posted on May 26, 2011 08:33
Enthusiasts and racers all around the world rely on Cosworth Subaru EJ257 engines to win. To celebrate the 400th engine, most of the staff at Cosworth USA gathered around the engine and packed inside of the dyno cell to snap a comemorative picture.
Cosworth builds short blocks and long blocks for racers all around the world. The short blocks start at US$5562 for a stock stroke engine and up to $9269 for an engine with a billet 81mm stroke crank. The long blocks start at $12359 and as much as $16375 depending on configuration. You can see the various configurations of engines here.The ratio of short blocks to long blocks is probably 5 to 1. All Cosworth engines include forged or billet cranks, Cosworth billet rods, Cosworth forged pistons, Cosworth bearings, and new factory engine block castings. The long blocks also include new factory cylinder head castings, Cosworth valvetrain, Cosworth FSL metal head gasket, and Cosworth camshafts. Of course all the engines contain that Cosworth secret sauce which has been developed from building some of the world's best engines for the last 52 years. The engines may sound expensive, but how much did those 2 or 3 engines cost you from other builders? You only need 1 from Cosworth.
So who are the guys behind the engines? The short answer is almost everybody at Cosworth USA has something to do with an engine. During the development process of an engine program, the engineers work closely with builders to come up with specifications, but once the program is up and running, all of the credit goes to the builders. It's due to their ability to build ultra precise and consistent engines and components using their meticulous skills honed over many years of building reliable high powered race engines that has made the Subaru engine program a success.
In the case of Subaru builds, the credit primarily goes to Magnus who builds the majority of the Subaru short blocks and assembles the long blocks:
Here's an old picture of Magnus before he built his "super bay". This is him building the Sport Compact Car Magazine/Cosworth VQ35 for the Castrol Top Shop Challenge back in 2008.
Magnus has been at Cosworth USA for just over 18 years now. He came to the US from Sweden to try his hand at Indy Lights many years ago, but the lack of funding kept him from successfully finding a ride. He raced Formula Fords in Sweden and he says he's still a quick driver though (sure, buddy). Being a formally trained machinist back in Sweden, he easily found work at Vector building exotic supercars. Yes, that Vector. Eventually he found himself at Cosworth building 850bhp Cosworth XB CART engines. He built many CART/Champ Car engines throughout the years all the way to the last model, the XFE. Last year, he was sent to England to help build F1 engines due to the shortage of trained engine builders at the head office. Today, Magnus builds your Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Nissan engines when he's not building a Sierra Sierra 4G63 EVO time attack engine. Getting to know Mag over the years, I've learned a lot about machining, building techniques, and custom tooling. When we aren't talking about DJs, electronic music, and kids, we're talking about engines and machining. His bay is always blasting electronic music. All you need to do is add glow sticks, whistles, and a wall of subwoofers and you've got a rave.
Here Mag is measuring the main bearing housing diameters for main bearing selection on a EJ257 block.
For Subaru cylinder heads, the headmaster is Steve. Steve can assemble Subaru heads in his sleep. In fact, when he's assembling heads, he only needs to feel the clearances. He doesn't need mics, calipers, or gauges. Those are for chumps.
Here's Steve hand blending some Subaru inlet manifolds. BTW, check out the down draft vacuum porting booths. It's nice to port and blend without metal chips all over the work area.
Just kidding about the feeler gauges BTW. Steve uses specific Subaru tooling to speed up the head assembly and lash process. He uses an Excel sheet to figure out valve lash for each valve because every component is machined within a set of tight tolerances. Even our valve seats are cut by a single point CNC cutter ensuring extremely consistent valve tip heights. He has't used the old Serdi with pre-formed valve seat tools in years.
Here Steve performs batch testing of the Cosworth CNC cylinder heads to ensure we are able to deliver consistent products.
Steve has been at Cosworth USA for just over 10 years now and has been building CART/Champ Car and YDX Formula Atlantic heads since, but in recent years he's been doing seat cutting on the CNC valve seat cutter, developing seat profiles for both the Japanese cylinder heads and the Moto-X heads, and machining/assembling heads. He is the backbone of the head shop. Anytime I have a question about a VQ, EJ, MZR, Duratec, 4G, 4B, or any other cylinder head Cosworth has anything to do with, Steve knows the answer. It's great to have somebody who knows as much as Steve around when you need some info quick. He's also a Subaru enthusiast himself and drives a 2007 STi as his daily driver. He's planning a stroker long block engine build with CNC heads in the near future too. Stay tuned for a build on his car since he just bought a house with 2 x 2 car garages.
Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:22 AM
Congratulations dude. Hope the performance parts department keeps on growing.
Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:47 AM
Great to see another US company doing so well.
Kinda off topic, but I see Lyon using main studs in that 4G63. I've heard stories of distorted main bearings with ARP main studs on the 4G63. Do you guys machine out the mains with the studs torqued down, or just stick them in there as is in place of the factory main bolts? Any other "secrets" you guys can share with the public without hurting your business that can help the average enthusiast?
Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:47 PM
2 BtD in the same week? Better than beating the house in Vegas! Congrats to Cosworth Eric, you guys don't skimp on quality. That's why I love Motoiq, quality from quality people in the industry! It's the same reason I keep hoping Mike finds a new more affordable coilover, yet continue to save for my $2k V3s, quality. Eric, I looked for a Cosworth supported platform for the last couple months, before my latest find, that's how much I think of you guys! Couldn't find one that worked out, so now I just need you guys to make those parts for a certain engine you love so much to make fun of!
Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:51 PM
PS. Ask Magnus if Blumchen can still rock the Discos of Europe like she was when I was in Germany? Those Euros LOVE their techno!
Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:34 PM
Thanks for the little introduction of who does what. Very nice.
Eric share with us your opinion on the iron sleeves subject :)
Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:54 PM
Jeff: We've never measured any distortion of the mains with studs vs. bolts. We have not had to hone the main tunnels to date. Those are straight even with studs at full torque. The important thing to do is NOT to over torque the studs. Each fastener has a specific torque vs. stretch graph and the only way to really know what a stud does in a block is to measure torque vs. stretch. A lot of the generic ARP torque recommendations aren't optimal. So if you over torque a stud, the main tunnels could distort. We do not build Eclipse engines so I'm not sure how those 4G63s are since they are a different casting.
As for tips, I can tell you that 4G63 bores are rarely perpendicular to the deck which is rarely parallel to the oil pan rail. Those blocks are pretty jacked from the factory. We straighten everything when we bore, hone, deck, and grind the blocks. The Subarus are pretty bad too from the factory.
Bruce: 2 BTDs in a week is a rare thing. I wish I could write more, but I have too much stuff going on these days. What kind of car did you end up getting? I make fun of all production engines, except the VQ35, K20, and 4B11, so you have to tell me which engine you're talking about.
Magnus has been in the states for a while, but I'll ask him about Blumchen. He knows mad 80's Euro new wave though!
Friday, May 27, 2011 6:16 AM
After about two months of searching, a steal on a bone stock 2004 GTO with only 41k ended up in my lap. It's kind of a story but I'm a pretty big fan of Ward's yearly list of motors (for the most part) and this is the 5th out of my last 6 cars (except my 7mgte Supra) to have a Ward's winner in it. So yes I did pick up an LS, BUT it came that way from the factory! BTW almost all of Cosworth USA performance parts go to Ward's winners.
Anyway, I just need to convince you guys to build some of those quality Cosworth parts for my LS1 before you start teasing me too much! :) I would love to beat GM to the punchline on coming up with something exotic. The latest rumor has GM wanting to put together a high rpm OHC motor similar to the Honda HSV.
You must have a lot of stuff going on, cause I see so many posts around midnight. OR you're an avid gamer at night :)
Friday, May 27, 2011 7:07 AM
Looks like quit the sausage fest over at Cosworth these days.... ;-)
Keep up the great work!
Friday, May 27, 2011 8:05 AM
Bruce: Yeah the Wards best engines list is pretty legit. I generally agree with Wards. I'm also down with LS engines....in a LS based chassis. We're considering parts for the LS. Its been brought up in a couple of product development meetings now. The problem is that we are generally pretty slow at developing new engines unless there's OEM support (aka funding). I'll keep you posted.
I'm always up late too. Its the only time I have to think really.
JC: I wish this industry were normal and we would have more women in the office, but I don't see that happening anytime in the near future...
