Did you know that a 917 engine funnels all of its power through the center of the crankshaft down to an output shaft that runs under the rear half of the engine to the clutch housing? Did you know that this engine used a twin-plug ignition with two different independent distributor drives? That's right, there are 24 spark plugs in this engine. You can see all kinds of wild engineering ingenuity in this quick video from Canepa's workshops. They recently tore this engine down to its component parts and built it back up again fresh as a daisy. Luckily for us, they documented the entire process in this video.
Beginning with the teardown, the engine is up on a stand and a trio of technicians work tirelessly to disassemble and properly bag-and-tag each individual part. From the very beginning, you can tell they are being meticulous about this very rare and very particular engine. This isn't just any 917 engine, this is the massively turbocharged 917/30 engine that is capable of producing four-digit horsepower levels. Take the job seriously, and take it as slowly as you need to, boys.
Once the engine is completely torn apart, each individual component is restored or replaced as needed. The restoration section of the video is quite honestly our favorite part. Seeing all of the components brought back to a brand-new look is a special kind of awesome. The cylinder heads especially looked great after a nice media blasting. Then comes the re-assembly. You get a really interesting look at the timing chain housings and cooling fan drive operations in this segment of the video. There are only a handful of people worldwide who can properly rebuild one of these engines, and of course, Canepa has one of them on hand for this major project.