Well...she fired up on the 3 third pull. SS670 was there when she came to life. The 110 octane race gas smelled mighty fine.
I must preface this with the statement that I was supposed to have another week to get everything in order.
As some of you may have noticed, the sequence as laid out in this forum was NOT the actual sequence of events as they took place. Doing the article in this fashion was much easier than bouncing around from this piece to that. It was easier to follow in this manner.
The fact of the matter is that we changed the date for the break in, and moved it up a week. I had just sent the pipes to Jet Hot on the Monday of that week. I got the pipes back on Thursday at around 5:30PM, and we were leaving for Eagle River on Friday around 10AM.
I skipped a couple of steps that I normally take to make the deadline. That was a costly mistake as you will find out. I take full responsibility. It was my own fault for not going through my regular assembly procedures. They have been tried and trued on many an engine. When you get out of your routine on engine building.....BAD things happen. That is exactly what took place here.
Normally, I pre-prime the oil pump on the bench with the intake off the sled. I have a dremel tool that I made a gear fitting for. I hook a line up to the pump and prime the pump then put a cap on the inlet tube and the two injector tubes. This prevents any further air from getting in the system. Due to time restraints, I did not do this process.
I fired up the engine, and primed the pump. I should also say I picked a poor time to change brands of oil. I changed to Blue Marble. There was smoke coming from the exhaust, but not a lot. Since one of Blue Marbles claim to fame is less smoke, I thought this was normal.
I got to Eagle River. I missed the 10am time, and we didn't leave until Noon. Not too bad of a late start. I wanted to get there and on to the lake to dial in the carbs and clutches and then ride on Saturday.
We got there, I hit the lake. The carbs were dialed almost perfectly, and the clutches came in at the previously described marks. I made quite a few runs. I put about 2 miles on it. The EGT's were right around 1180 degrees at WOT...everything seemed fine.
I will say that she was a bit of pig (to put it mildly) to try and pull over to start. I later found out that the factory rope was a bit too fat for the tube with the bends I had to put in it. Add to that the high compression and the bend in the tube...needless to say; it was quite an effort to start. You could literally pull it across the parking lot trying to start it...which we did after the first run on the trail.
We all got started the next morning, and while the rest of the Snowtracks crew was getting ready, Viper Vixen, The Great One and I decided to head to the gas station to get some 110 race gas.
We got exactly 2 miles from The Hiawatha, and the motor just shut off and died. We could not get it started.
VV went back and got the guys, and we trailered it back to The Hiawatha. This was not a good beginning to the trip.
Pitgrunt and I worked on it for a while on the trailer. It didn't have any spark. So we started to unplug fittings and plug them back in. We unplugged the tether cord, and she fired right up. Cool.....back in business.
So the whole crew headed towards town to get fuel. We got another 2 miles and this time she kind of seized, locked up the track and came to a screeching halt.
Pitgrunt and I worked at dumping oil in the top of the spark plug holes. He turned the clutches, and I poured oil. She would not start. Back to The Hiawatha to get the trailer. She would not start this time at all. We had spark, and she pulled over a lot easier that she did before. Now there's some good news....NOT!
My trip was done with 6.4 miles on the new sled.
I got home and pulled the engine. This was my first engine failure on one that I had built. I was curious to see what the culpret was.
Well, as you can see by the picture, the piston and sleeves were toast.
I need to back up a bit here. I had purchased a '99 670 HO intake off EBay for $40. It included the intake, oil pump and lines. Remember when I said that I didn't check it out?....well....I should have. This was a classic case of "don't judge a book by its cover". The pump piece looked almost brand new. The pump looked as though it was just put on. That is part of the reason I skipped this part of my routine.
Well...that was the downfall of this motor. When I took it off, the pump gear was in two pieces, and the small injector lines were filled with what I can only describe as well...have you ever seen an oil slick run aground from the ocean? The stuff that came out of the lines kind of looked like that. It was thick and black. What had happened was that the injector barbs would not allow this crud to go through and blocked it up. When I put the intake on, the lines looked clean. I don't know if the pump went bad and then the wheel broke, or the wheel went bad....all I know is the top end didn't get ANY oil and locked up.
The excessive heat also caused a little expansion of the RAVE valve. There was a slight sign of contact, but the damage had been done by no oil.
So it was back to Scott at Recreational Motorsports. I got two new pistons, a gasket set and two new sleeves. We put her all back together again.
I did change the clearance on the RAVEs to 0.018". The race book suggests between 0.015 and 0.020". So I set them in the middle.
I also went to the next size smaller starter rope. That also helped a LOT in pulling it over.
I put a different oil pump from my parts cabinet (of which I have included a picture). I then went through my regular routine of putting the motor in and pre-firing procedures. She has smoke now.
I guess I learned two things...don't short-cut from what you know works, and don't change brands of oil when firing up a new motor.
She now is ready for next winter. There will be a break in period of 100 miles, and then the cylinders will come back off and be rehoned and new rings put in. Then break that in for a 100 miles and she goes on the Dyno.
Once I find the power band, I can adjust my clutches to that.
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