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Would you tune this engine?

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Hi there all!

I just got a customer come in for a tune. It seems the car had a lot of knock. So i looked into the tune a bit and listened to the engine. There was a lot of knock and the timing was really low already. So i looked at the pistons(pictures attached) to see in which state they were in. There was visible damage of knock and also a lot of oil. This was consistent with the (blue) smoke coming out of the exhaust.

Later i found out that one of the things which where off on the setup where the spark plugs. The wrong ones which where in there had a way smaller gap and where 2 heat ranges off. Also the turbo oil return was not setup right.

With knowing this all i have my questions about tuning the car. its a build VQ35 with a garret gt35. What would be your advice on this?

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,

Vincent

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I am not a professional tuner but I would replace all gaskets such as sparkplug & valve cover gaskets to make sure oil isn't coming from there.

Proceed with compression and leak-down tests to make sure pooling isn't coming from damaged rings.

If motor passes above tests, install correct plugs, see how it runs and monitor for excess oil.

Or you could just run away from this car.

Tune? No. Respec/build? Sure if he understands that its a T&M situation and the customer seems to have reasonable expectations. I also would have some sort of contract with language to protect myself in place as well.

There's no future in continuing with that engine. The only outcome I can see happening is an engine failure on the dyno. Even if that doesn't happen then the power is likely to be well below expectation. I'd be advising a further inspection of the engine including a compression and leak down test. Cutomers in this industry are already quick to point fingers and lay blame so I wouldn't get myself into a situation where I'm dealing with a potential hand grenade that is of someone else's doing.