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Author Topic: The death of the crate engine  (Read 25373 times)
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TheVoice
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« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2007, 01:04:58 PM »

Crate engines are for guys that either don't want to get involved in the parts selection or nitty gritty of engines.

That's just an ignorant comment.  The vast, vast majority of crate engines are for guys with a lower budget that want to race and be competitive.  Plain and simple.

Before I go further, I will say now that I support the crate engine program 100%.  As I mentioned previously, for low budget teams, the crate motor is an absolute god-send.  Low budget DOES NOT mean low talent, and this program has shown that.

Having said that, any thought of "the death of the crate engine" doesn't excite me.  However, lets say these bolts do exist and are widespread.  OK, fine.  That doesn't spell the end by any means.  Since the beginning of time, cheating has existed.  Of course new ways to cheat will always pop up.  It's up to the tracks and tech officials to adapt.  Think steroids in sports.  They are always coming up with new drugs, and conversely, searching for new ways to test.  It's an endless battle so getting stressed about this recent "discovery" is a waste of energy.

Now, on to my real reason for posting...

I understand that some out there despise the crate motor.  To each his own.  But, to say that the crate engine is ruining the sport is just plain rediculous.  Anyone that says that, to me, comes across as bitter.  Bitter, that they can't win races by putting their foot to the floor and letting the horses do the work.  That's not talent.  In short track racing, the talented drivers are the ones who can get through the corner best, high and low.  The crate motor has shed light on that and for some, the light is unwelcome.

Blaming the crate motor for single file racing.  Not really fair.  Closer racing?  Yes.  Single file?  No.  Go back to pre-crate days.  Car 1 has a small fortune under the hood and 540hp.  Car 2 has $2,000 and creaks out 250hp under his.  Etc, etc, through the field.  Will there be passing? You're damn right there will.  Car 1 is going to fly by Car 2, even though the talent might be totally equal.  Once again, low budget DOES NOT mean low talent.

Introduce the crate motor.  Car 1 and Car 2 both have 300hp now.  Obviously the field is going to be much tighter together.  Will there be passing?  Once of of the guys figures out how to get through the corner better than the other, you're damn right there will be.  But no, there won't be any rocketing past the guy mid-straight.  SORRY.  It's going to happen in the corner.  Now, this argument assumes there are two grooves on the racetrack to do said passing.  We all know that isn't the case at many tracks but that is a whole different story and a completely separate issue.

Has the crate motor ruined short track racing?  No, quite the opposite in my opinion.  It's brought the field closer together, and allowed talent to win races rather than money invested in ponies.  More importantly, it's allowed drivers that have a bottom to their bank accounts the chance to enjoy racing and showcase their talents out on the track.

For the "tinkerers" out there who argue that half the fun is in getting into the "nitty-gritty" of the motor, looking for the extra power.  Well, you can dive just as deep into the "nitty-gritty" of handling.  Think of it as a new challenge.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 01:29:13 PM by TheVoice » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: July 25, 2007, 01:04:58 PM »

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silverfox0005
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« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2007, 01:41:26 PM »

i know a lot of people have been complaining about the single file racing & i personally think that the crate engines are not the cause. in other divisions such as street stock & open wheel some of the guys have learned how to make there cars work on the outside. at deleware for example the other three divisions have gotten a handle on it. we just need somebody in late model who wants to take a stab at trying to make the outside work. i find the problem in late model is the drivers just prefer the inside & its hard to teach an old dog a new trick. as far as cheating the engine up its not really worth it because what generally happens is get so excited you get the lead & you forget about that half straight away lead you got by the end of the race & you know what tech is going to do ha! so if you cheat don't always win you might not get caught.
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Pinecrest
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« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2007, 07:52:32 PM »

 I see allot of good points here by silverfox , Thunder6  ,SRAMA  ,Mike32 , hill3  ,TheVoice but heres the bottom line the bolts are out there I have seen them with my own eyes so besides what hill3 says where they stop watch everyone and  I guess dyno anyone that is 2 or 3 tenths too quick ? What do you do with them then ? are they just out for the night and that nights points ?

 I think the penalty for tampering with a crate has to be a whole bunch more then running a set of hot heads with a built engine . If not I see a cottage industry of building Hot Crate engines for myself and others.

 I am not so egocentric as to think I am the first person in Ontario that has come across these bolts and I have now been told about 3 places you can get them so I am sure they are at a race track near you .

