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Old 11-27-2009, 03:27 PM   #1
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Completely custom engine from aluminum

My mind has been running today and wondering about an engine made completely from scratch (well, not completely but almost)

Has anyone heard of someone getting a block of billet and having at it and making themselves a custom block, custom heads, pistons, cams, etc...

Anyone have a story? Comments? 2 cents?
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Old 11-27-2009, 03:51 PM   #2
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Arrow

Most,if not all aluminum engines have iron or steel sleeves in the cylinders because aluminum is a soft metal, and the engine would not have a long service life otherwise.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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I suppose I shouldn't have mentioned "from aluminium" because many parts are made from more than aluminum.

I was just getting at the notion of making a roaring beast of metal from some imagination, calculations, hand tooling, and power machining.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Yeah, it's possible. The real question is how much time, expertise, money and materials do you have to devote to the project.

http://jalopnik.com/5065896/hand+mad...s-light-of-day
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:30 PM   #5
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Here's one of my favorites: http://crosleyautoclub.com/Mighty_Tin.html

Perhaps it might be easier to fabricate something along the lines of the Crosley Cobra engine rather than machine something out of billet aluminum...it would seem like you'd have a heck of a time with things like water jackets.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #6
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I am very familiar with a vendor who does this.





I can tell you that these guys know a LOT about engines, and had to put a LOT of work into the R & D to make some production engines. Don't forget that these pretty much *have* to be made from castings, since the coolant passages are quite difficult (impossible?) to machine. It probably took a half a million dollars in R & D to make the first block, including the casting pattern. Once you have a pattern that works, the next ones will obviously be much cheaper. Of course after the blocks are cast, there is a lot of machine work.

And that is just for the blocks...

-Bob C.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:54 PM   #7
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I've wanted to replicate a CRX BODY, not just the engine, from aluminum. All the above caveats, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to do that?

I am all for the idea of it - a monococque body made from one piece of aluminum would have better strength - could maybe even get 100+ mpg....

One can dream.
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101mpg View Post
One can dream.
One can just buy a 1st gen Insight and replace the power train.
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:47 AM   #9
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I like the CRX body a little better - nostalgia - but for sure dump the batteries & replace the power train.
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc455 View Post
Don't forget that these pretty much *have* to be made from castings, since the coolant passages are quite difficult (impossible?) to machine.
-Bob C.
I was thinking more like an inline, so the coolant passages could just be "wallowed out" sections on the side with a cover bolted on.

Just think, if a serious group of engineers/marketers (with proper funding) set out to shatter the record for efficiency of the Atkinson cycle, then mass produced engines, with kits to install them in production cars (I think I'll stop dreaming before I get myself depressed).
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