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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:29 am 
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So I got this idea. A dream, if you will. I'd like to design an engine, or manage the design of an engine. Ground up. And release the design of said engine under a creative commons license.

There's now a forum for this:
http://orionengineeredmotorwerks.com/forum/

I'd like to begin with a 1.6L 4cyl. I'd like it to be designed in such a way that the block and head can be cut on a 3d printer out of foam and lost-foam cast. Who would be willing to devote some man-hours to this project?

My initial intent is to base it on the venerable Toyota 4A-GE engine. It seems to be the lightest and most compact 4 cyl that has room for expansion in that it isn't a 77mm bore by some ungodly stroke and has a good bore-pitch. This would also allow the borrowing of expensive pieces like crankshafts.
An alternative would be the Honda B-series as there is a plethora of parts available. My problem with this is that the bore pitch creates a much larger and heavier engine.
I also have contacts at Supertech, K1 Connecting Rods, CAT CAMs and other manufacturers that would allow me the means to source parts like valves, camshafts, connecting rods, pistons, etc.

I'm intending this to be an open-source project. A collaboration in Google Sketchup may work.
The problem: I'm not yet far enough along in my engineering degree to really wrap my head around all of this. I understand engines, I understand flow to some degree. I build engines. I have been known to operate a flow bench. I don't know a lot of CAD. I don't own a copy of Solidworks. I don't have any ins with the CAD department at my school.

I see a lot of guys here that love spending time doodling in CAD. Would you be willing to help me make this dream a reality? Think of how wonderful it is to have a car design that is open, flexible, and customizable. What about having an appropriately awesome engine to suite it?


Last edited by killer_siller on Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:49 am 
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Pretty interesting idea. Would seem like a HUGE project to undertake. Maybe start with developing a head or something for an existing engine? I can't believe you could create a new engine from scratch without spending exponentially more than using an existing motor, that being said, don't let that stop you! Maybe someone out there is doing the same thing? There is some sort of open sourced car project out there, but I don't remember the details off the top of my head.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:00 am 
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The Open-source car uses a BMW drivetrain.

I'm more thinking of an engine that could be appropriate for dedicated track cars. There are companies making a killing designing bespoke engines for sports prototypes and the like. I'd like to make an engine appropriate for that market. Again, this is a design study. Yes, man-hours wise it's much more consuming, but that's part of the fun.

I'm assuming that single-digit manufacturing of lost-foam cast products would be fairly expensive, but why not?

What about designing some lost-foam cast rotary stuffs? Those great big heavy iron plates aren't that complicated. Racing beat manufactures aluminum ones, but those are also expensive :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:12 am 
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Honestly I do tend to like ambitious ideas along these lines, as I've had numerous similar thoughts pass through my head on occasion as well. But I must ask...If it's going to be based on existing 4AGE architecture, what exactly do you have planned that would make this engine substantially better/different than an actual 4AGE?...Considering it was already capable enough for high output Formula Atlantic duty.

Other than potentially fixing some of the 'typical' race-engine durability issues, I don't know that there is much to be gained in the block department. The head is an area that will make or break you on power, and thus would be great piece for development, but again you'll be directly competing against the existing heavily developed Formula Atlantic set-ups. So you'll either have to be more cost effective than a Formula Atlantic engine, or significantly better peroforming in at least one way or another...Which I can't imagine being an easy, or cheap, endeavor.

Good luck in your pursuits! :cheers:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Interesting! I have been researching about the same thing for almost a year. If you want to build a 4 stroke 4 cylinder inline engine its better to use existing parts. Its way easier. The designing has been done for you.

Believe me its not easy designing an inline 4. Do you want it to be a stressed member? How much power do you want at what rpm? Whats the diameter for the journals and the crank pin? What connecting rod length? How much piston speed? And it just goes on. And you have to deal with vibrations which is very nasty in an inline 4. Then theres the head. Do you want 2 valve or 4 valve? If you are going to copy an existing engine its not worth it. Its cheaper to buy parts. maybe you can fabricate the ones you cant buy. For example in our city the only engine you can build from parts is a beetle engine.

I have been designing an engine myself. But its a direct injected flat 4 and flat 8 2 stroke. I figured thats the easiest way to go.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:17 pm 
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If you are in engineering, you should treat your project as such. First off, what are your goals?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:22 pm 
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I intend on basing it off of an existing engine, but only in critical dimensions.
The largest expense in the design and manufacture of an engine are man-hours. With an open source project, these are free.
The idea is also that once the ground work is laid, the potential is exponential.

The goal is to build a family of engines that are elegant in design and inexpensive to manufacture in low volume. The engine should be appropriate for endurance racing and competitive in contemporary Motorsports.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Oh, and to learn. The primary goal is always to learn. You should just take that as a given for anything I say. I really should just make that my signature.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:41 pm 
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killer_siller wrote:

The goal is to build a family of engines that are elegant in design and inexpensive to manufacture in low volume. The engine should be appropriate for endurance racing and competitive in contemporary Motorsports.


