Visit The Dirt Forum for More Information

Author Topic:   Build/Refreshen Engines
djs13
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted October 03, 2005 02:19 PM  
I am interested in learning how to build/refreshen engines. I have knowledge on how the engine works, but I am new to building and refreshening them. Are there any books or schools that can teach you?

Thank You -- DJ Samson

dirtyboy58
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 40
posted October 03, 2005 05:27 PM  
race motors are a breed of their own alot of stress I built my motors for mud trucks but for my cars a pro does it. money wise in the long run alot cheaper good parts cost a bundle

STREET16
Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 158
posted October 03, 2005 06:05 PM  
First, leave the machine work to the pros! As far as learning to assemble a race motor, I would recommend learning hands-on from an experienced engine builder. I have never found a book that covers things 100%. And things look different in person than in a picture.

avila
Dirt Freak

Total posts: 217
posted October 04, 2005 10:47 AM  
I was once in your postion. I tracked down a very good local engine builder. I told him
I wanted to learn how to build race motors.
I employeed him first year to build then second year to refresh my motor. Part of the deal was to let me hang out with him. First year we went over bottom end, second year top end.

We bought a lot of good parts and had access to excellent machine shop - two very important things.

I've been on my own since; built my own motor for years after that.

The book i use for reference is called,
"How to build Chevrolet small-block V-8
Race Engines, by Bill Tarrant & Chris Hawkinson".
This book is a good reference because it outlines all the steps one needs to do for
tear down, inspection and rebuild. Not so much everything one needs to do, but it
does list all the steps necessary for rebuild.

Xtreme12x
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted October 04, 2005 11:40 AM  
I have never opened up a book to learn to build engines. I did it by watching over a few people, learning from the guys that have forgot more than I'll ever know, and having some real good friends to get ahold of when I am stuck. Machine work, Preparation, and Cleanliness/Attention to detail is what makes motors last, the cam makes the power.

[This message has been edited by Xtreme12x (edited October 04, 2005).]

djs13
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted October 04, 2005 01:03 PM  
I'm 14 years old I want to learn how to refreshen/build my go-kart engines. I have a BERT Transmission rebuild center about 30 minutes from my house but I don't think they build race engines. There are a few local go-kart engine builders that are near me. My goal is to build my own engines for the 2006 season and if I get good, sell some too. What do you think I should do?

Thanks

KPLugnut
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1019
posted October 04, 2005 01:09 PM  
Go to: www.4cycle.com
Read for weeks/months on the forums there, contact many experienced kart shops and builders there, and also you'll find there are kart engine building books and videos available thru there. Just ask and they'll help you out.

KP

KPLugnut
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1019
posted October 04, 2005 01:10 PM  
Here is Jimmy Glenn's link to learning how to build kart motors:
http://www.4cycle.com/jglenn/

Good luck and have fun!

Kromulous
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 796
posted October 04, 2005 02:12 PM  
I used to build Briggs kart motors, its a tough racket. Let me tell you one thing about them, all the power in a stocker is hidden in the Carbs.

It will be hard to beat the big shops, they order pallets of engines at a time. Tear them all down, weigh all the peices and flow test the blcoks and carbs and then assemble the top 3 for the Team guys, and then sell the rest.

I seen that 1st hand by a major player in the 4 stroke world. You can learn to do it, 4 cycle Kart engines is a good place to start. Get you a good shop together, clean, and some tools and go at it.

There are some good books out there that will help. Hardest things at first will be degreeing the cam and setting the valve lash properly. Plus putting them valve springs in. There are a few special tools you can get to help.

Start with the books, and internet.

Good luck, Krom.

Also there is a school, college thats out that is going to teach people how to build all out race engines, but there for V8's and such. Look for it on the Internet, Racing Schools and such, google search.

djs13
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted October 04, 2005 02:29 PM  
I don't think I can qualify for the colleges because I'm a freshman in high school. Also, what is the overall function of a flow bench? I realze that it tests the carb/block, but what are the details about it?

