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MGA Race Engine - Resurection - Ghost Main smileys with beer

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Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
Breathing new life into a cadaver! .

Of course, I don't know CPR or any other life savings techniques. I've never even tried to bring a cadaver back to life. So be kind and forgive my mistakes - especially if the patient doesn't revive.

* * *

I've been racing my '59 MGA, mostly with the VSCCA in Southern New England, since about 2009. A few years ago, Hap Waldrop (Speedracer) built me a mild race engine and my summer and winter adventures have been chronicled here on many threads.

Hap's engine build thread is linked here. http://www.mgexp.com/phorum/read.php?2,2749462

Hap had warned me about the weakness of the MGA crankshaft for racing applications, but I stuck with the three main engine due to the sanctioning body rules. Unfortunately, the engine breathed its last in September, 2017 when the crankshaft broke.



It could have been worse. At least I didn't have a big hole in the side of the engine block!

But the oil pump was destroyed by the impact of the crankshaft, and the drive gear sheared.



The boss on which the oil pump was mounted had corresponding damage.

In addition, the broken crankshaft jammed the #4 piston into the head, bending the rod and damaging the piston.






I conducted a post mortem in the fall and winter of 2017, and took the block and the camshaft to a machine shop (Carlquist Performance Engines in Watertown, CT) for evaluation and "repair". Both were deemed suitable for reuse.

My biggest decision was to obtain a replacement for the crankshaft. Although I had a spare MGA crank, I decided to proceed with something a little stronger. I had several options, all at about $2,500. Alas, without fully appreciating what I was doing, I opted for a hybrid MGA/MGB ghost main crankshaft by Marine Crankshaft.

A piece of art you might say. But …. let's just say it presents some unusual - and unexpected - issues.





I'm starting the build with some small peripheral projects. I'm reserving Post #2 for the engine's specifications which I hope to update as I go along.

Cheers! MG



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-27 05:45 AM by Blueosprey90.

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Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
Engine Specs

1600 Engine # 16GA-U-H-26612 – Second rebuild
Engine block oil pan flange stamped 126/32/60
Stroke: 3.504" Bore: 3.0420"



Crankshaft:
Ghost Main MGA/MGB Hybrid Crankshaft, by Marine Crankshaft (David Eden) - Crankshaft marked "Marine 3.504 / 2651" (Note: required modification due to oil pump boss and oil pump conflict.)

MGB style flywheel flange. occupies scroll seal area. Primary flange nominal 3.50" diameter, 1.066" thick, plus nose (1.875" diameter) into flywheel and greater circumference at rear (inside) of flange.

Thrust Bearings: Glyco A23 – ¼ std. Clearance (end float): .002.5" by dial gauge
Thrust bearing thickness: measured .091.0” (3) to .091.5” (1) by caliper.

Crank Main Journal sizes: #1 - 2.0006"; #2 - 2.0004"; #3 - 2.007"
Bearings: King MB 312CP (standard size): clearances: #1 .0018"; #2 .0020"; #3 .0015"

False mains are 2.256" +/- diameter.




Engine Block Modifications:
Engine block bored out to a diameter of 3.70" and to a depth of 0.56", to accommodate a nominal 3.50" diameter MGB style crankshaft flange. Clearance from widest diameter of flange to block equals .025" to .028"

NPT threaded Oil gallery plugs in lieu of press fir brass plugs.

Rods: Pauter - MGA

Pistons: Venolia - custom pistons #10690: flat top



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2019-03-05 07:16 AM by Blueosprey90.

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Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
I suppose that my first uncertainty is whether I should flex hone the bores for cross hatching for ring break in. I hope the engine experts will provide advice.

The machine shop work sheet contains the following entry that I assume is applicable to the piston bores: "Hone Info: 25, 55, 65, 85".

And the bores look like this:







I have a 3 1/4" 240 grit dingleberry style flex hone that I anticipated using to cross hatch the bores. But I was surprised to see their condition and now wonder whether I should risk messing them up. I suppose my question is whether they already have the required cross hatching.


