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Maserati 4.9 V8 Engine

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by Freitag, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Must see the interview we did with Piero Ferrari in Maranello! https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/news/297
  1. Freitag

    Freitag Karting

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    Helge Mamen
    #1 Freitag, Jun 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Hei, Godtfolk!

    As the title suggest, I would like to start a thread concerning all aspects of the 4,9 V8 Engine.
    Tuning, reliability, oil, crank modification etceterini: sharing your experience and knowledge about these engines
    will help me and others to avoid some of the pitfalls we otherwise are bound to fall in. Some (over)heated discussions
    will surely arise...:)

    I have two questions for starters:

    - I have read with great interest about the balancing problem with the crank. I know Capricorn provide a modifided design to the 5000GT, but has anybody here carried out the same mod to a "lesser" engine? In addition to reliability, how great are the performance increase? How far can one push the redline with this mod, and does it require additional mods to rods etc?
    Besides Capricorn, who makes correctly balanced cranks for the 4.9?

    - Electronic ignition: Brands, experience, tips?



    Kind regards
    Helge
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  2. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    Mar 4, 2005
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    Helge,
    there is a very good company here in Germany, near Berlin. I`ll drop you a PM tomorrow.

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  3. Nembo1777

    Nembo1777 F1 Rookie

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    Good thread idea Helge!

    Very interested in what a better balanced crank would allow performance wise.

    of course we know which model has the ultimate version for the 4.9, with dry sump:) which makes a very noticeable difference in performance of course, as two Maserati collectors and very good drivers who have owned both Indy 4.9 and Khamsin confirmed to me.

    One of them has the engine from the destroyed Khamsin #204 and wants to do some work on it so he might be interested.

    best regards,

    Marc
     
  4. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    i have a spare bora std,-std. crand and had planned mfg. new forged steel product. BUT tanked econ. has put many projects on hold. i will follow this thread. i did make steel crank gear for chain. they work. also made puller for same.
     
  5. emsiegel13

    emsiegel13 Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2007
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    Elliot M. Siegel
    I am currently working on a project for the Maserati 4.9 V8 engine. The following is planned for the engine and is already currently underway. New liners will be installed having the same OD but the bore will be increased from 93.9 mm to 96 mm. The engine will have a new crankshaft made and the main bearings will be changed from the factory 76.19 mm to a more modern size of 64.99 mm. The new crankshaft will be designed to mount a harmonic damper which was never included as part of the original factory crankshaft. The stroke will change from 89 mm to 93 mm with the resulting change in engine displacement from 4.9 liter to 5.4 liters. New titanium connecting rods with new small end diameters of 22 mm and big end diameters of 48 mm will be used. Pistons of a more modern design, either by CP or Mahle, will be used. The piston rig package will be updated to more current practice and dimensions. A special block stiffener provided by Dr. Hans Doll of Germany will replace the main caps. The cylinder heads will be modified, by welding and re-machining, both in combustion chamber design and intake valve size, which will grow from 44.5 mm to 49 mm. Lightweight 7 mm stem valves will be used along with beehive valve springs and titanium retainers. The Weber carburetors will be replaced with fuel injection using a Pectel SQ6M ECU and spark will be provided by Bosch individual coil on plug units. TWM throttle bodies will replace the 42 MM Weber DCNF carburetors. New camshafts will be supplied to compliment the upgraded engine. A Quattroporte III oil pump which flows 11% more oil than the original factory pump will be used and a switch to a modern dry sump arrangement is being reviewed for incorporation if required by the greater engine output. To handle the additional heat from the engine, a new radiator, rated for 500 horsepower and more powerful Spal electric radiator fans have been installed. A larger alternator putting out 140 amp is now being used. If additional water flow is needed above what is supplied by the factory water pump, a Davis Craig electric water pump will be added. It is expected that engine reciprocating weight will drop by more than 18 kilos (40 pounds). A newly made intake manifold out of carbon fiber is being considered. Custom exhaust headers will be made and a revised muffler system will be used resulting in additional weight loss.

    Elliot Siegel
     
  6. JCR

    JCR F1 Veteran
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    Elliot, that sounds like an interesting project. Is the block stiffener you are using a "block girdle" linking the mains? Are you going to use spacers between the bearings and block with the narrower journals? Good luck and keep us updated on your progress.
     
  7. Nembo1777

    Nembo1777 F1 Rookie

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    18 kilos?!
     
  8. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Which car is this for?
     