Friday, May 27, 2011 9:20 AM
Eric, you're going to have a whole new Subaru cash cow when the Toyota/Subaru RWD coupes eventually start rolling off the assembly line. Should be interesting.
Friday, May 27, 2011 9:58 AM
Eh, I'm the only man in my office with 11 women. Normal has its moments too!
I haven't looked through the GMPP catalog in a few years but a Cosworth
/GMPP venture for a special top end package that retains low end power and torque but pulls all the way to 8k rpm has all the makings of good publicity for two companies and lots of fun for the public at large! You know how GM likes good publicity lately.
Friday, May 27, 2011 11:48 AM
11 women? Sounds like an estrogen avalanche just waiting to happen.... :0
Friday, May 27, 2011 11:56 AM
Nice. You have to pay for quality work. Eventually some figure it out. Nice to see some of the inner workings over at Cosworth USA.
I saw the Subaru- Toyobaru thing on the 405 last Friday. It was in full camo, but it was a pleasant shape.
Friday, May 27, 2011 1:24 PM
Fabrik8: We'll have to see. The price point of the vehicle doesn't lend itself well to Cosworth priced components and engines. They tend to go for the cheaper stuff. But hopefully the car is good out of the box and responsive to tuning which will interest more serious enthusiasts, drifters, and racers to purchase and race the car.
Bruce: That depends on how old the women are. :) The domestic brands are like a bunch of good ol' boys. They tend to keep the work "in the family". Cosworth being British, is typically not in the family. There's a reason we were ousted of NASCAR back in 2005...but we'll see. We're open to anything.
Sean: I hope more people learn that good shit isn't cheap. Yeah the car looks pretty good. We'll see if it is good though.
Saturday, May 28, 2011 4:27 AM
Awesome work Cosworth USA. Your engines are renowned.
Monday, May 30, 2011 5:58 AM
I'm SOMEWHAT of a fan of Ward's list but doesn't it seem like they hand out those awards before an engine is really proven just based on how awesome the engine looks on paper? Like in 1995 they said the BMW M60 V8 was one of the best engines, to this date I fail to see how the M60 is anything aside from a failure attempting to revolutionize the way BMW built engines (it's successors weren't bad however). The GM series II V6? Intake manifold breaks under 100K miles because it's plastic for starters (though I will admit, replacing it is so easy and replacements are only like $70 so I don't really mind doing it), output is disappointing, and I've seen many complaints of them overheating even after having 90% of the cooling circuit replaced.
Monday, May 30, 2011 5:27 PM
Eric, any chance your next Beyond the Dyno could be a tour of the builder's work areas? Im a sucker for good shop porn, and it looks like they've got some nice setups. You can never have enough inspiration for your personal space.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 12:53 AM
Envy! This is what I should be doing in life.
Eric, one question regarding the dyno operation. Do you maintain full throttle all the way and let go the dyno brake progressively or is done any other way?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 7:59 AM
SixCylinders: Good call. I would have to agree with your regarding the sometimes questionable choices on the Ward's list. Perhaps its the OEMs "sponsoring" Wards that gets their engines on the list sometimes...
Diesel: I've thought about that before. There is a lot of specialized tooling that Cosworth may not want shown to the public. I will have to get permission on that. I'll look into it.
Marillionado: In this particular test, it is a simple power test so I wrote the test to maintain full throttle the entire time. The dyno brake controls any and all acceleration during the test. At the end of the power test (@ 8250rpm) both the throttle and dyno brake ease off progressively. The throttle closes quicker than the brakes eases off in this instance to decelerate the engine quicker.
When running an on track simulation, I take on track data and convert the data into a dyno test so the dyno controls the engine just as if it were in the car. So these transient tests include acceleration, shifts, braking, engine braking, etc. simulating on track loads and time. Our dyno is a little older so it isn't as quick as the true transient dynos we have in the UK. THOSE dynos are the ones that do the transient tests with F1 engines. Those are the cool dynos!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 1:37 PM
Eric: sometimes age doesn't matter. Women are like cars. Some just age well and continue looking good. Sometimes you can't overcome being a Hyundai Accent, no matter when you were made!
That good 'ol boy crap is what got the big three in trouble in the first place. Don't even get me started!
