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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Neutron Engine's Honda-based K48 V-8 promises to be a pint-sized screamer | Hagerty Media

Evidence of mechanical evolution litters the house of mechanical engineer Craig Williams. An eviscerated Honda K24 sits next to his desk. Prototype fixtures pile in each corner and cubby. The apparent chaos has a focus: the K48, Williams' one-off design for a V-8 based upon Honda's DOHC K-series four-cylinder.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/people/neutron-engines-honda-based-k48-v-8-promises-to-be-a-pint-sized...
9 REPLIES 9
TonyT
Instructor

Like I said in an earlier post, I would like to see how he has solved the flywheel and starter location. That rear timing chain will be fun to service, too. Oh, wait. It's going to power a European sports car. Engine-out services are to be expected. I'm imagining that this will eventually end up as a dry sump design, due to all of the bits needing lubrication. A twelve-quart oil pan needs a lot of room.
The real result of this endeavor will be the power output. Most of the Honda's we see around here that are modified for competition make around 550 to 625 horsepower, boosted between 15 to about 25 pounds of pressure. And obviously, they need a LOT of maintenance but the cylinder blocks still don't live very long anyway. Ambitious and I certainly hope it comes to life!
CraigNeutronEng
Pit Crew

I am the designer. So the starter is on the transmission side. Or lower-left depending on transmission. Having two timing chains sucks but it means the over all engine will be a lot cheaper. I also have access panel for the tensioner. It isn't great but I think people would instead save 7k vs. a billet mirrored head.
midnitelamp
New Driver

Bravo. This equals or tops the gentleman from England who built a V-12 from two Kawasaki 1300s.
CraigNeutronEng
Pit Crew

It has been a lot of work I am going into more details on Instagram
ChevyDave
Intermediate Driver

Not to take anything away from Mr Williams achievement and obvious talent - the more cool motors in the world the better - but I just don’t see the Neutron going into a lot of street cars based on what I know about similar engines. The Hartley V8 mentioned in the article (based on Suzuki’s Hyabusa head) is $48k complete. RPE’s similar V8 (also Hyabusa-based) which I do not know the exact cost of, has a recommended 40 hour TBO (in a racing environment) with engine+trans overhaul costs in the $25k range. Even if you double the RPE’s TBO to 80 hours, that’s still a $20k-$25k overhaul every other year for my “weekend” car.
Of course this assumes the Neutron has buy-in and service costs that are similar to the other engines mentioned; hopefully this is an area where Mr Williams can really apply some engineering magic.
CraigNeutronEng
Pit Crew

I hear you. My engine is going to be expensive at first. Tell I iron out details for the cast version later. Changing a casting is very expensive.

The engine can be configured with steel rods and normal heads so a normal Honda racing engine service interval. If you are rocking AL rods, it will be each race, but that is expected with AL rods. This engine "should" have a long service life.

josephdemeyer
New Driver

just wonderful to read...so uplifting there are still brilliant minds working on the internal combustion engine : much more interesting, intricate, dynamic and complex than the boring one dimensional electrics ( ok their horsepower, torque and simplicity I know the arguments; but to extract that from an ICE is so much more creative !)
Horrible that GM is phasing them out in just 15 years; but thanks to Williams and the like we can look forward to still experiencing the sensual qualities of those up and down cylinders and the visceral experience of mechanical power by real machines
CraigNeutronEng
Pit Crew

Hopefully, we can experience those pistons all the way to 10k rpm. Thanks for the words of encouragement
brb
Advanced Driver

That's thinking outside the block! Good article and hats off to Craig. Working through the interrelationship of parts in a complex machine with tight tolerances is both tedious and rewarding. Firing up the finished engine is going to be special.