4. Timing Chain and Sprockets
At least yearly, check the timing chain for stretch and wear along with the sprockets. Short-term events like an overheated motor can affect many parts and the timing chain can be similarly affected and go unnoticed.
There is a recommended slack amount for every application along with a tension value. Get to know your engine and the required slack in the timing chain and check it. Never assume that this is a no brainer item that will last forever. Veteran engine builders know better.
5. Fuel Pump Woes
With many of the current motors we run in the lower compression and rpm ranges, such as the crate motors, it has been said that they can run on pump gas just fine. That may be true for the ignition of the air/fuel mixture, but most pump fuels nowadays run a combination of gasoline and ethanol.
Up to 15 percent ethanol is used to help reduce the amount of petroleum we need as a nation. That's just fine for the economy, but for our racing engines and fuel delivery systems, it sucks. The introduction of ethanol to pump gas has caused numerous problems with racing applications.
Seals and glues that hold, for example the fuel filter element, are eroded away by ethanol. Corrosion occurs and seals disappear and the problems are sometimes hard to find. We know that some money can be saved by using pump gas, but in the long run, using pure gasoline racing fuels could prevent lots of headaches.
If you must run pump gas, consult with your engine builder or search the various engine parts and carburetor suppliers to find ethanol resistant products that will eliminate the problems caused by erosion and corrosion.
These oil line ends are a good example of the kinds you must use in your race motor. These
6. Plumbing the Oil Lines
For dry-sump motors, there is an accepted method for plumbing the motor that can help prevent very expensive problems. These simple but effective rules will possibly save you from a blown motor.
Always place your oil filter last in the line of flow back to the motor. Always replace the line between the filter and the motor if a failure in the motor occurs.
Always run the oil through the oil cooler into the bottom and out the top. This prevents air from being trapped and/or mixed with the oil in the lines.
Always use high-flow hose ends. Some ends are made with sharp 90-degree bends and are fine for hot rod applications where the oil flow rate is relatively low. For high-flow applications like in your race motor, use the ends that are meant for that.
Always use high strength and quality hose for the return line from the reservoir tank to the oil pump. This line is in suction and a weak hose can collapse causing a loss of oil volume and pressure that will guarantee a catastrophic engine failure.