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Competition Engine Building: Advanced Engine Design & Assembly Techniques


The needs of a true competition engine are quite different than those of the engine under the hood of a typical commuter car. From the basic design needs, to the base component materials, to the sizes of the flow-related hardware, to the precision of the machining, to the capabilities of each pertinent system, very few similarities exist. Many books exist showcasing how to make street-based engines more powerful and/or durable. This book is different, in that it focuses purely on the needs of high rpm, high ...
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Competition Engine Building: Advanced Engine Design and Assembly Techniques

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The needs of a true competition engine are quite different than those of the engine under the hood of a typical commuter car. From the basic design needs, to the base component materials, to the sizes of the flow-related hardware, to the precision of the machining, to the capabilities of each pertinent system, very few similarities exist. Many books exist showcasing how to make street-based engines more powerful and/or durable. This book is different, in that it focuses purely on the needs of high rpm, high durability, high-powered racing engines. It begins by looking at the raw design needs, and then shares how these needs are met at the various phases of an engine's development, assembly, testing and tuning.

This book features reviews of many popular modern tools, techniques, products, and testing/data collecting machinery. Showing the proper way to use such tools, how to accurately collect data, and how to use the data effectively when designing an engine, is critical information not readily available elsewhere. The special needs of a competition engine aren't commonly discussed, and the many secrets competition engine builders hold closely are openly shared on the pages here.

Authored by veteran author John Baechtel, Competition Engine Building stands alone as a premier guide for enthusiasts and students of the racing engine. It also serves as a reference guide for experienced professionals anxious to learn the latest techniques or see how the newest tools are used. Baechtel is more than just an author, as he holds (or has held) several World Records at Bonneville. Additionally, his engines have won countless races in many disciplines, including road racing and drag racing.

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Editorial Reviews

engine professional - Mike Caruso
"This is the first time in a long time that I can remember being really impresed at the new information and excellent job that John did presenting the information for his readers. The pictures will show you where to hit and the text explains to you why. Nice deal. S-A Design Pro Series (PS) is laid out differently because it only states the facts, no tip toeing around. Also there is no review provided at the end of each chapter like the S-A Design "Workbench Series" (WBS). This is why it is called PS as it is written for the next level of race engine building. Whether you worked your way through the (WBS) or have the knowledge from years of building race engines, you will love this book." -Mike Caruso, engine professional, October 2012
The Midwest Book Review - James Cox
There's building a functional engine, and then there's pushing oneself to be the best. Competition Engine Building: Advanced Engine Design and Assembly Techniques is a guide to competitive engine construction from John Baechtel, who advises readers on the highest end cutting edge techniques needed to make engines that will perform far and above the call of duty. With full color phorography all throughout, for any auto junkie who wants to rise to the competitive level Competition Engine Building is a strong pick for any hobbyist auto enthusiast collection." -The Midwest Book Review, September 2012
Area Auto Racing News - Herb Anastor
"A student who is interested in building racing engines will find that Competition Engine Building- Advanced Engine Design Techniques is a good place to learn more than a thing or two when it comes to aquiring the extensive knowledge that is necessary to begin such a project or to enter into that field. While someone who is already involved in engine building will find that the book endorses the standard practices and "secrets" that have been developed over the years by some of the best engine builders in the world." -Herb Anastor, Area Auto Racing News, November 2012
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934709627
  • Publisher: CarTech, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/15/2012
  • Series: Pro Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 523,590
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John Baechtel is a former editor of Car Craft and Hot Rod magazines and was the founding partner of the Westech Performance Group engine dyno testing facility. He is also a member of the Bonneville 200 MPH club, holding both SCTA and FIA International speed records. He drove the first production-based Mustang Cobra past the 200-mph mark in 1993 and was the driving force behind the restoration of the Summers Brothers Land Speed Record car for The Henry Ford museum. With more than 34 years of high-performance engine and vehicle testing under his belt, he is still passionate about engines and high-performance technology. He currently serves as a technical consultant to several performance aftermarket companies while pursuing his interest in land speed racing and grooming his extensive collection of land speed model cars and memorabilia.
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Table of Contents

Table Of Contents:
Acknowledgments 5
Introduction 6
Chapter 1: Race Engine Planning 8
Consider the Limitations 9
Performance Objectives 15
Unlocking Hidden Power 17
How Cylinders Influence Each Other 18
Chapter 2: Torque and Horsepower 20
Volumetric Efficiency 22
Understanding BSFC 22
Where Power Comes From 23
What Influences Power? 24
Chapter 3: Cylinder Blocks 25
Grooming the Short Block 26
Block Type 26
Block Inspection 33
Machine Shop Processes 35
Chapter 4: Crankshafts 45
Crankshaft Types 46
Strength Treatments 49
Counterweights 49
Operating Conditions 51
Crankshaft Oiling 51
Engine Balancing 53
Crankshaft Dampening 54
Chapter 5: Piston Technology 56
Piston Speed 56
Acceleration 57
Piston Speed Issues 58
Selection Factors 58
Race Piston Terminology 64
Rings 65
Piston Ring Terminology 68
Ring Installation 69
Micro-Welding 69
Chapter 6: Connecting Rods 72
Rod Length as a Tuning Component 73
Connecting Rod Materials 75
Characteristics of Rod Activity 78
Rod-to-Piston Clearance 78
Chapter 7: Engine Bearings 80
Characteristics of Engine Bearings 81
Roller Cam Bearings 83
Clearances 83
Bearing Failures 84
Chapter 8: Cylinder Heads 87
Choosing a Cylinder Head 89
Valves and Valve Sizes 90
Chapter 9: Induction Systems 95
Dual-Plane Intakes 96
Single-Plane Intakes 98
Tunnel Ram Intakes 100
Plenum Characteristics 102
Mixture Conditioning 104
Surface Texturing 105
Reversion 106
Secondary Intake Considerations 106
Flow Testing 107
Electronic Fuel Injection 108
Chapter 10: Carburetors 110
Carburetor Selection 112
Exit Air Speed 113
Tuning Elements 114
Basic Tuning and Maintenance 116
Final Thoughts 117
Chapter 11: Camshafts 118
Understanding Cam Specs 119
Calculating Valve Lift 120
Finding TDC 121
Degreeing the Cam 121
Calculating Valve Overlap 126
Camshaft Terminology 126
Rocker Ratio Tuning 127
Duration 128
Camshaft Selection Criteria 129
Firing Order Swaps 129
Chapter 12: Sumps and Oiling 131
Wet Sump Systems 133
Dry Sump Systems 136
Oil Accumulators for Racing Engines 141
Common Modifications 141
Chapter 13: Ignition Systems 143
Ignition Choices 144
Race Engine Ignition Tips 147
Chapter 14: Exhaust Systems 148
PipeMax Header Software 150
Step Headers 150
Header Design Kit 152
Chapter 15: Engine Build Tips 153
Assembly Procedure 154
Chapter 16: Engine Startup and Maintenance 166
Startup and Break-In 166
Maintenance Program 170
Recommended Maintenance 172
Engine Dyno Testing 173
Source Guide 175
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