HondData classroom discussion
Last modified 9/12/09
School Blog
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The VTEC Round Table

A group of Advance Engine Students are having an open
class discussion on the Honda Vtec engine design after
reviewing a (HondData Software) power point presentation.

Classroom Subject

The i-VTEC (Intelligent - VTEC)
consisting of a demonstration on the Honda ECU
re-configuration software and tuning of fuel and ignition maps.

These seven Wiseman are the future in performance engine
designing and performance engine tuning.

We're all on the bus

Students visiting Evens Machining Service for a field trip
A small group of RCS/AMS Students are visiting Evans Machining Service,
located in Pittsburgh Pa. interested in CNC Machining and how it will affect
their on going training. From right to left, students Mike, Ross, Perry, Ron
and Nick all have seen the benefits of CNC programming and machining and
how it will improve their understanding and machining abilities, completing
their education as a whole.

Classroom Subject

CNC Machining on a large scale with production. Evans Machining Service
makes rifle and gun parts for the Military and is a major supporter our troops.

Project Hemi Dart

This is a beautiful 68 Dodge Dart built by Jerry Dixion out of Pittsburgh Pa., a
classic muscle car restorer, who believes in our school and knowledge, and
has asked intrusting us at RCS/AMS Votech to fix and redesign a list of
drivability related issues. This crate 426 Hemi was from the factory a 435 Hp
single 4 barrel tested engine. Jerry put on the crate engine the Chrylser
factory racing cross ram with two matching factory 750 cfm racing carbs.

Jerry had major tuning problems with the induction system he installed.
The carbs and the intake runners were too big for the engines designed power
output and it made tuning the engine next to impossible. The induction was
designed for a much higher output engine and RPM.

Classroom Subject

Students involved in tuning a 426 Hemi
In our Advance Engine Program students get a heavy involvement in tuning
related issues. With this 2x4 cross ram design students first go through a list
of tests, results needed in making sure our efforts are not wasted. From these
test we were able to make all the necessary changes to the engine and parts
without replacing anything. Jerry really wanted to use this set up for it made
the car's image come together.

We advanced the camshaft timing to increased the dynamic cylinder pressure,
along with shrinking the plenum of the intake manifold. After the major
changes we were able to adjust the carburetors with accuracy by increasing
the throttle response and idle quality as if it was a single 4 carburetor engine.
Jerry was unbelievably happy with the results and hasn't had to make an
adjustment since.
Plenum modifications to the 426 Hemi cross ram 2x4 manifold
Jerry Dixion's 68 Dodge Dart
School Director and Advance Program Instructor is proud of his students abilities

Bob's 68 Stang

Our CNC Program is a great way to understand how computers and designing
software make the machining industry so much fun, fun to watch and operate. If you
have an idea, and got some basic computer skills you can be very successful at
achieving what the most talented CNC operators do everyday.

Classroom Subject

Bob's CNC Plates
Bob's 68 Mustang, Bob has a 68 Mustang that's being restored and he's decided to
make it personal, by CNC machining up two plates, customizing his name and car.
One plate for the engine compartment and the other for the floor console in the car.
Reminding everybody this is "BOB"S 68 STANG" Great Job!!!
CNC Machine Controller
Bob's 68 Stang

Nick Miley, Student 2007-2009

Nick's 500 Hp 440 Chysler in the Advance Program
Nick Miley a very well liked and educated young man, has completed
Program's One and Two, building two performance engines during his visit at
RCS/AMS Votech, learning how to operate over 40 different pieces of equipment
with over 60 different operating procedures, along with the theory and applied
principles to performance engine designing and building.

Nick being already educated and working after school in the CNC Machining
Industry has an enormous amount of knowledge and talent for a young man.
A very hard worker that other students look up to for advice. Nick feels that
with all his knowledge he will have a great opportunity in the Racing Engine

Classroom Subjects

In Program One Nick has fully machined and assemble a 383 Chevy for his
personal truck. This engine was designed to make as much low-end torque as
possible to pull his 79 Chevy 4x4 truck anywhere he wants it, being a out
doors men (hunter/ fishermen) kind of guy.

In Program Two, Nick has designed, machined and assembled a 500 Hp
440 Chrylser race engine for a Dodge Super Bee dream car he wants to build in
the future. His investment in both his engines were only parts at cost,
which has saved him over $10,000 dollars in machining and labor charges if he
paid someone. This is one of the great benefits when a student decides to come
to RCS/AMS Votech.

Nick's Mom and Dad proud of Nick and his education and talents visited the
school to help load up Nick's engine to take home for installation.

Nick's 383 Chevy Stroker with Mom and Dad in Program One
Nick and fellow students

468 B/B Chevy Jet Boat Racing Project

Michael Mc Donald and Nick Miley, Advance Engine Program Students are preparing to
disassemble and inspect this pump gas 8-71 Blown 468 B/B with Brodix cylinder heads.
Originally built by another engine shop, found it's way to RCS/AMS because of major
engine failure, caused by the fact the engine was not engineered correctly for it's intended
use from the beginning. The engine was run under extreme boost pressures 18-20 lbs. psi
while using the wrong octane fuel, this added cylinder pressure and heat resulted in
damaging 4 out of 8 pistons, all the piston rings and engine bearings. There was evidence
of major denotation in the cylinders to the point both head gaskets were blown out in 4
cylinders and the top ring land on several pistons were broken and pieces were missing,
amazing it still ran.

