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Blue-printed & Balanced 3.3L turbo...

Curious if anyone has take a bone stock 3.3L, and had it professionally blue-printed and balanced, and what the results were.

I am thinking about going this avenue when time comes for a re-build in about 18-24 months, rather than a bigger turbo, etc for more grunt.

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1983 911 3.3L Turbo(YES, I know the turbo badge is on the right...had to be different!)
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Old 11-29-2014, 06:10 PM
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These engines are already balanced (pistons come in a size group).

The porting and manufacturing tolerances are pretty tight everywhere else. The cams are timed individually based on lift at a certain crank rotatio so I guess this means they are blueprinted too.

What specifically are you hoping to gain?
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Old 11-29-2014, 06:17 PM
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Along with what unclebilly said, blue printing and balancing does not increase an engine's torque or horsepower production to any significant extent (if at all) - the intent of balancing is to further the engine's ability to spin more smoothly at high RPM, and blue printing is meant to identify and correct any small manufacturing and assembly errors that may be present.

Last edited by Ronnie's.930; 11-29-2014 at 06:28 PM..
Old 11-29-2014, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclebilly View Post
These engines are already balanced (pistons come in a size group).

The porting and manufacturing tolerances are pretty tight everywhere else. The cams are timed individually based on lift at a certain crank rotatio so I guess this means they are blueprinted too.

What specifically are you hoping to gain?
I seen back in the early 2000's a company back East(and they were not cheap!) which were getting about another 35-40 either HP or torque out the back wheels on a stock 3.0L, where virtually every component was brought under careful attention. I just don't remember them now.

Right down to every single washer, nut, bolt for instance on a con-rod to piston can be matched down to an almost imperceptible difference. It's just how much time does one have to do this.

Lexus for instance had to develop very special machinery to 'balance' their V-8's in development for the first LS400(which was really a skunk-works within Toyota), and the results kind of astounded their internal engineers as the motor then produced a very healthy bump in power, used significantly less fuel, and was much smoother, so the project was given the go-ahead. In terms of manufacturing, the rest of the world has kind of caught up in making engines with very close tolerances, etc.(from the book "The Toyota Way", which is a good book in terms of lean manufacturing concepts)

So with a base engine of around 300HP/300ft lbs of torque, I was looking for maybe another 35-50 'free' HP/Torque internally without any add-ons, and for all intents keeping it 'stock'. Granted nothing is for free, but this is another route for the desired results.
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Last edited by Tilikum Turbo; 11-29-2014 at 06:36 PM..
Old 11-29-2014, 06:33 PM
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I cannot imagine you would gain anything significant. I added ARP rodbolts, headstuds, and valve springs to a bone stock 3.3L long block and was able to spin it to a 7200rpm redline for 10 years before selling the car with 100% good leakdown numbers. These engines are stout.
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:01 PM
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Before installing a set of new Mahle pistons and cylinders and rebuilt ported heads in my motor last spring I had the rods resized at an automotive machine shop and I balanced the piston and wrist pin assemblies and connecting rods down to i/10 th of a gram... in my kitchen.

They are not balanced real close at the factory.. they are all a little different.

I didn't touch the pistons I removed some metal at an angle from the inside diameter at each end of the wrist pins until each piston and wrist pin weighed the same on my triple beam.
Also removed some metal from the rods at the outer corners where the rods and caps come together until all the rods weighed the same.
It gave me satisfaction and the motor runs real smooth and strong throughout the rev range.

i took some pics while doing it. You can see where i removed metal from the inside edges of the wrist pins that stayed with the pistons they're in and the connecting rods to make them all weigh the same.





Last edited by JFairman; 11-29-2014 at 07:20 PM..
Old 11-29-2014, 07:17 PM
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JFairman, I like that. I do not see any reason why not to be perfectionist in this regard.

Even just a few grams of diff rotating at several Ks must make some impact on performance.

I remember some old mechanic a long time ago who completely blueprinted his Opel engine. He achieved almost modern-day fuel Economy when he was done with that engine.

I also remember how some of the old guys said, there was no reason to port a turbo charged engine, you could just crank up the boost...

