BoxLife Fitness Training #638
BoxLife Fitness Training #638: A Beginner’s Guide To Building An Engine
The following is a guide to building your own engine from scratch. If you are interested in learning how to build your own car or motorcycle, then read my previous post here . I will try not to repeat myself too much. However, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments section below!
What Is Your Goal?
Your goal is to build an engine which produces more power than what it takes to run your vehicle. You want to be able to go faster, farther, longer distances, etc…
Why Build An Engine?
Engine building is one of the most rewarding things you can do with yourself. You get to learn a lot about physics, chemistry, engineering, mechanics and so much more. When you’re done, you’ll have something which runs at maximum efficiency and makes useful work for years to come.
How Much Do You Need?
You need to buy some materials such as steel (or aluminum) rods and pistons (and other parts). In addition to this, you need a way to clamp these parts together so that they don’t fall apart under high pressure and heat. Some high quality tools are needed for this purpose as well.
What Are The Tools You Need?
You will need several tools in order to build your own engine correctly. Some of these are optional (but recommended).
– A large workbench or table
– Vise (Optional)
– Rotary grinder with a wire cup and abrasive disk (Optional)
– A large welding tool with a plasma torch and wire feeder (Optional)
– A metal cutter with disks for different materials (Optional)
– A large hammer (Optional)
– Chalk line (Optional)
– Large metal sheet (Optional)
What Are The Materials You Need?
You will need basic materials such as a large metal sheet to build your engine on, different types of rods and bolts, sheets of metal, and so on. These are not necessarily expensive but it’s always good to save money if you can. For example, you can use household items in place of some engine building parts (such as using a washer in place of an expensive bearing).
How Do You Build An Engine?
How do you start? There are many people who ask that every day. I’m going to try to break down the process of building an engine into several categories. These include designing and planning, gathering materials, creating molds, casting parts, machining parts, assembling and testing the engine (including installing it in your vehicle), and finally adding some finishing touches. Let’s get started!
Designing And Planning
This is always the first thing you need to do. You can’t just start building parts for an engine without knowing what the final product is supposed to look like and how it’s going to run. This category involves a lot of reading, studying and research. There are several things to take into consideration such as materials, the type of engine, required power output, required RPM range, safety concerns, budget, and so on.
You can’t just design an engine and start building it from scratch. There is a very detailed process which needs to be followed.
This is probably the easiest part. The hard part is deciding what you need and what you don’t. You need to gather all the materials for your engine such as metal sheets, tools, fasteners, bearings, and so on. Go to your local hardware or automotive store (or both) and get all the parts you need before moving on to the next steps.
The Great Casting Debate
There are several ways to make the internal parts of an engine. The cheapest option is to buy molded or prefabricated parts from a supplier. This is not necessarily the best way to go because these parts tend to be expensive and often don’t fit your needs properly.
The next cheapest option is to make your own molds and cast parts. This can be a lengthy process and fail if you don’t have the equipment or experience.
The best option is to machine your own parts using a metal cutting band saw or metal lathe. It’s important that you have proper equipment for this as it can be very dangerous to do by hand.
Decide which option is best for you. In any case, move on to the molding and casting part of this tutorial.
Making Molds And Casting Parts
There are several ways to make a mold. The cheapest and easiest way is to make a two part silicone mold. You can also make a one-part latex mold or a two part latex mold. Each have their own pros and cons so decide which technique is best for you.
Making A Silicone Mold
You can purchase molding silicone from a craft store or you can also use bathroom sealant (which is a type of silicone). It’s recommended that you buy molding silicone because it’s easier to work with and will produce better results. Here are the steps to making a two-part mold:
Step 1: Cut the model apart and coat it in mold release. You can buy mold release at most hardware stores. Coat the model with a thin layer.
Step 2: Mix the molding silicone according to the instructions. The first time you do this it’s recommended that you make a small test mold first. This will let you know if you are doing it correctly and if you like the results.
Step 3: Coat the positive side of the model in a very thin layer of mold release (this prevents the silicone from bonding to the model).
Step 4: Place the positive model into the bowl of mixed silicone and make sure it’s completely covered. You can place a weight on it to ensure the silicone reaches all areas.
Step 5: Wait for the first part of the mold to harden (the instructions should state how long this will take). This is the tray that will be used to capture the negative space, so it needs to be firm enough to hold its shape but soft enough to pop out of the mold.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet (J Itzler – 2015 – books.google.com)
- Life-extension in a research reactor: calculation of the neutron-induced ageing of the core-box, grid-plate and beryllium reflector (SP Tolo – 2019 – repository.nwu.ac.za)
- Neural capital and life span evolution among primates and humans (HS Kaplan, T Mueller, S Gangestad, JB Lancaster – Brain and longevity, 2003 – Springer)