Classroom Subjects

Mike and Nick assisted in designing and engineering the required cylinder head flow rates,
camshaft design, and blower pulley ratio needed to create a 7-8 lbs of boost in their
prediction to make this beast make 900 Hp on 93 Octane fuel.

Assisting in tuning on the dyno Mike and Nick got a surprise when this chevy did exactly
as they calculated, seeing how math and engineering prevails over guessing. This engine
finished it's power curve at 7,400 RPMS at 895 Hp, while making 800 ftlbs of torque at
5,400 rpm.

This 16ft jet boat cruses at 6,500 RPMS at over 100 mph what a crazy ride. It will spray
a 200 ft. water spout out the back while dancing on a foot of water surface. The
Monongahela River is one of three waterways in Pittsburgh and offers a great time for
water recreation.
Enjoying Pittsburgh's waterways
Nick and Mike helping dyno testing this 895 Hp rocket
Mike and Nick are preparing to disassemble
Draining and inspecting the condition of the engines oil
Getting ready to go to the river for some fun

Corvetting Around Town

Ned Trbovich a Corvette restorer has just experience getting an education in engine building
and engine dyno testing. Ned has a new respect for people that know how to truly build
and tune the combustion engine, especially with 3 x 2 barrels that the end carbs are
vacuum controlled to open. Ned is involved in the RCS/AMS Project Learning course involving
him in every aspect of rebuilding and tuning his engine.

Classroom Subject

This is a 1969 Corvette 427 cui chevy with all matching build dates and serial numbers
(all original stuff guy's) down to the original bolts. The only part Ned decided to use that
was not original was the MSD distributor and the Edelbrock breather, which he used during
testing only. This engine idles at a smooth 750 RPMS and makes 485 ft lbs of torque and
427 Hp by 5,500 RPMS with the air cleaner on and stock exhaust manifolds into 2 1/2 inch
pipes. Now the camshaft and the 10:25-1 compression ratio is what made this impressive
OEM engine perform, along with the many pulls on the dyno tuning the 3x2 carbs. The
factory oval port intake manifold is very restrictive and runs out of air at about 4,900. I
can't wait to see the completed car. Ned is sparing no expense and is doing a first class
professional job on restoring his 69 Corvette.
Ned's proud of his project and can't wait to feel its power
GM's oval port Tri Power

Engine Assembly by Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller, a Program One student is in the middle of assembling an engine he personally
did all the machine work on. Kevin is a very talented young man with a great mind for
reasoning and understanding the theory and applied science of the combustion engine.
Not everyone so young works so hard and demands so much from himself, Kevin a real
mental enjoyment in class, but at times a pain in the rear. All kidding aside, Kevin has plans
on attending Engineering School after his completion in machining studies.

Classroom Subject

This is a 383 Chrylser Street Performance
Engine, estimating 375 Hp. Its been fully
machined and assembled with all new
internal parts, both Balanced and Blue
Printed for the novas street performance
enthusiast. Unfortunately we are
awaiting dyno test results to prove
Kevin's work.
Kevin's installing and preparing to torque the heads down to spec
Kevin's proud of his education
Kevin's torquing the main bolts preparing to install the piston rod assemblies
Kevin's positioning the piston rings before installation

Putting mathematics to the test

All Students participating in the advance program have a chance to
prove their theory and mathematics. Students really don't see the
benefits from mathematics, hard work and a well engineered engine
until they get a chance to test and prove their engine designs and
The correct amount of acid etching
Mike's machining, while Nicks in the dyno cell

The hardest part of this industry is for an uneducated engine builder
to be able to predict peak engine Hp, power band widths, the rpm
where peak Hp is going to happen, or if the engine has even reached
it's maximum available power level output, and whether or not the valve
train is stable enough to reach that rpm, especially when it's an engine
combination they have never built before.
Nick's installing his 445 B/B Chrysler
Nick's installing his 445 B/B Chrysler
Ron's explaining how a air turbine works

When a customer says they want a 500 Hp engine, they will never
accept 490, but they'll accept 510 Hp. Now if you built to much power
for the customer by luck, say 550 Hp, you might find that it sounds
good and appealing to you and looks good on paper, but the difference
in power might affect drivability and over all performance of the vehicle
making it unpleasing to the customer and therefore unhappy.
Mike and Ross helping Nick
After warmup and break-in Nick's adjusting the valves
Nick's double checking his settings

You must be able to design and engineer the engine exactly
as the customer asks of you and or by your suggestions the first time,
anything else makes the customer think you're guessing and they'll
never trust you or your work and they'll let the world know it. I'm
sorry to say this industry is full of novice engine builders that don't
really know and understand how to mathematically calculate and
predicted power from one engine combination to another repeatedly
every time. At RCS/AMS we teach exactly that, and when a student is
off in his results we can go back through the design process to find
their mistake(s). Believe me if your off, you made a mistake in your
calculations and or you didn't pay attention to details during one or
more of the designing processes.

