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2018 Engine Masters Competition Finale

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Joe-JDC
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Would like to congratulate Jon Kaase and Royce Brechler on the win in Vintage Class.  It was an interesting challenge for us competitors, and I thoroughly enjoyed the event and meeting everyone again.  I would also like to thank Ted Eaton for his invaluable help and advice on my entry.  Without Ted's help, my entry would have been difficult at best.  We did finish second to Jon, and that is respectable.  Royce said we were tied after the second dyno pull, so Jon went to work tuning his MEL to find more horsepower and torque to edge us out, and go for the win.  I am sorry I had to leave the event early, but my wife had hurt her knee before the event, and I wanted to get her back to San Antonio, to meet her Doctor appointment on schedule.  I hope there will be another chance to show that the Y Block is a strong performer, and capable of another win in the future.  We made 566.6 hp with the timing backed down to 26*, and that was about 30hp less than testing at Ted's shop before leaving.  Ted had a killer combination with the torque and horsepower of his 403 cubic inch engine.  IF only we had had 110 octane fuel, if would have been a much different competition.  They lost 5 out of 7 of the Vintage engines for various reasons, but detonation seemed to be the root cause for most.  Joe-JDC

JDC
charliemccraney
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Awesome.  Impressive to have been a real challenge to Jon your first time out.

I noticed quite a number of detonation issues.  Any idea if it was a problem with the fuel or simply being so close to the full potential of that fuel, given the nature of the competition?


Lawrenceville, GA
Cliff
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Good Job Joe, 26 deg? I'm at a loss, can you give insight? I always start my racing engines at 34 deg and tune from there,
I don't think I ever ended up with less than 33 deg total, most times 34 is where I end up, what am I missing?
LordMrFord
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Cliff (10/6/2018)
Good Job Joe, 26 deg? I'm at a loss, can you give insight? I always start my racing engines at 34 deg and tune from there,
I don't think I ever ended up with less than 33 deg total, most times 34 is where I end up, what am I missing?

Alu heads and 13:1 comp ratio maybe.


Hyvinkää, FI
RB
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Cliff, Joe had to back the timing down that low to keep from detonating on the fuel we were provided.
RB
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I would like to give a tip of the cap to my 2 Y block competitors Ted and Joe who placed 2nd and 3rd..Ted was plowing new ground with a 403 inch Y block.. It is a real feat to get a 4.3 inch stroke into engine architecture that is closer to a small block than a big block. As so often happens in racing, when you plow new ground you are bound to hit some stones. Ted was unlucky as he was the first up on the dyno and had to deal with the new fuel. Sunoco 250 GT was the fuel that was provided in 2017. Nobody had any detonation problems. The same fuel this year destroyed 5 engines...  Unfortunately the Sunoco rep was nowhere to be seen. Joe had the best looking tidiest engine in the contest, plus it was a real contender.. He was on track for the best Y block score ever and potentially a win till he was bitten by the detonation bug.
I was again teamed with Jon Kaase as we fielded basically the same engine as 2018 with a few modifications. It is the same 473 inch MEL short block and the highly modified heads . The tunnel ram was reworked with a new plenum and twin dominators, and it was running a cam that made some more top end horsepower.  We had planned to run a cam that scored better, but Comp did not finish the custom cam in time,  so we ran what we had.. We finished about 100 points lower than last year, sacrificing low and mid range to gain top end horsepower.. The way EMC scores, low end is very important to making a good score.. We did want to make an 800 horsepower number but came up just short with 798.6.
Our engine avoided the detonation carnage. Being the 5th engine to run we had seen some failures.. Jon backed the tune way down till we got 3 solid runs in, then started creeping up on the timing and fuel curve..The MEL is running about a point less compression than the others, plus it is essentially an O ringed head so gasket failure is unlikely. We ended up with a middle of the road tune, as Jon did not want to push the envelope.. after all, when the contest is over I get the engine back and he did not want to have to rebuild it again  lol
A lot of people think since Jon is a big time builder that he can throw a lot of money and hired labor at these entries. With the MEL that is not the case at all.. He did all the labor himself, and the parts are nothing special. $600 crank $400 set of rods  Diamond pistons, off the shelf valves and springs, mid level roller lifters. bullet proof valvetrain custom made using a T&D FE street setup. Stock timing chain and oil pump, crank trigger firing though a stock distributor.. A well used Weiand tunnel ram. The Dominators are custom pieces but they were built for another boat project.  Actually the twin 750s we ran last year were probably better performers.
The secret sauce is what comes from the creative mind of Jon Kaase..To turn a low rpm torque motor with no performance reputation into a race motor is an extraordinary feat..  The creativity and machining skill that went into the heads is mind boggling. One needs to lay eyes on them to understand what he did and how he did it..We have been invited to be at the PRI show at the JE piston booth with the engine on display, so if any of you are attending, stop by for a look see
Finally I can't say enough about Jon Kaase the man and engine builder.. Obviously he is creative and skilled.. What most people don't know is he has the killer instinct for winning.. yet he is humble, never brags, respects others, always is willing to chat and answer questions, wants other people to succeed.  It has been a pleasure and honor to partner with him.
Cliff
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Must have been very poor fuel, that said those numbers are great. 
Ted
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Congratulations to Royce Brechler and Jon Kaase for their first place finish at the 2018 EMC.  That engine was on the verge of 800 HP and would have been an 800+ HP engine if not for the fuel.  It’s impressive what Jon did with the early MEL heads to make them flow.  Also thanks to the JE Piston facility at Mentor Ohio for hosting this years’ EMC event.
 