 
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« Reply #32 on: July 25, 2007, 07:52:32 PM »

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hill3
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« Reply #33 on: July 25, 2007, 08:11:48 PM »

they are here also,out of mopac in alta. you are right, anyone caught tampering with a crate should have the wrath of god come down on them. i could be wrong but i remember when the old asa went to crates they caught one person,50000 dollar fine or year suspension,also they lost the illegal crate. and yes if the car is a couple of tenths faster then tech it, if it passes the dyno and found legal the club pays for the dyno and hands the driver $200, not only do you catch a possible cheater,you have also served notice that this will not be tolerated,it comes back to the sanctioning bodies,tracks and clubs to be consistent and above board with the whole process.
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Thunder6
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« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2007, 11:28:14 PM »

I would like to respond to some comment made to my earlier post. RRR this is true, I am referring to the Thunder Car crate engine program at BSW. I did understand that most people were talking about crates in LLM/LM but I posted what I think anyways. And I know that the crate program available to our class at our track is kind of weak. If I had the option of buying a crate that would do what I wanted it to do for the price that it is I might think about it, but it doesn't so it is not an option for me. In reality I can have the engine I want for roughly the same price or a little more. If everyone had to use the same engine then I would use it of course. But until that is mandated and we have the current crate option I will keep my built engine. I don't think my comment about people using the crate who don't want to get involved with engine building was ignorant at all. It is partly true. However I will grant that perhaps I did miss the racer who uses the crate as a means of keeping engine budgets down. The reality being in the class that I race if you have certain resources available to you, (not talking cash either) you can build a better engine than the crate for about the same price. If the LLM/LM guys are getting crate engines with 400hp for $3500-4000 that is a great deal and if I raced LM that is absolutely the way I would go. And thank you for your recommendations on getting my car to handle, I am aware of the fact that a good handling car will beat a HP monster any day of the week. You will always have to turn left sometime. I look for advantages throughout my program, and try to cover all of the angles.
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JMB
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« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2007, 12:38:40 AM »

I get it. If we all run crates in our late models & one car is 2 to 3 tenths faster it must be his motor!!! That thinking is so "Inside the box". Wasn't someone talking about outside the box thinking?? Maybe that team does their homework on their chassis & has done everything to maximize their on track effort. Lets not give them credit for that, lets pull the motor!!! Crate motors are not the only component needed to equalize competition if that is what is desired by the race track or promoter. Tech the whole race car, make sure the whole series or class is playing by the same rules. Take a 15 car class that exists today the cream will still rise to the top with crate engines under the hood. I am glad to see that the crate engine has saved short track racing!!!
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« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2007, 01:22:43 AM »

The bolts have been around as long as the crates. Keep it simple, caught screwing with a crate, see you in a calender year and we'll take your engine ty.
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« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2007, 04:13:45 AM »

The bolts have been around as long as the crates. Keep it simple, caught screwing with a crate, see you in a calender year and we'll take your engine ty.

 People keep saying they have been around for a long time and the link I posted would seem to bear that out but when did you actually see them yourself ? I have been told that there is at lest one car at Barrie and one at Sunset that has obtained these bolts and I cant think of any reason you would acquire the bolts unless you are up to something .
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RRRCREW
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« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2007, 09:24:56 AM »

When Stefko rebuilds the crate at Barrie they change the GM snap bolts to bolts with a wire seal through them. If they changed the crates to have this seal from new would it stop the tampering? Or is it just as easy to get those bolts as well?
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hill3
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« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2007, 09:32:07 AM »

jmb, the couple of tenths thing is for a car that already has been part of the crate program,if i all of sudden show up and i am that much faster than the field and have cheated i would welcome the tech so that everyone would know the truth. sometimes when you think your are out of the box it is just a bigger box,think past your nose and have some faith in your tech officials we are not idiots.
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FromTheStands
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« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2007, 09:51:57 AM »

When Stefko rebuilds the crate at Barrie they change the GM snap bolts to bolts with a wire seal through them. If they changed the crates to have this seal from new would it stop the tampering? Or is it just as easy to get those bolts as well?

Delaware has been doing that (seals) at the dealership before you even pickup the engine. Of course I'm sure Pinecrest knows people who can get around that. But why?
There's all kind of ways to check a crate engine, because, when they're all the same it's easier to check for a particular reading or value in ,on or around the engine right at the track. It all comes back to the tech garage and the skill and equipment available to them. Delaware hasn't been afraid to pull apart a crate if they find an anomaly.


I'm not quite sure I understand Thunder6 's post. The speedshop price for the parts in a GM 602 crate engine are about $12,000. You can buy it mass produced, assembled for $3200. Why would you build one?

Again, If you are going with a built engine or a spec engine ,(and you follow the rules), wouldn't all the engines work out to pretty near the same values for hp and torque. Maybe you would want different engines for different tracks but if you all running the same track?Huh At least that's what I hear from the engine builders in their pitch to sell product. "Your paying us for the research and development it take to give you the best engine for your track. We've spent a lot of time and effort experimenting and that cost money."
I think it's just BS. Save it for the guys that burp it down the straight track.