Classroom Subject

Nick Miley, an advance engine student is involved in installing his engine
project on our SuperFlow engine dyno while continuing his academic
education. Experiencing Dyno engine installation, new engine start up
procedures, new engine break-in, tuning for power and test data
analysis for his first time. Nick has already learned the theory and
applied science of operation of the SuperFlow Dynamometer in his classroom studies making it much easier to understand the operating procedures. Advance students get the chance to dyno test on their own after instructor demonstration and supervision, an average of 10 engine acceleration tests are made, allowing Nick to make adjustments to the air/fuel ratio, ignition timing and valve lash settings in search for the best tune up that the engine likes. A baseline tune up was first put on the engine before starting to allow Nick to get close on the tune up before running the power band.

During test and tuning, Nick will compare his test data to each test made, while making record of this adjustments changes. Nick is also gaining confidence in his operating skills and becoming more comfortable and relaxed with each test, Nick's never operated a engine dyno before his education at RCS/AMS and has performed like an expert.

Test Results

Nick's mathematics predicted 515 Hp to 525 Hp at best, his finished peak Hp at 5,900 was 506 Hp. Nick's power band was 1,900 rpm's wide making peak torque at 4,000 rpm. Nick's camshaft selection a mechanical flat tappet, was very close in the required duration size needed to created both the peak Hp from the induction system and a 2,000 rpm power band. Where Nick made his miss calculation, he created an over scavenging exhaust port for the given available peak intake flow rate of the induction system. When Nick ported his heads, his exhaust flow value was 75% of the intake flow rate, but when he subtracted the intake manifold restriction this now made his exhaust flow rate 85% of the intake manifold peak flow rate creating an over scavenging exhaust port for the peak intake flow rate available. Nick's over scavenging affect starving the cylinder slightly at peak rpm Hp, creating a high BSAC and BSFC values, a mistake easily made by the best engine builders. Not bad for the first time, great job!!!

At the end of day one of the dyno sessions, Nick's engine started to experienced some premature camshaft wear, and at this point in time we were unsure as to the reason even though the camshaft held up fine through engine break-in and he was with out reason to suspect a problem was coming. Nick designed his engine to use a mechanical flat tappet camshaft with a net valve lift of .585.

Camshaft Failure

After inspection of the prematurely worn camshaft, it is our opinion that the manufacture
of the camshaft and their manganese phosphate coating process was applied incorrectly,
altering the available camshaft lobe surface from an overly concentrated manganese
phosphate chemical bath at the bottom of the treatment tank, chemically etching one end
of the camshaft more compared to the other, which altered and decreased the surface area
that the lifter needed to rub against, therefore allowed the over loading of the available work
surface, creating a accelerated premature failure to that surface and surrounding surface of
those lobes affected. Top picture is the front of the camshaft and the bottom picture is the
rear of the camshaft.


Zinc and manganese phosphate coatings are the treatment of iron or steel by immersion in
a dilute solution of phosphoric acid and other additives. In the resulting chemical reactions,
the surface of the metal is chemically converted to an integral protective layer of insoluble
zinc and iron or manganese and iron phosphate crystals. Depending on the physical
characteristics of the substrate and the pretreatment methods used, the translucent
crystals appear black to light grey in color for zinc phosphate and black to dark grey in color
for manganese phosphates.
Heavily acid etched, creating deep pitting
Getting ready for a test


Material to be coated is cleaned by immersion in a hot alkaline solution that removes most
oils and loose soil. If surface oxides are present, the parts are then stripped in an
acid-cleaning step that undercuts the rust or scale, exposing the bare metal beneath. The
work is then rinsed thoroughly and coated in a chemically balanced hot phosphoric acid
solution via an autocatalytic reaction. The temperature, time and chemical composition
of this bath must be carefully controlled to produce consistent results. After coating is
completed, excess acid is neutralized and a supplementary treatment is applied if required.

Coating the New Camshaft

Prior to installation Nick at RCS/AMS coated his new camshaft with a molybdenum disulfide
lubricant to make sure this doesn't happen again. The camshaft has to be prepared prior
to application of the coating and is then baked to cure. Once applied the coating will just
wear and burnish itself to the lifter transferring lubrication as required. We have had great
success in using coats for all the engine parts of an engine and must be considered when
designing and building a top quality engine.


Molybdenum Disulfide Coatings are commonly used in applications where load carrying
capacity, operating temperature and coefficient of friction are primary concerns. This
coating provides effective lubrication in a wide range of loads, in many cases exceeding
250,000 psi. Moly coatings lubricate sacrificially by transferring lubricant between two
mating surfaces, which helps to reduce the wear and the coefficient of friction. Moly
coatings are a combination of molybdenum disulfide lubricant and high performance
resins. Moly coatings are thermally cured and thoroughly bonded to the base metal
of the coated part.
Molybdenum Disulfide coating
Coated vs Uncoated Camshaft
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