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Pass-on 4 valve engine project

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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SchmidtMotorWorks
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Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Fri May 22, 2020 6:03 pm

Over the past 10 years or so, I have built some foundry tooling for a 4 valve cylinderhead for a 5.0@ bore spacing block.
It requires a custom block to finish, a 4.9 bore spacing Ford or 5.0 bore spacing Cadillac are not compatible with the project.

As part of the project, I also have a 5 axis CNC that I set up for head porting, and a camshaft grinder.

Two weeks ago I joined a Silicon Valley start-up project that I expect to take 100% (and more) of my time for the next 5 years.
So I will be moving and need to decide what to do with all of the stuff.

I would prefer that the equipment go to someone that will use it for something somewhat close to what I built it for than go to a machinery dealer or job shop.
The CNCs are tall and require 10 foot high doors.

I am located in Orange CA. I will also be selling the house with a shop in the back.
If someone wanted to move to SoCal and have a shop, this is the easiest on-ramp that will ever exist.

If any of this is something that you might be interested in, and capable of advancing. Drop me an email at jon@schmidtmotorworks.com

All of this will go be over quickly, I have already disposed of about 1/3rd of my equipment, mostly the woodworking stuff.
The foundry goes Sunday.

After that the hard equipment mentioned goes.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by Leftcoaster » Sat May 23, 2020 12:20 am

All the best Jon, no doubt your talent and work ethic will be appreciated
Thanks for sharing enlightening CFD simulations, contemporary designs and manufacturing methods with us
When possible please revisit and keep us informed of your progress

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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by PackardV8 » Sat May 23, 2020 12:01 pm

SchmidtMotorWorks wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 6:03 pm
Over the past 10 years or so, I have built some foundry tooling for a 4 valve cylinder head for a 5.0" bore spacing block.
It requires a custom block to finish, a 4.9 bore spacing Ford or 5.0 bore spacing Cadillac are not compatible with the project.
Congrats, Jon. Were I a few years younger, I'd take you up on the offer.

As to the 4-valve head for a 5.0" bore spacing block; just what I've been looking for to put on my Packard V8s!
Jack Vines
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by JoePorting » Thu May 28, 2020 3:26 pm

Do you have any CAD pictures of the finished head? How come you didn't make it fit a BBC block? Good luck up north. Is the company ICE related?

Enjoyed looking at all your CFD material over the years.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Fri May 29, 2020 10:48 am

JoePorting wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 3:26 pm
Do you have any CAD pictures of the finished head? How come you didn't make it fit a BBC block? Good luck up north. Is the company ICE related?

Enjoyed looking at all your CFD material over the years.
I will post a picture later.

There is no pushrod block that has a usable head bolt and water jacket pattern for a well designed DOHC head.

I am working on an electric flying car.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Fri May 29, 2020 11:00 am

Here are some images of the 4 valve head CAD and foundry tooling, about 10 sand pieces to make one head.
The sand mold is much more complex than a 2-valve pushrod head.
head_as_cast_4.jpg
head_as_cast_3.jpg
base_core_box.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by JoePorting » Fri May 29, 2020 1:04 pm

Looks like the head has some nice tall ports to it. Should flow really good. What do you think the cost would be to make a custom block to fit these heads? I would think it would be around $2 million or so. If head bolts and water ports are the only limitation, I'd think working with Dart and having them make a custom BBC casting with your own custom head bolt holes and water port holes would be alot cheaper. As is, I'd think the only company that could finance something like this would be Mercury Marine. They must have spent a bunch of money developing their SB4 motor. But I think even their SB4 motor used an LS block.

https://www.mercuryracing.com/automotive/

It probably wouldn't take you much to redesign the head for a BBC block. Maybe try and redesign it for pushrods and rocker arms. Paul Rock at Rock Pattern could probably make Printed Sand Core tooling for only $10k or $15k. Maybe you or someone else could do the whole thing for around $200k. Just a wild guess.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Fri May 29, 2020 6:42 pm

JoePorting wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 1:04 pm
Looks like the head has some nice tall ports to it. Should flow really good. What do you think the cost would be to make a custom block to fit these heads? I would think it would be around $2 million or so. If head bolts and water ports are the only limitation, I'd think working with Dart and having them make a custom BBC casting with your own custom head bolt holes and water port holes would be alot cheaper. As is, I'd think the only company that could finance something like this would be Mercury Marine. They must have spent a bunch of money developing their SB4 motor. But I think even their SB4 motor used an LS block.

https://www.mercuryracing.com/automotive/

It probably wouldn't take you much to redesign the head for a BBC block. Maybe try and redesign it for pushrods and rocker arms. Paul Rock at Rock Pattern could probably make Printed Sand Core tooling for only $10k or $15k. Maybe you or someone else could do the whole thing for around $200k. Just a wild guess.

If you have to pay someone to do it, it will cost a fortune.
If I had the time and priority I could finish it for another $40K

I make patterns so Paul would not offer anything I don't do now.
A lot of people make the mistake of going to pattern makers and allow them to influence the design, huge mistake.
I worked with all of the So Cal pattern makers when I was at Edelbrock, none of them can make a good decision about casting design but all of them think they can.

