I'd replace the big end shells as a precaution whilst you have the sump off.
Now I wouldn't, you may cause a problem that wasn't ever going to happen if you touch the rods.
Because the engine wasn't run dry then I wouldn't suspect damage there, then opening the caps and swaping the shells means you need to know which are fitted to start with, but that is only ok if the crank is not oval, so you'd need to check the dimensions of the crank and the rod, asyour not removing the head then you cant check the big end internal dia. Also there is the possibility of you pushing the rod up too far and damaging the valves. Then there's the unintentional ingress of dirt to the shell faces which would cause premature wear.
In this case I see no need to replace the shells UNLESS the engine has had a top end rebuild ONLY post cambelt failure in the past.
Sorry Smaky but thats just daft advice.
If the crank has gone oval, the problem will show itself sooner rather than later anyway. Keeping the caps in the right order and cleanseness is just good engineering practice. Pushing a rod up too far would be poor workmanship and not going to happen if care is taken.
I'm not saying they do NEED to be done, but don't not do them for the reasons you have stated.
I would add a "rider" to my original post that if the engine history is unknown
(ie it MAY have had a top end /cambelt done without the bottom end) then it is a particularly good idea, as indicated by SMAKY.
SMAKY. Sorry but the only other really valid point you made was that you cant measure the B/E internal diameter on the rod. Engine RE-builds were never a speciality of mine but do rods go out of shape THAT often? I didnt think so but I stand to be corrected.
So IMO provided you follow good engineering practice, (which you should anyway
) you may prevent a disaster for the cost of a set of shells.
I seem to remember (In MY day
) B/E shells were marked as to their "oversize" rating, as "plus" something or other. Is this not still the case?