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mgaex189 Avatar
mgaex189 Gold Member Giovanni Delicio
Obrigheim, Rheinpfalz, Germany   DEU
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C2"
1955 MG MGA 1500 "4-seater"
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C1"
1960 MG MGA 1600 Coupe    & more
Jeff,

why didn't you go to Hap again and let him build up this new engine ?

Gio

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ozieagle Avatar
ozieagle Gold Member Herb Adler
Geelong Victoria, Australia   AUS
1958 Wolseley 1500 "Wooly"
1966 MG MGB "Bl**dy B"
Those bores have already been honed.

Herb



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Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
In reply to # 3899518 by mgaex189 Jeff,

why didn't you go to Hap again and let him build up this new engine ?

Gio


Hap's shop was a brick building with a steel door and a wire enforced glass window with two bullet holes in it, two "guard" dogs inside and handwritten signs on the door informing the panhandlers to stay out. grinning smiley

One day some people in suits showed up with a bucket of cash and said "Hap, this is for you if only you will sell us your building!"

Hap's no fool!

So about that same time as my engine blew, Hap was about to sell his building, move out, set up temporarily in much smaller space and build a new shop. I've seen building projects drag on or go south and I sensed that Hap would be too preoccupied with all of his good fortune and his other customers. For that reason decided to proceed as I have. He's said that my instincts were correct and that my project would have been delayed.

IN any event, when I started, I wasn't sure my motor would be salvageable. No sense sending anything down to Hap or anybody else if it wasn't useable. I actually took two blocks and a spare crank to the machine shop for evaluation. Then one thing led to another and here I am assembling the engine.

Dave Headley has also been of great assistance to me; and I've had good support from Eric Russell as well. And with everybody's encouragement and support, I do hope to be able to complete the task at hand. eye rolling smiley

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malcox Avatar
malcox Silver Member Malcolm Cox
Napa, CA, USA   USA
Hi Jeff
Do you have any photos yet of the block mods for the new ghost crank?
Cheers
Malcolm

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fast-MG.com Avatar
fast-MG.com Gold Member Dave Headley
Cortez, 4 corners, Colorado, USA   USA
I think if I were to do a 3-main race engine with a "ghost main" counter weighted crank, I would make the two "ghost mains a lot bigger, like 3 or more inches. This would make the crank a lot stiffer in bending.


Member Services:
Dave Headley, dba FAB-TEK offers full service race car parts and preparation for MGB & MGA race cars, SCCA and Vintage. Dave is a mechanical engineer and has raced MGBs since 1963.
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Speedracer Avatar
Speedracer Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Hap Waldrop
Greenville, SC, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB Racecar "The Biscuit"
Jeff, we've talked, the new shop has slowed us down some, but that much, we are pumping out work like crazy. Oh it was milestone day yesterday, as we emptimed the storage container, and put all that stuff in the new shop, including the race car. The deal is Freddy has a 2500 square foot shop at his home as well, so I always had a bigger shop if needed during the moving/building process. If I had guess we will port 50 heads this year at the rate we are going now, and build 12-15 engines, which 4-5 of those will be race engines.

The biggest deal with your crank breaking is that you were able to save the block, that in itself was a miracle, that a rod didn't get loose and hole the block, I only seen that one other time with a 1275. I told Jeff this when we started the 1600 build, and I will say to anyone racing a 3 main B series motor, "it's not if you will break a stock crank, it is when", this very thing has sideline lots of MGA racers, Stan Heath comes mind, he seem to be quite content racing the ex Barry Perkins MGB these days. A billet crank as you know is costly, but a better, safer way to go in the long run,and doing the MGB rear flywheel hub while require block and rear cap machining to work, you gonna get the best of several worlds when done, a stronger crank, "real" rear seal, add to that you can use MGB clutch stuff now which is way better than the MGA clutch. I assuming Dave made you a new rear pate for this engine, you'll need the MGB three syncro flywheel as well, then you can use the Super Duty MGB clutch which is well under $200, and it will stand up to anything you throw at it, I can't wear mine out smiling smiley I guessing to have to change the gearbox to have use the 3 syncro MGB set-up, as for throw out arm and such, I have to admit, I ignorant in that part of it, but switching to the MGB clutch will be a lot more reliable. However in the end this is normal for racing, we end up bastardizing things to get more reliability, and it really never ends as we racers continue to pursue making the better mousetrap smiling smiley

Just know, I am there for you if you need me.



