Author Topic: DIY Short block  (Read 3344 times)

farmerjohn

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DIY Short block
« on: January 04, 2020, 09:29:53 PM »
Guys,

I have been thinking about building my own block from metal plate.  After a few rebuilds of my listeroid I have enough spare parts lying around to build another one

You can easily buy all the parts minus the block for cheap.  The blocks are next to impossible to find / source for a reasonable price.  Importing new engines is getting harder and harder

I have access to a machine shop with CNC waterjet, plasma and CNC machine

I'm thinking of machining up a simple block which would consist of metal plates around 1/4" or so welded together.  It would be more square / rectangular than the original but all the holes, etc would line up and everything would just bolt on.

What do you guys think?  has anyone done this before?  Am I crazy?  Should I start selling it as a DIY weldable kit?  lol
If the Indians can do it - why cant we?

It would certainly get more guys into the hobby..  What about flywheels?

John


guest25219

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 10:26:34 PM »
I like the idea. I would probably go heavier than 1/4" steel. Just a gut feeling, but i would be concerned of stress cracks forming around where the jug sits/anchors on the block.

There are a few ways you could do it, but i think the best way would be to weld up the block. Then load it into a horizontal boring mill and machine your crankshaft/and camshaft bores. Then rotate it and machine your hole for the lifters/cylinder square to the crankshaft bores.

This does sound like a fun project, even if it ultimately doesn't work. I think its worth a try.

Below is a link to a book on the history and development of the EMD 567 engines. Those engine blocks were weldments and the book describes some of the issues they had the development stage (crankcase starts on pg. 55).
https://utahrails.net/pdf/EMD_567_History_and_Development_1951.pdf

farmerjohn

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 10:57:28 PM »
I like your idea about the horizontal mill but most guys do not have access to a large mill like that

The plates could be roughly cut to shape on a plasma or waterjet machine and then precision milled in a CNC

If you machine a recess along each side of the main 2 sides (like a box joint) - it can be held in place square while you weld it
Could even make holes for alignment pins or bolts to temporally hold together while its being welded.  Just have to be carful to keep it square

That way it can be shipped as a flat pack kit - keeping the cost way down

These listeroids are not precision instruments..  with some simple planning and careful welding - it can be well enough within tolerance to operate hassle free

Gussets can be added for further strength

Also the bottom end could be much bigger to hold more oil in the sump for greater longevity.  I have another post where I added a pressurized oil system to my roid.  Next time I take it apart - I am going to mount a hydraulic pump where the idler pin runs and use the pumps shaft to hold the idler gear..  then the gear would drive the pump

John

guest25219

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 11:10:29 PM »
I think i miss understood your first post. So you're wanting to ship a kit that an end user welds together?

farmerjohn

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 11:13:37 PM »
Yes and or share the plans to allow anyone to build one on their own

Plenty of people would love to have a listeroid  but they are becoming scarce and too expensive to source

But the parts are dirt cheap and readily available

 

guest25219

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2020, 11:33:41 PM »
I think its worth a try. It might help to add some bolt holes to first bolt the block together before welding. As well as developing a specific weld sequence. Metal moves around a lot when you start throwing this much heat at it. That's something that would just come with trial and error i suppose.

I do really like the idea of a crankcase weldment. I just worry people would buy it, do a piss poor job welding it together, then complain that the kit they bought was junk  ::)

farmerjohn

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2020, 11:47:30 PM »
I don't see making these in mass so I don't really care if someone does a poor job - that is their issue as far as I am concerned

But with proper design of the parts - many of the pitfalls of welding can be avoided.. 

Chamfers can easily be added to all joints by the CNC machine - along with the box joints

End user would bolt it all together minus the base plate then weld the seams back and forth

Bottom could also bolt to the outer walls to reinforce the structure while welding beads on the outside..  then unbolt and weld the inside..  then replace the base and weld all around.  Then weld on some gussets from the base to the walls

So long as you bolt it up tight against the machined surfaces - it should remain square while welding

Thoughts?




guest25219

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 12:20:21 AM »
I say go for it and try it. I like the idea of it and think it would be a fun project.

