Attempting to save $60 by buying the LCT engine rather than a Harbor Freight Predator 212 has certainly turned out to be a boondoggle. I plasti-gauged the big end this morning, only to find that I had less than 0.001″ clearance. To verify the issue, I brought out the micrometer. Sure enough, the LCT crank journal is 1.201″, way too big for a standard clone rod (1.85″ nominal).
I briefly considered buying a new crankshaft, but since both the big end and wrist pin were non-standard diameters, I can’t assume the crank bearings are standard size, either. The second thought that occurred to me was to simply go to Harbor Freight and buy a Predator Ghost 212 engine. But the whole idea behind this project was to use up the spare junk sitting around my shop; I certainly don’t need a spare LCT engine cluttering up the place.
So, I’ve decided to simply re-install the stock rod and piston. I can fabricate a sheet metal oil dipper that will fit under the rod bolt heads, similar to the separate slinger old Briggs & Strattons used. Since my charging-coil-equipped flywheel limits my RPMs anyway, the billet rod isn’t really a requirement.