Hap Waldrop
Acme Speed Shop
864-370-3000
Website: www.acmespeedshop.com
hapwaldrop@acmespeedshop.com


Member Services:
MG/ Triumph Performance Street/Race Engines - Cylinder Head Porting - Modified SU HS Carbs - DIY Engine Rebuild Kits With Free Tech Advice - VTO alloy wheels for British Sport Cars, and others
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Blueosprey90 Avatar
Blueosprey90 Jeff Sienkiewicz
New Milford, CT, USA   USA
Might I ask if everybody agrees with Herb that my bores (post 3) are ok to go "as is" and do not need further cross hatch honing?


Dave Headley was very kind to me and sent an old MGB crank to Marine Crankshaft to use in mocking up my crank. He also made me two rear plates (high and low starter). I'll post photos when I get to that point.


Malcolm, I don't have any more specifics on the block modifications other than what I previously sent. I have the crank in the block temporarily to work on the oil pump "modification". I'll try to get it out and take some photos and measurements for you on Sunday. I don't think I can get at it before then as I also want to check my bearing clearances before removing the crank. Unfortunately, I'm tentative and therefore slow.


Several years ago, I saw Dave Nicholas' race crew lay a small tarp down on the grass and completely strip down and reassemble a replacement engine they were trying to use. If they can build an engine on the grass, mostly on their knees, I figure I can do it in the relative comfort of the basement. smiling smiley

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colynf Avatar
colynf Colyn Firth
South Yorkshire, UK   GBR
I have to admit my ignorance of the term "Ghost-Main" and it took me a day or so of studying the pictures, plus a couple of visits to Barneys website before I understood what it meant.

I assume that the Marine crank with the two large diameter bosses between No 1 and 2 crank and between No 3 and No 4 make the crankshaft much stiffer than the standard one?

Having 8 balance webs rather than the stock cranks 4 webs does appear to give it much more provision for accurate balancing of the crankshaft than usual.

Do you know how (or if) they individually balance each of the webs on the crank Jeff? I am only asking out of interest.
(Or is that information hidden in amongst the race engine tuners top secret stuff? smiling smiley

Cheers
Colyn

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fast-MG.com Avatar
fast-MG.com Gold Member Dave Headley
Cortez, 4 corners, Colorado, USA   USA
Without having seen any data to suggest otherwise, I doubt the pictured "ghost" main crank is any stiffer in bending or even as stiff as an MGB 3-main crank. Hence the reason I posted that I would think larger(3+"winking smiley Ghost" mains would be beneficial.


Member Services:
Dave Headley, dba FAB-TEK offers full service race car parts and preparation for MGB & MGA race cars, SCCA and Vintage. Dave is a mechanical engineer and has raced MGBs since 1963.
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ghnl Avatar
ghnl Silver Member Eric Russell
Mebane, NC, USA   USA
1961 MG MGA "Calvin"
In reply to # 3900016 by Blueosprey90 Might I ask if everybody agrees with Herb that my bores (post 3) are ok to go "as is" and do not need further cross hatch honing?

From looking at the picture, it does appear to me that the cylinders have the appropriate cross hatching. Did you ask the machine shop that did the work?
Or: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=cross+hatching+cylinder+walls

In reply to # 3899983 by Speedracer I guessing to have to change the gearbox to have use the 3 syncro MGB set-up, as for throw out arm and such, I have to admit, I ignorant in that part of it, but switching to the MGB clutch will be a lot more reliable.

As expected, Barney has the needed info on using an MGB clutch in an MGA.

See: http://www.mgaguru.com/mgtech/clutch/ct_102.htm and the next few pages.



Eric Russell ~ Mebane, NC
1961 MGA #61, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider, 1991 Honda ST1100

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colynf Avatar
colynf Colyn Firth
South Yorkshire, UK   GBR
Sorry, missed your post Dave, you had already answered part of my question about the crank stiffness before I had even written it smiling smiley

Colyn

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Tbird Avatar
Tbird ET Taylor
Land O Sky, NC, USA   USA
I keep seeing this and figured I'd ask the experts......


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