  9. italiancars

    italiancars Formula 3

    Apr 18, 2004
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    Elliot,

    I was intrigued right up until the point you mentioned switching from the Webers to FI. Your car do what you want, personal opinion is that another car is lost. The other stuff is mostly internal and won't change the car from its original design. Beyond that you step into world of Pantera Syndrome, throwing good money after bad trying to make the car into something it was never was or could ever be.

    Part of the charm of old cars is driving them in the way they were originally built. They are not daily drivers, so why try to make them into one? No matter what you do to it or how much money you throw at it, it is never going to be one.

    If you want a Maserati with modern attributes as a daily driver, then buy one of the new cars. For not much more money than all the modifications will cost, you can pick an 02-04 Coupe or Spyder.

    Joe
    PS My Ghibli SS' engine was rebuilt with oversized pistons, MSD and a few other mods by Holman Moody. But it still has all its original character.
     
  10. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    I can't help but wonder why.
     
  11. Ferraripilot

    Ferraripilot F1 World Champ
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    What compression and cam specification will you employ?
     
  12. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    contact Dr. Doll for a block you may find him on the maserati life at yahoo. he cast modern assy. with considerable improvements
     
  13. Nembo1777

    Nembo1777 F1 Rookie

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    #13 Nembo1777, Jul 2, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
    Yes please stick to Webers: one of the great things about this engine is that it is one of the last to use carbs: fuel injection cars don't sound nearly as good and any good driver can keep his engine happy in the case of traffic jams. Those early 70's cars have much better brakes, suspensions, handling than sixties cars yet still have the charisma provided by the sound of carbs. That is why long ago the Khamsin became my favourite and I started its registry.

    It is not about how much power just as in fine wines it is not about the alcohol content, it is about a subtle mix of ingredients which make it special.

    There is an ancient French saying: "science sans conscience n'est que ruine de l'ame" which means science without conscience is nothing but ruin of the soul and in modern English means if you don't know where you are going the result will be very questionable in terms of common sense and usefulness. The engineer type mind sometimes -and I say this without wishing to be rude or hurt anyone's feelings- has been know to go down a pointless road.

    Look at dragsters: it started in the midwest decades ago because kids there in the flat land had no curvy roads to test their skills against each other so they started doing traffic light runs...and look how far how ridiculous and useless those contraptions have become, where is the wisdom, where is the use and where is the talent in that: none whatsoever.
    Sorry if there are dragster fans here but let us please not get off topic: it was just a comparison.

    So please do keep the carbs and don't change the nature of the engine too much.

    Also as mentioned above I am curious about your stated 18 kilos weight reduction.

    good luck with your project,


    best regards,

    Marc
     
  14. ferrariblex

    ferrariblex Karting

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    Brandon Blexrude
    I previously owned a 1984 QP III and was thoroughly impressed with the 4.9L engine. The engine didn't emit any smoke, had great power, and ran great despite having 126,000 miles on it! From what I understand, the weakest part of these engines are the headgaskets (i.e. known for blowing). Other than this, the engines are grossly over-engineered and understressed so I would think that they would handle the stress that comes from high horsepower modifications with little trouble
     
  15. emsiegel13

    emsiegel13 Formula Junior

    Oct 9, 2007
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    Elliot M. Siegel
    This is my third Bora and I want a daily driver so many of these modifications will permit me to drive the ca for thousands of miles a year during good weather. The plan for next year is to drive from the Midwest across the northern states, down the West Coast and back through the Southwest back to the Midwest. I also want to do the HotRod Power Tour with the car, having done a few in other machinery. The Power Tour is great fun and I enjoy all different types of automobiles. A swing through the Eastern States is also in the works and if everything goes as planned, I would like to put in well over 10,000 miles in 2010. The Bora is a great driving car and I see no reason to only put in a few hundred or thousand miles a year if you have the time and inclination to do something different. If it wears, then we will rebuild it and drive some more.

    Thank you all for the comments on my engine update. First, let me say that all the changes that are externally visible are designed to be completely reversible. The conversion to fuel injection merely required switching out the Webers for TWM throttle bodies that are a direct bolt on replacement. No damage was done to the intake manifold or any other parts of the engine. Even the new liners can be returned to factory size sometime in the future if someone so desires. All the old parts are to be properly protected and put away for future reuse. This is just a project that Hans Doll and I have thought about and initiated to see what could have been done with the 4.9 V8 if there had been sufficient money to go ahead into the eighties with the idea of bring the V8 into more modern practices. I have a great deal of respect for the history of the Bora and would never consider doing something that is irreversible. For example, for drivability, trigger wheels for the fuel injection, one mounted on the flywheel and another on the number one camshaft, can be removed with no damage to the parts they are attached to. We updated the speaker system in the Bora and made new armrests that incorporate modern speaker but made the new armrests to bolt directly into the old holes in the door panels so that the old armrests could be put back at any time A lot of time and though has gone into the conversions that are being made.

