Project Defiant1-KA24DE Build-Part 1


The week after SEMA, I was able to get the block back because I finally had the money then. Paid the $171 and got it home to inspect it. I have to admit, it was a worthy mistake as the engine was now in better shape than I had gotten it in. Chalk it up to luck, I guess.

Now it was time to clean the block of any metal shavings in the bores and oil passages. This is a simple process that any built engine should go through, even the most competent machinists will not be able to get every speck of metal out of your block. All you need is some transmission fluid and some clean, white towels for the bores and some pipe cleaner (the fuzzy, bendable “worms” you played with as a kid) and some more ATF. You should also use shop air to blow the passages out. What you are looking for is as you wipe down the cylinder bores with transmission fluid, you see it get less grey and more red. That's a sign that you are pulling more shavings out of the honed bores. In my case, I didn't have to do much, because that $171 piece of luck was still paying off.

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Cheap ATF and some good towels, all you need to clean your pores… I mean BORES!

Afterwards, I took and sprayed the block down with penetrating oil. Even though I do live in a slightly dusty area, the worst thing I have to fight is moisture. Once I close the doors to the “shed,” dust isn't really the problem. Because the floors are not concrete, just lined with plastic, we get bad moisture in the shop. To keep rust at bay, I use the penetrating oil and wrap the engine with plastic after working on it until I paint it. To get rid of the lube, I'll wash down the engine prior to paint. That, as I smirk towards Kojima, will be Ford Engine Blue, I can't help it!

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After cleaning or any work on the bare engine block, I sprayed it with oil and covered it up.

One of the sponsors of Defiant1 is JE Pistons, who have supplied me with a set of their “Shelf” pistons for the KA24DE. These .50mm overbore pistons were originally going to be used in the E engine, but after Mike and Clark talked me out of it, they are being used in the DE. What's great about a shelf piston is not only is it far less expensive than custom pistons, but it's also ready to be installed, coming with piston rings and piston pins.

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The “Shelf” pistons JE Pistons sent me.  By the way, those locks in the baggie, PAIN!
Project Defiant1
Me applying the correct torque to the main bolts. Actually, Dad took this photo!

The JE piston are for a forced induction engine and have a compression ratio of 8.5:1 and are made of strong forged 2618 low silicone alloy.  This is a tough alloy that can take boost.  The only drawback to 2618 is that you must run a bigger piston to wall clearance than a stock piston, about 0.005″ of an inch compared to the stock 0.0012-0.003″.  This means that the pistons might be a little more noisy when cold but we will take that to get the toughness any day.

The JE pistons come with a set of low tension rings, the top compression ring is nitrided for longer life.  The second ring is a Napier type for better oil control.  The shelf pistons also come with straight wall thick piston pins which are better for the high load of forced induction.

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