I found a really cool site on how to make your own:
http://www.kartingtechinfo.com/tech/flow.htm

I'm going to order the Jimmy Glenn book tonight. I'm also looking for local engine builders that are close to me to learn from.

Right now, I just want to build some fast engines for my race team and possibly sell some and make more money that I will be put towards my team.

Any tips or advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

Xtreme12x
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted October 04, 2005 02:44 PM  
Kart engines... I've done them for years and still do. Valve seal, cylinder seal, carburetor, camshaft and port flow are the keys. If you have any questions let me know. You'll need a basic set of tools along with about $200 worth of special tools for the Briggs and you should be set. Have a good shop do your machine work, and you'll be fine. Pay attention to Rod Clearances also. .004 is what I always ran and used to turn em 7200 weekly. Make sure you have real good measuring tools to check your rod clearance also. These little motors aren't cheap.

Xtreme12x
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted October 04, 2005 02:46 PM  
As far as selling them, get a few years under your belt before you start building for other people. When I started (Back in 1999) I only did them for myself, at the time I was also a freshman. I didn't start selling them until 2002. You'll break a few thats for sure, just remember, attention to detail.

djs13
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted October 05, 2005 01:32 PM  
I heard there is such thing as computer dynos that you use on your computer. Here is one:
http://www.unitedstateskartracingassociation.com/budget.htm

Are there any others? Also, does anyone have any intructions on how to build/use a flow bench and any info on them?

Thanks

Xtreme12x
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted October 05, 2005 01:56 PM  
Those dyno programs are just for the computer, they aren't an actual dyno.

Jimmy Glenn has a flowbench he built in his book. It works well to compare carbs.


GINSCO75
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 5
posted October 05, 2005 08:05 PM  
djs13,
After reading your post & reading the replies, I would have to agree with everyone that posted.I raced karts in the senior class for a few years. I got to hang around at my engine builders shop and watch him dyno my engines and flow my carbs.I also bought the book from Jimmy Glenn.I will say this, that is propabley the best book I have ever read.I think I own or have owned most of the books that Steve Smith ever sold. I am not knocking his books but with Jimmy's there are very few gray areas. There are two most important parts of a cart engine, assuming all the details of building a reliable engine is there and that is in my opinion.....#1 the carb....#2....the cam.
Kromuolous is dead on when he said these engine builders buy pallets of parts and sort out the good one for ther " house karts" or for their "good" customers, by saying that I am not knocking the builders because they are getting a higher price for those parts wich they do deserve. If you would buy 100 carbs from Briggs you may wind up with 15 awesome flowing carbs...50 half way decent flowing carbs and the rest of them aint worth a ****. the ones that aint that good they sell to the junior class for a decent penny and the better ones they raise the price depending on the flow numbers.The problem is that if you dont have a flow bench you wont be able to tell a good carb from a bad carb.
I am not trying to discourage you in any way. I found ways to save alot of money buy doing the routine work to my engines myself. (routine stuff like lapping the valves and changing the valve springs...but even changing the valve springs is kinda a science because not every spring that comes out of a briggs box has the same pressure. Then after you put it through a few heat cycles the pressure changes then you can tailor itto the cam that you are running.
Again dont get discoured because most of the tools that you will need to build these engines are relativley inexpensive.
My advice is at this point in time , dont try to make money off of building engines,just build them and see how things work out.You wont be making money but you will gain alot of experience. I dont care what nobody says, Books are good but trial and error ( hands on experience is second to none). Good luck and most importantly have fun.

djs13
Dirt Roller

Total posts: 16
posted October 07, 2005 02:57 PM  
I just got Jimmy Glenn's book in the mail no more than 10 minutes ago. I'm already finished with chapter 2. I have a riding lawnmower engine and I plan to work on that. I want to get some experience before I start working on my kart engines. Thanks for the advice.

Back to the Archives