Peugeot 205 Manual

Piston/connecting rod assembly - refitting and bigend bearing clearance check
Engine removal and overhaul procedures / Piston/connecting rod assembly - refitting and bigend bearing clearance check


Selection of bearing shells 1 On most engines, there are two sizes of big-end bearing shell produced by Peugeot; a standard size for use with the standard crankshaft, and an oversize for use once the crankshaft journals have been reground.

2 Consult your Peugeot dealer for the latest information on parts availability. To be safe, always quote the diameter of the crankshaft big-end crankpins when ordering bearing shells.

3 Prior to refitting the piston/connecting rod assemblies, it is recommended that the bigend bearing running clearance is checked as follows.

Big-end bearing running
clearance check
4 Clean the backs of the bearing shells, and the bearing locations in both the connecting rod and bearing cap.

5 Press the bearing shells into their locations, ensuring that the tab on each shell engages in the notch in the connecting rod and cap. Take care not to touch any shell’s bearing surface with your fingers (see illustration).

14.5 Ensure that the tab (arrowed) is correctly located in the connecting rod
14.5 Ensure that the tab (arrowed) is correctly located in the connecting rod when fitting the bearing shells

If the original bearing shells are being used for the check, ensure that they are refitted in their original locations. The clearance can be checked in either of two ways.

6 One method is to refit the big-end bearing cap to the connecting rod, ensuring that they are fitted the correct way around (see paragraph 21), with the bearing shells in place. With the cap retaining nuts correctly tightened, use an internal micrometer or vernier caliper to measure the internal diameter of each assembled pair of bearing shells. If the diameter of each corresponding crankshaft journal is measured and then subtracted from the bearing internal diameter, the result will be the big-end bearing running clearance.

7 The second, and more accurate method is to use Plastigage (see Section 13).

8 Ensure that the bearing shells are correctly fitted. Place a strand of Plastigage on each cleaned) crankpin journal.

9 Refit the (clean) piston/connecting rod assemblies to the crankshaft, and refit the big-end bearing caps, using the marks made or noted on removal to ensure that they are fitted the correct way around.

10 Tighten the bearing cap nuts as described below in paragraph 22 or 23 (as applicable).

Take care not to disturb the Plastigage, nor rotate the connecting rod during the tightening sequence.

11 Dismantle the assemblies without rotating the connecting rods. Use the scale printed on the Plastigage envelope to obtain the big-end bearing running clearance.

12 If the clearance is significantly different from that expected, the bearing shells may be the wrong size (or excessively worn, if the original shells are being re-used). Make sure that no dirt or oil was trapped between the bearing shells and the caps or block when the clearance was measured. If the Plastigage was wider at one end than at the other, the crankshaft journal may be tapered.

13 Note that Peugeot do not specify a recommended big-end bearing running clearance. The figure given in the Specifications is a guide figure, which is typical for this type of engine. Before condemning the components concerned, refer to your Peugeot dealer or engine reconditioning specialist for further information on the specified running clearance. Their advice on the best course of action to be taken can then also be obtained.

14 On completion, carefully scrape away all traces of the Plastigage material from the crankshaft and bearing shells. Use your fingernail, or some other object which is unlikely to score the bearing surfaces.

Final piston/connecting rod refitting
15 Note that the following procedure assumes that the cylinder liners (where fitted) are in position in the cylinder block/crankcase as described in Section 9, and that on XU and TU series engines, the crankshaft and main bearing ladder/caps are in place (see Section 13). On XV, XW and XY series engines, do not fit the crankshaft until all the piston/connecting rod assemblies have been inserted.

16 Ensure that the bearing shells are correctly fitted as described earlier. If new shells are being fitted, ensure that all traces of the protective grease are cleaned off using paraffin. Wipe dry the shells and connecting rods with a lint-free cloth.

17 Lubricate the cylinder bores, the pistons, and piston rings, then lay out each piston/connecting rod assembly in its respective position.

18 Start with assembly No 1. Make sure that the piston rings are still spaced as described in Section 12, then clamp them in position with a piston ring compressor.

19 Insert the piston/connecting rod assembly into the top of cylinder/liner No 1. Ensure that the arrow on the piston crown is pointing towards the timing chain/belt end of the engine. Using a block of wood or hammer handle against the piston crown, tap the assembly into the cylinder/liner until the piston crown is flush with the top of the cylinder/liner (see illustration).

14.19 Tap the piston into the bore using a hammer handle
14.19 Tap the piston into the bore using a hammer handle

20 On XV, XW and XY series engines, refit the remaining three piston/connecting rod assemblies in the same way. The crankshaft should then be placed in position in the crankcase as described in Section 13.

21 Ensure that the bearing shell is still correctly installed. Liberally lubricate the crankpin and both bearing shells. Taking care not to mark the cylinder/liner bores, pull the piston/connecting rod assembly down the bore and onto the crankpin. Refit the big-end bearing cap, tightening its retaining nuts finger-tight at first. Note that the faces with the identification marks must match (which means that the bearing shell locating tabs abut each other).

22 On XV, XW, XY and TU series engines, tighten the bearing cap retaining nuts evenly and progressively to the specified torque setting (see illustration).

14.22 Tightening a big-end bearing cap nut using a torque wrench . . .
14.22 Tightening a big-end bearing cap nut using a torque wrench . . .

23 On XU series engines, tighten the bearing cap retaining nuts evenly and progressively to the Stage 1 torque setting. Fully slacken both nuts, then tighten them to the Stage 2 torque setting. Once both nuts have been tightened to the Stage 2 setting, angle-tighten them through the specified Stage 3 angle, using a socket and extension bar. It is recommended that an angle-measuring gauge is used during this stage of the tightening, to ensure accuracy (see illustration).

14.23 . . . and further, on XU series engines, through the specified angle
14.23 . . . and further, on XU series engines, through the specified angle using an angle tightening gauge

If a gauge is not
available, use a dab of white paint to make alignment marks between the nut and bearing cap prior to tightening; the marks can then be used to check that the nut has been rotated sufficiently during tightening.

24 On XU and TU series engines, once the bearing cap retaining nuts have been correctly tightened, rotate the crankshaft. Check that it turns freely; some stiffness is to be expected if new components have been fitted, but there should be no signs of binding or tight spots.

25 On XU and TU series engines, refit the remaining three piston/connecting rod assemblies in the same way.

26 On XV, XW and XY series engines, continue the crankshaft refitting procedure described in Section 13. On all other engines, refit the cylinder head and oil pump as described in Part B or C of this Chapter (as applicable).


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