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Crack Testing Used Components

Engine Building Fundamentals

Discussion and questions related to the course Engine Building Fundamentals

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Is it worthwhile to test for cracks when reusing forged connecting rods, crankshafts, valves, and camshafts in restoration builds that will also see higher power applications? Is the occurrence of cracks in these components rare enough to consider forgoing such testing, considering the likelihood of other failure mechanisms?

Reasons for forgoing such testing are primarily time, the costs associated with having the work performed, and the costs associated with renting/using a shop in which to conduct the testing.

Engine: VG30DETT; Vehicle: 1993 Nissan 300ZX; Expected (hoped for) power level: +500 bhp

It's not a bad idea to have your components crack tested if you're reusing them. This isn't normally something that you'd apply to valves or camshafts however conrods, cranks and even pistons are all good candidates for crack testing. Whether you choose to do this is really down to the quality of the components and the abuse that they've had to date. For example if you've got a set of components that are designed to support 1000 hp and 9000 rpm and you've been using them in an engine producing 400 hp and revving to 7000 rpm then it's unlikely that the components would be suffering from fatigue and cracking. Ultimately only you can decide on the cost/benefit here.