Cutting tools Engine manufacturer finds perfect fit for reverse machining
When the Subaru tuning specialist Subi-Performance needed a boring tool for a special application, the company’s owner went online searching for the right manufacturer — finding what he was looking for in Big Kaiser, the specialist in precision machining tools.
With meticulous attention to detail, the team at Subi Performance is technically ahead of the curve as it applies its uncanny creativity to set new standards in the field of tuning, assembly and repair of high-performance combustion engines. Initially, the workshop focused exclusively on Subaru engines, hence the name Subi-Performance, but over time all the important brands and models found their way to the engine hoist.
“I'm a qualified car mechanic, but honestly, I could never personally envision spending my life on run-of-the-mill oil changes and other standard monotonous car repair and maintenance tasks. I wanted, I needed to do something that gave me real satisfaction and purpose; tinkering with and tuning engines ticked all my boxes,” Andre Wojtkowski, founder and owner of Subi-Performance, sums up his passion.
Wojtkowski’s story began in 2017, in a bedroom in North Rhine-Westphalia on a used workbench and a legacy 1983 Flott bench drill. “Back then, I was living alone in a 100 m2 apartment, and an empty bedroom was perfect for my first engine assembly projects,” remembers Wojtkowski. Today, he employs five people and has already moved his workshop twice since 2018. “Our customers value their quality vehicles and refuse to replace their darlings every four to five years. They feel that their cars should serve them for longer… and that's where we come into the picture.”
Business is booming! The reason for this is undoubtedly the company's refined online marketing strategy. “We reach our customers exclusively through social media. We post a lot of images and videos of our work on Facebook, Instagram and You Tube. This approach is very well received and so we gain not only followers but also many new customers as a result. For example, a video describing the construction of a billet engine block has already received more than 300,000 clicks and we currently have well over 230,000 followers on You Tube,” Wojtkowski continues.
Speaking of You Tube, this qualified car mechanic has acquired much of his knowledge about machining and CNC machine programming via the Internet or has simply learned by trial and error according to the motto “learning by doing”.
Precision tools in action
“I had to rebuild the end bearing on a Subaru boxer engine, which required a spin-out tool. I came across the spindle tools from Big Kaiser, a company belonging to the Big Daishowa Group. In an e-mail, I described my problem to Jochen Renz, the technical manager at Big Daishowa, and later we spoke on the phone. He applied his extensive know-how and suggested the SW 53 spindle-out tool might be the perfect fit for reverse machining.”
“What can I say? The tool turned out super and the final result exceeded all my expectations. And since my business revolves around special tasks related to engines, I then made an appointment with Stefan Lenhart, a Big Kaiser application engineer to talk about future projects and possible uses of other tools from the product range,” Wojtkowski explains.
Outstanding quality that sets the bar
Utilising fine boring heads from Big Kaiser, Subi-Performance now covers the entire diameter range from Ø20 to 203 mm, starting with the EWN 20 and EWN 32 for fine machining camshaft lanes as well as the EWN 41 for crankshaft bearing lanes and the EWN 68 for cylinder fits.
Big Kaiser offers a comprehensive product line for tooling in a modular fine boring tool system. At Subi-Performance, the Smart Damper is used in combination with complete spindle tools. This demonstrates pinpoint precision, through the entire bearing lane using a single tool. This would simply not be possible with any other tool. The special feature of the Smart Damper is its dynamic damping system that eliminates vibration to ensure vibration-free drilling or milling with long tools. For roughing and rapid removal of aluminium blocks, Subi-Performance uses another tool, the 16 mm diameter Fullcut Mill FCR. “The Fullcut Mill FCR insert milling cutter has been designed for high metal removal rates. The Fullcut cutters also have a lower cutting resistance than any other competing product on the market, which is underscored by its highly rigid monoblock design. The positive rake angle in both radial and axial directions ensures smooth operation and superior surface finish quality. For our customers, this means maximum performance and precision, coupled with an unsurpassed tool lifetime,” continues the application engineer.
Face milling with a single spindle tool
At Subi-Performance, spindle tools from Big Kaiser are also used for face-milling cylinder heads on their Haas machine. “Previously, after drilling, we had to face-mill the cylinder on another machine. Thanks to the bridge tool from Big Kaiser, we can now do this in a single clamping procedure and with never-before-seen quality,” says Wojtkowski.
To drill out the cylinder, the first step is to use a Renishaw probe to determine the zero point and the height of the cylinder block. Here, of course, a drilling head from Big Kaiser is also used. Then, with the help of the 318 bridge tool, the surface is face milled using the spindle train. After that, the cylinder block is placed on the hollowing machine for the necessary cross-grinding. “We had to fiddle around a bit here in terms of speed and feed rate, but this ingenious process produces breath-taking results. The surface shines like a mirror and we can now drill, spindle and face mill in a single setup. This is an enormous relief for us and saves us a lot of time,” continues Wojtkowski.
“I really enjoy working with Subi-Performance. There's a special chemistry between us. Andi is open to new tools and ideas, and we both enjoy tinkering with possible technical approaches on his new projects,” Stefan Lenhart concludes, and Andi Wojtkowski adds: “The advice and the quality of the tools are both top-notch. I have just ordered a Hermle C400 and I am already looking forward to using the great tools from Big Kaiser and Big Daishowa on it."