Specialty Engine Building 101: A Beginners Guide

Building an engine can be a daunting task but it can also be incredibly rewarding. As a general rule, building a specialty engine is a superior product to a stock engine because it is custom-made to the driver’s singular specifications. There are things that first-timers should do and things that they should be careful to avoid when building their first engine if they want to most efficiently produce their own signature engine.

Consider a Supercharger

Another element that you could add to your engine is a B&M supercharger. Superchargers are air compressors that increase the pressure of air supplied to the engine, which helps it burn more fuel during each of its intake cycles. They are generally rated to give an engine between 20 and 40 percent more horsepower.

Consider the Tools You’ll Need

The process of selecting the correct tools for the job can be a little overwhelming. While you won’t necessarily need machining tools, you’ll need a bit more than the standard tool kit that includes sockets, spanners, extensions and screwdrivers.

A torque wrench will be necessary to apply all of the torque that you will need to apply during the build. Though each build is different, you’ll likely require a 1/2 or 3/8-inch drive. Although a digital torque wrench isn’t essential, they have the added benefit of measuring torque angle. Some other tools that you’ll need include:

  • Ring file
  • Ring squaring tool
  • Ring compressor
  • Plastigauge
  • Micrometers
  • Bore gauge

The transmission is a critical part of the vehicle’s drive train. Without it, you could have the finest engine in the world but wouldn’t be able to move an inch. A 2-speed Powerglide transmission is the perfect companion element to the engine and is incredibly apt at controlling propulsion.

In most vehicles, the transmission is usually connected to the engine via a flywheel. When considering tools for engine building, you’ll want to remember that when installing the engine, there will be a lot of connecting to do. Even with the right tools, it also needs to be a perfect match because if you mismatch the power ratings of the two, you could end up shredding the transmission.

Common Mistakes When Building an Engine

Because engine building is such a complicated endeavor, there are lots of common mistakes that people tend to make. Failing to take exact crankshaft measurements, for instance, is a frequent issue that then must be resolved. People also tend to make the mistake of using calipers for engine measurements when they ought to be using micrometers. It’s easy to get an improper measurement because of the way the caliper is held. Some other common mistakes include:

  • Failing to check the end cap
  • Failing to check the flathead
  • Installing wet bearings
  • Failing to use the correct type of sealer
  • Using worn-out fasteners

Building an engine calls for a patient, focused personality. You need to be as comfortable taking precise measurements in tight spaces as you are ordering a set of pistons that not only accomplish what you want, but that also matches the vehicle’s precise specifications. With the right tools and space and maybe a little guidance and support, you can build your own custom engine. Visit an auto parts store today to get the parts and accessories that you’ll need to do it.

Most Popular