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Carburettor progression

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Back when petrol in the UK cost the equivalent of about 30p in current money and the Beatles were top of the music charts, the fixed-choke carburettor – particularly that of the DCOE – was most definitely king. Affectionately known as ‘Webers’, and more often than not a replacement for the constant depression SU or Stromberg, the throaty induction roar of the single-choke-per-cylinder device was the thrill for many, even it often yielded no more engine power....

The air trumpet

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It might seem difficult to believe but there was a time when not all engine designers believed in free-breathing engines. These days of course the key to the best possible engine performance is generally accepted as having the least restrictive intake system of a size and length to take advantage of the inevitable pressure pulsation within it. In the early days of engine design the preoccupation in packing the engine cylinders with as much air as possible was the same, but this was...

Oil filters

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In the early days of automotive engine development, most engines made do without any form of oil filtration, or at best a rudimentary gauze filter. Until the 1970s there were mainstream production engines operating without any real filtration, a notable example being the Volkswagen air-cooled boxer (although did eventually gain a filter in the 1980s). However, ever-finer tolerances and longer service intervals have made filters an indispensable part of both race and road engine lubrication...

Are there alternatives to the circlip?

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The vast majority of race engines, and propulsion engines in general, are of the reciprocating type and, for almost all of these, the piston pin is retained by (and has its end-float controlled by) a pair of round wire circlips. The subject of circlip design has been considered in a previous RET Monitor article; however, there are alternatives to the wire circlip which are either in current use or which have been used previously, either for racing or series production. There are two...

Chemical machining

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Chemical machining is a technique that removes material through the interaction between chemicals and a metallic workpiece. Electrochemical machining (also widely referred to as ECM) offers an alternative to electro-discharge machining (EDM) and is suitable for cutting a variety of materials including very hard alloys. Compared to EDM, there are several practical advantages. The surface finish possible with ECM is typically better than with EDM: ECM can produce mirror-finished parts. EDM...