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Improving Dai Yoshihara's Formula Drift Engine Wear With WPC Treatment!

by Mike Kojima

 

The world of Pro Drifting is a brutal place for machinery. Since I started my involvement with Pro Drifting 10 years ago, I have been amazed by the appetite for parts a pro car possesses. In all of my engineering career, I have yet to be involved with a motorsport that eats more expensive stuff on a regular basis.

In drifting, the engine is the center of a lot of this abuse. Modern drifting requires an engine to produce around 1000 whp with a wide powerband, a lot of torque and fast throttle response. Having more power than the next guy isn't as important as having sufficient power. Sufficient power is enough power to keep large sticky tires spinning on demand no matter how tacky and rubbered in the track is and how tight the chassis is adjusted. 

Because the engine is operated at or near full throttle for as long as a minute per run at high revs, even bouncing off the rev limiter while continually being loaded really hard, wear on the engine's parts, in general, is greatly accelerated. Previously our team's engines were built by a famous engine shop who charged a fortune. Our engine life was pretty short, we would have to change motors halfway through the season and that engine would be pretty hammered.

Pistons and cylinder walls would be pretty scored and beat up, in need of boring the next size over. The engine would leak down poorly, the valvetrain would be shot as were the engine bearings. Well, I thought that the MotoIQ Garage could do better and we have since taken over Dai's engine program.

Since we have been engineering and building the motors, we have not had a major engine failure that caused any damage to the engine at all, and we have more than doubled the time in between servicing engines. Surprisingly, our engines can last more than a season of brutal Formula Drift abuse. 

I am convinced that a lot of the secret of our engines durability is our extensive use of WPC treatment. Check out some of the stuff in one of our well-used engines below. This engine is one that has seen over a season and a half of use. This is the whole season plus a lot of testing and demo runs. The engine ran great, had great oil pressure and leakdown when it was pulled and disassembled for inspection and rebuilding. 

For an article on how WPC Treatment works check this out!

Another Amazing WPC Treatment success story that we experienced.

The JE pistons and Calles rods from Dai's RHS engine were pulled and shown here. The RHS uses a block based on LS architecture, but it has 6 bolts holding the head on per cylinder instead of 4 for better head sealing under boost.  It is also thicker in the deck and around the mains. The block's deck is taller, so we can use a longer rod to keep piston speed down in this long 4.250" stroke motor. It is amazing, but the piston has very little wear. 

On our previous motors built by the famous and expensive engine shop, the piston skirts were well worn and heavily scored. With long stroke motors, there was a lot of side load on the piston skirts, even with long rods. The old motor had an 800 rpm lower rev limit and half the use time before it wore out. With WPC treatment, the piston in the MotoIQ built motor looks almost new!

 

We use King XP bearings in Dai's motors. Due to their OEM applied coating, we did not WPC treat them. King Bearings hold up super well, and the rods and mains were still exhibiting the same clearance as when the engine was built. 

There was some light burnishing of the coating in some spots, but the bearing material was in great condition considering the amount of hard use the engine had on it. This was the worst of the bearings. We have been having great luck with King Bearings and use them for many MotoIQ Garage engine builds.

The newest King Bearings have an improved nano ceramic composite coating that is load bearing and greatly improves the bearings' capacity and life. We will be starting to use these bearings starting with this engine. 

The bearings have not been WPC treated, but the crank journals have, which in turn helps the bearings' life as well.

 

The JE forged piston skirts exhibit very little wear. I believe the very light scratching on the skirt was from dirt getting past the filter during rainy sessions. Water can hit the filter directly because of how it is mounted in the car and push the dirt through the filter.  

There is very little thrust wear on the skirt, amazing considering the long stroke. This is less than half the wear we would see previously. 

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Comments
chewymilk98
chewymilk98link
Monday, February 26, 2018 9:30 AM
Mike. There's actually something I wanted to thank you, and the Sport Compact Car people for. Many years ago a plastic manufacturing plant I worked at, was having a problem with the process. Without getting too in detail. They had a problem with the plastic flow sticking to the larger tooling. Conventional wisdom was micro polishing the tooling. It worked great for the smaller tooling. But on the larger tooling, it only made it worse. My suggestion was instead of polishing the surface, we should media blast it. Plastic by nature off gasses. It really off gasses when heated to a viscous. If the tooling had a slightly rough surface I believed the gasses would fill in the voids (a thing I later learned was called a boundary layer) and the plastic would "flow" over it easier. And therefor not stick.
Then I read an article in SCC (I think it was a Nissan SER build off. You made an expensive car. The pretty boy made a cheap on) But one of you have the transmission WPC treated.
I researched it a little, and found a local place that did this to aviation wheel bearings. Had the tooling WPCed, and it worked excellent.

