CLUB OF CAR FANS
JUST CHANGE MOTOR
European motorists willingly replace a worn out engine with a restored one: it is about half the price of a new one, although it is almost as reliable. This opportunity will soon be received by the owners of foreign cars in Russia.
THE CUSTOMER SHOULD NOT WAIT
A popular bike among Russians is that in a prosperous Europe, the car de lasts two or three years, and then it is replaced with a new one. Indeed, many do just that, although on the streets it’s not uncommon for models 10-15- and even 20 years ago - good roads and a mild climate allow the body to live long. But the motors do not live so much. They are returned to operation by numerous enterprises, where they make, in the usual terms, capital repairs.
The author met his typical technology in Holland, at the company Vege Motoren - one of the largest in the restoration of engines and gearboxes. Its name comes from the first syllables of the names of the founders - Vershtig and Genderen, and the company was registered in 1936. The main idea of the partners was utterly simple: instead of the traditional repair, when the car is idle for several days without a motor, offer the customer a ready-made engine from the exchange fund. The idea was a success, and over the years, from a simple workshop that was no different from dozens of others, a company grew up with factories in the Netherlands, Great Britain, Tunisia and Mexico and distributors throughout Europe and even America.
The miniature town of Speikenis on the outskirts of Rotterdam quite skillfully hides many industrial enterprises, among which is Vega Motor. It is hard to believe that in a modest two-story building (9, 500 m2 of production space) more than 300 workers and employees restore 625 sets of engines and more than 500 cylinder heads every week. At the same time, the widest variety of sizes - “Chrysler” and BMW, “Ford” and “Mazda”, “Nissan” and “Opel”, “Mitsubishi”, “Toyota” … Motors, both gasoline and diesel. Let's enter the building.
Special frames from pipes are piled up in stacks: in them - outdated motors. When the shift begins, they will be brought to the workshop, where they will be washed and grouped by model. The next stage is a complete disassembly, after which all parts will be laid out in containers and sent for a detailed study. However, the cylinder blocks will first get into the annealing furnace, where all residues of organic substances will be removed from them. After this procedure, gray cast iron not only acquires its original shape and gets rid of internal stresses, but also literally shines with a smooth matte surface.
Further details of the motors go to a test lab. A final verdict will be issued here: either the part is suitable for restoration, or suitable only for re-melting. True, there is a list of parts that replace regardless of the degree of wear. These are pistons, piston rings and fingers, main and connecting rod bearings, valve guides and seats, timing chains and belts, all gaskets and seals, including crankshaft oil seals.
Not so much at first glance. In fact, there can be many more replacement parts. So, valve springs are reused only if their rigidity and dimensions fully meet the requirements for a new engine. As for crankshafts and camshafts, in addition to geometric parameters, the quality of the metal and its structure are controlled (after all, there are internal cracks that are invisible to the eye).
ALL SUITABLE - TO WORK
The technology for restoring crankshafts and camshafts is quite traditional. If size allows, the necks are ground. On a special machine, they will “erase” the risks from a cam of any profile without distorting its shape, and therefore, the gas distribution phase. To do this, Vega Motor has reference copiers, according to which the profile of the processed cam is set.
If the wear exceeds the norm, then the required sizes are achieved using chromium plating or powder metallurgy methods. Of course, after restoration, the roughness and hardness of the surface layer are also checked: the appearance of a "raw" neck or cam is excluded.
And how are the blocks and cylinder heads? The largest parts of the motor are subject to the greatest number of malfunctions, therefore they are checked especially carefully. Additionally, a leak test is carried out - this way pores or cracks are found in the casting. The mating surfaces of the block and cylinder head are ground to ensure tight contact and to prevent deformation. In addition to the traditional bore of the cylinder block, which eliminates surface defects, the next operation - honing - provides the specified roughness parameters that are optimal for long work of the rubbing pairs.
The block heads (both aluminum and cast iron) must be kept at high temperature for several hours, and then slowly cooled. This heat treatment allows you to remove internal stresses in the metal and minimize warpage. Minor casting defects are eliminated by welding in an inert gas environment. The company is especially proud of the fact that the highly accelerated engines of old cars restored by it, designed for the use of leaded gasoline, can now successfully operate on unleaded - new valves and valve sleeves with modified clearances do not need “softening” deposits of lead for long-term operation.
PLACE OF ASSEMBLY IS NOT CHANGED
This part of the production is most similar to the motor boxes of a rich sports team. Here they can assemble hundreds of identical motors, or they can - one single, unique. The approach is the same everywhere: a careful selection of components, manually weighting the parts of the crank mechanism, sterile cleanliness and regular calibration of torque wrenches!
It ends with a full-fledged test bench, where a freshly assembled motor undergoes a cold scrolling, and then a small “hot” one, at which its parameters are measured. The proof of the quality of the work done is that the engines restored by Vega Motor are, as a rule, a bit more powerful than when they left the factory conveyors.
Vega Motor provides a guarantee for restored engines - one year without mileage limitation. But among the clients there are a lot of salespeople and taxi drivers who win 100 thousand km or more in a year is a common thing. What is the secret that the engine after overhaul is no less than new? In the applied technology there is nothing unknown to domestic experts. So the secret is that it is strictly observed.
The benefit from the acquisition of the motor from the "capital" will soon be able to appreciate the compatriots. The official dealer of “Vege Motor” - CJSC “OKMA Company” provides for the sale, purchase of old ones, installation, dismantling and warranty service of engines, block heads and gearboxes. Concerns about transportation and customs clearance of customers will not affect. How much is it? For example, a two-liter 16-valve Opel Vectra engine - about $ 2, 000. So do not rush to sell a car with a good body - with a restored engine, it will serve for more than one year.
There are almost no large batches - usually engines come in several pieces.