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Connecting Rods: Material Choices (4)

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Last month, we looked further into the use of titanium for con rods and this month we look briefly into the use of steel, which remains in many cases the material of choice for con rods. There are far more manufacturers of con rods who offer steel rods than any other material. Titanium is definitely on the increase, and possibly the time will come where steel becomes a ‘minority’ material choice. Some of the reason for steel remaining popular is the price of the raw material...

Crankshaft Oil Drillings

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We should all be very familiar with the primary functions of a crankshaft, namely as part of the mechanism which converts reciprocating motion into rotary motion, and to transmit torque to the outside world, where it might drive a gearbox, a generator or other piece of equipment. What a great many crankshaft designs also do is to provide lubrication channels which allow the passage of oil to the big end bearings, and possibly thereafter to the small end of the connecting rod. Many years...

Taking charge

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Even as a boy I was continually mystified, and occasionally perplexed, by the operation of the carburettor. The myriad of main jets, air correction jets and emulsion tubes and the science on the fixed jet DCOE was a veritable minefield for the inexperienced, but once mastered, the satisfaction of getting an engine to start let alone run sweetly on the road or track, was reward in itself. The arrival of electronic fuel injection with its altogether totally different approach was greeted...

Magnesium in the cylinder block

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In the inexorable search for reduced weight, the various alloys of aluminium are most commonly used for high performance gasoline engines. Where peak firing loads are higher, for example as in the case of a modern direct injected diesel engine, this may need to be some form of S.G. (spheroidal graphite) iron. With its excellent flow properties in the molten state, sections can be cast much thinner than other cast irons and thus the disadvantage of a density nearer 7 gm/cm3 can, to a...

Laser honing

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The surface condition of the cylinder bore has occupied the minds of motorists, engineers and enthusiasts for many years. Often expressed in terms of oil consumption – miles per litre or miles per quart depending upon which side of the Atlantic you reside – provided consumption isn’t excessive, all is generally thought to be fine. In a racing engine however, where cost of ownership is, let’s face it, more or less irrelevant, the real issue here is one of friction. In...