1981 CJ7 Restoration - 2021.09.17

Spent the evening on the timing cover, harmonic balancer, oil pump, oil pan and lifters today.

First up, get the timing cover aligned by carefully installing the harmonic balancer. Tapped it on, rather hammered it on, with a piece of 2x4 and a hammer, going a little bit at a time. Once it's on, it aligns the oil seal and then the timing cover can be bolted down.

Per the suggestion of the machinist, I used high tack sealant on the block and cover as a sealant with the gasket in between.

Torqued the crankshaft bolt to 80 ft-lbs and now we're ready to install the oil pump and oil pan.

Not so fast - how do I tighten the bolt that is behind the harmonic balancer and under the timing marks?

With the other bolts snug, the cover is in the right place, so I pulled the balancer off with a wheel puller and tightened the one bolt I couldn't get to.

Now we're ready to torque the crank bolt down, again, and install the crank pulley. The timing cover needs to go on first, be aligned and sealed, then one can install the oil pan. This is so the seals all line up and connect together properly.

Timing cover, harmonic balancer and crank pulley installed.

The next step is to install the oil pump and its gasket. This was as easy as it looks here. Torqued the short bolt to 11 ft-lbs and the long one to 17 ft-lbs. Yes, they are different colors. It was difficult finding an exact match for the long bolt so I reused the original.

Oil pump installed and ready for the oil pan.

I don't think there is anything else that needs to go into the bottom end, so we're ready to button up the underside. There are 4 gasket pieces - timing cover, rear main cap and 2 for the sides. Apply RTV to the block side to cement the seals in place, except the one on the rear main cap. That one just gets oiled and pushed into place.

Seals installed and ready for the pan.

Next comes the oil pan. I placed it on the seals and started the 20+ bolts that came in the stainless bolt pack. 4 of these are 5/16" and the rest are 1/4" with 11 and 7 ft-lb torque specs, respectively.

Oil pan secured. The bottom end is done.

Before I can install the head, I need to place the 12 lifters. First, I oiled one lifter and put it in each bore to be sure it slid in there easily and spun freely - check.

The lifters had been sitting in my garage for quite some time and developed a bit of spot surface rust, so I coated them all in oil and lightly scrubbed them with 0000 steel wool until they felt nice and smooth. Last step, put moly paste on the bottoms of the lifters and drop them in. Now we are ready for the cylinder head.

Engine situated upright and lifters installed.

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