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Guest Message by DevFuse

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is it safe to assemble my engine in the winter cold?

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10 replies to this topic

#1 xbeerd



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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

its pretty much going to be 30-35 degrees for the rest of the week for the high temp of the day. i wanted to start putting my motor together in the afternoon evenings. my garage is not heated. i do have a 50-80k btu propane heater but it really wouldnt heat my garage up that much cept for direct line of 'sight' from the end of it, its like a 400sqft (20x20 2 car garage)

has anyone assembled in the cold and had success or run into problems?

i was contemplating building a rocket mass heater to try to heat it up quicker

#2 ivans imports

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

try to get it warm or the glue dosent bond well if have to warm up the engine blocks first

#3 xbeerd



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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:22 AM

oh! i should add, by assemble the engine, i pretty much mean putting on the heads, IM, and accessories on. no block work or anything.

Ivan, what are you referring to about glue here? gasket sealant? want to make sure im not missing something.

i know RTV is probably not a good idea to use as its no where near room temp etc.

#4 ivans imports

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:26 AM

i use avionic form a gasket glue on both sides of headgasket a thin coating to insulate the gasket from heat and seal any inperfections on block surface. Did you surface heads ? if not do it

#5 xbeerd



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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:39 AM

OH i gotcha,

i read that you werent supposed to use anything on the headgaskets???

i did have the heads resurfaced. guy said he took .006 off, i performed a little redneck resurfacing per Monstarus thread as well. not much tho and mostly was with 400 grit wetsand.

Posted Image

im a little timid to build this with my .040 cometic gaskets. i want to slide an old headgasket in there and mock it up for a test so i'll know if i have to get thicker gaskets. i know people run all day long on the .040 with no issues but we'll see, might have a set for sale in the for sale forum soon LOL

from what i could tell from research and measuring, the piston comes out .019" from the block (half a mm or so), hope i got the clearance for the vavles!:eek:

#6 MilesFox


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:53 PM

Everytime i do this kind of work it always ends up being in the dead of winter.

As long as all your parts are the same temperature(ambient) then there should be no issue.

#7 nipper


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:40 PM

I am sorry but I disagree never use anything on a HG. As long as the heads are machined properly with the proper finish you are golden.

The only time an engine assembly may be problematic in the cold is if you were blueprinting the engine. Assembly of an engine where you are not checking every critical dimension to get in the middle of a tolerance doesnt really care if you get frostbite.

I would however use warm engine oil for the first start up (sotre it in the house till needed) just to make life easier for the engine.

#8 cal_look_zero


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

Don't use anything on the head gaskets.

Don't worry about ambient temperature, even RTV will cure in "well digger's rump roast" cold temperatures.

Don't worry about running an .040 HG and don't waste time mocking it up with an old one. I decked my heads .010 and have no clearance issues, am running .040 Cometic MLS gaskets, and I'm running high lift cams.

Have fun:headbang:

#9 xbeerd



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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:01 PM

thanks guys. hey did you have to modify the hydraulic tensioner bracket at all? mines got a part that sticks out and hits the head, i just swapped it for the Ej22 one... but dont have a vice or press that i can compress it with, LOL figures.

#10 Fairtax4me



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Posted 07 February 2013 - 12:58 AM

I use an 8" c clamp to compress tensioners.
Cold wont hurt it. Ive done head gaskets in sub- freezing temps with little-no heat plenty of times.

The engines used in Formula 1 cars have to be assembled at operating temperature because the clearance between the pistons and cylinder walls is so tight they don't actually fit together when cold. The engines practically seize when cold because the metal contracts more than the clearance.
A Subaru engine isn't made quite like that. Slap it together. Just follow the directions for the head torque sequence.

#11 xbeerd



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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:12 AM

yeah i just wasnt sure how much or little the metal actually shrunk in the cold, but then i had the thought that it cant be much since we do drive the cars in 20 below weather year and year., LOL

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