Ok, we know that these heads are failing and we thought we had skirted by this issue until recently when a valve in our freshly rebuilt head failed after only 50 miles or so of track riding / practice. Yes, we use our machines exclusively for racing but the reports are coming to me from multiple resources both track and street alike.
I have heard that the newer heads may have changed a couple of things to make them more reliable but until I have more intel on that I am going forward with our own plans. Our engines are 2013 MY so at least the 2012-2013 MY's are affected and quite possibly the 2014-2015 MY's too but as I said, I need more intel.
There have been a variety of reports of failures.
Top of the valve being nipped off by the stock keepers
Valve spring snapping off completely.
Or in our case, the valve snapping off at the bottom.
Any of these failure modes will lead to the same destruction:
1) Valve or valves destroyed (exhaust and/or intake)
2) Head being damaged itself
3) Piston destroyed
4) rod bent
5) cylinder scored
6) Your heart broken
7) Your wallet emptied
We race these things so its not unheard of for us teams to drop engines but I can tell you that this was the first time since we started running 600cc level machines that we have lost an engine. And that's across multiple brands and multiple examples of those brands.
Are we bitter?
Of course not, we look at these things as opportunities and not failures. It takes time and expertise to sort machines out and we have plans to do just that.
The team had already collected a lot of data on these failures so it was no surprise that our turn would come along and it did. Now we are working alongside some industry heavyweights to systematically review every aspect of the head design when compared to other designs and techniques to implement everything we can into one new design that will hopefully put an end to this.
There isn't anything in the F3 heads that are strange or unknown. Its a collection of parts from known vendors in the industry. Like a music group, it takes all members to work harmoniously together to create great music. Engines are the same way and so it is not difficult with all of the experience out there to recognize some common issues that need to be corrected. We have already been able to identify a few and with our partners in this project, we hope to overcome most, if not all of them.
Can the head fail again?
Sure it can but we will be running these engines at over 15,000 RPM on a regular basis and if our motors can withstand that punishment, your street or trackday motors should be in very good shape with the upgrades.
We will divulge more as we approach the first testings of the modifications to the original design. If you already have a failed head, this should be very interesting to you and if you don't have a failed head and don't want one, this should be VERY interesting to you. The cost associated with rebuilding the head to a new spec vs rebuilding the smashed to hell head and the bottom end components will make this very attractive.
So let's use this thread to keep everyone informed and when the new design is ready, we will let you all know. It will be as little as replacing and / or modifying the head for longevity right up to full port and polish design work to get even more HP from your engine.
Here are a couple of photos to make you cringe. This is how our head and piston looked after the valve snapped off.