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Building a Custom Racing Engine

  You've always wanted to know HOW we build a "DPR" racing engine, so here it is. This Honda engine build up began with the design. Knowing the environmental demands of Bonneville and the competition demands of the previous land speed record, Dan Paramore knew that building this engine would require the best parts, the most skill and the most attention to detail over any other engine build up. Many teams carry many spare Engines. While this is a great luxury, it is also often a needless experience and cost valuable time. A well thought out design and care in selection, components and proper building of the application specific engine can save a lot of heartache and expense. Starting with the cylinder head Dan customized Enconol Exhaust Valves for extreme use with a very wide margin and shortened them 1mm. The valves were sent out for full ceramic coating. Right down to where the valve stem exits the valve guide in the exhaust ports. After the quick turn around, they were set on the valve train tray ready for mockup. Next for the cylinder head is the valve springs, retainers, rockers, and cams. Knowing that the engine had to be not only powerful but also bullet proof, Dan wanted to use Ferrea Roller Rockers and camshafts.


  Once the springs, roller rockers and cams were cleaned, tested, and treated with Microlon they were set on the tray with the valves awaiting assembly. Each inner and outer spring is individually tested and every valve is measured for installed spring height with the matching retainer and keepers used on that individual valve. It is important to measure the matching set of each valve with its matching keepers, retainer, spring, and spring seat as one. The stacking of tolerances is important and can add up to inconsistent valuable. Therefore keeping track of the individual components and documenting each one's installed spring height and each one's full lift height is important. Then matching and or correcting each spring seat pressure and over the nose pressure is easier to do.


  Next comes the head. Once the head is ported and polished specifically for its application, the intake ports are designed to be rough to maximize fuel atomization.

  On the exhaust side the exhaust ports are ceramic coated to help keep the extremely hot exhaust from entering the head.


  The combustion chambers and valves are also coated to prevent heat absorption into the head. Ceramic coating is extremely important and this engine would be nothing without it. The TBC™ coating is an excellent ceramic high heat and friction reducing management. It increases efficiency with a safer margin. In addition it reduces oil temperature 15 to 30 degrees. When trying to gain an edge, efficiency is the most important. It doesn't create more power but it decreases the amount of power lost and it increases the life of your engine.


  Once the head is treated and coated the valve-train is installed. Once this is done the surface of the head is cleaned with acetone and a clean lint free cloth.


  Next is the bottom end preparation. The first is the rotating assembly. The crank is checked, balanced, and blueprinted. Each journal is measured to the tenth of a thousandth of and inch. It is important to use a quality, calibrated micrometer in a clean room with moderate temperature. Then proper rod bolt torque and stretch measurements are fully documented.


  Next the "DPR pistons" are prepared. "DPR pistons" come from over 60 years experience. There are four race pistons, and four spare pistons that are .1:1 lower compression and .003 in larger in diameter to the race pistons. All of the pistons are coated with the same TBC™ coating like the combustion chamber and are also treated to a piston skirt coating. The PC-9™ skirt coating is a dry film lubricant that retains oil while reducing friction and heat. The coating will allow for the reduced clearances without scuffing. The results are less blow-by, increased horsepower, increased efficiency, and reduced wear on the cylinder walls and piston rings. PC-9™ provides invaluable secondary lubrication that greatly extends the piston life and provides superior corrosion resistance.


  Now that the pistons are ready, the rings are filed to spec, deburred and polished. Once this is done and checked, the rings are installed on the pistons. It is critical that this is done with extreme care.


  Now the block is prepped. Each main journal is cleaned and deburred and measured with main caps torque properly with lube on the fastners. The accurate and precise measurements are then documented. The use of PPM™ coated engine bearings is proven to dramatically reduce catastrophic engine failures. Engines suffering from low or no oil pressure (even for a moment), cold starts, have survived with little or no significant damage. Engines in racecars that have lost oil pump drive belts have been able to pit for repairs, replace their belts and be back on the racetrack to finish the race and finish well. Engines overheating from cooling system failures to the point of oil breakdown have avoided total destruction of expensive components (block, rods, and crankshafts) due to the secondary lubrication provided by the .0002 to .0004 inch layer of PPM™ dry film lubricant. Thus, eliminating downtime associated with these types of engine failures, reduce catastrophic engine failures and last longer than uncoated bearings. Engine bearings coated with PPM™ coating last longer than uncoated bearings. Customers have returned Winston Cup bearings with as much as 2000 race miles and show relatively no wear. Short track engines that have been used for two or three seasons of weekly racing appear to still be serviceable. PPM™ coated engine bearings have proven to successfully save time and money for all racers. This is why they were chosen to be used for this serious engine build.

  Then the proper bearing are installed and the inside diameter of the bearing shells are measured and documented within one tenth of a thousandth of an inch. This procedure is done to every main bearing and adjusted to the specified tolerance.


Now the oil squirters are drilled for 18% more flow. This is done with extreme care to ensure constant size and quality.


  Now the block is prepped. The block deck is checked with precision aircraft grade straight edge. It is then cleaned with acetone and a clean lint free cloth.


  Now the cylinder head and gasket is ready for installation. One of the most overlooked areas is the matching of the block deck surface and cylinder head. Not only must they be flat, the surface finish is extremely critical. In addition to that many, and we would say 99.5% of the engine builders overlook the head gaskets. They have burrs, and dirt in them and on them. As seen in these photos especially when gaskets are bored larger, or aftermarket big bore gaskets are used. It is very common to have metal burrs such as these. These burrs can cause blown or leaky gaskets. We spend two hours separating gaskets, deburring, polishing, and cleaning with soap and water then acetone. Most do not perform these procedures. MLS (multi layer steel gaskets) are designed to handle sheer movements of up to 0.005 inches. MLS gaskets do not 'crush down to seal' so if you have a 0.010 inch burr you are going to have a problem. Even a hair of a burr (0.003') can create a problem, and failure.



  Now, the entire engine is assembled. Deck heights were measured and documented. Cylinder head is installed. Camshafts are installed. Valve to piston tolerances are check in a full mock build up and are documented. Next the complete engine is disassembled for cleaning and finally reassembled again, prior to final inspection, and startup!!!

--- When can we build an engine for YOU? ---

A Special Thanks To:

Dan Paramore & DPR - Engine Build

Ferrea - Valvetrain Components & Camshafts

Microlon - Metal Treatment & Lubricant

Goodson Tools - Tools & Supplies For Engine Builders

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