Why It’s Important To Use Assembly Lube When Building An Engine

Engines need to be lubricated to run, and the lubrication process actually begins during assembly. Assembly lube that’s designed to be used when you’re putting an engine together is a must-have product if you’re bolting your own powerplant together.

Liquid engine assembly lube and moly assembly lube paste are the two most common products you’ll use when putting an engine together. Each of these lubes has a specific use, and you shouldn’t try to substitute anything in their place if you want the engine assembly process to be successful. While you may be tempted to just grab some engine oil to lube up parts for assembly, that’s not a best practice and won’t give you the greatest results.

Dave Sutton from Engine Parts Group explains why using assembly lubes that are designed specifically for building an engine are the best products to use.

“Engine assembly lubes are extreme pressure lubes designed to take the pressure, and prevent metal-to-metal contact until oil pressure and continuous oil feed can be established. They’re designed to mix well with engine oil, and are compatible with the additives in engine oil. They are stickier than oil and designed to stay in place until that oil flow is established. They also contain rust and oxidation inhibitors to protect freshly machined surfaces.”

Any metal-to-metal contact areas, and surfaces that have been freshly machined need to have some type of assembly lube applied to them when you’re assembling an engine. The contact points of push rods and rocker arms, bearing surfaces, wrist pins, and camshafts are just a few areas that will need to have assembly lube applied to them. Now, you don’t have to apply massive amounts of assembly lube to parts, they need just enough to be thoroughly coated. If you apply too much, the assembly lube will just end up making a mess after it’s been squeezed out during assembly and will end up on your shop floor.

The liquid assembly lubes are what you want to use for most parts, but when it comes to fasteners you’ll need use a moly assembly paste.

“While others may see it as an assembly lube, I like to think of the moly lubes as best for hardware. It is great for rod, main, and head bolts and studs as an anti-seize to prevent galling. It does contain rust and oxidation inhibitors, works as an extreme pressure lube, it also contains lubricating solids that don’t break down as easily with engine oil and any excess will end up in your oil filter. A little goes a long way with this product,” Sutton says.

If you’re getting ready to put an engine together and need some assembly lube make sure to check out the Engine Parts Group website right here.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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