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High Performance Academy  Learn how to tune and build performance engines via online courses. Learn at place, at your pace. Get quality knowledge you can trust.


When you're pushing 1800-1900+ hp out of an engine that was originally designed to support 300 hp it's no big surprise that reliability becomes an issue. Three of the most common areas for concern include head gasket sealing, strength of the cylinders, and the ability to rigidly support the crankshaft. An obvious choice at the upper levels of drag racing is to use a billet aluminium engine block. This allows huge flexibility to create a reliable solution for high power and high rpm use. In particular a billet block offers a much thicker deck surface and larger head studs which improves the seal between the block and the cylinder head. Thick ductile iron sleeves prevent bore distortion and cracking at high power levels, and the addition of a full cradle to support the crankshaft that's tied into the rest of the block with additional fasteners improves rigidity and crank support. Some of these blocks even include water jackets so they aren't just limited to drag use 😏 #enginebuilding101 #highperformanceacademy #allbilleteverything #engineporn

When it comes time to install the pistons into an engine block, care needs to be taken to avoid causing damage to the rings. In order to slide neatly into the cylinder, the rings need to be compressed into the ring grooves on the piston. Our favourite tool for this task is a tapered ring compressor such as the @arpbolts product shown. These have an internal taper that smoothly compresses the rings as the piston is pushed down through the compressor. It makes it exceptionally quick and easy to install pistons with a minimal amount of effort and you can be confident you're not going to damage a ring in the process. The only downside is that these ring compressors only suit one bore diameter so you'll need one for each different bore size you'll be working with. #highperformanceacademy #enginebuilding101

Here's one from the archives - Our old #mitsubishi #evo3 drag car 'DOCILE' which set and held the world record for 4WD Mitsubishi EVO's with an 8.23 @ 180 mph pass around 8 years ago. We often get asked how difficult it is to tune a highly strung engine like the 1166 whp #4g63 that powered our EVO. The reality is that the fundamentals of EFI tuning are exactly the same regardless whether you're making 80 whp of 1100+. However with a highly stressed engine that's running 50-60+ psi boost and 10,000+ rpm, the tuning window becomes much narrower and a slightly lean air fuel ratio, a small over boost, or too much ignition timing can easily relegate an expensive engine to the scrap pile. This is why we always recommend starting out with a low powered engine that's going to be a little more tolerant while you're still learning. Once you start becoming more comfortable with using a dyno, as well as the tuning process, more powerful engines won't seem quite so daunting. If you want to get started, our EFI Tuning Fundamentals online course is the perfect place. Click the link in our profile to learn more. #highperformanceacademy #learntotune πŸ“Έ@nzpcmagazine

It's no secret that a set of aftermarket camshafts can provide some impressive increases in engine performance, but the catch is that aftermarket cams normally go hand in hand with vernier adjustable cam gears which allow the cams to be correctly degreed. This is the bit where many enthusiasts get stuck, not understanding the proper approach to this task. Degreeing the cams refers to the process or adjusting the cam timing to ensure that the valves open and close at the optimal point in the engine cycle. We know that this process can be a bit tricky for those just setting foot into the world of engine building so you'll be pleased to know we have a course in the pipeline that's going to be perfect for you! Watch this space for news! #highperformanceacademy #enginebuilding101 #kelfordcams @bloxracing #b18c #hondalife

If you're getting serious with engine modifications and you're reflashing the factory ECU you may find you've exceeded the flow limits of the factory MAF sensor. Since the ECU relies on the MAF sensor output for its fuel and ignition calculations this is a big problem. Fortunately it's possible to either swap in a larger MAF sensor, or fit the stock MAF sensor element into a larger housing. This extends the airflow range of the MAF sensor to match the higher airflow you'll see as power increases, but it does require the MAF calibration to be rescaled to ensure the airflow reading the ECU sees is still correct. Getting this right is one of the most important steps when reflashing a factory ECU and we show you how to do this in our Practical Reflash Tuning online course. You'll also learn how to adjust your tune to suit larger injectors, how to adjust the fuel and ignition timing, and how to use data logging to optimise your tune. For more information check the link in our profile. #highperformanceacademy #learntotune

Over the last few weeks we've had the opportunity to get our hands dirty with a @syvecs_ltd S8 plug & play ECU for the #VW Mk6 Golf. It's always a challenging process learning a completely new system, particularly on a DI engine with a DSG gearbox, but we saw some great results with the car on pump gas and an E30 ethanol mix (using the flex fuel functionality of the #Syvecs ECU). The car is used for endurance races so we also set up a high boost map for qualifying and a low boost map to reduce fuel consumption for racing. Some basics such as a pit speed limiter were also set up to ensure no penalties for speeding. The car was put through its paces over the weekend at the first round of the South Island Endurance Championship at Teretonga Park and came away with 1st in class and 6th overall πŸ‘ŠπŸ» We're going to call that a success πŸ˜¬πŸš—πŸ’¨πŸŒ½β›½οΈ Watch out for some Syvecs-based material coming up in our courses soon! #highperformanceacademy #learntotune #sierdc πŸ“· Euan Cameron

