We made a road trip to Ohio Crankshaft last week to get a look at the shop and the progress on the engines Ohio Crankshaft is doing for our team. The shop is huge, clean and really organized. I was impressed with the entire layout. The Merlin X aluminum block was in the CNC-controlled boring machine when I got there. Stan was "probing" the cylinders and decks to see if the engine would be bored off the blueprint or off the results of the probing. Probing would allow for sleeve and block movement that may have occurred during manufacture.
Our block was very close just how it came from World Products so he used the blueprint specs and punched in the parameters of the bore spacing, depth of the bore and diameter he wanted in to the control panel. The block stays perfectly still and the machine "does its thing" including rotating the block so it can bore the other side. Sure doesn't take long to finish it up. From the boring machine it goes to get a final hone and then on to assembly.
Next month we will show you the rotating assembly, some assembly tips from the pros at Ohio Crankshaft, and a few details to make your big-inch Chevy last through a couple seasons of racing abuse.
In my conversations with Stan there was one thing that surprised me. When I quizzed him about what engine oil he recommended he didn't hesitate in his answer: 20/50 Valvoline Race Oil. If you have an oil heater to pre-warm the oil, he likes straight weight oils better. I asked him about synthetics and additives. He used to use the General Motors MOA (or EOA I am not sure) but he said GM had to take it off the market for a while. He thinks they are bringing it back but the additive package is not the same. As for synthetics, he has nothing against them except the cost. He isn't convinced, in the drag race environment, that synthetics offer any real additional protection versus the cost.