When a big-end failure and locked-up engine is good luck.


Well Known and Active Forum User
Non-VOC Member
Another story... pictures of the prototype I will provide when I can post a proper picture.
I was building a special special, a once in a life-time job where the owner said: go nuts.... build me the best.... cost is no object! Hey, Mike. ya waana paint a chapel ceiling?
I built a big end, the main structure was a super strong Russian Titanium developed by them for subs and aerospace. This to offset the added weight of the Carrillo rods with heaver big ends.
The big end was designed to distribute the oil evenly to both rods. A sealed feed quill was used.
When the machine was ready for testing i took it out and rode it quite a bit. All was well. One day after putting some miles on it I wrung it out a little more.... oh, maybe 90 or so. I was doing about
80 on a downhill two laner that ended at a T intersection where I had to wait at idle before turning left. While idling the engine locked solid!
I still get the shakes thinking what would have become of me and the bike a mile back.
Later, upon disassembly and inspection, I found that the steel bearing retainers had totally collapsed causing the big-end rollers to run amok.
I rebuilt the assembly building bearing cages right out of "Tuning For Speed" from some super-duper alloy (I forget the number) and had them ceramic coated. End of problem.