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posted by hubie on Saturday November 18 2023, @11:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the fast-good-NOT_cheap dept.

You may think you have fast fingers from typing or texting, but how fast can you assemble a V-8 NASCAR engine? Jayski (NASCAR news site) reports on the annual Hendrick Motorsports engine building contest, https://www.jayski.com/2023/11/14/danny-emerick-bill-sullivan-win-2023-randy-dorton-hendrick-engine-builder-showdown/

The team of Danny Emerick and Bill Sullivan edged out the team of Scott Vester and Phil Seaton by 0.91 [seconds] to win the 2023 Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. With the victory, Emerick joins Vester as a six-time winner of the annual competition.
The two teams were neck and neck coming to the finish with the Emerick-led team overcoming an early miscue to take the title. The Emerick-Sullivan team posted a time of 22:56.46, while the Vester-Seaton squad posted a time of 22:57.37.

[...] The Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown sees 12 Hendrick Certified Master Technicians from all across the country at Hendrick Automotive Group, paired with 12 Hendrick Motorsports engine department team members. Each two-person team is matched up against another duo looking to post the fastest qualifying time. The two teams assemble 358-cubic-inch Chevrolet engines with 243 parts[1], similar to the fuel-injected engines that run in the NASCAR Cup Series. The builders assemble their engines on their own stage platform as they race against the clock to post the fastest time. Winners are determined by the quickest time with the fewest number of errors. The top two teams with the fastest times face off in the championship round. To date, the quickest time recorded in this competition was 21 minutes and 40 seconds in 2014.

243 parts in 22 minutes means over 10 parts per minute, or an average of 5 or 6 seconds, per part added to the engine. Each part put in the correct place and in some cases tightened up & torqued (with a power wrench or screwdriver).

[1] your AC contributor believes that some of the "243 parts" may in fact be assemblies that come to the engine builders pre-assembled and tested (thus a _fully_ disassembled engine might have more parts), but that is just a guess.

A quick google suggests that these engines use timing belts instead of chains--in the past the high parts-count of IC engines could be due to counting the individual links and rollers in the timing chain.


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  • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday November 20 2023, @03:18AM (1 child)

    by RS3 (6367) on Monday November 20 2023, @03:18AM (#1333571)

    I'm super-impressed. I didn't know you did so much car / engine work. That's a very complete and detailed list. I've done a few engines, and experience tells me to check, double-check, and re-check things, which would obviously not win me a fast-building award. That said, I'm guessing the contest involves pre-assembled "blueprinted" sub-assemblies. Maybe not. It would be fun to try in such a contest.

    One of many tricks I learned somewhere, that you probably know, is to buy oversize rings and set the gaps yourself.

    Long story somewhat shortened: a few months ago I bought an '06 Volvo with T5 engine. Got it very cheap, knowing it had many problems, but was able to drive it home. Soon after on a test drive suddenly a rod bearing started knocking. Nursed it home, dropped the pan, found #5 rod and crank journal were a good bit darker than the others. I got very lucky: the bearing shell had galled onto the crank. It literally took me 3+ hours of filing and sanding to get the metal off and restore the crankpin to stock spec. That crank must be made of diamond or something. I worked up to 2,000 grit wet sandpaper, put in a new shell, super cleaned out the oil pan, have changed the filter 3 times, but now have ~2,000 miles on it and it seems to be doing well. Quite fun car to drive too.

    I wish I knew the history of the thing. There's no way that much damage happened during my test drive. The other rod bearing shells looked new, so I'm wondering if someone replaced them, and why.

    Stupidly the car did not have an oil pressure gauge. It does now, aft of filter.

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  • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Monday November 20 2023, @10:39PM

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 20 2023, @10:39PM (#1333662) Journal

    I have my Brother-in-law to thank for this. We used to fix cars and lawnmowers on Saturday afternoons. I miss that. Pre-IT, I also worked as a heavy truck mechanic and welder. :)

    I have a robust post-apocalyptic skill set. :)