Exactly!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:41 pm 
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flat4 wrote:
killer_siller wrote:

The goal is to build a family of engines that are elegant in design and inexpensive to manufacture in low volume. The engine should be appropriate for endurance racing and competitive in contemporary Motorsports.


Exactly!


Except that a really, really good answer to that would be an all-aluminum rotary.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:53 pm 
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killer_siller wrote:

There are companies making a killing designing bespoke engines for sports prototypes and the like. I'd like to make an engine appropriate for that market. Again, this is a design study. Yes, man-hours wise it's much more consuming, but that's part of the fun.


Who is making a killing? I don't remember any locost with a "bespoke"engine in it, so most likely they aren't taking anyone's dollars here!....If you had that much $$ then They probably wouldn't be building a car anyway they would buy it. Engine included! Is part of the fun sinking $$$ and all your spare time into R&D??? You know that any project like this is bound to have a few bugs! If you have a limited run of engines and they scatter... I think a production engine would look pretty attractive at that point. I'm not trying to spoil your plans but there have been a few projects that I have started thinking I was going to save big $$ doing it myself only to wonder why I put myself through double the cost and twice the frustration of just buying something proven to work! At that point the products I thought were too high started looking like a bargain! If they are making such a "killing" lets start a real business, making real money, but I seriously doubt the market is that inviting.
killer_siller wrote:
I'm assuming that single-digit manufacturing of lost-foam cast products would be fairly expensive, but why not?What about designing some lost-foam cast rotary stuffs? Those great big heavy iron plates aren't that complicated. Racing beat manufactures Aluminium ones, but those are also expensive :)

Correct...If there are production engines that can do the job better, cheaper, etc then why? I know my time supply is almost as short as my bank account!
Maybe a realistic open source project would be a cast bellhousing and flywheel to adapt a popular fwd engine with a lot of aftermarket support already to a usable RWD configuration. If your really ambitious you could reverse the rotation of a Honda engine and cast a bell housing and a rwd oil pan ! That should keep you busy for a year or two minimum!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Well, I'm a CAD guy and would be willing to put in some hours on this. Sounds interesting, and extremely ambitious as well (both in a good way and a bad way). I'd have to agree with most, in that the best way to get a reliable engine is to use what's already out there, however I'm game to at least give this a try.

One approach I think might be worthwhile is designing something that's over-engineered. Essentially, something bulletproof that will be able to run forever at moderate power levels, but that will also be able to withstand generous upgrading and abuse.

Another approach that appeals to me would be to make a what-if engine. For example, Honda 4-cylinder engines are excellent, but all 4-cylinder engines are inherently unbalanced. What if Honda had decided somewhere along the road to develop an inline 6 (inherently balanced) with the same technology/parts as the Integra Type R B18C engine, or even the S2000's F20C? If they can wring 8k/9k out of those engines, what could a perfectly balanced engine manage? Use their valves, pistons, con rods, injectors, and reverse engineer the cam shafts and crank for 6 cylinders. Oooh, a B27C or F30C would be SWEET. (But long, admittedly.)

Idea the 3rd: take a page from the book of the H1V8, but bring it down to the level us mere mortals can afford: take 2 common, cheap, reliable, and moderately powerful engines (Honda D series?), take out the parts, and develop a block and crank to make a V8 out of them. The best part about that is the first prototype could be made from a custom crank and two stock blocks strategically cut and precision-welded together. (Hey, Ford did it for the GT90.)

I'd also be up for the less-ambitious but more useful idea of designing some custom bellhousings to adapt some widely-available engines to a manual transmission. The trick will be picking the transmission/engine combination - I'm going to guess there'll be a lot of opinion to wade through there! (I'll vote for any Honda Civic engine, but I'm clueless on RWD transmissions.)

Either way, count me in for CAD support.

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Exploring every single option, permutation, and possibility, to figure out what flavour of awesome I want.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:30 pm 
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I like the idea of extending/modifying an existing architecture. Why not just do a bike engine based V8 as mentioned, but make it smaller and cheaper (600cc based for example). Imagine a 1.2L V8 that is light, revs to the moon and has 200hp. I would also check into what racing classes could benefit from your motor (1.2L might be the perfect size for a specific racing class).


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:08 pm 
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By using an existing engine's bore-pitch and critical dimensions, a lot of the work is done. I'd really like to design it from ground up, as I'd like to integrate some novel features, such as seperate cam carriers which could be reversible on the cylinder head. This would allow a single casting to be used as both a left and right cylinder head in a DOHC engine.

A straight six would be AWESOME. So would a V12 :D
In theory, once you have one chamber figured out, it can be scaled however you wish.

I'd like to initially stray away from VVL/VTC setups, but would definitely like to incorporate them in the future.

Have you seen the H2 BUSA
http://www.h1v8.com/h2specs.html


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:33 pm 
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gtivr4 wrote:
I like the idea of extending/modifying an existing architecture. Why not just do a bike engine based V8 as mentioned, but make it smaller and cheaper (600cc based for example). Imagine a 1.2L V8 that is light, revs to the moon and has 200hp. I would also check into what racing classes could benefit from your motor (1.2L might be the perfect size for a specific racing class).

put me down for one!!

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