Practical Engine Building: Documentation
- While engine building and blueprinting doesn't require a university degree, it does require an eye for detail.
There are a lot of critical measurements made during the process of assembling any engine and it's always a good practice to document your engine build, listing the part number of each component used, each critical measurement, dimension, and clearance, as well as the torque used on each fastener in the engine.
This can be a powerful document at a later stage when the engine comes back for a freshen up, as you'll know exactly what components were used in the assembly, and which manufacturer supplied them.
If you're supplying an engine to a customer, it's a great document to supply with the finished engine.
This will be valuable to your customer, and also gives the customer confidence that you've gone a lot further than just slapping some off the shelf parts into the engine, and hoping for the best.
If you're developing an engine for a specific task, this documentation will also help you with confirming if a certain clearance change has been positive or negative, when it comes time to strip and inspect an engine that's seen service.
Even the most diligent engine builder can't hope to remember every critical clearance on any particular engine they've assembled.
Lastly if the worst does happen, and an engine that you've built suffers a failure, this documentation can be an invaluable blueprint to help define exactly what went wrong.
In this industry we must expect to suffer the occasional failure if we're pushing the boundaries, however if we can't learn from these failures, then it was all in vain.
I've included a sample document as an attachment to this module and you can download this as an example of the sort of detail that should be considered.
I'd urge you to start using this sort of documentation right from the start.