GEICO engine failures....

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6/26/2018 7:40 AM

Taken from this week's Pit Bits

"After the engine problems the GEICO Honda team guys had at High Point, the team went through a top-to-bottom review of products and procedures required to make sure that components from a variety of vendors aren't conflicting with each other. A few ten thousandths here and there can add up."

Makes me really consider how they are developing engine packages in-house. Any good engineer would analyze the GD&T and how stack-ups can impact the overall system before a single engine is ever assembled. This is 101 type stuff.

It sounds more like they spec components, throw it together, and then go test. Are the engine packages ever modeled and analyzed?

Seems like PC and some of the other 250 teams would operate under the same method.

I guess I just find it crazy that these teams expect so much of these motors and don't go through fundamental engineering practices that reveal many of these issues through modeling. Think of a program like JGR and their engineering staff....you just don't see those type of issues with them (or any of the Factory teams with OEM design support)

I would say this is a byproduct of guys that have just learned the engine craft through years of experience without any formal engineering training (not to discredit them, because these guys have forgotten more than most of us will ever dream to know about engine building)

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6/26/2018 7:53 AM

Look, these engines are developing a lot of horsepower per cc and thus are right on the edge of self destruction all the time. When you push them to the very limits , as all of them are, then you can expect failures. That is a sad fact of engine development. They will learn from the failures and build better engines, but still with a short life span, as a result of these failures.

Paw Paw

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6/26/2018 7:56 AM

You ever get that suspension dyno test mocked up, oh great engineerical wizard?

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/889824-shorteningcutting-front-fork-springs/

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6/26/2018 8:07 AM

Melicar wrote:

You ever get that suspension dyno test mocked up, oh great engineerical wizard?

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/889824-shorteningcutting-front-fork-springs/

Just another arm chair expert. Good spot.

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6/26/2018 8:09 AM

Paw Paw 271 wrote:

Look, these engines are developing a lot of horsepower per cc and thus are right on the edge of self destruction all the time. When you push them to the very limits , as all of them are, then you can expect failures. That is a sad fact of engine development. They will learn from the failures and build better engines, but still with a short life span, as a result of these failures.

Paw Paw

I got the same impression as the OP. I'm a fan evaluating from my couch, so I don't know shit. But I do know that when you have 3 bikes give up the ghost, there is some sort of testing shortfall.

Seems they found a part they liked late in the week, tested it on one bike for less than two moto's time, and went racing with it.

You're absolutely right that these bikes are on the edge of grenading. . . But that tells me the team should give even more importance to testing new components before going racing with them.

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6/26/2018 8:28 AM

I think it’s less of a tolerance stacking issue, and more of an issue where certain engine parts just “work” well together and others do not. It’s hard to quantify what I mean, but take for example when I was looking to port the head on my YZ450. I could have sent the stock head out, bought cams, and bought a high compression piston to go in there and hoped that everything worked well in harmony. Instead, I ended up going with the GYTR head that was already ported, came with cams, and put in a GYTR piston. I ended up with a rock solid and reliable bike that made great power and had a proven system of parts in it. Could I have gotten the same mixing and matching parts, ya I probably could have, but you run the risk of an unproven combination of parts that just might not be the possible system when used together.

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6/26/2018 8:36 AM

Paw Paw 271 wrote:

Look, these engines are developing a lot of horsepower per cc and thus are right on the edge of self destruction all the time. When you push them to the very limits , as all of them are, then you can expect failures. That is a sad fact of engine development. They will learn from the failures and build better engines, but still with a short life span, as a result of these failures.

Paw Paw

While absolutely true, this doesn't make the team's approach correct. The OP has a valid point. Is it trial and error or do they model the motors?

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6/26/2018 8:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/26/2018 8:53 AM

JM485 wrote:

I think it’s less of a tolerance stacking issue, and more of an issue where certain engine parts just “work” well together and others do not. It’s hard to quantify what I mean, but take for example when I was looking to port the head on my YZ450. I could have sent the stock head out, bought cams, and bought a high compression piston to go in there and hoped that everything worked well in harmony. Instead, I ended up going with the GYTR head that was already ported, came with cams, and put in a GYTR piston. I ended up with a rock solid and reliable bike that made great power and had a proven system of parts in it. Could I have gotten the same mixing and matching parts, ya I probably could have, but you run the risk of an unproven combination of parts that just might not be the possible system when used together.