I am guessing a guy like the Swedish Micke Sven spends time on blueprinting, balancing and matching.
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Old 11-29-2014, 07:28 PM
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Balance is balance, pretty straight forward however in detail you need to remember and account for every rotating component to include nuts bolts pulleys and their run outs. This involves dynamic balance. Even high precision turbos are often not given a touch up dynamic balance as the individual component balance gives a stack-up in the acceptable range.

Blueprint means different things. Running in a stock class you can select parts for the best combination relating to gas flows spring pressures,etc. but typically machining is a no-no.

Measureable HP is gained from matching each cylinder to the same flow and pressure condition based on what is possible on the best one. Port and manifold flowing, extreme attention to decking for piston crown location toward obtaining equal operating pressures. then throw in equal valving, fuel delivery, spark. In many ways these are these last small gains that one sees moving from mechanical to electronic fueling and spark. This is another blueprinting.

Regarding the Porsche motor I tend to agree with Brian, they have higher minimum standard of acceptance so "weak" motors do not escape production in the first place.

A little story about a well known premium Diesel engine. They sold a 400HP engine, the owner of the company decided with a stroke of marketing wisdom to charge a premium for a calibration of 435HP. Units were sold and shipped and the complaints starting rolling in, seems owners having both the base 400HP and premium pay 435HP felt the same power. Just a little communication with the engineers on the line they would have found most 400HP were already shipping at 425.

Last edited by copbait73; 11-29-2014 at 07:59 PM..
Old 11-29-2014, 07:55 PM
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Thanks jsveb I hope your car and it's killer paint job is going well.
Yeah, I think balancing helps a little, it sure can't hurt.
There was a difference of up to 3 grams between the pistons and removing some metal at the inner ends of the wrist pins is the easiest and safest way to make them all weigh the same.

Opening a new box of Mahle 3.3 pistons and cylinders...
The wrist pins came wrapped in brown paper and they were inside the white styrofoam things inside the cylinders. The pistons came inside the cylinders. A good safe place for them.



I lapped the cylinders to the heads with valve grinding compound. Not needed with new ones but it didn't hurt either and I knew they were good that way.



Cgarr machined my rocker arms. They're running on 964 cams I carefully timed to open the intake valves 1.26mm at TDC before the intake stroke.



Opening up the intake ports to 40mm to match my 40mm aluminum injector blocks.






A finished intake port. I had little pieces of rubber hose pushed on to the valve guides to protect them while doing the porting.



...as usual I'm going off on fragmented tangents from the original post so I'll stop now.
Old 11-29-2014, 08:16 PM
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JFairman, thanks for posting all the pics and details of your good work - great for us lesser mechanics to learn from!
Cheers,
Iain
Old 11-29-2014, 08:47 PM
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do you have an link to your original post on the engine build?

Last edited by IMR-Merlin; 11-30-2014 at 05:43 AM..
Old 11-30-2014, 05:34 AM
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Nice Jim, your engine has to run as good as it can given all the attention to detail.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:38 AM
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Classic engine "blueprinting" consists of:

1. Line boring. The true center of all the main bearing bores is found. Once the centers are known, the maximum deviation from a hypothetical line through the mean center is calculated. Half that amount is machined from each case half mating surface, the case halves are bolted together, and the main bearing diameters are re-bored so that they are all in close alignment. I do perform this step on the engines I build, and it can yield a few HP.

2. Next the crank indexing and stroke are corrected. The crank is reground, within the maximum allowed under-size, such that the appropriate throws are 120 degrees apart, and the throw (1/2 the stroke) is the same on all rod journals.

3. The piston compression height is measured. For flat-tops, the crown is machined down by a very small amount so that they are all the same. The rod for each cylinder is re-bushed at the small end so that the center to center length is the same. Now the tops of each piston are exactly the same distance from the crank centerline at TDC.

4. The cylinders are either machined so that they are all the same height, or custom base shims can be used. Now, at TDC the top of the piston is the same distance from the top of the cylinder for each cylinder.

5. The combustion chambers of each fully assembled head are measured, and a small amount of material is removed from the "small" chambers until their volume equals the largest chamber.

6. Cam and rocker arm surfaces are micropolished to reduce friction.

... and that is just the blueprinting part! I wouldn't even do some of this, especially the crank grinding. It is disturbing to take it undersize. If something ever happens, it is done for. With balancing though, you would have an engine exactly as Mezger intended.

Old 11-30-2014, 06:12 PM
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