What is engine blueprinting?what is needed to bring out more power to the engine? For example, could mere balancing of like let's a pulley add some power to the engine? Thanks.
Blueprinting is a very exhaustive and extensive process of rebuilding the engine. When the engine is designed, there are specifications for every dimension of every engine part. Since the parts are mass-produced, there is no way that they can be made exactly to spec, so there's a tolerance allowed on the parts (for example, the weight of a piston would be specified as X number of ounces, plus or minus 10%). Same for connecting rods, wrist pins, the inside diameter of each runner in the manifolds, weights and dimensions of valves, etc.
When an engine shop blueprints an engine, it means they build it to the exact specification for each part and clearance in the engine. They may order 50 pistons for a V6 engine, and will measure all of them for all size and weight dimensions, and won't stop until they get six that match exactly. They'll then do the same for the six rods, six wristpins, the valves, crankshaft, etc. They'll take the intake manifold and will usually bore it out (or extrude-hone it, which involves flowing a high-temperature, abrasive clay through it at high speed/pressure to polish and enlarge the volume for better airflow). Ditto that for the exhaust manifolds. They'll do a full hot-tank treatment on the block, metallax the block (alternate heating and cooling of the block to make the crystalline structure of the engine block metal more regular, and thus stronger), cross-hatch the cylinders for oil retention on the walls (better lubrication and less friction as the pistons move), order cams with an optimum grind for valve lift and duration (this determines the airflow characteristics of the engine, where it'll make peak power and torque, etc), they'll knife-edge, balance, micropolish, and shotpeen the crank for less turbulence in the oil pan and lighter rotating weight (so it doesn't drain as much power), and they'll assemble it all to exacting fit and torque specs.
The end result is that you can gain 20% or more output from the engine, or even more still if they do porting/polishing on the components, extrude-honing, etc. With that stuff and custom-spec cams, the output could go up 30-40% even. It's a big power gain, but it comes at a big cost (as I'm sure you can tell). It's only really worth it on a race engine. Anyone who says they can blueprint a motor for a grand or less is full of it. You'd honestly be looking at $2000 or more easily if you only rebuilt it to stock spec with stock parts. Using aftermarket, high-performance parts, custom cams, extrude-honing, porting and polishing, etc, can easily kick the price up to $5000 at the least, and depending on the components you buy, $10-20,000 is very easy to ring up. It's not for the faint of heart. But it may be all the difference in racing, especially in an SCCA class like Spec-Miata racing, where engines have to be unmodified (as in, using only OEM parts). There's no rule against blueprinting as long as the parts are all available at the dealership parts counter. It says you have to use stock parts, but it doesn't forbid you from using the best possible combination of stock parts possible.
Nov 17, 2009 |
2004 Pontiac GTO