There is reason why certain engine parts "work" well together. OP has a point and i have often wondered this myself. I always found it interesting that riders/media/etc will state how much better factory teams are due to the fact that they can communicate with the OEM engineers, yet I never hear about teams like PC/Geico/Star/etc having engineers on staff. I do agree that trial and error is often the best method of testing, however it can be very expensive and at times dangerous (bike failure on face of jump). I'm sure they do dyno testing before ever putting a rider on the bike, but loads are different and it still isnt cost effective.

Also, just because OP was wrong on one topic doesn't mean everything he says is wrong or irrelevant.

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2018 crf450r
2015 Ninja 1000

6/26/2018 8:53 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/26/2018 8:54 AM

certain riders, anomolous failures, mistakes at any level, all reasons for failures quite hard to model such variables....
sometimes you just get a run of bad luck with no specific area to analyize...

it would be interesting to know the most comm9n failures, but mx/sx is secret squirrel level reporting..

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6/26/2018 9:01 AM

Because real world testing is still king. I'm sure some modeling and FEA is used but you still need to test everything for failures in the real world.

Teams don't have 3-4 years like an OEM does to develop an engine.

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Race Bike: 2018 KTM 350SXF

Other Bikes: 1985 CR80R, 1990 CR250R, 1998 PW80, Specialized Fuse Comp 29.

Sold: 2016 YZ250F, 2012 CRF250R

6/26/2018 9:04 AM

Maybe standard engineering practices are followed... but 1 out of every 10 (or 20 or whatever) parts doesn't live up to its 'claimed' stress threshold? The modeling is only as good as the consistency of the parts.

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6/26/2018 9:18 AM

Melicar wrote:

You ever get that suspension dyno test mocked up, oh great engineerical wizard?

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/889824-shorteningcutting-front-fork-springs/

Dan-The-Man wrote:

Just another arm chair expert. Good spot.

You got me smile

I was wrong on a thought I had 7 years ago.

What's your point?

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6/26/2018 9:19 AM

Pro 250 motors can be brutal!

Teams want the best/most horsepower they can get for the riders. Unfortunately the motors can be built to the level that they can have a short fuse and go boom to early. Sometimes using Lighter weight motor parts are not as strong. Time to detune just little to a level they still run great but stay together? Not the 1st time a team has had a reliable issue. A few 250 teams were going boom last year too.

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6/26/2018 9:23 AM

Xeno wrote:

Maybe standard engineering practices are followed... but 1 out of every 10 (or 20 or whatever) parts doesn't live up to its 'claimed' stress threshold? The modeling is only as good as the consistency of the parts.

Understanding of component reliability comes from test validation. This rolls up into overall reliability of the engine.

I understand your point, but you are exemplifying why there should be a more methodical approach to their engine development.

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6/26/2018 9:30 AM

How many seconds does a Dragster or Funny Cars motor last?

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6/26/2018 9:33 AM

There is no replacement for testing in a race situation. Model an engine all you want, there are tons of unforeseen factors that can contribute to a failure...All engine builders must use a bit of trial and error, nature of the beast.

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

6/26/2018 9:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/26/2018 9:37 AM

Melicar wrote:

You ever get that suspension dyno test mocked up, oh great engineerical wizard?

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/889824-shorteningcutting-front-fork-springs/

Dan-The-Man wrote:

Just another arm chair expert. Good spot.

mxtech1 wrote:

You got me smile

I was wrong on a thought I had 7 years ago.

What's your point?

The point is you didn't know what you were talking about then, and don't know now, simples.

You think you know engineering but don't.

You would be dangerous to the outside world if you were ever let out of whatever mental institution has the pleasure of your presence.

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6/26/2018 9:37 AM

I would also guess the Top Teams are using and testing new designs of products not available to anyone else too.

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6/26/2018 9:52 AM

Tip #1 would be to stop pretending to be an engineer.

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6/26/2018 10:20 AM

Just finished talking to my barber who knows a chick that dated Geico Honda team manager once.

She confirmed they need a more methodical approach to their engine building.

Said its basically a bunch of vegemite eating MMI dropouts doing engine builds using ikea style instructions.

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6/26/2018 10:31 AM

mxtech1 wrote:

Taken from this week's Pit Bits

"After the engine problems the GEICO Honda team guys had at High Point, the team went through a top-to-bottom review of products and procedures required to make sure that components from a variety of vendors aren't conflicting with each other. A few ten thousandths here and there can add up."

