a cylinder head or block deck. Universal specifies a cylinder head surface finish of #125 RMS, which is the same as #112 RA. You can get the correct finish with a belt sander, a rotary broach, or a surface grinder if they are properly set up. All 3 tools are used by automotive machine shops for resurfacing engine components.

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