    There was a question about the Dr. Doll IMBB which is a full cage that replaces the main caps and interconnects all of the main caps into a single entity. There has been a great deal of discussion about it on the Maserati Chat room on Yahoo for those of you who are not familiar with the website, which I recommend to all who have not joined. In order to use small main bearings the IMBB supplied to me was made undersized. To fill in the bearing saddles that exist in the engine block, special half saddles will be machined in aluminum (to maintain the correct expansion factor), notched for the new Chevrolet bearing shells, staked with hollow dowels where the current oil feeds to the bearings are and the IMBB saddles being smaller in size will act to clamp the half saddle firmly in place. Since these Chevrolet bearing were used as standard bearing for many million modern V-8 engines, some of which put out over 400 horsepower, they are easily obtained and a fraction of the cost of new factory bearings. The idea is to lower the friction that the larger factory bearings developed. Modern practices have come a long way from where Maserati started more than 40 years ago. The new radiator is a drop in replacement requiring no modifications to the Bora.

    The new camshafts are still in the concept stage. A second set of NOS camshafts was supplied to MegaCam in California and after full face welding the lobes, reground to give additional lift and a slightly new profile but they were for a 4.9 liter engine size. The larger engine, which, by the way, is not the original engine but a spare Indy engine I have had for a long time, will require some serious cam design work. Fortunately, my engine builder has connections with NASCAR and some of the engineers working there and we will call upon their expertise in cam design as well as cam manufacturer to come up with something that is streetable but gives us more modern thinking. This a street car conversion not a race car! No wild 20 " wheels with super fat tires! We have changed out the factory shocks and springs for Koni fully adjustable coil over units. The change resulted in a drop of 9 pounds per corner, 36 pounds in all, of unsprung weight.

    As for the 18 kilos, the crank shaft will drop between 18 and 22 pounds, maybe more. The connecting rods will come in under 400 grams compared to the factory 730 grams, almost a pound light a piece and the piston will come in at least 1/2 pound or more lighter than the factory units, perhaps as much as a pound lighter. We are aiming at 18 kilos and it will be interesting to see how close we come. But the drop in reciprocating mass will certainly be significant. With the fuel injection, we will be using a compression ratio of 10.5 to 1 and should be able to be quite safe for street use and premium gasoline. The ECU has provisions for knock sensors but no one is sure if they will be operable on an engine that was designed more than forty years ago. The engine might be too noisy as it sits.

    When you retire and have too much time on your hands, you can spend it on projects like this one. We are pushing the envelope but not in a way that threatens the original car. Please continue to ask questions as it has been the questions of several knowledgeable friends and car people that have been vital to the execution of this project. Some ideas that I had didn't stand up under questioning and were dropped and rightly so. Other ideas have been kicked around and through the collective efforts of several minds have been messaged, modified and molded into the car. I learned early on that there are many more bright people out there than I could ever be and they have saved me from myself and helped move things forward.




    Elliot Siegel



    Elliot
     
  16. Freitag

    Freitag Karting

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    Thanks for the info, Elliott. I think this is a fascinating project; please post pictures!

    Kind regards
    Helge
     
  17. Nembo1777

    Nembo1777 F1 Rookie

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    Thanks for sharing Elliott and for taking into account my comments even though technically you have forgotten more than I will ever know! It is a very interesting project with much more thought than I initially believed so please keep us informed and best of luck with it!

    As Helge mentioned some photos would be appreciated.

    best regards,

    Marc
     
  18. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    thanks for all the info. not that i hit jackpot yet but hope you are making extra parts. rods cams crank, you know goddies
     
  19. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    That's quite a project. You might want to hook-up with Stephen Swain as he's part way through a similar set of changes to his Bora. I don't think he's intending quite the engine work you are though.

    I've driven my Bora all over the west coast and mid west on several long trips. I put 30K miles on the car. About the only things I found wanting were the AC system, cooling system and LEG ROOM!
    It's not a finicky car even stock but it's not FI either.

    Are you keeping the LHM system or is that being eliminated as well?

    Bob S.
     