Makes me really consider how they are developing engine packages in-house. Any good engineer would analyze the GD&T and how stack-ups can impact the overall system before a single engine is ever assembled. This is 101 type stuff.

It sounds more like they spec components, throw it together, and then go test. Are the engine packages ever modeled and analyzed?

Seems like PC and some of the other 250 teams would operate under the same method.

I guess I just find it crazy that these teams expect so much of these motors and don't go through fundamental engineering practices that reveal many of these issues through modeling. Think of a program like JGR and their engineering staff....you just don't see those type of issues with them (or any of the Factory teams with OEM design support)

I would say this is a byproduct of guys that have just learned the engine craft through years of experience without any formal engineering training (not to discredit them, because these guys have forgotten more than most of us will ever dream to know about engine building)

Do you have the slightest clue how long it would take to model an entire engine and then analyse it? It would consume too many resources and would not give a straight answer. It would be a guide at best and would have too many variables to even trust.

It is the first year on a new bike that was (according to the riders) really slow at the beginning of the year. Come the nationals, they are pushing the bikes to the very limits and are needing a few more HP. Yes they pushed the envelope a little too much.

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6/26/2018 10:48 AM

kb228 wrote:

Tip #1 would be to stop pretending to be an engineer.

How do you know he isnt an engineer?

IDK if he is or isnt, but i do know that I am one (I'm not a engineer tech either btw, I have a B.E in Mechanical Engineering) and I completely understand his point of view on this topic.

Modeling doesn't guarantee anything (nothing can), but it can point you in the right direction with little cost and/or risk. Trial and error is your last step, not your first. I do understand these teams are in a rush and maybe dont have time to model everything before hand and its a lot faster to bolt it on and try. I also have no idea what these teams truly go through on determining the best motor package, as I don't work for them, but it seems odd that a professional team at the highest level had 3 engines blow in two weeks and no one can explain why (or maybe they do know and just wont share, probably the case).

Here is a little quote that one of my professors loved to say "Anyone, given an endless supply of parts, could throw something together and let it blow up a thousand times before finally getting it right, but not just anyone can explain why that final piece worked and the other thousand times didnt."

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2018 crf450r
2015 Ninja 1000

6/26/2018 10:56 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/26/2018 10:57 AM

JM485 wrote:

I think it’s less of a tolerance stacking issue, and more of an issue where certain engine parts just “work” well together and others do not. It’s hard to quantify what I mean, but take for example when I was looking to port the head on my YZ450. I could have sent the stock head out, bought cams, and bought a high compression piston to go in there and hoped that everything worked well in harmony. Instead, I ended up going with the GYTR head that was already ported, came with cams, and put in a GYTR piston. I ended up with a rock solid and reliable bike that made great power and had a proven system of parts in it. Could I have gotten the same mixing and matching parts, ya I probably could have, but you run the risk of an unproven combination of parts that just might not be the possible system when used together.

billyp330 wrote:

There is reason why certain engine parts "work" well together. OP has a point and i have often wondered this myself. I always found it interesting that riders/media/etc will state how much better factory teams are due to the fact that they can communicate with the OEM engineers, yet I never hear about teams like PC/Geico/Star/etc having engineers on staff. I do agree that trial and error is often the best method of testing, however it can be very expensive and at times dangerous (bike failure on face of jump). I'm sure they do dyno testing before ever putting a rider on the bike, but loads are different and it still isnt cost effective.

Also, just because OP was wrong on one topic doesn't mean everything he says is wrong or irrelevant.

Im not sure about Geico, but theres a certain someone at PC, not Mitch, who is quite involved in the engineering discipline.

There is quite a budget backing these teams, nothing like F1, but they could certainly afford to pick up a simulation/modeling person full time.

The OP does make some valid points, and this is coming from someone who works in powertrain and has a B.E in Mechanical Engineering.

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6/26/2018 11:06 AM

kb228 wrote:

Tip #1 would be to stop pretending to be an engineer.

billyp330 wrote:

How do you know he isnt an engineer?

IDK if he is or isnt, but i do know that I am one (I'm not a engineer tech either btw, I have a B.E in Mechanical Engineering) and I completely understand his point of view on this topic.

Modeling doesn't guarantee anything (nothing can), but it can point you in the right direction with little cost and/or risk. Trial and error is your last step, not your first. I do understand these teams are in a rush and maybe dont have time to model everything before hand and its a lot faster to bolt it on and try. I also have no idea what these teams truly go through on determining the best motor package, as I don't work for them, but it seems odd that a professional team at the highest level had 3 engines blow in two weeks and no one can explain why (or maybe they do know and just wont share, probably the case).

