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New engine block? No problem.

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Horsefly, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
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  3. Dodici Cilindri

    Dodici Cilindri Formula Junior

    Feb 21, 2006
    545
    Great Plains
    Yes, in theory one could machine about anything. While oil passages are normally machined into a cylinder block it is the cooling water passages that present a bigger challenge. At one time Ford produced experimental cylinder heads by machining a top and bottom half and then joined the sections utilizing a vacuum brazing process.
     
  4. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    23,199
    Taxachusetts
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    Raymond Luxury Yacht
    Problem is the "right programming" means probably hundreds of hours and at least one test unit (and multiple test runs from wax/foam before you get it right), plus machine time.

    Most CNC guys are looking at $50-80/hr shop rate, so even if they can get it done in 100 hours, you're looking at $5k-8k just for that. Plus probably $2-3k for a giant slug of aluminum, then several hours (minimum) of machining time on a modern high speed CNC mill (ideally a 5-axis) at around $100+/hr and you're into it for way waaay more than you could just buy an engine from.

    Also, that assumes the customer has a 3D CAD model of the part they want made. If they don't? Another maybe 100-200 hours (if you're lucky) of modeling at $50/hr or so (another $5-10k) and that's assuming the modeler knows how to actually design an engine block...

    I believe the only engine blocks that are actually CNC machined are ultra specialized R&D type stuff and perhaps some highly exotic racing stuff. Other than that, it's just not cost effective.

    Cool video though.
     
  5. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
    3,872
    CA and OR
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    pit bull
    I have access to a gaggle of 5 axis horizontals to make billet blocks . . . the first time I tore into a wet sleeve motor I started thinking about machining one out of billet . .. the wet sleeve setup allows a tool to get inside the block to cut the water jackets . . . not cheap obviously . .. I also am aware of some billet head design that gets electron beam welded.
     
  6. chrismorse

    chrismorse Formula 3

    Feb 16, 2004
    2,149
    way north california
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    chris morse
    #5 chrismorse, Jun 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I have had a few awsome parts cnc'd for my 77. Doesn't someone make an optical or infared scanning device to "map" an object for cnc duplication??

    ?? chris

    ps here is a shot of the bracket that mounts a 360 parking brake where the old cast iron ATE jewell used to reside.
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  8. Tony K

    Tony K Formula 3

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Tony K.
  9. velocedog

    velocedog Karting

    Jun 6, 2007
    119
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Jack
    #7 velocedog, Jun 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    We machine billet blocks with dry sleeves (or Nikasil) and full water jackets. The water jackets are cut from the outside and then cover plates are either attached with screws and seals or are welded in place. In the photo, you can see one bank open and one with the cover plates in place.
    These generally take 24 to 40 hours total machining time to produce on some serious CNC equipment. Development costs, as you can imagine, can be quite high. If it is a design with "broad appeal", the development can be amortized to some degree.
    Most billet blocks are used in F1, high end drag racing and sprint cars.
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  10. luckydynes

    luckydynes F1 Rookie

    Jan 25, 2004
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    pit bull

    Very nice . . you guys have a way of doing cylinder heads yet?
     
  11. velocedog

    velocedog Karting

    Jun 6, 2007
    119
    Michigan
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    Jack
    Have the means, just not a market we are looking at right now. There are several people doing it and it's not a big market.
     
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  13. JEC_31

    JEC_31 Karting

    Mar 20, 2008
    86
    Grand Rapids, Mich.
    Full Name:
    Josh

    I can do low-resolution single-line scans (0.05 mm or 0.002") with my CMM, and output 3D or 3D CAD files that the CNC programmer can use to make duplicates. Reverse Engineering.

    In the future I will obtain a laser scanner for full-contour capturing, they are amazing.

    PM me if you need something done.

    - Josh


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Velocedog: very nice!
     
  14. eulk328

    eulk328 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2005
    2,726
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    F683

    Damn.... looks like a piece of art. Very nice.
     

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