Checking engine bearings/journals in situ

I need to take my sump off anyway, and I want to check my engine bearings (main and possibly big end) since I’ve reason to believe they might be damaged.

Is it best to (a) take the bearing caps off one-at-a-time, examine the shell and journal, then replace and torque-up before doing the next one, or (b) just release the torque on all of the bearing caps and then individually remove each one, check and replace, then tighten and torque them all up, as in the manual.

The manual assumes an engine rebuild, so the block will be the other way up, and the bearing caps won’t be supporting the crankshafts weight.

I’m not sure which procedure is more likely to cause distortion.

Perhaps there’s no difference?

I would choose your 2nd option - slacken all the caps off first and re-tighten as if doing a new build. That way you allow for anything that’s not sitting quite as it was before (though I can’t think why it wouldn’t be). It will also allow you to check both halves of the shells if you slacken the bolts enough. The problem with this sort of work, is that you can’t easily check the crank is rotating freely once you’ve bolted it all back together.

Thanks. I’ve posted this question in a few places to “collect” responses, since I guessed the vast majority of autonetties wouldn’t have an opinion, or any use for one.

Last check the “vote” was 3 to 2 in favor of the second option. I (rather vaguely) favored the first, making it a tie. :aiyo:

However, I hadn’t thought about the potentially greater ease of checking the upper bearing shell, (which I was probably going to skip). Presumably this is because the crankshaft as a whole moves downward. Might be a tie breaker.

Think I need a micrometer or two. Pity there’s no Harbour Freight here.