Thanks for sharing all this information. It helps us a lot. And it really helped further my career.

Also. Holy S%$T that cam and crank look amazing, after the beating they took.
VP
VPlink
Monday, February 26, 2018 10:59 AM
I'm completely sold to it from what I've seen/read... But where can this be done in Europe?!
Shipping part half around the world is expensive not to mention the customs playing a part on turn around time.

Thanks in advance.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 1:01 PM
Chewymilk98, wow that is an interesting application of the process. I have used it with gun parts before to increase reliability with a lot of success before. I have also used it for small displacement two and 4 stroke engines with good results.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 1:02 PM
VP let me see if I can find out if it can be done in Europe.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 1:58 PM
VP Currently WPC is only being done here in the US and in Japan.
Matt L. Adkins
Matt L. Adkinslink
Monday, February 26, 2018 2:05 PM
Mike Kojima- What would you recommend WPC treatment for in a bare minimum/most vital parts application. I have a DC5 that I drive hard/autocross and want to get the best bang for buck on my rebuild. I'm doing a full tear down of the engine and trans to replace any worn parts. I have a couple bad syncros and the valve train aren't looking so good after 180,000 miles.
VP
VPlink
Monday, February 26, 2018 2:41 PM
Thanks for the feedback Mike! Shame... :(
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 2:56 PM
Matt, Anytime wear, friction reduction or fatigue resistance is important WPC is a good bang for the buck.
Bba
Bba link
Monday, February 26, 2018 6:12 PM
Mike..Izumi and I talked about also incorporating Cryo (he very much believes the process) with the WPC for his customers..Would you consider using this?
MikeGTR
MikeGTRlink
Monday, February 26, 2018 6:16 PM
Hey Mike,

Is there any way to get this brought over to Australia?

We would have a huge market and it seems crazy that it still can't be done here.


Thanks,

Mike
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 6:23 PM
MikeGTR, currently there are no plans but I think they may license it out.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 6:24 PM
Bba, Cyro would work well with WPC but Cryo doesn't work with an aluminum block, the liners crack.
Bba
Bba link
Monday, February 26, 2018 6:45 PM
I dont know where the Cryo was done..But we've done quite a bit of Aluminum blocks, liners, pistons etc..and have seen very solid results, including plastic molds for the plastic industry...Would love to help prove the tech if you would allow us a chance..
Bba
Bba link
Monday, February 26, 2018 6:46 PM
Can work with Izumi to make it simple
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, February 26, 2018 7:58 PM
did you guys WPC the cylinder bores too?
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 9:00 PM
Warmmilk, yes, was it not clear in the story? Maybe I have to edit.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Monday, February 26, 2018 9:04 PM
Bba, when I have tried to Cryo aluminum blocks the liners cracked, where is your company, you must have a better process and we would like to work with you.
Bba
Bba link
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 6:32 AM
OK Great.. we are located in Van Nuys...I'll contact you on FB by PM
chewymilk98
chewymilk98link
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 7:38 AM
I've used it for metal guns also (as in non polymer). But I've used it for many industrial applications. Linear bearing rails, Tie-bars, Flights and lands, etc.

I'm trying to nurse one of my motorcycles to 100K (it's at 89K now) If the engine is serviceable, it's getting as much wpc as I can. And maybe a light pressure turbo.

A question. Should I have the rings treated. Or just the cylinders and pistons. If I do the turbo, I'm worried about the rings seating. Or blow by. Etc.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 11:16 AM
I do the rings on my motors. It takes them a little longer to seat but they wear forever.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 11:36 AM
@Mike, might be a little bit my reading comprehension and trying to sneak read the article while working :D
Tarik Laaraj
Tarik Laarajlink
Saturday, May 19, 2018 6:43 PM
Wpc a turbo?
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