One thing I like to give special attention to is the squish distance in the cylinder. Proper squish will yield a more efficient burn. A properly set up squish will allow a higher compression ratio with less chance of detonation. I aim for about .040" of piston to head clearance on my builds but this changes with the type of internals used. When playing with this you also need to be aware of piston to valve clearance as it will change as well. I try to make the engine zero deck and adjust my squish with the head gasket. I use MLS gaskets in all my motors as it is easy to get gaskets in different compressed thicknesses to suit what I need. Make sure you check ring gap as well. Be sure rod big end chamfer is on the correct side. Marking piston/rod assemblies will eliminate the possibility of getting it wrong. Something else to remember is to put a tiny dab of silicone under the rear main cap just in the area adjacent to the rear main seal and pan seal. This is often left out. Oil can wick through this gap and makes it look like you have a rear main seal leak. You will also want to put some oil on the lip of the front and rear seal during assembly as they can get destroyed quickly if fired up dry. Oh, and have fun as well! Hope this is what you were looking for.
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