I didn't heed my own advice and did not back up my ignition timing for the 'crappy' fuel that was supplied.  I started off with the same 33° timing that I had found to be the best fit for my particular combination.  If there's any excuse, I was the very first engine on the dyno so I was the test case.  On the very first pull on my engine and one third the way into that pull, both head gaskets failed at the back cylinders.  I heard the detonation but the pull was started and it happened so fast on the head gasket failure that I doubt the engine could have been shut down in time.  With the engine shut off, water was pouring from the back of the engine at the head to block intersection.  A piece of the head gasket could be seen protruding so it was obviously bad.  I asked for permission to run the engine so I could at least not have a "DNF" (did not finish) and was told it was my 35 minutes to do as I wanted.  I needed three full pulls that could be averaged.  The first pull was already a full pull and could be counted as one of the three.  At that point I had about 28 minutes remaining.  I backed up the timing by simply twisting the distributor a given amount CCW and didn't bother checking it with a light.  Retard is retard.
 
The engine was obviously in distress and only running on six cylinders.  Under power, steam was pouring from the breathers.  What I didn't know at the time was that the #8 cylinder had hydrauliced and that cylinder had a thumb sized chunk missing at the upper part of the cylinder.  I had the dyno operator crank up the engine and make a pull and found that the fuel mixture was on the lean side.  Jetted it up quickly with the new non-jet fuel adjusters in the two Holley 4V carbs and within 30 seconds, had both carbs the equivalent of 2 numbers richer all the way around.  Made another pull and thought it might be just a tad rich so I leaned it approximately one jet size all the way around.  This took another 30 seconds to perform.  I was only kidding myself with the jet changes as the water in the cylinders was obviously creating a bunch of inaccuracies with the wide band sensors that are used to monitor the fuel mixtures.  Made one more pull and it was obvious that the engine was in progressively more distress each time the engine ran.  The engine couldn't be seen in the dyno room for the fog created from the steam.  But it was quite the show as the engine was still putting up respectable numbers.  I haven't gone through the sheets in detail yet but that last run (#5) still peaked 507 torque and 524 HP and it was the worst pull of the bunch.  For the score, I used the dyno sheets from pulls #1, 2, and 4.
 
I was the first engine up on the JE Pistons facility dyno, so I was #1 at that point.  The SAM (School of Automotive Machinists) Poly motor was next up and did not fare any better as it also detonated badly.  It scored less than mine so I was still in first place and the SAM Poly was in second.  Joe Craine's Thunderbird Y was next up and with seeing the issues with the fuel, Joe backed up his timing quite a bit and his first two pulls were respectable.  Joe bumped his timing back up to where it had tested best for the third pull and on that pull, lost a head gasket on the same #8 as mine.  But Joe had three pulls and was content with saving the engine.  Joe is now in first place, I'm in second and SAM's Poly is in third.
 
