Just because you're a classic truck enthusiast doesn't mean you're a gearhead. While the majority of us can tell the difference between carburetion and fuel injection, that's not to say we all know our way around the inside of an engine. And that's fine-those who want to know, will learn; the rest will rely on those who do know. That said, there's no reason why the same majority shouldn't be somewhat proficient with the externals of an engine, as that's what you'll probably end up dealing with more frequently.
Whether it's simply changing your valve cover gaskets, swapping an intake manifold, or installing a fuel pump, regular engine maintenance isn't just about topping off fluids and replacing filters. Beyond that, there may come a day where you find yourself acquiring a new (or used) long-block for no particular reason-it's surely not going to morph itself into a turnkey motor, now is it? Regardless of the situation, there are numerous tricks and procedures to slap together an engine the right way...you know, to not only keep the oil from seeping out, but to ensure it even starts from the get-go.
(Editor's disclaimer: Certain procedures depicted herein are ways the author has found to work best-there are alternatives that achieve the same results.)
There's nothing worse than firing up a newly transplanted engine for break-in only to find it leaving its mark on your clean driveway. Well, actually, it's a lot worse if the engine won't even turn over at all-but hopefully we can avoid all that with the following installment.