The inaugural Engine Performance Expo kicked off today in virtual form. Hosted by Joe Castello with help from Lake Speed, Jr, the Expo kicked off at 9:30 am Eastern Time and lasted nine-plus hours. That much information resulted in three pages of handwritten notes, and a solid portion of our brains leaking out of our heads as we all tried to collectively retain so much information.
The day started out with a discussion about blocks, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the Dart manufacturing facility and process, followed by a discussion of considerations when selecting a block, specifically an aluminum block, and the cylinder liner sleeve thicknesses. From there, the cylinder bore discussion continued as Jake Raby gave a lecture on Sumebore and Nikasil cylinder bore coatings, comparing them to sleeved liners in aluminum blocks.
Following that, we jumped into block machining — specifically CNC block machining — with Rottler and how the process varies from and is superior to manual machining methods, both from a standpoint of productivity and precision/repeatability. From there the discussion turned to surface machining and measuring, focusing mainly on the block and cylinder head decks and how they interact with the various gasket types.
After some component fixturing tips and tricks, there was a presentation from Total Seal on piston ring free gap measurement and why it’s important, followed by an interview of Doug Yates of Roush-Yates Racing which contained both technical insight and personal anecdotes from his career.
From there, it was a deep dive into the cylinder bores, as bore surface finish was discussed in-depth, from what surface finishes were desirable and how to measure all the facets of the finish, to different abrasives, their features, and the when and why of using them. Up next was the subject of balancing rotating assemblies. Besides the specifications you should be meeting when balancing, the equipment and software used in the process were explored.
After balancing came a discussion with Diamond Pistons about pistons, wrist pins, coatings, and clearances for different alloys. That technical discussion was followed by a discussion on engine cleaning processes and equipment to wrap up day one of the Engine Performance Expo. You will be able to catch the remaining two days live starting Friday at 10:00 am Eastern, as well as catch up on anything you missed at www.engineperformanceexpo.com.