Avoiding Catastrophic Engine Failure

AVOIDING Catastrophic Engine Failure
By Don Terrill (c) - www.RacingSecrets.com

Have you ever noticed there are racers who have engine failures, one right after another? Then on the other hand, there are racers who never have any trouble, ever? Do you think it's luck?

Not hardly!

Here's how to be a member of group two:

(1) Mock-Up
I'm amazed how few people test fit engine parts before assembly. Getting home-assemblers to do it is like pulling teeth. For a freshen-up with just rings and bearings, a mock-up is probably not mandatory, but when assembling parts that have not been together before, a mock-up is required - at least once and maybe twice.

(2) Handle Every Part
When I say handle, I don't mean only once on a part's way to final assembly. I mean to handle every part multiple times and to actually look at the part. The next level of protection is to have multiple people look at each part.

(3) Measure Everything
And I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I've helped some friends assemble their own engines and it drives them crazy when I tell them what needs to be checked - one even went to the point of lying about what had, and had not, been checked. I quickly removed my name from that project.

(4) Trust No One
Picking up on the last point - don't trust that your parts were made correctly, machined correctly, assembled correctly or even cleaned correctly - no matter what they say - you'll be the one on the hook if it blows up.

Want to know the real key to keeping an engine together?
Take more time, a lot more time, to assemble it.

FYI - The photo above is a Ferrera valve that was caught during a freshen-up. Here's the other side of the Valve - Pretty scary.

Want to send off a nasty email about how wrong I am? Well, first read this and then write your own article.