Here is a little quote that one of my professors loved to say "Anyone, given an endless supply of parts, could throw something together and let it blow up a thousand times before finally getting it right, but not just anyone can explain why that final piece worked and the other thousand times didnt."

Your professor's quote is, in a nutshell, why the systems approach is so important in moving forward.

Although my discipline is not Mechanical Engineering, I speak with knowledge in regards to the subject. I have a BS in Manufacturing/Industrial engineering as well as an ME in Engineering Management.

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6/26/2018 11:07 AM

Donovan759 wrote:

Just finished talking to my barber who knows a chick that dated Geico Honda team manager once.

She confirmed they need a more methodical approach to their engine building.

Said its basically a bunch of vegemite eating MMI dropouts doing engine builds using ikea style instructions.

Hahaha.

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6/26/2018 11:30 AM

kb228 wrote:

Tip #1 would be to stop pretending to be an engineer.

billyp330 wrote:

How do you know he isnt an engineer?

IDK if he is or isnt, but i do know that I am one (I'm not a engineer tech either btw, I have a B.E in Mechanical Engineering) and I completely understand his point of view on this topic.

Modeling doesn't guarantee anything (nothing can), but it can point you in the right direction with little cost and/or risk. Trial and error is your last step, not your first. I do understand these teams are in a rush and maybe dont have time to model everything before hand and its a lot faster to bolt it on and try. I also have no idea what these teams truly go through on determining the best motor package, as I don't work for them, but it seems odd that a professional team at the highest level had 3 engines blow in two weeks and no one can explain why (or maybe they do know and just wont share, probably the case).

Here is a little quote that one of my professors loved to say "Anyone, given an endless supply of parts, could throw something together and let it blow up a thousand times before finally getting it right, but not just anyone can explain why that final piece worked and the other thousand times didnt."

mxtech1 wrote:

Your professor's quote is, in a nutshell, why the systems approach is so important in moving forward.

Although my discipline is not Mechanical Engineering, I speak with knowledge in regards to the subject. I have a BS in Manufacturing/Industrial engineering as well as an ME in Engineering Management.

Ive been an engineer for 5 years now. I know hes not one because he thinks theres a tolerance stack of a FEW tenthousanths and somehow thats actually on a magical GD&T drawing somewhere or that theres GD&T created for the parts before theyre designed. Or assuming that honda, kawi, ktm, whatever engineers didnt factor in tolerance stacks along with thermal expansion when they designed the parts to begin with. That entire motor is likely within .005” or less. not ~.06”. Imagine having that much slap in each part... correct me if im wrong but arent parts shipped from japan for testing? Parts designed by the OEMs?

The reality is, whatever part that failed was likely pushed beyond its limit with the power theyre making in the motor.

Theres something called a safety factor when designing a part. If you design a pole to support 10lbs, you arent going to design the pole to support 10 lbs. you design it to hold 20lbs to make sure its durable and wont break by being pushed to its limit. Translate that thought into a connecting rod for example. Theyre going to design the part, according to simulation, as close to its limit as possible without risking immediate failure(remember it needs to last only a few hours). Lets say their safety factor is 1.1, theyre dangerously close to the breaking point. Under race conditions that safety factor may be reduced to 1.0 or .999 causing a failure. Something they couldnt replicate in CAD software. hope that makes sense.

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6/26/2018 11:39 AM

Factor in the fact that the 18 CRF250 is a new engine design, the bike came late; therefore, aftermarket companies have been doing their testing and development late and a new design adding additional time, making part releases late, all while racing is continuing. This means the team is likely put in some uncomfortable waters where they have to balance development/testing new parts, updated parts, and part combinations with efficiently getting power gains and improvements to their riders.

There have been a lot of fast and reliable bikes throughout the years of that operation and every team has had their issues. I'm sure there isn't a lot of sleeping going on while they diagnose the problems and continue working to ensure they have some of the best equipment on the track for their racers.

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6/26/2018 11:43 AM

For what it is worth these were by far the two hottest/humid races so far, maybe the humidity affected something?

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Greg D.
2018 yz250f

6/26/2018 11:51 AM

billyp330 wrote:

How do you know he isnt an engineer?

IDK if he is or isnt, but i do know that I am one (I'm not a engineer tech either btw, I have a B.E in Mechanical Engineering) and I completely understand his point of view on this topic.

