Can engine builders get more out of X30's?

I’ve been running a brand new X30 out of the box, which has about 9 hours on it. I’ve been somewhat competitive, qualifying well, racing in the top 5, but don’t seem to have the race pace that the top 2 or 3 guys have. (Local club, class has about 20 regular competitors).

Obviously set up and driving is the big factor, but all the guys around me have engines/carby’s that have been built/tuned by reputable engine builders. Every time they get on the podium they “thank so and so engine builder for their rocket engines”… I can’t help but wonder if I gave my engine/carb to a builder that I might get a small increase in performance.

I’m preparing to give it to an engine builder for a top end rebuild (new piston). Would you expect an increase in engine performance after someone has looked at it? I know X30’s are meant to be very good from the factory but can’t help but think a bit of tinkering might squeeze the best out of it.

Also, as X30’s go through build cycles, do they tend to get worse or better (“loosen up”)?


There’s a small amount of disparity between x30 engines. I had two - one was about 50 hours old and was tuned in Italy for Hamda AlQubaisi (I bought her x30 engine when she left to F4 Italy) the other one brand new out of the box. My coach often commented the new one was stronger.

What builders tend to do is buy a handful Dyno them all and tune up the strongest ones to sell at a premium. Essentially yeah you can gain some by polishing inner surfaces within limits (or not, as is often the case) but they get higher returns from already strong motors.

When you buy a new engine it is recommendable to take it to an engine builder to check some things.

Never heard of that, nor have I ever done it.

At least here they do that, and if you are already in their team they don’t charge you anything

In the case of your piston swap, it’s probably not going to yield much performance improvement unless the piston/ring was pretty worn or the squish gap was not what it needed to be.

Builders can and do find marginal improvements. For the most part the blueprint process is about bringing the engine from manufacturing tolerances, to racing tolerances which are closer to the homologation.

x30 times at big events tend to be incredibly close, so I think it’s fair to say that the parity is pretty good once the engine has been checked over.

Maybe. If you’re running 950 F EGTs before someone else sets the needles on your carburetor and 1200 F afterwards, then you’ll definitely see improved performance - on 100 octane fuel.

If the engine builder hears that you’re building an open engine and cuts the head to 9cc CCV and installs a methanol carburetor, then you’ll surprise even more shifter drivers than you otherwise would.

Other than that - no. Most X30s are good. Good drivers aren’t normally slowed much by replacing their best engine at a big race with a random one from the team pool.