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For some of the hardcore guys, how often do you tear down your engines, what warrants it, and how far in depth do you go? Is it a simple bearing and re-ring or completely tearing it apart and checking all tolerances? Just wondering at what point I'm going to have to tear into mine, wanting to using the cold of winter and off season on my side.
 

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This will be season #13 without teardown on mine. That said, leak down is getting a little higher than I wanted to see and it'll be time soon. Besides, the old PG transmission should really be gone through as well.

Winter maintenance is tough. Season ends at the end of November, then starts back up in February here. So ya gotta hustle a little.
 

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I would imagine that the necessity of a tear down would depend on how much power you are making and how hard you are spinning the engine. Other factors would include the quality of the build and how good the tune is. One other factor may be if you have OCD ...lol . That being said, I make right at 1,200 HP and spin the engine as high as 8,400 rpm at times and have just finished my 3rd season on the engine. Maintenance is to perform an oil change and adjust the valves at the beginning of each year and that is it, outside of spark plugs that get changed somewhat frequently.
 

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I just didn't know what individuals warrant a tear down and what normally gets checked. Granted, if something is broke/leaking/or otherwise "wrong," I'd pull the motor and go through the whole thing. And on a tear down, would I safely assume plastigage bearing tolerances rather than running to the machine shop as soon as it's apart. I did all the work myself, so still running strong after 6 hard years so far has gotta mean something? I just see most guys in my area tear down an engine at least once per season, but I couldn't imagine why, maybe if they spent more time or effort in a build, could they make them last a little longer? Then again, these aren't junkyard racers either.
 

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Do these guys who perform a tear down every year have real high HP engines? Or do they have a fat enough wallet that it is just considered normal maintenance? Around here most of the 10.5 O/L type cars get a yearly "freshen up". But these are 2K HP and up engines. They have more invested in the engine than I have in my race car, truck and trailer...lol.
 

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Do these guys who perform a tear down every year have real high HP engines? Or do they have a fat enough wallet that it is just considered normal maintenance? Around here most of the 10.5 O/L type cars get a yearly "freshen up". But these are 2K HP and up engines. They have more invested in the engine than I have in my race car, truck and trailer...lol.
yes to both!
They make me look out of place as well, but most are bracket racing, so I'm not sure if the consistency has anything to do with it. Im sure they aren't doing a nhra funny car tear down where they're replacing clutches that weld themselves together.... I guess it comes down to knowing your engine and drivetrain. How long it should last and what normally goes first in normal conditions. In the meantime, I'll keep sending oil samples off to get tested!
 

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after every weekend of racing... if i only do a tnt or one to two passes i'll let it slide to the next event with all maintenance in between..

right now i'm trying to get together a second longblock that way i can just swap between races and not have to worry about overnighting parts and custom machine work.
 

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B-rad, interesting you'd go as far as to have a backup longblock to swap in....why so? And what are you changing regularly?
 

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B-rad, interesting you'd go as far as to have a backup longblock to swap in....why so? And what are you changing regularly?
the reason is simple.. i'm working on one so i wont have to worry about getting parts like RIGHT then if i want to race two weekends in a row.

i plan to swap out every time i race and freshen the other to have ready.

combo consist of a pretty simple 509 BBC, with a 14-71 high helix pushing 15% overdrive currently. it's alky injected through a hat, and if you lean on it hard it can push 2500 hp easily. right now at 15% we arent leaning too hard on it... but the 'street' wont allow us to much at all.. now if we hit up a track event i'm gonna go to the bigger pully and let her EAT....
 

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pistons and rings take the hardest lick... and after that you have to measure rods quite frequently and after so many runs just throw em away.. crank is another piece that after so many runs you throw away regardless of how it looks.. after one race i had one go .005 out (warped) when checked.
 

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Just tear down my engine replaced the aluminum rods found some push rods were not good. Pretty much tear done once year if nothing else goes wrong. Like head gaskets. Keep an eye on map sensor if it changes u have problems. Have race pack that helps or u start losing power.
 

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I used to do them every winter; but I also put 240-265 passes a season on them with nothing but oil changes, valve cover removal for inspection and valve spring R&R's. At one point I pulled an engine down and looked it over real good to find the rod journal fillet to be cracked on two different journals (#1 and #4 journals). Eagle 4340, might have made 550 hp at the most. It was obvious enough to be seen by the naked eye....
 
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