Euclid Automotive Students competed in the IX Piston Power Future Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Competition On March 18, 2017. (image left to right: Donovan Robinson, Raesuan Pollard, James Kerry, Jordan Perttu, Jeremy Wagner, Mr. Rozman)
We started off in February with a GM 350 small block engine that was donated to EHS by Box Performance. They had pulled it from a car that was turned into a street rod. Years of being outside in the elements were not kind to the engine that was left out in the weather for numerous winters without antifreeze. The block was damaged, pistons seized, and many internal parts rusted up solid. Students worked on the engine for over a month to remove all of the damaged components, clean it, and add new parts that would make it resemble the engines that we would be working on in the competition. This truly was a class project! Even though we had already decided on the team that would compete, the entire class was working toward the goal of making this engine come back to life!
This left us with only four days to practice for the competition. In the competition, five person teams disassemble and reassemble the GM small block 350 engines. When the engine is all apart the team must assemble behind the tool and parts bench. Judges determine if everything is apart and on the bench, then the team puts the engine back together. Judges are watching every move the students make checking to see if the team members are using proper mechanical and safety procedures, proper torque, lubricating necessary parts, and not doing anything that would jeopardize the life of the engine. Any error means that time penalties are imposed on the team. The judges hovering over the team turns up the pressure several degrees.
In the first heat our team used up much of the two hour time limit to complete the competition. They used the tow hours until their next heat to reflect on what the judges had critiqued them on. The team also reviewed what they did in the first heat and created a strategy for round two.
As we counted down to the start of the next round the adrenaline really started pumping. The team finished the engine in 57 minutes and 11 seconds. This is a fantastic improvement and an accomplishment to be proud of. The team reflected on the experience afterwards and is planning to compete again next year with sites on winning.