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Copper alloys in racing engines

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This is the first occasion where we have covered the use of copper alloys, and we shall look briefly at their main applications. Throughout the article the word 'bronze' is used: technically this is a copper alloyed with tin, among other things but bronze has also come to describe many copper alloys such as brasses (copper-zinc alloys) and others. In terms of four-stroke con rods, most of us will be familiar with the concept of using a bushed small end. In the vast majority of cases...

Magneti Marelli electrical KERS

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In 2009, and to much fanfare, Formula One ushered in a new technological development that should have improved the racing spectacle and gone some way to placating those environmentalists who see motorsport as the enemy. In both these regards, the introduction of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) should have represented an important step forward, but at the end of the year the systems were dropped, and this year nobody is running KERS. Next year, however, KERS is scheduled to make a...

Lead free bearing(s) fit

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In another article in this issue of RET-Monitor, I have given what I hope is an insight into crankcase main bearing split design (keyword: heads-blocks). Background is the accuracy of the main bearing split line geometry, primarily focused on the roundness of a main bearing bore. Since the crankshaft system does not directly rotate in the bearing bore, we will look at the bearing shells in between. As John Coxon wrote in the May 2010 issue of Race Engine Technology magazine (issue 46),...

Machine backlash

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One of the biggest issues with any machine tool, camshaft grinders included, is that of axis backlash. Defined as the loss of motion when the machine's axis, either rotational or linear, reverses, it can have a major influence on the precision of the component being made. With camshaft lobes needing to be ground to accuracies of +/- 6 microns or better, the backlash in the machine is therefore of critical importance. The result of loose or worn components in the cross-slides - bolts,...

Oil-shedding coatings

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There is wide agreement among racing engine manufacturers and builders that the source of much friction in the racing engine comes from the crankcase. These losses are not entirely due to the amount of lubricant in the crankcase, as I can attest from personal experience. But there can certainly be gains made in reducing frictional losses by minimising the amount of oil in the crankcase and better control of the oil that's there. In wet-sump engines the control of oil has traditionally...