GR86 Engine Failure
It looks like we achieved too much corner grip last Thursday at Queensland Raceway. Whilst testing our MCA Circuit Spec Reds with Advan A050 soft compound tyres, we were rewarded with a nice hole in the block and lots of smoke and fire out the exhaust early on in the day.
We towed the car to The 86 Shop to have a new engine installed, but we won’t know a definitive cause of the issue until the old engine is pulled apart. However, we are fairly sure that it was an oil surge/starvation issue due to the characteristics of the failure.
This was a stock standard engine with only an aftermarket exhaust, E85 tune and running 10W-40 fully synthetic competition engine oil from Penrite. The oil level at the start of the day was also a bit over full.
We had pulled the sump off the engine originally to check and clean out any gasket silicon in the oil pickup area (a known issue of the FA24 from the BRZ release), so this commonly known issue won’t be the cause.
We supply the GR86 race series with our suspension and they have told us that they will be running baffled sumps with the new GR86/BRZs so we plan to install one with the new engine and recommend anyone that does push hard at the track to do the same.
We can’t see this problem being an issue for street cars or casual track days, as we think the main cause was the amount of grip generated from the combination of the A050 soft compound tyres and our circuit spec Red Series suspension. It looks like the less grip you have, the less likely it is that this will occur.
We are very lucky that there wasn’t any further damage to the car. The engine bay was covered with oil, but thankfully the fire was just in the exhaust and so the loom and everything else in the engine bay is fine.