What do you do when your engine builer does this?

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What do you do when your engine builer does this?

Postby 1quickchevy2 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:29 pm

Hey guys, been a long time! Just wondering what your guys experience is with an issue like this. I waited over two years to have this built. I supplied the block and a balancer. I asked for a pump gas engine that could handle a good 300ish shot of spray, much like my last with profiler 220's on it. Got charged over $40k in the end, and wasn't to happy with the hardware store bolts, Shitty gaskets and piece of ready rod for a crank bolt so I decided to take it to another machine shop and this is what I find out...
"Just wanted to put all the issues we have found in writing in one place.

- Incorrect spark plugs, most aftermarket aluminum heads use a 0.750" reach gasket seat style spark plug. The engine had a taper seat 0.708" reach plug.

- Timing pointer very flimsy, easily moved which will obviously affect reading the timing accurately.

- TIming pointer also rubbing brand new ATI balancer

- Engine leaked down very poorly, 22% on the best cylinder, 28% on the worst cylinder

- Intake port alignment very poor, intake sits far to low. Likely be partially corrected with the decks on the block being corrected and a proper thickness head gasket being used.

- Intake port work in plenum area is very rough

- No gasket or sealant on header adapters to cylinder heads, noticeable trails of exhaust gas leaking between them.

- Rear cam plug leaking

- 2 leaking frost plugs (noticeable rust)

- Cork end rails used on intake gaskets with little to no RTV (would never hold vacuum from vacuum pump)

- Intake gaskets trimmed on top side of intake ports to the point that they are only 0.060-0.070" wide, If it wasn't already creating a vacuum leak, they would have sucked in and very little run time and created one.

- Collar on distributor hole on intake manifold, angles will need to be checked to see why this was done and likely corrected.

- Pushrods are only a 5/16" diameter, they appear to be a Manton Series 5 0.118" wall. While this is a good quality pushrod, it does not suite the application, for the RPM, Length and Cylinder pressure the engine will see, 3/8" is a minium, on the exhaust ideally a 7/16". appears to have adequate clearance already for a 3/8".

- Lifters are a fairly economical Lunati solid roller lifter, if you plan of putting any sort of considerable street miles or passes at the drag strip, you may want to consider upgrading these. I would reccommend doing this now as they are still new and you can likely re-coop some money by selling them as so, and avoid having to change the pushrods again down the road if you decide to change. Another option would be to run these, but I would cycle them once a year if they see any sort of serious mileage. A good option for a solid roller lifter is the Jesel Sportsman tie bar lifters, They feature the exact same wheel, axle and bearings as their pro series, but in a more economical package, the lifter body's are DLC coated for better wear protection aswell.

- All 8 piston domes hitting the heads in the exact same spots

- Decks on block appear to be as is from dart, very rough cut and un-even. Pistons vary in how much they come out of the hole by 0.010 to 0.016"

- Has titanium intake and exhaust valves, in a heavy nitrous use application we reccommend a super alloy/inconel exhaust valve as the extreme temperatures can cause issues with cracking in the exhaust valves (amongst other issues) In an application where they are checked and serviced often, this is not such an issue. However in a street car, where the heads may not come off for a year or two, a steel exhaust valve is a very good idea.

- No hardened tips or lash caps on titanium valves. Valves severely worn because of this from just the short amount of run time the engine has. We will do out best to try and save as many valves as we can, but the damage is severe and some valves may need to be replaced.

- Large OD valve spring, appears to be of decent quality (likely a PAC) however spring technology has changed a lot and most builders are going away from large heavy springs like that to reduce valvetrain weight. Spring pressures also show a fair bit a variance in pressure.

- Retainers and keepers are a lower quality, from what I can tell they are a Manley retainer with either a comp or manley lock. Highly recommend switching to a higher quality retainer with a super 7 style valve lock

- Cam was said to be installed at 104 intake center line by previous builder, actually installed at 112 intake center line

- 0.080" thick head gaskets to try and correct in-correct pistons

- Pistons were said to be a custom piston, however they are an off the shelf Wiseco piston for a 410 sprint car engine. The PN is K0141X3, These pistons are actually built for a 13 degree head and have a 1.100 compression height with a 2cc dome. This explains why the piston is so far out of the deck, aswell as the compression ratio. With a 3.875" stroke, 6.00" rod, and a 1.100" compression height, the piston height comes out to 9.0375, meaning the deck heights on the block vary from 9.0275"-9.0215". (Build sheet indicates 9.020") Piston is also intended for use without nitrous. crown thickness, and top ring depth from the top of the piston are not nitrous friendly.