  20. emsiegel13

    emsiegel13 Formula Junior

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    The LHM system is being kept as I happen to like it. Once you get used to the pedal feel you can modulate adequately for regular street use. I probably wouldn't want it for a track car. As for the air conditioning, we have used the original compressor but have switched over to R134 which required us to source a new condenser and new barrier hoses. That turned out to be quite easy as a condenser from a 1988 Jeep Cherokee was about 25 % larger and fit nicely in place of the original factory unit. In addition a friend of my who has both a Bora and a Merak SS noticed that the blower on his Merak put out a great deal more air than did the Bora motor. Subsequently, after contact with MIE we found that the Merak blower 25 % faster than the Bora blower and they are interchangeable. Now we will get much more cold air flow from the vents in the Bora. As I am 5'7" tall, I find that I can easily fit into the Bora and find a comfortable driving position. We might raise the driver's seat an inch but I'm not sure about that. As I said in the previous posting, we replaced the factory radiator with a new one from Evans Fluids that is rated for 500 horsepower and changed the factory electric fans for new Spal units. That required upgrading the alternator but that is an easy conversion. In fact three of us Bora owner got a special rate from Evens as we placed a common order. Everyone is very happy with the upgrade.

    I am familiar with Steven Swain's conversion but I'm guessing that in changing his Bora to a non-LHM configuration, he had to add a vacuum brake booster to his car and I can only assume that to do so he used some of the trunk space. I like the fact that even the later Boras had useable trunk space for a weekend get away. For long distance traveling we have made a bolt on trailer hitch and I bought an independently suspended trailer from Bushtec that can be pulled behind a motorcycle for additional storage. The Bushtec trailer is quite amazing and quite expensive but worth every penny. It weighs only 150 pounds with an additional carry weight of another 200 pounds. Since the hitch connects directly to the chassis and not the sub-chassis it is quite secure. The Bora has no problem with the additional weight.

    Elliot Siegel
     
  21. staatsof

    staatsof Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Well there is another flaw on the at least the earlier Boras with the ventilation system. The intake ducting is grossly undersized and as a relsult that limits the flow of the system. I have a friend
    who modified this and it made quite a bit of difference. You might want to check into this on your car. He discovered it which they were removing the panel in the trunk to get at the blower. His son who was sitting in the trunk couldn't pull it out, the fan was on at the time. As soon as he turned the fan off the panel literally fell out. That was quite a big clue! He also upgraded the fan motor with something available off the shelf here in the USA.

    Bob S.
     
  22. brandsman

    brandsman Rookie

    Feb 3, 2010
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    I was looking on the internet for some info on improving the Maserati V8 thinking there must have been other people out there who wanted to get the full potential out of these good looking but curiously underpowered engines. I have built a few Chevrolet 350 motors and it always struck me as strange that a pushrod V8 can run at up to 6000 rpm without much work, but these Maserati V8s with twin overhead cams and relatively short strokes get redlined at a measly 5 000 rpm, or 5 500 in some applications. That is very pedestrian compared to the Ferrari and Lambo engines of the same era, but some journalists seem to think it was dictated in the QP by the airconditioning compressor.

    Anyway, I came across this thread, which is really interesting, so I've joined the forum. I have currently 3 disassembled Maserati V8 engines, two are the 4.2 litre "long nose" V8 s from the Tipo 107 and the other is a 4.9 from a QP3. I was thinking it might be fun to race one of my QP1 cars or at least make it really exciting and was thinking on how to get the best out of it, possibly using the 4.9 sub-assembly (which I gather is stronger than the 4.2 engine blocks) and the early heads so as to go with two plugs a cylinder.

    I was previously unaware of a crankshaft problem on these engines and, while Elliot's fix sounds wonderful, I hate to think of the cost of a custom crank (especially when I have 3 perfectly good ones in my shed!).

    How's that Bora project going?
     
  23. wildegroot

    wildegroot Formula 3
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    #23 wildegroot, Feb 14, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
    Just found this thread after emsiegel13 contacted me on my "scratch built Mazzer" thread and mentioned a block stiffener designed by a certain Dr. Hans Doll. When I googled the name I was referred back to F-chat and this thread where the name was mentioned again. It's too bad this thread seems to have petered out. Some interesting information could have been exchanged.

    I've worked on many of these Maserati 2V V8s (including Steve Swain's Bora) and can add a few comments here. Most of the work I've done on these engines, however, was centered around performing standard service/repair/rebuilding operations. I also own 2 QP III engines. The first one is going into the car I'm building and it will be close to stock but the second engine I hope to make more horse power with.

    It is true that the main weak point on stock engines seems to be the head gaskets. I don't think it would be too big of a trick to cut an O-ring groove around each combustion chamber and I'll most likely do this when I get around to hot-rodding the second engine.

