How To Make A Car Engine

Learning how to make a car engine Is not difficult, but it is time consuming and attention to detail is vital. If you have a question about anything in the process, it will save you in time and money to get a complete answer that you understand. If ever the was a perfect application of the “The only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask” comment – this is it. Manufacturers can provide specifications if needed.

Items Needed:

  • Tools – Standard and metric wrenches, ratchets with sockets (metric and standard), both kinds of screwdrivers, spacer for distributor cap, impact gun.
  • Shop
  • Parts – Most engines come with all of the parts listed on the manifest. For example. the block, heads, lifters, pistons,crank shaft, cam shaft, fan, radiator, thermostat, distributor cap and all of the gaskets needed.
  1. Lay out all parts making sure that all parts are present before starting.
  2. Machine engine cylinder block (with torque plate) and deck it. This insures that the fit is correct for installation.
  3. Clean parts with solvent to remove dust and debris from shipping. Even small particles can cause an extensive amount of damage when under pressure during the running of the engine.
  4. The Crank shaft is the center of car engine assembly, so all other parts should be laid out around it to keep all parts in respect to their position (pistons and connecting rods need to be kept in the right order as they have been machined for that particular position)
  5. Lay the oil pump and drive shaft aside for later.
  6. Heads should be assembled and ready.  
  7. Mount the engine block on an engine stand that allows for 360 rotation to allow for installation of the crank and bottom end of the car engine.
  8. Install cam shaft.
  9. Use a lot of engine assembly lube during the installation of crank and cam shafts.
  10. Carefully set crank shaft being careful to avoid damaging the main bearings.
  11. Check crank shaft end play and side clearance.
  12. Aligning the two dots together on the timing chain gears will properly “phase” the camshaft and the crankshaft.
  13. Piston rings seal a mild engine, but for a high performance engine, you will need moly rings.
  14. Test fire the engine.


  • Break the making of the car engine up into several sessions.
  • Always cover engine when not working on it to prevent dust build-up.
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