- Pistons are for a 13 degree head, not a 15 degree head. Obviously had adequate piston to valve clearance, however, it is not correct.

- Rings appear to be a standard off the shelf wiseco ring, moly faced top. For a NA application these would be fine, however in a heavy nitrous application, the moly facing wouldn't last on the top ring and ring seal would be lost more than what it already has been (Increased blow-by, oil consumption etc.)

- Wrist pins are not suited for use in a nitrous engine, standard material and very thin wall thickness. (0.150" wall, should be 0.0225" - 0.250" wall minimum)

- Very thin ring package (1.2, 1.2, 3.00mm) while in a NA application this would be fine, its less than ideal in a nitrous application for life of the piston ring.

- According to build sheet cylinder size was 4.157" and piston to wall clearance was 0.0055". Actual cylinder size is 4.1555" and piston to wall actually measured at 0.0035"-0.004". This is FAR to tight for a nitrous application and it likely have scuffed a piston/pistons the first time you sprayed it. (Even 0.0055" is to tight of clearance)

- Pin bore clearance and rod small end clearance only 0.0005" - 0.0006", this is far to tight.

- Rods heavily ground on both small and big ends, very poorly done and sharp edges/small shards of metal left after grinding. These are a very high quality set of rods, we use a lot of them and have never seen a set that needed to have weight removed to match them. and typically unless the difference is great, you are doing more harm than good by grinding the rods

- Pistons Heavily ground to weight match them, lots of material removed in high stress area around the pin boss weakening the piston.

- Compression ratio as calculated by the previous builder was said to be 13.77:1. Using the same specs actual compression ratio was calculated to be 14.65:1 with a dynamic compression ratio of 6.80 and a cranking pressure of 163 (based off cam specs and where is was installed)

- Cam endplay was listed at 0.006" in build sheet, actual cam end play was 0.010"

- No thrust washer on front of cam hub, steel cam hub riding directly against steel cam seal plate on the belt drive

- No signs of any marks on main or rod bearings from bearing clearance being checked.

- Main bearing clearance was said to be 0.0025, and 0.0275 on the thrust. The actual bearing clearance was 0.003" - 0.0031"

- Rod bearing clearance was said to be 0.002". The actual clearance was 0.0024" - 0.0025"

- Lifter bore clearance was far to tight (0.0005"-0.0007") The lifter bores come slightly undersize from dart so they can be honed to achieve the proper clearance with your lifter, does not appear to have been done.

- Large rust stain in number 1 cylinder. Rust has been scrapped off by rings. Due to location of the rust stain the stain had to have been there before the engine was assembled. (block had to be standing on front face to get rust in this particular spot.

- Oil pump mounting stud far to short for pump, screwed out of main cap to try and correct this, however only left with 3-4 threads of engagement left in main cap

As far as the design of the new piston goes we may run into a few issues. Due to the short compression height of the piston (should be in the 1.060-1.080 range depending on final deck height) we will be limited on piston designs. It's also going to limit how low we can go with the compression. I will be talking to Diamond in regards to how big of a dish we can run while still maintaining adequate crown thickness and thickness within the valve pockets. Also attempt to put the top ring as far down as we can being a nitrous engine. Ideally with a large stroke like this, a tall deck Iron eagle block would have been the best solution but we are going to do the best we can with what we have to work with. "

Has anyone else had a going over like this before?! I got a quote to fix it, another $17k.. I sent the original builder the quote to see what he'd say, but surprise, no reply. Any advice or related experience would be appreciated. Thanks guys.
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:10 pm

Re: What do you do when your engine builer does this?

Postby Max » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:59 am

WOW, that is a lot to digest... Not sure words can help!
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:57 pm

Re: What do you do when your engine builer does this?

Postby star393 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:40 pm

And people think a good motor cant be built in your garage WTF here. But that's just one mans opinion of what he finds. 40k wow.
I go were not many play 9500 rpms plus with a bbc
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:33 pm
Location: Chicago Il.

Re: What do you do when your engine builer does this?

Postby 1quickchevy2 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:07 pm

Oh I should mention Canadian kopecs not the all mighty USD!
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:10 pm

Re: What do you do when your engine builer does this?

Postby BH » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:03 pm

You went to him for a reason. Confront him.
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:35 am
Location: Canada

Re: What do you do when your engine builer does this?

Postby 1quickchevy2 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:21 pm

I have on the phone & email. It's over 1000km drive one way to get to his shop. I just might have to if he doesn't start getting back to me.
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:10 pm

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