Originally Posted by VCMperformance
You can and should check the clearances with just dropping the pan. You use plastic gauge. Place a test piece in the cap with new bearing TQ it down. Then remove cap and read out the clearances if it's in spec golden. I'm sure these bearing are factory specs just with a different coating on the brass then factory not a coating on top of the factory bearings.
Plastigauge is ok to do a quick "check", and I emphasize the word check here. A proper high performance engine should have it's bearing clearances "set!"
To set bearing clearances, a micrometer should be used to properly measure all journals, the rods should be checked with a bore gauge and then the proper bearing shells are selected and/or the journals/bores are sized to set oil clearance to the engine builders specifications. Once everything is measured and adjusted, plastigauge is fine to use as a final check on the engine once you reach the stage of final assembly.
Anyone putting bearings into a $30,000 long block and checking them with plastigauge as their only tool for measuring oil clearance, not properly measuring the parts and precisely adjusting the oil clearance, should have their head checked in my opinion!