Now that the cylinder heads are on and Studie’s Small Block Chevy (SBC) is taking form, the next step is adding the lifters, pushrods, rockers, and intake manifold – buttoning up the top of this engine!


Before diving into getting these parts all back on the engine, a quick note about their removal in case you haven’t been following this entire engine rebuild process

When taking apart an engine and planning on reusing pistons, lifters, pushrods, and rocker arms – the moving parts specific to each cylinder – it’s important to carefully label what goes where. As these used parts have already been worn in a particular way unique to each cylinder, they need to be returned to the specific place they came from. Different people have different processes to do this – I just used boxes marked with Sharpies in a way I’d understand, and then carefully stowed them away while I was doing the rest of the rebuild.

sbc-engine-rebuild-lifters-03Giving each lifter a wipe with a blue shop towel and some brake clean (cleaning is never done!), we dipped each in transmission fluid before dropping each in the block. The lower side of the lifters are flat, with the top having a divot…this is where the push rod sits.

sbc-engine-rebuild-lifters-01Making sure each lifter went where it came out of, I carefully added the lifters one by one. Next it was the pushrods, dropping those in through the heads.

sbc-engine-rebuild-rockers-01After the pushrods were in, my SBC was ready for the rocker arms. You can see my handy ordering technique used to keep them all in the correct place.

sbc-engine-rebuild-rockers-push-rods-01The rocker arms are the final part which translates the turning of the cam over to the opening and closing of the valves. The nuts which hold the rocker arms in place, unlike most, don’t have a specific torque spec – rather, they’ll be “lashed” which just means you set their torque dependent on measuring how much space is between the valve and rocker. I first learnt how to do this when I tuned up Studie up at Gene Winfield’s, but I’ll have to do a more thorough DIY on lashing your valves in the near future.

sbc-engine-rebuild-intake-manifold-gasket-01From there it was time to install the Edelbrock Performer Series Intake Manifold (I wrote about why I chose this new intake here). Before the intake can go on, the manifold gaskets must be in place. We put a thin bead of Permatex Super High Tack Gasket Sealant on the underside of the intake manifold gasket…

sbc-engine-rebuild-intake-manifold-gasket-02…as well as directly onto the mating surface of the head.

sbc-engine-rebuild-intake-manifold-gasket-03Then the gasket was placed, the sealant makes it stay put really well. We still had another step before putting the manifold on. The two outer openings are ones that coolant runs through on my SBC, so a bead of “Right Stuff” RTV sealant was used there. We also had new rubber gaskets to put on the front and back of the block opening, the edges of which meet up with the intake gasket – a small dallop of Right Stuff was used at these corners as well.

sbc-engine-rebuild-edelbrock-intake-manifoldAfter gaskets are on, the intake manifold just sits on top. A bead of thread sealant was added to each bolt, and just like torquing the cylinder head, the intake manifold should be tightened on in a certain pattern. Start in the center and criss-cross your way across until you’ve done all the bolts – first doing a pass lighlty snugging the bolts and then another using the proper torque specs for your application.

sbc-engine-rebuild-intake-manifoldI’ll check these torques one more time after they’ve settled, before my engine’s break in process, to ensure we’re free of intake manifold leaks! She’s really looking like a proper engine now…not long and she’ll be back in Stude!

Comment & Join the Conversation!