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Author Topic:   Engine builder woes... need advice or recommendations
goinrcn44h
Member
posted August 01, 2003 12:08 PM
For reference, this engine is in a 360 dirt with wing sprint car.
I have had a series of engine failures mainly centered around the crank/rod area..(3 to be exact). The first I seized #1 and #2 to the crank journal, I traced it back to the center oil plug above the cam was installed too deep, thus blocking off oil to #1 main and 1/2 rod. pulled apart and had crank reground, rods reconditioned, etc.. Re-assemble #2.. The assembly man did not properly torque/stretch rod bolts(undertorqued), stretched 2 bolts in #3 rod, spun bearing, ended up cracking one rod( carrillo H-beam 5.7") On to re-assembly #3.. and this is where the root of my whole question comes into play.
I purchased a new set of rods(prowler) and also had crank ( crower 54 lb. ) ground again .030 rods and .020 mains, I also decided that the person who did the grinding also do a complete check of the block , balance assembly, complete short block assembly, and cam timing. He checked the block and found nothing anywhere wrong with it, ground and straightened the crank. He then said to me that the new rods were about 20 grams lighter than the carrillo rods, and that he was goin to use the bolts from the carrillo's in the prowlers because it helped the balance...(?) because they were 2 grams heavier. I didnt like this practice but he is the professional. I also knew that he would be 2 bolts short from the previous problem. He said he would take care of it, and I left it at that. I picked up the short block, paid him , and left. I briefly scanned everything over and it looked good, so I finished assembling it and put it into the car. I fired it the next day and ran it for approx. 15 to 20 minutes, then loaded it and drove 9 hours to the race, I then ran it again in wheel packing for 15-20 minutes again. I then dropped the remaining oil in the pan(dry sump) put it into the tank and checked level and topped off, oil pan plug looked ok. I then ran 2 laps of practice approx 30 seconds, 2 laps of qualifying another 30 secs. and was in my heat when on lap 4 it all came flying(literally) apart. upon inspection back at home, I found one broken rod, and the big end was under the windage tray in the pan. I removed the tray and found a washer in the bottom, I know there are no washers in my engine anywhere, upon closer inspection I found the other rod bolt also had a washer under it, seems he decided to use a bolt ( sps carr ) in place of the missing 2, but they were either off in weight, or too long, so he washered them. He never told me of this and I know its a major no-no.. obviously. He however claims that I have "oiling issues or some type of starvation" but the other rod bearings look great considering what went on down there. I had 75-80 psi pressure, and all was great. when it started comin apart it all happened so fast I had no time to even react before it holed the pan, etc.. I have spoken to ARP tech and he agreed that washers under any of their high end rod bolts would induce massive vibration, and lead to stretch, bearing spin, andthe like. I know this was the problem, and I believe he also knows, in fact I am 99% sure of it, but what course of action can I take, if any? If nothing else, maybe it will help someone else in the future, it killed the block(GM race block) $1800.00 crower crank, $500.00 JE pistons, 400.00 rods, 400.00 gaerte cam, 300.00 dry sump oil pan, and possibly the 700.00 barnes oil pump. Not to mention the 850 I already paid him. I have purchased a short block so I can get racin again, but I cannot let this go forgotten.
Please offer any advice you might have,
Thank you ,
Michael E. Harris


gordonfan
Member
posted August 01, 2003 02:25 PM
Rod bolt stretch should always be used on any sprint car engine in my opinion,it's sad to see someone spend alot of money on parts that if assembled correctly would last season after season,i had a cheater 360 sprint motor it was actually a 3 9/16 stroke 368 that had carillo rods and a steel crank,the internals wore out four blocks before i got it and the new owner is now going on his second block(wearing them out and replacing with a fresh bored block)so if you finally get someone to do it right you should be able to race it for years.btw how much for the seven carillo's?


Raz_900
Member
posted August 01, 2003 03:12 PM
I think you need to talk to a lawyer. I'd get the leftover parts inspected by another shop and have the lawyer right up a formal document detailing their findings. Basically, his negligence cost you about 5 grand. Have the lawyer continue sending registered letters and as a final straw, sue him for damages (or make him repair it at his cost). I'm betting registered letters from a lawyer will change his attitude toward you in a hurry.


