No I don't,I don't even know how to use it. The rod and crank rotate with everything facing the right way and the piston off. Once I put the piston on ( which does slide in the bore) and torque the cap...it's all bound again
You see rub marks on the edge of the rod, cap, or crank thrust surface?
/\ Plastigage is a thin bead of compressible plastic that you place across a crank journal surface, then install the bearing cap, torque to spec, and remove cap again. The package Has a scale to read the clearance according to how wide the strip has become. It can also tell you if the clearances are even, or tapered. There are different sizes.
I guess I have a question for anyone that knows. When I bought this block it had cast flanges on the bottom of it that I had to saw off so it would fit down in the frame. The block wound up being out of a John Deere, is the block configuration somehow different ?
I read through this again. You are using the old crank and rod but you didn't say if you have a new piston. When you put it together in the block, look at the piston end of the rod and see if there is about equal clearance on both sides of the rod to the piston bosses. I think the rod is getting shifted all the way to one side and binding when you tighten it. Don't know if this could be because of a difference in the block or if it's a new piston it could be bad.
Were both pistons you tried new aftermarket? It could be the pin holes aren't bored square to the piston. I would have thought bent rod but you tried another with the same result. Were the rub marks on the rod at the top on one side and bottom on the other?
The block came just that,a block. I bought it cause the motor I took out was already bored.030 over and on the outer limits of that,plus it had a knock. This block is within factory specs and all I did was cross hatch it lightly