Modeling doesn't guarantee anything (nothing can), but it can point you in the right direction with little cost and/or risk. Trial and error is your last step, not your first. I do understand these teams are in a rush and maybe dont have time to model everything before hand and its a lot faster to bolt it on and try. I also have no idea what these teams truly go through on determining the best motor package, as I don't work for them, but it seems odd that a professional team at the highest level had 3 engines blow in two weeks and no one can explain why (or maybe they do know and just wont share, probably the case).

Here is a little quote that one of my professors loved to say "Anyone, given an endless supply of parts, could throw something together and let it blow up a thousand times before finally getting it right, but not just anyone can explain why that final piece worked and the other thousand times didnt."

mxtech1 wrote:

Your professor's quote is, in a nutshell, why the systems approach is so important in moving forward.

Although my discipline is not Mechanical Engineering, I speak with knowledge in regards to the subject. I have a BS in Manufacturing/Industrial engineering as well as an ME in Engineering Management.

kb228 wrote:

Ive been an engineer for 5 years now. I know hes not one because he thinks theres a tolerance stack of a FEW tenthousanths and somehow thats actually on a magical GD&T drawing somewhere or that theres GD&T created for the parts before theyre designed. Or assuming that honda, kawi, ktm, whatever engineers didnt factor in tolerance stacks along with thermal expansion when they designed the parts to begin with. That entire motor is likely within .005” or less. not ~.06”. Imagine having that much slap in each part... correct me if im wrong but arent parts shipped from japan for testing? Parts designed by the OEMs?

The reality is, whatever part that failed was likely pushed beyond its limit with the power theyre making in the motor.

Theres something called a safety factor when designing a part. If you design a pole to support 10lbs, you arent going to design the pole to support 10 lbs. you design it to hold 20lbs to make sure its durable and wont break by being pushed to its limit. Translate that thought into a connecting rod for example. Theyre going to design the part, according to simulation, as close to its limit as possible without risking immediate failure(remember it needs to last only a few hours). Lets say their safety factor is 1.1, theyre dangerously close to the breaking point. Under race conditions that safety factor may be reduced to 1.0 or .999 causing a failure. Something they couldnt replicate in CAD software. hope that makes sense.

You’ve completely lost the point of the OP in order to feed your ego. All (most?) of us realize that testing and pushing the limits of performance is part of the game. He’s wondering if they model up their motors. That’s a completely valid question, and frankly, ridiculous if they don’t. Sure, they’d have to model some aftermarket stuff but I gotta believe they could get the files for OEM parts. I also have to believe that many of the one off works parts are not just machined on a whim, therefore they would likely have access to those files as well. Having an engineer on staff seems to be quite useful for any changes the team may want to make, given that they are constantly trying new things.

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6/26/2018 11:56 AM

kb228 wrote:

Ive been an engineer for 5 years now. I know hes not one because he thinks theres a tolerance stack of a FEW tenthousanths and somehow thats actually on a magical GD&T drawing somewhere or that theres GD&T created for the parts before theyre designed. Or assuming that honda, kawi, ktm, whatever engineers didnt factor in tolerance stacks along with thermal expansion when they designed the parts to begin with. That entire motor is likely within .005” or less. not ~.06”. Imagine having that much slap in each part... correct me if im wrong but arent parts shipped from japan for testing? Parts designed by the OEMs?

The reality is, whatever part that failed was likely pushed beyond its limit with the power theyre making in the motor.

Theres something called a safety factor when designing a part. If you design a pole to support 10lbs, you arent going to design the pole to support 10 lbs. you design it to hold 20lbs to make sure its durable and wont break by being pushed to its limit. Translate that thought into a connecting rod for example. Theyre going to design the part, according to simulation, as close to its limit as possible without risking immediate failure(remember it needs to last only a few hours). Lets say their safety factor is 1.1, theyre dangerously close to the breaking point. Under race conditions that safety factor may be reduced to 1.0 or .999 causing a failure. Something they couldnt replicate in CAD software. hope that makes sense.

Finally you post something of substantial quality!

I agree with what you are saying. I do not think they are modeling and simulating. This is my main point here.

The engine development is done in-house, we know that, but that is a partnership between HRC, Geico, and Wiseco. What we don't know is how much engineering support they receive from HRC on the motor package. Is Wiseco more responsible for the package than Geico or HRC? When does HRC get involved and take a look at what Wiseco/Geico is doing to cause the issues. At that point, you know it will start with a full on FEA that is combined with the real world testing data.

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