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Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:32 am
by chaloux
I'd like to turn this forum into a great resource for beginners and seasoned owners/builders alike. I think by creating a few stickies, we can have a great base of general information that anyone can access, and can help members here make decisions about their own projects.

This thread will serve as a general engine building tips thread, and is not meant to replace the service of trained professionals. It's more like a, "don't forget this!" thread. If you learn something along the way in your project, put it here! For example, and this sounds dumb NOW, but some time ago I didn't know turbochargers had an orientation - IE. the oil must drain out the bottom (*slap*).

The FIRST and VERY IMPORTANT bit of advice is that if you do not feel comfortable or have never built an engine, don't just follow this thread and think it's good enough! Yes you can learn, but there's nothing worse than putting an engine together only to have it blow up right away. Do it RIGHT, and if that means having someone else do it, don't hesitate.

With that out of the way, here's my advice. When building an engine, OIL EVERYTHING. If it's going to be sitting for a while before running, you may want to use white grease instead of oil as it stays longer.

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:17 pm
by amd is the best
Great topic as I'll be doing my engine soon.

As of right now, nothing constructive to add other then Matt is great.

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:42 am
by chaloux
Okay you bums I know I'm not the only one here doin this. Too good for this stuff? Pffft :P

Another very basic but necessary step: piston to cylinder wall clearances are set based on the piston sizes. Piston compression ring gaps are set based on the cylinder bore. You need to make sure these gaps are set and set right.

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 7:38 am
by mushasho
chaloux wrote:
Another very basic but necessary step: piston to cylinder wall clearances are set based on the piston sizes. Piston compression ring gaps are set based on the cylinder bore. You need to make sure these gaps are set and set right.

Thats very detailed there Matt... :?:

How about some values

Sent using Tapatalk for Android

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:42 am
by chaloux
Sure but that depends. On my JE pistons I used a piston to wall gap of .003". Other alloys will be different. There should be documentation with aftermarket pistons, and verify with the interwebs that it's all accurate (what, the internet being legit? ... hmmmm)

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:32 am
by Hank
Yes, and coatings can play a big role in this. Coated skirts allows you to tighten up those clearances significantly

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:12 am
Here's a question:

What factors most influence piston design between various companies? Like longer/blended skirt lengths... IE Mahle PowerPack vs OE AAN & JE/Weisco, etc.

Do in-house foundries really matter, like Wossner have vs. the rest, or is that just hype? EG, Alcon (IMO) are superior to Brembo but don't control forging to distribution the way Brembo does...

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:09 pm
by AngryTaco
When installing studs, be sure to put a 1/4" ball bearing under each stud if they do not have a taper such as those by ARP for the 10vt/20vt blocks. Do not do this on wet ports or you'll fill your block with BBs

This ensures the studs are under compression and not tension when torqued down upon. More clamping power and better distribution of clamping force

Balancing Tips from Quattro87's BTDT

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:55 pm
by mushasho
quattro87 wrote:A few pages back I had taken the AAN apart for cleanup and balance before reassembly. This presented it's own set of problems, since anyone that has had the opportunity to take an I5 in to balance knows the look of the machinist when 5 cylinder is mentioned. There really isn't a lot of information out there on balancing the I5!! I thought that I would touch on a few threads that I've read and what I have come up with.

First discussion is always whether or not the I5 is internally or externally balanced from the factory. ALL AUDI I5 ENGINES ARE EXTERNALLY BALANCED!!!!!!! I believe they are zero balanced cranks WITHOUT added weight for dynamic reciprocating balance. By this I mean we could spin the AAN crank just bare and it was within .5 gr on the damper end and perfect on the flywheel end. The AAN flywheel is very easy to see the welded weights that are added for that end and the early I5 damper/pulleys with the chunk of metal that the tool for tightening the bolt uses is also drilled to lighten that blob and come up with a 50gr balance shot.
The AAN serpentine damper is not as easy to see the weight, but it to has balance weight added.