goinrcn44h
Member
posted August 01, 2003 07:26 PM
I figured that gettin a lawyer is likely my only route. If need be then so be it, its his call, not mine.
As for the carrillo rods, I know 6 are useable, not sure on the 7th, will have to look, 2 of those were reconditioned but not too much at all. I also have 4 possibly out of this build of the prowler rods( they look identical to the carrillo/ eagle/ etc.. H beam rod. have to wait and see how many died in the latest nuclear explosion.
I did receive my new shortblock today and it left Minn. on monday...! Swingin good deal, real good guys, and fast to boot, scat 4340 crank, scat H rods, srp dome pistons, all assembled, super nice block (010).. good cleavite bearings and teflon cam bearings.. all installed and clearanced and set at TDC #1.... 2300.00 ( sweet deal) schwankeshortblocks.com lotsa good used stuff also and any thing else you may need or ever want. ( just a plug for a good guy that helped me out )
Thanx all,
M.Harris 44H

P.S. I attached a pic of my sprint car.. enjoy!

sdhnc29
Member
posted August 01, 2003 07:31 PM
Sorry for your misfortune !!! One thing you might want to look at on your last explosion would be a the washers under the CARR bolts . SPS does make Carillo's (CARR) bolts , and some rods use washers . The rods that use the washers have a bolt torque of 90lbs on a 7/16 bolt vs. 75 on a rod with no washer , and a similar difference on the smaller 3/8" and 5/16" bolts . If your engine builder used the actual Carillo bolt and washer combo in your Prowler rods , then you would have 2 possible causes for your problems . Number 1 would be if he torqued the rod bolts with the washers to the same torque spec as the rest of your rod's , thus giving you the same problem as your 2nd explosion . Number 2 would be if he did in fact torque the Carillo bolt's with washers to their proper spec , this would leave the rod bore distorted and could leave you with a bearing clearance issue . Either way , it sounds like it is his mistake provided that you do not in fact have a problem in your oil system . At any rate ...... from everything else that you described , such as the rod's being lighter and nothing getting re-balanced , the oil plug , not torquing the rod bolts , using used bolts from a set that were torqued wrong , etc. , this person is incompetent and I would change builders .

To try and get money from this builder , or any other type of restitution , I think you should do as advised above and take everything to a neutral party and have it inspected . It will be up to you to prove his incompetence , and the average judge will have no idea what anyone is talking about . So the more plain clear evidence that you can provide , then the better your chances will be .

Steve

------------------
Hendren Racing Engines
Rutherfordton , NC
(828)286-0780


dirtracer14
Member
posted August 01, 2003 10:17 PM
Hey 44 i see you are from nampa idaho? what track is that picture from....or was that the 9 hour drive one? My wife has family in boise and the fact that there are no dirt tracks close we spend most of the summer on the west coast racing.....but if there was a track close we could go racing while we visit


goinrcn44h
Member
posted August 02, 2003 12:41 AM
Thanx steve for the info. I also suppose That waiting would do nothing but hamper any progress I may make. Once I get the new one together and do the 360 nationals next weekend at skagit I will devote full time on building my case.

Dirtracer14... no, there are no tracks anywhere even remotely close, thats the huge downside, if I wanna race.. I travel. I knew it going in, and if it werent for these grenades I have been gettin I would say it would be worth it.. stay tuned, I spent all afternoon and evening, tapping and drilling the block for the restrictors in the cyl. water holes , and moving my water inlets into the sides of the block, and then blocking everything off that needs blocked, etc.. still have a ways to go, but everything looks real good so far..
44H
PS: that pic is enterin trn. 1 at skagit at dirt cup this year


dirtracer14
Member
posted August 02, 2003 01:17 AM
Ok i was wondering....if you make it down to elma stop by the #14 modified pit and say hi Craig Moore


sdhnc29
Member
posted August 02, 2003 09:57 AM
I need to add a comment to what I wrote before . I did not notice this until I read your original post again . If I understood correctly , you said " ran it again in wheel packing for 15-20 minutes again. I then dropped the remaining oil in the pan(dry sump) put it into the tank and checked level and topped off" . Did you set the oil level in your tank with the engine running ? Dry sump systems are designed to have the oil level set with the engine running . By no means am I sticking up for your engine builder here , I still think he is quite incompetent . But I'm simply trying to save your new engine . If all that you have in your system is what is in your tank , lines and pan empty , then you will be very low on oil in the system . Even though you would still show good oil pressure , if your tank is down to little or no oil under racing conditions , the pump will be pumping an air/oil mix . A dry sump pump will pump air just as good as oil . So you will see good oil pressure , but the bearings will not . This problem will be aggravated if your dry sump tank does not pick up directly off the bottom . Next time you check your oil level , get pushed off and kick her out of gear . Idle down and check the level in your tank . I'll bet that the level will be low .

Hope this helps ,
Steve

------------------
Hendren Racing Engines
Rutherfordton , NC
(828)286-0780


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