How to Rebuild a Corvette 454 Engine - Part 1
Tim Cote lives in East Waterloo, Maine. Tim has lots of experience working on cars, motorcycles, atvs and most anything mechanical. Restoration of his 1971 Corvette is his first total restoration project. You can visit Tim's website at www.corvette-restoration.com.
The first step was to clean the 30+ years of dirt, grime and grease off the old engine. I was hoping for some decent weather for this task, but February weather in Maine can get pretty chilly and this day was no exception. Despite sub freezing weather and a little snow, a good dose of degreaser combined with a good pressure washing did a pretty good job.
Getting ready for the engine stand.
Getting the engine mounted on the stand required the removal of the transmission, bell housing, flywheel, flexplate and clutch. During the removal of these parts I made sure to mark the relative positions of the flywheel and flexplate immediately after taking them apart. This will allow me to properly align the two in the future and eliminate the possibility of any balancing problems.
All this stuff had to come off before we could mount the engine on our stand.
After the tranny was removed getting the engine mounted to the stand was pretty simple.
Now we're ready for some serious tear-down.
Below are several photos taken during disassembly of the motor. Overall, things went pretty quickly. Since I'll be rebuilding the top end with all new parts I didn't have to tag, bundle, and mark each component (lifters, pushrods, valves, etc.) with it's original location. If the original parts were to be reused this would be an important step to ensure everything could be reinstalled in it's original location.
Rockers don't look too bad, but we'll not be using them.
Intake came off without a hitch.
Here are the old heads and intake off the car. I'm not quite sure that I'll keep them, they really aren't of much use to me. If I had to guess I'd say they'll end up as E-Bay items.
These parts will go on the market.
Overall, the block looks pretty good.
I don't know what the previous owner did to put those dents in the oil pan, but it'll definitely be replaced as part of this rebuild.
The oilpan looks a little rough.
Luckily it looks like the damage to the oil pan was only superficial. I'll find out more when I visit the machine shop.
And now for the bottom end.
The one thing I would definitely recommend prior to doing anything like this is to put down a piece of heavy duty plastic on your floor to catch all the oil, antifreeze and everything else that spills out of the engine. I didn't think of it before I started and ended up making a pretty good mess out of my garage.
I don't see any obvious problems here.
There's more to come...