The second discussion is always whether or not the I5 needs to be balanced with bob weights. Bobs are used on the counter weight portion of the crank to offset the reciprocating weight which is made up of the small end of the rod, wrist pin, clips, piston, and rings. Usually a few grs. of oil weight is also added. Because inline 6 cylinders are naturally balanced and I4s also have two pistons going up at the same time as two are going down and offset one another, neither one of these configurations need bobs while balancing. The same is true with opposing engine configurations like porche, suburu, VW etc, but V8s and V6s need to balanced using made up bobs. I5s NEED TO BE BALANCED WITH BOBS. The throws are 72deg apart from one another so there is never going to be exact cancellation of moments. The ends of the I5 crank are going to want to flex up and down in relation to the center of the crank. Ideally a counter balance shaft directly above or below the crank turning the same speed as the crank should be used, but obviously packaging something like that would be difficult. More than likely the shaft would have to be off to one side and would be better, but still a compromise. Audi opted out of using a balance shaft.

The next discussion with your machinist is going to be what percentage of reciprocating mass needs to be used in making up the counterweight bobs. The crank can be in static balance meaning that if freewheeling on it's bearings the shaft will not want to turn either direction when stopped because of a heavy spot wanting to fall down, but dynamically can be out of balance. Because of the pistons constantly moving up and down and the reciprocating weight always changing along with the inertia stops on the top and bottom of the stroke, the counter weights of the crank shaft have to be weighted to offset this weight dynamically. Because it is constantly changing, the engineers come up with a percentage of the reciprocating mass to add to the rotational mass to make up the bob weights. Most V8s use 50% of reciprocating for calculating bobs whereas 60deg V6s might use 38% reciprocating in their calculations. The point being is there are all kinds of books, articles, motorhead memories and other means of finding out what is supposed to be used, but Audi I5s aren't that easy to find that information. Sometimes if the information isn't there the machinist will reverse engineer by spinning the stock crank with bobs made up with the most common factor of 50% and see if it dynamically balances or not. If not bobs of 60% or 40% are used until it gets closer and closer to what the factory used. AUDI and most I5s that I can tell use 50% reciprocating as their factor in making up the bobs.

Here is a view of my AAN crank on the balance macine with the bobs made up.

A picture of rods being weighed to determine the big end weight versus the smallend weight.

The rotating weight is made up of the big end of the rod, rod bearings and an allowance for oil. This weight is taken as 100% and added to the percentage of reciprocating weight which in this case is 50% of the weight of the piston, rings, clips, wristpin, and small end of the rod. This makes up the weight of the bob.

If, like in the case of an Audi I5, the engine is externally balanced and one wants to have it internally balanced so that aftermarket flywheels, clutches, and dampers can be used the weight that has been added to the outside ends will have to added to the counter weights on the crank to keep in balance and be all internal. This can not only be difficult, but expensive since weight has to be added by drilling, filling with mallory or other heavy metals, and then capped with a weld or threaded for a plug to keep centrifical forces from throwing the weight back out. When building a built motor with aftermarket rods and pistons there is usually enough weight difference (aftermarket being much lighter) that the crank can be internally balanced without adding weight. This is especially true when building a stroker where the crank came from a diesel application and has counter weights that had to offset large heavy duty rods and pistons. If this is the case changing to internal balance is good, but that doesn't mean that external balance is bad. It just limits you to what can be used front and rear and will have to have the same balance as the damper or flywheel that is being replaced.

I used after market Scat rods with OEM AAN pistons and wasn't able to internally balance without adding weight so I opted for an external balance. I wanted to change from the serpentine setup on the AAN to the V-belt of the 7A and use the 7A damper pulley. For the rear I used an aluminum Fidenza flywheel. We ended up drilling into the edge of the flywheel to add weight to come up with balance.

Here are some links to some balance information that I used. ... wM0RgxDWCQ" onclick=";return false; ... u2-M4ssn0Q" onclick=";return false; ... 880&page=3" onclick=";return false; ... ead#unread" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false; ... forces.php" onclick=";return false; ... q=&f=false" onclick=";return false; ... mooth2.htm" onclick=";return false;

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:27 am
by mushasho
AAN Longblock Info Manual ...


Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:44 pm
by chaloux
When removing an engine, if you plan to use that crank pulley and need to remove the crank, break the bolt loose before you remove it! Our use a big impact gun and buy a new one to install.

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:52 pm
by ads
I have successfully removed the bolt while the engine is on the stand a few times and it seems to work fine. i have used a block of wood to lock the #1 crank throws into place with good success. lots of heat and a big bar.

That's for complete dissasembly though. For just removing the crank pulley a proper tool would work best. My engine is internally balanced and weight was taken out of the balancer via the key for the locking tool so my machinists made me a locking tool for my balancer.

Re: Engine Building Advice

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:04 pm
by DuBistS4
Have a good tune(if running sem)to break in the engine with