When it comes to creative automotive destruction, no one does it quite like Garage54. The YouTube channel’s tools of the trade are Ladas, more often than not, and they aren’t exactly easy to kill. So, they can take a hell of a lot of abuse before expiring, whether that involves ingesting vegetable oil and cola or running with the propshaft connected directly to the engine.
For its latest trick, Garage54 was on a mission to violently eject a Lada inline-four’s pistons. The engine’s head was removed, so rather than relying on combustion, the engine was turned over using a ‘spinning machine’ (made from an old subframe, a prop, diff and other bits) the team recently used to help a wheel break the sound barrier. As you do.
This inevitably makes for a hot, oily mess. There may have been no combustion going on, but the friction alone was enough to see the temperatures rise significantly. When it became clear the outcome of the test wasn’t going to be as desired, the Garage54 guys intervened, making incisions on some of the connecting rods and keeping the bolts loose on others.
This did the trick. Cylinder number one soon ejected into the sky, leaving behind a load of sparks and a shower of con rod shrapnel. The con rod failure was violent enough to punch a hole through the block, but still, that plucky old Lada engine wasn’t done.
It was fired back up to launch the remaining cylinders, but that didn’t quite pan out, with the engine seizing at a mere 2200rpm or so.
What do we learn from all this? Other than the importance of correctly torquing up your con-rod bolts when rebuilding an engine, not a whole lot. But that doesn’t make the video any less fun to watch.