I know i'm being a bit negative towards the welding after machining aspect of it. Its just something i deal with on a regular basis in my day job.

veggie

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 12:50:45 AM »
 FYI,
I think you can buy a block from Gary "dieselgman" on this forum. Send him a PM if you are interested.
He has engines and broken down components.
You may be able to buy the block and make everything else yourself.
(If that's a road you wish to take)

cheers,
veggie
- 6/1 GM90 Listeroid - Delco 33si Alternator
- Changfa R175 - Lease/Neville Alternator
- Kubota Z482 - 4kw
- JiangDong R165 Air cooled - 2 kw

dkmc

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2020, 02:20:10 AM »
I'm very curious what you've been powering with your engine, that you've accumulated the thousands of hours on it necessitating
'a few' rebuilds?  Please use at least 5/16" or better yet, 3/8" plate steel, and let me know when the kits are available, and I will place an order. I have the welding equipment and Horizontal Boring Mill required to complete the work.

snowman18

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 04:06:56 AM »
Why not cast your own engine block.

DMD Australia - Austin Healey 3000 Aluminium Engine Block
https://healeyfactory.com.au/services/dmd-australia/dmd-aliminium-engine-block-pattern-making/

https://youtu.be/-AbFqU9JKUI

snowman18

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2020, 04:11:25 AM »
Lost foam metal casting.

https://youtu.be/PIFuuxWC9rY

farmerjohn

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2020, 09:21:48 AM »
Why not cast your own engine block.

DMD Australia - Austin Healey 3000 Aluminium Engine Block
https://healeyfactory.com.au/services/dmd-australia/dmd-aliminium-engine-block-pattern-making/

https://youtu.be/-AbFqU9JKUI

Because its a pain in the ass and costs plenty more to ship compared to flat packed steel plates

I'm trying to do something that anyone with a cheap welder and basic tools can accomplish on their own at minimal cost

Start thinking rural India...  they make do with far less than us and manage to get by - so can we

farmerjohn

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2020, 09:35:02 AM »
I'm very curious what you've been powering with your engine, that you've accumulated the thousands of hours on it necessitating
'a few' rebuilds?  Please use at least 5/16" or better yet, 3/8" plate steel, and let me know when the kits are available, and I will place an order. I have the welding equipment and Horizontal Boring Mill required to complete the work.

I am powering an AC/DC power factor correction power supply that takes my single phase 240 V and converts it to 390V dc at near unity power factor and minimal harmonics

That then feeds into a solar MPPT charge controller that charges my 80Kwh lithium ion battery pack..  the generator is about 350' away from the charge controller..  between the boost converter and the charge controller I am near 92% efficiency..  the PFC power supply makes a huge difference on my fuel usage (approx 15 %)..  before that I was running a simple bridge rectifier with capacitor bank..  but only getting a power factor of about .78..   Now my cheap Chinese generator controller reports a power factor of 1.0 .  I have a constant load of 3KW going into the batteries..  before the PFC correction I had to generate approx 3.9 KVAr..  now for the same 3 kw of load its near unity and I burn less fuel for the same output

I am using an interleaved boost converter operating at 200 KHZ which follows the incoming sine wave near perfectly..  far less stress on my cheap Chinese ST head

you are correct - I will need to use thicker steel..  I was thinking off the top of my head :)


farmerjohn

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Re: DIY Short block
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2020, 10:34:46 AM »
FYI,
I think you can buy a block from Gary "dieselgman" on this forum. Send him a PM if you are interested.
He has engines and broken down components.
You may be able to buy the block and make everything else yourself.
(If that's a road you wish to take)

cheers,
veggie

veggie - thanks for the input..  I am sure he can supply a block here or there but my point is - the blocks are in short supply and those that are available are relatively expensive..  especially once you factor in freight costs

I want to create something that is easily accessible to the average Joe - allowing them to get into the hobby with minimal cost.

The 6/1 is a marvellous machine that can give you freedom and independence from the state..   more people should have one in their shed... the damn EPA / government makes that a hard option..

Here in Canada for example they just implemented carbon taxes..  I used to heat my house with propane..  it would cost me nearly 6K per winter season to heat my house..  now with the carbon taxes - it adds nearly $600 more per year and each year the tax is phased in to increase till 2030..  I really feel for my kids..  you need heat to survive..  the state wants you to be fully dependant on them..  I prefer the other way round