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Practical Engine Building: Step 1: Initial Preparation

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Step 1: Initial Preparation

08.46

00:00 - In this section of the course we're going to cover the HPA 10 Step Process for engine building.
00:05 This process will give you a simple step by step guide that you can apply to each individual engine project.
00:12 The aim of this process is to break down what can seem like a complex and daunting task into individual bite sized tasks.
00:21 On its own each task can actually be completed reasonably easily and quickly, and the result is that before you know it, you've completed your engine assembly project.
00:32 The other important aspect of following a process like this is that it ensures that you don't overlook any critical steps.
00:41 With this in mind we'll start with the first step of our process which is the initial preparation for our build.
00:48 Like any critical task it's essential for us to have a clear picture of what we're trying to achieve before we ever touch the engine components.
00:57 In particular we want to form a plan of what we'll be doing to the engine and what components we will require to fit to the engine to achieve our aims.
01:08 This is an essential step to ensure that we have a clear plan of how the remainder of the build will go and this, coupled with what we find in our next step, will give us the essential information we'll need to provide to our engine machinist.
01:24 The engine building process can be somewhat time consuming since we may be ordering parts from overseas and then we need to wait on the machining out work to be completed.
01:34 These steps are obviously required and there's not a lot we can do to change them.
01:39 What we can avoid however is finding that when it comes to the machining step, or assembly step that we're missing a key component that we've failed to order.
01:50 To help avoid this we want to start here with a complete list of all of the components we're going to need for the project.
01:58 This isn't limited just to the new hardware, such as pistons and conrods that we may be fitting, but we'll also need to consider all of the seals, bearings, idlers, gaskets, and o rings that we may require to complete the engine assembly.
02:15 Many of these components are best sourced directly from the OE engine manufacturer and may need to be sourced from overseas with a significant lead time.
02:24 So again it pays to have these parts on hand at the start of the project.
02:29 A tip here is that often you can purchase an engine overhaul gasket set from the OE manufacturer that includes all of the gaskets and seals you'll need for a significant cost saving over purchasing these parts individually.
02:45 Cost wise often this option works out similar or even cheaper than some of the aftermarket replacement parts that are available.
02:53 When it comes to components such as your crankshaft seals, I personally prefer to use OE parts where possible as I've had problems with cheaper aftermarket parts in the past.
03:05 You'll quickly regret saving $5 to $10 by using an aftermarket rear main seal, when you need to remove the gearbox to replace it later because it's leaking.
03:15 Before we can build a full list of the parts that we need for the project, we need to carefully consider our aims.
03:22 What I mean by this is that the parts we select need to be able to comfortably support our power and RPM target for the completed project.
03:32 This is an area that can be a little tricky as obviously every engine is different and the stock components may fail at vastly different power levels from one type of engine to the next.
03:43 Likewise we'll often find that for a particular engine there may be known weak points once you reach a specific power level and you'll obviously need to address these.
03:53 Let's look at an example of what I'm talking about here.
03:57 One of the engines that is included in our worked examples section is the Toyota 2JZ which we're building to support around a thousand wheel horsepower.
04:06 This is a well respected engine that's immensely overengineered by Toyota straight out of the factory, and it's an engine that's seen huge sucess on the drag strip in particular.
04:17 While there are multiple examples of these engines producing a thousand wheel horsepower from a stock bottom end, we're aiming for reliability and this requires a little bit more consideration.
04:29 While the stock 2JZ block can support our power aims, they are known to have issues with the stock main bearing caps failing around this power level.
04:39 It's smart therefore to account for this in our engine build and we'll be replacing the stock main caps with a set of billet main caps which is a common upgrade in the 2JZ world.
04:51 This will also impact on our required work flow because we know that the main caps will require line boring during the machining step.
05:00 While you will obviously build experience over time with engines that you're commonly building, what do you do when faced with an engine you've never seen before? This is where you're going to need to do some research before embarking on a particular project.
05:14 The first step of this is to clearly define your goals.
05:19 This will include the desired power level, RPM ceiling, fuel type, and even what the engine is going to be used for.
05:27 Once you've defined these goals you can start researching.
05:31 When it comes to the engine hardware such as pistons and conrods that you'll be fitting, the parts manufacturer will usually be able to offer an indication as to what power level the parts will be suitable for, which makes it easy to choose the correct parts.
05:47 For mild or moderate power increases, standard off the shelf components from aftermarket manufacturers will normally suffice.
05:55 However if you're starting to look at producing three to four times the stock power level or more, often you're going to need to contact these aftermarket parts manufacturers and confirm that they can supply products that suit and this may also require custom parts.
06:13 The other aspect we need to research is any known weaknesses or areas that we should be addressing with our build.
06:21 The best solution is to discuss your project with other engine builders or machinists who are familiar with your brand of engine and have achieved similar results with reliability.
06:32 This can be a mixed bag, as particularly if you're aiming for the cutting edge of engine performance, many engine builders will be reluctant to share their secrets with you.
06:42 In many instances you may have better luck discussing the project with machinists who deal with your brand of engine, as they will have little to lose by offering their advice.
06:53 Beyond this we can also refer to the internet and see what others are doing to achieve reliable results.
07:00 This again unfortunately can be a mixed bag, and you need to be a little bit careful with the comments you find.
07:07 Starting with a sensible search criteria is critical, and I'll be using the search terms such as 2JZ 1000 horsepower engine build, or 2JZ engine common failures, and similar search terms.
07:22 What you'll also find is that popular engines such as the Toyota 2JZ, will have a number of dedicated enthusiast forums where builds of this nature will have been covered numerous times.
07:36 Dedicate a few hours and see what others are doing to achieve your sort of power desires.
07:42 Often you'll find there's some conflicting information, and this is where you'll need to apply some common sense.
07:49 While you'll never get everyone to agree on an internet forum, if you view enough threads you'll start to see some common replies about weak points and problems, and this is the sort of information that you need to take on board.
08:02 This might sound like a difficult task, however it's the exact same technique I personally use when I'm dealing with an engine that I have no previous experience with.
08:13 The last consideration we want to make is whether there's anything specific about our donor engine we need to address.
08:21 Often we may be starting our engine building project with an engine that has some known damage, and we want to keep this in mind to make sure that whatever issues are present, are adequately addressed and dealt with during the project.