And a big shout out to all you tech official and track owners, remember those long, long, long nights at the track watch a bunch of crews tearing down those built motors, listening to the whining and complaining, getting attitude when you hand them a $50 gasket set. Oh, those were the days.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2007, 10:02:59 AM by FromTheStands » Logged
RANDY
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« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2007, 11:58:58 AM »

Okay, I have kept looking at the posts on this subject and i have finally decided to add my 2 cents worth.
We build our own late model engines with help from a reputable engine builder and I will continue to do so until I see that the crate program completely under control - which it is not, by any stretch of the imagination.
Pinecrest is saying the bolts are readily available - this is the original post.
I think his point is: How are the tracks keeping an eye on this and what are they doing to keep it under control? answer.......a little bit - but not nearly enough and they had better get off their keyster's before it gets out of control.
If you think you can get away with changing rocker arm ratio's, pushrod lengths, compression ratio or anything else that is very simple to check - you had better check the "best before date" on your prescription because you will not get away with it for long.
Let me say that the crate program has saved several late model classes across north america and anyone that thinks differently had better up their dosage of whatever it is they are ingesting - fact is, the program has accomplished the goal of increasing car counts and for that, I applaud the tracks, sanctioning bodies and racers for going with it.
There have been several suggestions tracks could implement to help keep things in check - the problem is, not 1 track is doing any of these things.
There's pro's and con's to all suggestions and I'm sure that some crate owners will think some of them are completely nuts - well, what do they suggest?
Hey Jay - wouldn't you like to swap your engine with somebody else - even if it's just to see if there is any difference?
We built engine guys are still at the mercy of the technical inspection people and if they tell me to pull the thing apart - I have to do this and put it back together on my dime - what's wrong with this picture when the crate guys may have to replace a set of rocker cover gaskets at the very most.
The problem is exactly what From the Stands sarcastically referred to:   
  And a big shout out to all you tech official and track owners, remember those long, long, long nights at the track watch a bunch of crews tearing down those built motors, listening to the whining and complaining, getting attitude when you hand them a $50 gasket set. Oh, those were the days.
This my friend is the kind if narrow minded thinking that has put this program in jeopardy. The technical people have to start looking closer and if it takes half the night and part of the morning - or even a week to do so - the integrity of the program will stay in tact, otherwise it will only take a couple of years until you will be forced to go back to an engine builder with your crate to have it ............tuned up - just so you can keep up.
I think the crates are the best thing that has happened for a very long time to racing in general and if someone is a couple of tenths quicker that the rest, chances are he will win sooner or later and if that happens to be the night he swaps engines with someone else in the top 5, well that should answer the question right there and then.
I'm almost done - bear with me.
As far as the follow the leader problem that exists at pretty much all tracks lately - there's a couple of reason's for this:
(1) the tracks do need to work on their surfaces to promote passing.
(2) the fields are getting very competitive and everyone is running very close to the same speed - you can be a couple of tenths quicker, but if you lose 4 tenths going to the outside lane................c-ya.

Sorry to take so much space.

Randy Shaw
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Race8Fan
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« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2007, 01:27:40 PM »

Randy I was glad to see your post here on crate engines and the possibilities of some teams tampering with the sealed crate engine.  From your post it seems you do believe the bolts are out there to be had and some teams may be using them to make some illegal changes.  I noticed in the Shaw Motorsports monthly update for April 2007 that you found time to help out a fellow racer with his motor.  Here is the sentence that peaked my interest "Randy offered his services to change the cam shaft and do a general overview for the #31 McWirter racing team.".  Now I would hope that it wasn't the 602 crate engine that has been in the 31 car running at Barrie Speedway in the LLM class this season.  When I first read this back in May I didn't really give it a second thought, but in the last month I have had two people (neither have direct ties to any car at Barrie Speedway) tell me how much faster and more powerful the 31 car looks to be compared to the rest of the cars.  Both observations were made on two different nights by very seasoned race people that only attend the races at Barrie a couple of times a year.  Now let me say this I don't believe you would tamper with a sealed crate engine, but when you start adding things together it sure doesn't look good.
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« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2007, 01:43:10 PM »

Good to see your joining the party Randy. I totally agree. Swapping engines is an interesting idea, I'm willing. Can I pick the one. I've heard of some crates visiting builders dyno's. I dont know first hand what the outcome was I can only assume they come out stronger or the guys wouldn't be doing it. As far as mine goes it was to a dyno right after we took delivery ( 3 years ago ) just to know were we stood. Valve springs over the last off season has been our freshening expense. So far we're happy with the way things are going with respect to performance. However in hind sight LM's probably should have had the smaller 350 HP crate, this would have created more unity accross Ontario with the LLM's. Cya Friday
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RANDY
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« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2007, 01:53:50 PM »

Wow,
First of all - I (we) would never intentionally break a rule that was black & white and to consider tampering with a sealed crate would be exactly that.
The engine that I changed the camshaft in was one of their old late model engines that is being used in a modified.
Shawn has helped us out with some deals for the ARP body parts and I simply offered to return the favour.
I have not had a close up look at one of the #602's and being a Chevrolet - I'm not sure where to start because the distributor is at the wrong end to begin with........
This is a prime example of what I was referring to in my post.
I have never seen a set of the bolts and hopefully never will, but then again, I have never wrestled an alligator - hopefully never will, but there's some people out there that get a kick out of things like this........

Cheers,
Randy
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