So in true rookie form, my Dad and I went out and tried to destroy our hot little small block during the first race out for the new SE class @ Moses Lake, WA this last weekend. I wanted to get a thread cooking in order to get some feedback from the informed on this site and also to send a warning shot out to those other newbies like us.
So what happened is the boat was running great for approx 2 laps at almost 7000 RPM (3/4 throttle) in the straights. On the 3rd lap, about halfway through, Dad says he started losing power and it continued to go away slowly until he pulled to the infield and shut it down. No smoke, no odd noises, nothing telling at that point. One weird thing that I can't believe is related but went down at the same time is that the tach was bouncing all over the place (not like the normal vibration bouncing, serious movement) and then it went dead. He was towed in after the heat ended, we yanked it out of the water and started the inspection process. First thing we did was start following the wires from the tach back and realized the starting solenoid (the end where the cables connect to the starter) was totally corroded and when we went to loosen the connection to clean the connection points the end actually broke apart. Could this have been the culprit to a major electrical issue that started the bigger problem??
Upon further inspection we started taking out plugs. At that point we realized most of them were relatively loose, and a number of them were totally destroyed (porcelain GONE on the inside to just beyond the bottom of the plug) and looked like this:
Next we drafted some help and performed a compression check. The drivers side of the engine showed over 120#, 125# and two of them were just over 150#. On the passenger side, the front two read around 125#, and heading towards the back then showed 40#, and then down to 25#. This is going off of memory and we didn't spray in any oil before the test...another baddie.
We then inspected the System 1 oil filter and luckily did not find any metal inside. To be safe, we were directed to keep it shut down for the rest of the weekend and took that advice.
I am more concerned of the events that lead up to the meltdown then I am of the unkown damage that I'm waiting to hear about. Heads will come off tomorrow and that will tell us a story........
So I'm going to keep this one going, for informational purposes as well as to get some educated feedback on the root cause of the issue. If anyone who was there can add some additional information or correct some bad information that i have posted in error PLEASE speak up.
Let the games begin............ -Shawn