Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fit so nice, I made it twice....

Actually, it was the wrong material, so I kicked myself a few times and bought a new flywheel. This time, a *forged* flywheel, not a *cast* flywheel. Had I the sense to do more research ahead of time, I'd have only made it once. Nonetheless, the new version is around 300% *less* likely to break apart during flight.

That's version 2. Same dimensions, but machines a lot more like 4130 than the first one.

In this blurry picture I'm pointing out the locating step for the flexplate. That way I know it's concentric. I did the same on the inside for the prop extension:

Now that this is finished, I was able to start test assembling the crankcase. First, the connecting rods on the crankshaft:

Drop the crank assembly into the case and add some nuts, torqued to spec:

It still rotated freely after it was torqued, so that was a good sign. No rubbing or clearance issues so far. The next step was to add the head studs and check the piston deck height. I painted my head studs to help avoid corrosion:

And then I added them to the pile.

I added a cylinder and piston, and started taking measurements. I used a .030" shim under the cylinder, which is how the engine came to me. I set up my dial indicator and rotated the crank to TDC for that cylinder.

Zero'd up the dial indicator (though the photo makes it look off);

Using a piece of steel rod I had laying around as a straightedge, I measure deck clearance + rod width at 0.428" or so.

The rod I used measured 0.314", which means my clearance distance is 0.114". That's a lot more than I want! VW specs are between 0.040" and 0.080". I went back and checked, and the old pistons are the same as the new ones, and the old cylinders were within a couple thousandths of the new ones. That means that this engine was assembled wildly out of spec.... which shouldn't be a surprise, but it was. And means more work; removing the shims brings me down to 0.084", which is out of spec (and 0.024" more than I really want.) That means I'll have to chuck each cylinder up on the lathe and turn it down to what I want. 


...unless the heads are also anomalies, and have a much smaller chamber than normal heads, in which case the cylinders need to be extra long.... Bottom line, the new priority is get the heads reconditioned and blueprinted so I know what kind of setup I need.

There has been nothing straightforward about this engine. Armed with the knowledge I've gained from this process, I believe the next engine I assemble will be from brand new parts that I know the details on.

Monday, August 7, 2017

...And flywheel solutions!

I removed all the dowel pins from the crankshaft, which wasn't super difficult this time around... I think my holes are a light press fit, rather than the super-tight holes that were there originally. I'm not sure if that'll cause problems down the road or not; they are still a press fit, so load should (theoretically?) be transferred just as effectively.

The flywheel face on the crankshaft seemed to have zero runout when sitting in the crankcase, but there were a few problems with how I was taking that measurement that could have absorbed imperfections... so I decided to throw it at the lathe and check runout by painting the face with red dykem and scraping a tool along the face. The goal was to avoid removing any material, just rub the dykem off, and see if it was a gnarly edge on a dowel hole that was causing issues, or if the face itself was not perpendicular to the axis of rotation. I thought I took a picture of the result, but apparently this was another instance where my phone shut off instead of taking a picture... that's been happening a lot recently.

Anyways, the dykem was scraped off of about half the face, and the other half the dykem was still there; it made almost a perfect half circle of red and a half circle of steel. Now, the crankshaft was out about .0005 on each end, and I failed to document whether it was out the same direction at the same point in rotation; so when I did the math, I had to assume worst-case of the crankshaft being out a full thousandth of an inch. Even so, the pattern was much too extreme to blame it on a misalignment of that magnitude, so I turned a couple thousandths off the entire face. When I re-attached the flywheel, it was only out about 1 thousandth of an inch as opposed to the 8 I had before, so I put the dowels back in and put the flywheel back on. I put the whole thing on the lathe as an assembly, because I have to do a little more work on the flywheel.

Now to the part I have pictures of! The final flywheel is going to be two parts riveted together. The inside part will be turned from the original flywheel, and the outside is from a much lighter flexplate (which basically just positions the ring gear and transfers the load from the starter.) I cut the inside out of the flexplate on a CNC mill at work, since it was too big to turn on the lathe.

I also cut the outside off of the flywheel on the mill, but left it oversize so I could finish it on the lathe.

I could have programmed the mill to cut a circle, but I wanted to use a rotary table to get a true circle on the flexplate, since I can't touch that up on the lathe. Once I was set up to do that, it was just easier to do the same with the flywheel.

Once the flywheel and crankshaft assembly were on the lathe together, I started working towards the final shape. There's a step on the outside of the flywheel that needed to be turned flat with the rest of the face, and then a new step needed to be cut out from 5" diameter outwards to accept the flexplate. I've got the whole thing turned flat, and I used some red dykem to help me visualize where that 5" diameter will be.

It's been a little tough to find time to work on this stuff, but I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a few more parts on order, and once they get here I should be able to begin the reassembly process... which should be a pretty quick process, given how much documenting and adjusting and tweaking I've done *before* started to put it all together.