When it comes to boost control, an often overlooked aspect is the way the external wastegate is integrated with the exhaust manifold. Exhaust gas is pretty lazy and doesn't really like changing direction so when we add an external wastegate we need to keep this in mind. In order to get good boost control we ideally want to integrate the wastegate in a way that makes it easy for the exhaust gas to flow into it - This means that the wastegate should be installed in line with the direction of exhaust flow or at a shallow angle. A common mistake is to mount the wastegate at an acute angle to the exhaust manifold, or in a way where the exhaust gas needs to double back on itself. This usually results in boost creep at higher rpm and in some cases can result in an inability to control boost regardless how big the wastegate is. Of course in a cramped modern engine bay often our options become compromised due to packaging requirements. #learntoboost #highperformanceacademy #oneperfectlap

Individual throttle bodies offer some unique challenges when it comes to configuring and tuning an aftermarket ECU. Most OEM ECUs directly measure the mass of air entering the engine via a MAF sensor. While we can do the same with an aftermarket ECU, MAF sensors come with a number of disadvantages so the most popular technique is the speed-density system. Speed-density uses manifold pressure as the main load input and rather than directly measuring airflow, it is calculated using the ideal gas law. That's fine if your engine uses a conventional plenum with a single throttle body, but with itb's the manifold vacuum signal is no longer a good representation of engine load - For example we may reach atmospheric pressure at as little as 30% throttle opening. If you're using manifold pressure as a load input this means the ECU accesses the same zone all the way from 30% to 100% TPS. Understandably this makes it hard to tune accurately. To get around this on itb setups we use throttle position as the load input - This is also referred to as alpha-n. Using the TPS ensures good resolution of the fuel and ignition maps and allows the engine to be tuned accurately with a limited vacuum signal. We cover this and much more in our 'EFI Fundamentals' course. Learn how the ECU works and how to calculate the required injector pulse width to achieve a certain air fuel ratio in your engine. This course is $99 USD and comes with 3 months FREE Gold Membership, giving access to our online forum and our live webinars. We also offer a no questions asked money back guarantee so what have you got to lose? For more info or to join up, follow the link in our profile. #highperformanceacademy #learntotune

This is what it looks like when you take fuel delivery seriously! πŸ‘€ #GibsonMotorsport leading the way and showing us how a proper endurance car fuel system should look - Who says it can't work well AND look great? With circuit cars regularly pulling in excess of 1.5-2.0 G around corners and under brakes, fuel surge is a serious problem. As well as a separate fuel surge tank that's used to feed high pressure fuel forward to the engine, its common to have as many as four individual lift pumps picking up fuel from the corners of the fuel cell to ensure that fuel is always being supplied to the surge tank regardless of G force. #oneperfectlap #highperformanceacademy #learntotune #nissan #r32 #gtr

When it comes to the Unlimited class at Pikes Peak, the rule book is remarkably thin and teams have huge freedom to help them achieve success. Understandably there is a big focus on aerodynamic downforce and the @enviatehypercar is no exception. With the aero package developed by Sebastian Lamour, an aerodynamicist from the @sauberf1team, downforce is a given. What's often overlooked however is that with massive aero downforce, designing an effective suspension system becomes a little harder. While many opt for incredibly stiff springs or bump rubbers to handle the aero load at high speed, this compromises the suspension performance at lower speed when the downforce is reduced. Instead of making a compromise, Lovefab went with a 3rd spring and damper arrangement at each end of the car to give optimal suspension performance as the aero load changes . Check out the full tech tour to hear how it works. Link in profile #highperformanceacademy #learntotune #pikespeak #ppihc2017

Although driver James Robinson from Honda RnD is no stranger to @ppihc1916 danger, it was his noble steeds first run this year and the 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec didn't let him down. Claiming Exhibition Class victory with a solid 11m 3.655s both driver and team can be proud of their efforts.

The car retains the factory FWD layout but adds an LSD along with some aero modifications to aid with traction. Under the hood the factory 3.5L J series engine has a @borgwarner EFR 8374 bolted on which brings the power output up to 500 hp. Unusually the car runs its factory ECU and retains a MAF setup due to James' day job at Honda.

Check out the link in our profile for the full interview.

#highperformanceacademy #learntotune #pikespeak2017

Oil starvation is one of the most common reasons for engine failure, particularly in cars that are used on the race track. Oil starvation allows the crankshaft journals to make contact with the bearing surface which can quickly result in bearing failures. Protecting these components requires a consistent film of lubricating oil between the bearing surfaces and the crankshaft journals. In turn this requires a steady supply of oil at the pick up to the oil pump. This is pretty easy to achieve in a road car, but with many circuit cars able to corner or brake at in excess of 1.5G, the oil in the sump can move away from the pickup allowing the oil pump to draw in air. The solution used in most race cars is a dry sump system where the oil is stored in an external tank instead of the sump. A belt driven pump is used to pump the oil out of the crank case and return it to the tank. Another section of this pump is used to draw oil from the reservoir and pump it through the engine. Since the dry sump tank is shaped like a tall cylinder, oil is always present at the pickup regardless of the cornering, braking or acceleration forces present. #enginebuilding101 #highperformanceacademy

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