Another Mopar Poly runs and scores lower than my engine but higher in score than the SAM Poly engine so I'm still in second place.  Jon Kaase runs the Edsel MEL engine and although it's peaking HP in the 798 HP range, the first two pulls are tied with Joe Craines' Y-Block.  Jon works hard on the tune in both jetting and timing and manages to outscore Joe's Y so now Jon is in first, Joe is in second, and I'm in third.  After Jon Kaase's MEL engine is the Studebaker engine and it will not start up.  The clock is running and it's eventually found that the coil is bad.  The coil is replaced but the Mallory Unilite module is cooked.  The clock runs out but in the interests of at least getting some HP and TQ numbers, the Studebaker group is allowed to work on the engine and at least make a pull.  I didn't hear the numbers but it's only one pull so there's no score to post.  That engine gets a DNF for not making three pulls during the allotted 35 minute run time.
 
I disassembled the 403” Y engine after it was pulled from the dyno and found a total of four cylinders not sealing as a result of failed head gaskets.  Cylinders #4 and #8 were the worst.  Detonation is the cause and nothing to do with the gaskets.  I had 55 dyno pulls on the engine at the shop without any indication of problems.  Sunoco fuel wasn’t available on my end so it simply was not tested with that fuel.  The #8 cylinder is where all the water in the engine was coming from as it had a thumb sized chunk missing from where it had hydrauliced.  The engine bearings looked good but the #8 piston had taken a beating.  That hole in the cylinder was jagged as a result of a crack that was running through it and was catching the piston.  Everyone that looked at the damage simply could not believe how that engine was still scoring a somewhat respectable set of numbers even though it was only hitting hard on six cylinders.
 
As it worked out, it was Edsel, Thunderbird, and Mercury engines taking the first three places.  Looks like a Ford sweep to me.
 
Lots of lessons learned this year with both mine and Joe's engines.  For persevering and running the 403" Y engine in its obviously wounded condition, I was awarded (along with the third place awards) a "Run It Again" award at the Thursday night banquet which is worth a new set of JE Pistons when the time comes to fix the engine.  Depending upon the rules, I may simply have a set of deep dish pistons built so I can run low octane fuel while still maximizing ignition timing.  That thought process worked out well for Scott Main's Cleveland headed Windsor engine in the Traditional Muscle Class where he took top honors with a much lower compression ratio engine than his competitors.  Scott was able to run his ignition timing optimized for performance and not having to back it up to compensate for low octane fuel.
 
If not for the EMC competition, I would not have the impetus to try new things or ideas.  Customers do not want to be test cases so for me, the Engine Masters Challenge is a testing platform to work off of.  For this year, it was the freshly engineered connecting rods that allowed the use of a one inch stroker crankshaft (4.300”) that freed up a considerable amount of space between the connecting rods and the camshaft.  That area was a problem even for Ford with the 312 engines.  I now have the capability of running a 4.500” stroke crankshaft in the Y engines without any block work or reduced base circle camshafts to make that happen.

Lorena, Texas (South of Waco)
FORD DEARBORN
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Congratulations to all for the 1-2-3 punch at this years EMC. Not only are the numbers fantastic but this is world class engineering and innovation at it's best.  As you stated:" Looks like a Ford sweep to me."     Thanks, JEFF..........


64F100 57FAIRLANE500
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Well, the pictures tell the tale of detonation destruction.  The cylinders cleaned up reasonably well, but I will be disassembling the whole bottom end to look at the bearings for damage, also.  Looks eerily like the damage on Ted's engine.  #2 was loosing its seal, and #8 was totally blown.  Joe-JDChttp://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/cdabe068-bd6e-421d-aa84-1f09.jpghttp://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/70d056f9-1788-4c99-a1e2-5b74.jpghttp://forums.y-blocksforever.com/uploads/images/88616b68-2b76-4ed4-a883-2c02.jpg
We had 67 dyno pulls on the engine before heading to Ohio, and this is apparently the result of three pulls with 100 octane fuel.



JDC


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