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It's all about consistency

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For John Force Racing co-crew chiefs Dean ‘Guido’ Antonelli and Ron Douglas, the 2009 Funny Car season has been all about consistency. Include the selection of Venolia pistons in that mix because, as Antonelli points out, “In our current configuration, the pistons are relatively the same on all eight cylinders. They may vary from cylinder to cylinder, depending on the distribution of air coming out of the blower,” he allowed. If the pair are getting driver Ashley...

The oil control ring

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If the top compression ring has the most difficult of tasks in the engine then, at the other end of the piston ring pack, the oil control ring doesn’t have it much easier. Travelling at an average speed approaching 4000 feet per second or so, the component has to strip away any excess oil from the cylinder bore on the downward stroke and ensure just sufficient passes to lubricate the upper rings. The excess oil is then forced through the ring and drains back to the crankcase via a...

Which hardening method is best?

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Last month we looked into induction hardening of crankshafts and the inherent differences between that process and nitriding. We saw that induction hardening carries significant potential benefits; the main one being that the crankshaft is only heated locally which means that distortion can be effectively managed. There is also no maximum limit on case depth with induction hardening, which is potentially a benefit in terms of strength but also a potential risk. Any experienced crankshaft...

When to hit the red button!

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The author well remembers the first time he was given sole charge of overseeing the running in of an engine on the dynamometer of an un-named race engine manufacturer. The engine in question was the first ever example of a Le Mans Prototype V8 and the author’s role was to do nothing other than warm the engine up on a base map which would be followed by a check over before the real mapping work commenced. For around five minutes (no-one ever went through the data in much detail)...

Sequential gearbox origins

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In previous Monitor features we have touched upon the automated gearshift of a modern race car and attempted to put it into historical context, but how many of its mechanical design features represent new thinking ? Central to its function has been the move from a H-gate to sequential gear selection, for with this it is much easier to provide powered control of the actual selection mechanism. In the modern box this normally takes the form of a drum, with a pathway machined into it, whose...