What is core shift and why is it detrimental?

What is core shift and why is it detrimental?

How a clever concept remedied misalignment in competition engine blocks – By Archie Bosman: No other engine deficiency would have irritated racers, particularly professional drag racers of the last century, like core shift. A bitter source of anguish, they would describe it in a way not easily forgotten. “We used mostly Hemi blocks,” commented “Mongoose” McEwen. “Often we would test fifteen-to-twenty blocks before finding one with consistent cylinder wall thickness. Keith Black had a method of measuring them, which typically demonstrated core-shift variations from around 0.090in or 0.100in to 0.040in. Consequently, if we raced those engines, the severity of the internal pressures usually split the cylinder walls.” As you can guess, the impediment of core shift didn’t debilitate just the racing Hemi; Funny Car racer “Wild Wilfred” Boutilier’s reject ratio with big-block Chevrolets was similar. So there they were pencil and pad in hand, slavishly enumerating cylinder wall thicknesses, one engine block at a time. The term core shift relates to the deviation of a foundry core during the casting process. That is to say, the core moves from its original position, perhaps as a result of inaccuracies in the machining process or the setting of the mold, and leads to alignment problems when the mold is closed. Mold temperatures or pressure differentials on opposing mold walls also cause deflections of the cores. Whatever the cause, the result is evidenced by undesirable variations in wall thickness, which affects the final shape and, thus, the mechanical performance of the part. The problem has now been resolved by substituting conventional foundry segmented cores with an evolutionary one-piece major core. Though its...
To intercool or not to intercool?

To intercool or not to intercool?

But first an amusing brief story involving a BBC, an intercooler, and Freon. By Sam Logan “I’m no authority on intercoolers,” admits performance carburetor specialist Dale Cubic of CFM, “but I do recall a memorable moment five years ago that involved one. Nothing too scientific,” he added; nonetheless, it seemed an anecdote worth telling. The noted carburetor specialist had visited an engine builder’s shop with a carburetor for a 1600hp 565ci supercharged big-block Chevrolet. The engine was already installed on the dyno and suspended above it an intercooler. Unsurprisingly, with the intercooler connected, the engine improved by 50–80hp. But then the engine builder unexpectedly produced a can of Freon, purchased from a local parts store, and reached up and sprayed some of its contents over and around the intercooler. He then hastened to the dyno room and made a pull. “It gained a further 40hp! Spraying Freon on that intercooler was like feeding it with nitrous oxide,” remembers Cubic. “But the mischief didn’t end there, to further mark the occasion it blew the plumbing off the supercharger!” The engine was powered by a small Dominator and a Stage II ProCharger and the Freon had condensed the charge sufficiently to pack in more air than anticipated. Intercool or not to intercool? Racers, by instinct, explore every avenue that might lead them to more power. They know that the introduction of compressed air to the cylinders generates heat and excessive heat provokes early detonation. The common solution for expelling excessive heat is to install an intercooler. But what about hot rodders who enjoy most of their driving pleasures at part-throttle on...
Hammerhead Hemi peaks 928hp: 427ci SB Ford

Hammerhead Hemi peaks 928hp: 427ci SB Ford

By Freddie Heaney: The sound of the dyno approaching 8,000rpm was almost ear splitting. It was the first Friday of June and sitting in an open wooden-framed space at Charlie Pepper’s engine shop in Auburn, near Atlanta, Greg Brown’s innovative Hemi heads on a Man O’ War 427ci small-block Ford peaked at 928hp at 7,700rpm and generated a maximum torque figure of 674.0lb ft at 6,000rpm. Watch the video. When first tested in mild street form with around 9.5:1 compression ratio the combination yielded 602hp. Quite the accomplishment for unique and previously untested cylinder head designs. But it was not the main event nor might this be. Now, around six months later and using ported heads and intake manifold, higher compression ratio and bigger carburetor, but still employing the same stock-size valves (2.200-inch intake and 1.650-inch exhaust) the engine began the afternoon tests by generating peak power figures in the 850hp range. But with incremental timing and carburetion adjustments it eventually made its way up to a mighty 928 horsepower. Inevitable, I asked? “No, not at all, replied Brown. “Though we increased the flow in the ports from 382cfm / 260cfm to 435cfm / 290 (inlet and exhaust respectively), I would have been happy with peak horsepower numbers of around 850. Remember, ninety percent of all high performance wedge-style cylinder heads rarely exceed 800hp.” Of even greater significance, perhaps the 1250cfm Dominator-style carburetor had proved to be too small during the tests and will be replaced by another that’s capable of generating air flow of around 1450cfm. Was the 1250 carb an ill-advised choice perhaps? “No,” said Brown, “this...
Unique buttons: piston pin retention designs for Pro Mod and big turbos

Unique buttons: piston pin retention designs for Pro Mod and big turbos

By Freddie Heaney: Denver Colorado: Gibtec Pistons has announced unique piston pin retention buttons. Their latest design for Pro Mod and big turbo racing engines incorporate a radial locking feature. The advent of the piston button and its subsequent popularity came about because of the convenience it offers. Changing pistons with buttons not only reduces the time taken to replace pistons at the race track but also ends the frustration of fiddling about with round wire locks or the double spiral types. “Some years ago when we were developing the original concept,” says Gibtec Piston’s Robbie Giebas, “the button seemed to offer a further advantage. Where the piston pin bore breaks into the oil control ring groove, we thought the button would prevent the expander in the oil control ring from distorting around the half-moon opening, a deficiency particularly prevalent in power adder engines.” Though partially true, they later discovered the button could, in fact, damage the oil control ring by pushing upward or rotating against it or a combination of both. Now  with an innovative radial locking mechanism, Gibtec has filed a patent to protect the design. The patent, apparently, is more extensive than a utility patent but also includes concept coverage.   Rob Giebas and Gibtec’s ascension by agility and intellect It was a decisive moment when in 2013 the then 40-year-old Detroit native founded his piston-making venture in Denver, Colorado. The formation of any new business is almost always a protracted struggle, and Gibtec Pistons’ prospects were no less challenging; how could it survive in a diminished market? In fact all markets were dealing with vast cultural changes but...
The anatomy of the supercharger or what makes it tick

The anatomy of the supercharger or what makes it tick

By Titus Bloom: Superchargers are magical devices. They increase the oxygen supply to the engine by compressing the air, thus increasing its density. Accordingly, the engine burns more air-fuel mixture and produces more power. In a centrifugal supercharger, the air is propelled through the compressor wheel and compressed in the diffuser—the thin passage formed between the compressor cover and the bearing housing—and in the volute or scroll where its kinetic energy is converted to pressure. All of the dimensions, including the diameter of the diffuser, diffuser gap distance, size and diameter of the volute, contribute to the degree of compression. In a turbocharger—exhaust-driven forced induction—the compressor wheel is powered by exhaust flow, but in the supercharger the compressor wheel is driven via a gearbox that takes its power from a crankshaft pulley by way of a drive belt. The gearbox accelerates the compressor wheel from engine speed to a point where the compressor operates efficiently. Here below is the assembly process:                                         Source: TorqStorm Superchargers Rick Lewis (616) 706-5580 Sales@TorqStorm.com...
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