    The second weak point on a lot of these engines is the cable driven water-pump when used in the Ghibli, Bora, Khamsin, etc. It's not a rotary cable like for a speedometer but more of a pull link from the belt driven AC compressor. Unless the water-pump and AC compressor pulleys are perfectly aligned by axis and in all planes, the cable tends to fail.

    A weak link on the DCNF carburetors is the accelerator pumps which are vented to the atmosphere. When the diaphragm leaks it pees fuel onto the hot engine. It's a good idea to change all four diaphragms every few years and is fairly easy to do without removing the carburetors.

    On the QP III the exhaust manifolds are frighteningly restrictive. Great improvements can be made just by grinding away the massive internal welds where the primary tubes connect to the flanges at the cylinder heads.

    Oil leaks are always a problem, particularly from the cam covers which should also receive grooves for O-ring cord to replace the paper gaskets. By the way, when replacing cam cover gaskets on the QP III, with the engine still in the car, it is very important to keep the exhaust manifolds covered with heavy rags. Oil tends to run down into the heat shielding at the back of the exhaust manifolds, if not protected, and will then catch fire after the engine is started.

    The polly-belts on the QP III make annoying snapping noises when when cold. The single skinny belt on the alternator is taxed to say the least.

    About TWM throttle bodies: I have experience with them and the linkages leave a lot to be desired. I find it very difficult to synchronize the TWM throttles accurately and have had to modify them to make them behave.

    About the LHM systems: Off subject slightly but the Citroen hydraulic systems used on some of these cars are an abomination. A lot of the problems come from owners experimenting, intentionally or not, with different fluids and melting rubber parts in the system. It's still an overly complicated and poorly conceived system. Brake modulation, what is that? LHM on your pant legs anyone?

    I'm sure I'm leaving some stuff out but, despite a few problems, the old Mareati V8 is a good engine that looks nice and has an interesting history. I could have built my car with a Chevy V8 but that's been done a zillion times already. I look forward to taking the second engine to new levels.
     
  24. wbaeumer

    wbaeumer F1 Veteran
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    Mar 4, 2005
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    Will,
    the problem is that some people here have absolutley no interest in the mechanical issues and are more into the historic aspects of their cars and the others who didn`t care about the history and are discussing only the LHM-stuff of their Khamsins and the mechanical difficulties theiy have with their toys.

    I personally are more with the fist group as I have a mechanic who take care about my car!

    But -of course- this Forum has to be open to everybody but its a pitty that so few "Maseratista" show interest in the racing cars etc. while the chaps in the Ferrari-part here are solving problem by problem in the history of their great marque!

    Ciao!
    Walter
     
  25. emsiegel13

    emsiegel13 Formula Junior

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    Elliot M. Siegel
    Will,

    The thread you are looking for was developed at Maseratigtcars@yahoogroups.com and you have to join up. It seems there are about 600 people on the site sharing various information about parts, restoration and general Maserati discussions. If you go back you should be able to find out about Dr. Doll. If not, I'll see if I can contact you and forward some of the off line conversations Hans and I have had over the last several years. I will be catching up with Hans in late April and if you want, I can bring back some pictures. He is currently working on a Maserati 5000 GT engine which he has modified to take fuel injection.

    I know the complaints about the LHM but when properly looked after it works fine and yes it is not easily modulated if you do not have the chance to drive a car regularly that is equipped with the system. Interestingly enough, I believe the two Maserati racing Bora came equipped with the Citroen system. It would have been easy enough for the factory to eliminate the hydraulics when they made the racing Bora for Simone but for whatever reason they were retained. Perhaps for LeMans, the braking requirements were such that the Citroen system was a benefit. In any event, they were considered quite effective and remained in place.

    I know of no other manufacturer other than Capricorn that has redesigned the V-8 crankshaft. Capricorn made the new crankshaft for the Maserati 5000 GT and it was one off unless some other 5000 owner has ordered one. That particular engine is different from the regular production V-8. I believe the bore centers of the Maserati 5000 were greater than those on the 4.7-4.9 V-8 engines. My new crankshaft is being made by Crower with modifications to accept a harmonic damper. From what I have learned, most dangerous harmonics occur once you exceed 6250 rpm in a sustained way. Time will tell if the changes we are making to the crankshaft will permit frequent use of higher rpm. Let's hope so!

    The TWM DCNF replacement throttle bodies we are using on my engine work well. Could you be more specific as to what problems you have had? Is it something that comes with age that should be address early on?

    Elliot Siegel
     

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