Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Octane Boosters

I occasionally get asked about the use of octane boosters in performance engines. While in some rare cases they are necessary, they are NOT in our builds if tuned properly...primarily because we make sure to put you into a build that fits your riding style and conditions. This issue came to me today from one of our dealers...their dyno tuner in fact, who is very capable, was kind enough to send me these pictures. As you can see, there is an extensive layer of iron and manganese deposits on the plug insulation and electrode as well as the oxygen sensor for the closed loop fuel system thus corrupting the vital control of the air to fuel ratio. This generally results in a rich bias, compromising both emissions and fuel economy.

The primary ingredient used in most octane boosters is a chemical called methyl cyclopenta dienyl manganese tricarbonyl, or MMT. In VERY controlled and minute quantities (.018 grams per liter...or a couple drops per gallon) it's not harmful however, even the slightest over mix can cause what you see here as well as increased valve and combustion chamber deposits.

General Motors (GM), and others have reported spark plug fouling with MMT. Reports indicate that spark plug failures are due to iron and manganese deposits on the plug insulation and electrode, resulting in:
• Increased hydrocarbon emissions from the incomplete combustion of fuel
• Premature component failure (e.g. plug and O2 sensor) at circa 10,000 km, where
normal life would be more than 100 000 km.

Despite what the packaging says on various octane boosters about being "safe for oxygen sensors", if they contain MMT or Ferrocene, I would highly recommend against using them....of course as better advice, I wouldn't recommend using any at all. Happy Motoring!

Kevin Baxter

Friday, July 25, 2008

How To Check Crank Runout

This is especially important when installing gear drive cams. Check runout on the pinion shaft (opposite side of crank as shown). If you find a total runout of .004" or more, we advise you not to run gear drive. Happy Motoring!!

Kevin Baxter

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Lifter Install

Many say the best thing to do is to let your lifters soak in oil overnight before installing...if they are very good lifters, oil will not magically find its way into the lifter body. It's always a good idea to "preload" your lifters before running them. You are dealing with tolerances of .00001" when messing with lifters.....so....Here's a tip:
  1. Cut off a 4" piece of 5/8 rubber heater hose and slide it over the top of the lifter but leave the small hole on the side exposed.
  2. Submerge the lifter into oil that you will be running in the engine and make sure the small side hole is in the oil.
  3. Use your hand to join the other end of the hose to a shop vac.
  4. Run the shop vac so that the oil will be sucked into the lifter.
  5. Check every 30 seconds or so...when you see oil puddling on the lifter plunger inside the hose, you know it's full and ready to be installed.
  6. REMEMBER!!! This will extend the time it takes for the lifters to bleed down for pushrod adjustment...MAKE SURE EACH VALVE IS SEATED before you rotate the engine or move to the next pushrod.

Happy Motoring!

Ahhhhh....a new blog.

This would be the first official post to the Head Quarters blog. Of course we already have the HQ techline where Doug and I can answer your questions....this is a bit different. Here's where I'll post everything from brief tech articles, tips and tricks, an occasional video or pic, or just updates with what's happening at Head Quarters.

Thanks for stopping by...