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Deck clearance is easy to measure, using a deck bridge or dial indicator, as shown on this 318 short-block. Just zero the indicator at the deck, park the piston at TDC, and measure the distance from the piston to the deck as near to the piston's center as practical. Try rocking the piston in the bore in the axis of the piston pin and see how the measurement varies. If the rocking alters the reading, use an average number.