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DonE DonE is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Brooks, GA
Posts: 1,211
Steel lined cylinder observation

When I lost 3 cylinders to detonation on my turbo rebuild project 4 months ago, I looked for alternatives to the stock 3.2L cylinders that were bored to 98mm. All 3 cylinders were split top to bottom and one had a hole at the top. None of the pistons or heads were damaged in any way. The rings however, were in hundreds of pieces.

So, after a lot of research into Nikkies, iron lined cylinders and bored stock cylinders, I chose the iron. If you are somewhat in the same position, maybe this will help.

Here are my observations based on assembling the engine myself and about 4 weeks of tuning and running the car.

First, I got the cylinders from JB Racing in FL. They are iron sleeves with pressure fit aluminum fins, cut from billet aluminum. I had the spigots machined out to accept the larger liners - the fit was perfect: the head mates to the liner, the liner presses against the fins, and the fins sit on the case, thus giving deck height like stock. The deck height by the way was exactly as JB indicated on all cylinders.

By using iron cylinders, I didn't have to use the cast iron rings either. According to JE (where I got my custom 98mm, 8.0:1 CR pistons), they stated that their pistons are designed for iron sleeves, however they work with AL as well. Therefore, the fit of the JE with the JB cyinders was perfect and measuring deck height was consistent across all 6 cylinders. I'm also using custom chrome rings from JB ($250) that aren't as fragile as cast.

After assembly and start up, I drained the oil after about 70 miles. Both the engine mag plug and oil tank mag plug had minimal amounts of metal "sludge" - felt more like grease and barely covered the mag pick ups.

I've also noticed there is no longer the blue puff of smoke on start like the stock and re-bored 98mm gave me.

After 250 miles, there is still no smoke on start, there is no oil coating the intake from the crankcase oil breather and there has been no noticable oil comsuption. This seems to verify JB's claims of reducing blow-by compared to the stock thin-walled cylinders.

As for temp control, there is no difference in indicated oil temp and CLT temp on the TEC3r software compared to the stock AL cylinders. The ambient temps here in the ATL area are in the mid 80's and my oil temps range between 85 - 102 C (cruise and traffic temps).

I've had the car under full boost already and it seems to have the same power as prior to the engine failure. I'll confirm that this week at the dyno when I fine tune up top.

So, overall, I am completely satisfied with the fit, quality and performance of the iron sleeved cylinders. JB Racing did not ask me to say any of this and I didn't get paid. They have an excellent product you should consider if you ever need cylinders. Many thanks to Mike Bruns and everyone at JB for giving great advice and supplying an excellent product, on budget and on time.
Old 09-25-2005, 07:19 AM
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