Sixcylinders: sometimes I think Ward's rewards motors that are innovative at the time but find issues with them later. You'll notice a VQ or variant has made the list everytime because they've kept it fresh, although I think we could find some questionable repeat entries. Maybe a VAG product!?
Thursday, June 02, 2011 11:45 AM
Bruce: I used to laugh at Hyundai vehicles back in the day, especially the Excel and some of the early attempts into the sports compact segment. The whole perception and reality took a big turn as of late, as you may know. PM me if you're ever around the O.C and I can show you some of the latest developments at our HQ, including a little 429hp Hyundai. The all-new 2012 Accent is not that bad of a car either. If I had to equate type of women to cars, then this new Accent is a neat little gal that is not high maintenance.
Just for the record, I'm a big fan of Nissan and Mazda past/present products.
Thursday, June 02, 2011 4:35 PM
@Simon Hyundai and Kia are putting out some good product. They are headed a much better direction than Honda, Toyota,Mitsubishi, and Nissan. There are a few blips in each line up, but too many low points.
429 hp V8 sedan sounds pretty good. 4 cylinder turbo, rear wheel drive another good place to be.
Friday, June 03, 2011 6:27 AM
Simon: Oh how I miss the O.C., especially South Orange County! If I make it down there soon, I would absolutely love to see what you guys are cooking up at Hyundai. I personally think you guys should beat Toyota/Scion/Subaru to the punch with a lighter, detuned yet tunable, RWD from the Genesis Coupe platform. With a better price point mind you! I'd love to hear more about this 429hp beast, but I'm guessing along the same lines as Sean and a Genesis Sedan or that Equus. Simon, I think we could talk for a good long while because you're right, Hyundai has overcome some bad stigmas with skies wide open! I really think there are a few areas, though, where they could enhance product lines and/or change others to start making BIG dents in the competition.
Sean: I think that new Optima that Blake dunked over is really sharp going down the road but I'm still not as sold on Kia's change, yet, as Hyundai's.
Friday, July 01, 2011 10:09 AM
Hello Eric, quick question regarding the Cosworth Air Pump Delete Kit. What are the torque specs for it and how should it be sealed?
An engine builder friend of mine contacted Cosworth to find this out because there were no specs included in the kit and they couldn't tell him him. They actually said they don't know, they only make the part.
So any idea? Subaru EJ257 motor. Thanks much.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 10:07 AM
Arnie: I find it unlikely your friend actually called Cosworth. If he did, he would have gotten an actual answer and not a cop out BS answer like he said he did.
For something as non-critical as an air pump block off plate, has your "engine builder" friend thought of using the factory gaskets and the factory torque specifications? One side uses M6 screws and the other uses M8 screws so it wouldn't be rocket science to find generic torque specs either. I find it hard for an "engine builder" to be flustered by something as non-critical as an aluminum block off plate, but maybe it's just be being too critical.
I just looked up the factory torque specs: 6.6 ft-lb for the M6 screws and 14.0 ft-lb for the M8 screws. That wasn't very hard. It took me all but 45 seconds.
Good luck with your engine builder BTW.
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 10:25 AM
Name and pic of said engine builder! Oust the bastard!
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 11:12 AM
Eric - See, now this is how I think you feel when you read some of those questions for Import Tuner :) I envision you sitting there reading and saying, "Seriously? Did this guy just ask me that? Seriously!".
Tuesday, July 05, 2011 12:06 PM
Lol...the difference with Import Tuner is that I am already expecting dumb questions. Plus I get paid to answer those questions. :)
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 12:00 PM
Well, then Motoiq should pay you in In-N-Out gift cards, coupons or at the very least IOUs. I know I still owe you a Stanich burger if you ever make it up to the Portland area and that IOU is just as good as money!
Monday, July 11, 2011 5:10 AM
Hi Eric - nah he had (and used) the standard Subaru torque spec and gasket. I'll get the exact back story from him (who he actually spoke to) but he wanted to make sure that Cosworth wasn't using a different spec and gasket from OEM. I don't see anything wrong with calling a manufacturer to double check a spec before installing a part for the first time even for something as non-critical as a backoff plate. Apparently he was surprised at the answer he received from Cosworth and was a bit frustrated with that.