You really need to hand the pattern maker a 3D CAD model of the pattern you want, or expect big compromises that you will not want and have to pay to have redone.
They simply don't have the expertise in engine design, or the software or skills to model it. There is a huge gap between hacking out a pattern design in Soldworks and a well designed casting in NX.

Mercury Marine made a 4-valve 5.0 bore spacing before the LS version.
The big Mercury Marine head is cast at Edelbrock foundry.
What I saw in casting numbers is what dimmed my interest in the project.
There is no demand for an uncommon engine no matter how good it is.

As for pushrods or reusing pushrod blocks, I wasted hundreds of hours looking into that.

There was also a project at Edelbrock that opened 2 valve with one lifter, it is a path with many expensive problems. It seems easy at first, but I would never go down that path knowing what I know now.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by JoePorting » Fri May 29, 2020 6:57 pm

I think the bigger issue is that I don't see big power numbers with the 4-valve setup. For all the effort and cost, there should be at least a 200 hp improvement over a conventional 2-valve setup. But when you look at the Mercury SB4, it's just rated at 750hp. A person could get the same or more with a standard 2-valve high end performance cylinder head like something from MBE or a Dart 9 degree, and would probably cost less. If the SB4 made 1,000hp, it would be a big hit. If it made 1,250hp, it would be a bigger hit.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by hoffman900 » Fri May 29, 2020 9:42 pm

JoePorting wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 6:57 pm
I think the bigger issue is that I don't see big power numbers with the 4-valve setup. For all the effort and cost, there should be at least a 200 hp improvement over a conventional 2-valve setup. But when you look at the Mercury SB4, it's just rated at 750hp. A person could get the same or more with a standard 2-valve high end performance cylinder head like something from MBE or a Dart 9 degree, and would probably cost less. If the SB4 made 1,000hp, it would be a big hit. If it made 1,250hp, it would be a bigger hit.
What does the power curve look like?

I bet the 4 valver is flat flat flat.
-Bob

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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by CRS » Fri May 29, 2020 11:20 pm

SchmidtMotorWorks wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 10:48 am

I am working on an electric flying car.
If that had come from any one else it would almost be laughable. All the best Jon, please keep us updated with the project if possible.

Chris

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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Sat May 30, 2020 1:41 am

CRS wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 11:20 pm
SchmidtMotorWorks wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 10:48 am

I am working on an electric flying car.
If that had come from any one else it would almost be laughable. All the best Jon, please keep us updated with the project if possible.

Chris
There are several companies competing in the flying car space already, some of them at it for years already.
Thousands of test flights already done, still a long way to go though.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Sat May 30, 2020 1:53 am

JoePorting wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 6:57 pm
I think the bigger issue is that I don't see big power numbers with the 4-valve setup. For all the effort and cost, there should be at least a 200 hp improvement over a conventional 2-valve setup. But when you look at the Mercury SB4, it's just rated at 750hp. A person could get the same or more with a standard 2-valve high end performance cylinder head like something from MBE or a Dart 9 degree, and would probably cost less. If the SB4 made 1,000hp, it would be a big hit. If it made 1,250hp, it would be a bigger hit.
The idea behind the first Mercury Marine 4 valve engine was targeted at their existing market. That market is not technical at all, the typical owner would not know the difference between a 2 valve and 4 valve engine. They would not know how much power their engines make. They might know if it is diesel or gasoline, might. They don't put the fuel in themselves.
The idea was that they would be interested in better fuel economy, ability to pass emissions regulations and be more durable. The industry began a free fall about the time they developed that engine.

I had a discussion with a high-end power boat manufacturer about their possible interest in a new engine, they said
"not interested in a new internal combustion engine, but if you want to work on something electric, we can talk about it".
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by JoePorting » Sat May 30, 2020 2:43 am

I'm betting that about 3 or 4 years from now they'll be alot of electric cars and trucks sitting on dealers lots unsold. There may be a large market for electric cars and trucks, but I think the ICE market is and will be alot larger than people think and will take alot more time for ICE people to switch over to electric cars and trucks. The outcome will depend a great deal on the price of gasoline vs electricity. But I can see ICE cars/trucks being around for another 50+ years.
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Re: Pass-on 4 valve engine project

Post by SchmidtMotorWorks » Sat May 30, 2020 11:40 am

JoePorting wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 2:43 am
I'm betting that about 3 or 4 years from now they'll be alot of electric cars and trucks sitting on dealers lots unsold. There may be a large market for electric cars and trucks, but I think the ICE market is and will be alot larger than people think and will take alot more time for ICE people to switch over to electric cars and trucks. The outcome will depend a great deal on the price of gasoline vs electricity. But I can see ICE cars/trucks being around for another 50+ years.
The future of Electric vs ICE will be determined by battery performance.

The ICE is already past the point of diminishing returns for improvement.

Batteries have the possibility of a major breakthrough happening and many billions are being spent right now to accomplish that.

If batteries double in power density, the ICE is over for the vast majority of consumers.

With regards to performance, electric is already ahead.
A supercharged Mustang, Challenger or Camaro is dangerous to operate wide open
A Tesla is easy and more pleasant to operate wide open and has similar performance today.

When batteries weigh half as much, the IC cars will look like typewriters; a mechanical marvel, but unable to compete.
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