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Fracture-splitting of joint faces

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We have looked at and discussed several ways in which split con rods are machined on their joint faces. When they are split, there is a requirement for the surfaces to be accurately machined so that the faces are perfectly parallel, and that the plane forming the split line (or lines) coincides with the big-end axis. There is a further requirement for some location features so that the two parts can be accurately positioned relative to one another with repeatability. The normal ways to...

The intercooler

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Practitioners of engineering design will be familiar with the concept of compromise and the trade-off of one engineering parameter against another. A good best example of this - the 'art' of design as it were - must be the task of cooling the intake charge on a turbocharged engine. Generally referred to as an intercooler, or if you are a turbocharger designer an aftercooler, the idea is to reduce the charge air temperature to as close to the compressor intake temperature as possible...

New crankshaft steels

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Although there are a great many race engines that carry over the stock crankshaft from the production engine on which the competition unit is based, many will choose to replace the production crankshaft with something more accurate and better engineered. Where there are changes to the production engine stroke, or where a bespoke race engine is concerned, there are rarely production car options, so a specifically designed part is required. In the vast majority of cases, racing crankshafts...

Combustion analysis

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To even begin to understand the processes within the internal combustion engine, knowledge of the pressure in the combustion chamber relative to the crank angle position is surely an absolute prerequisite. Knowing how the combustion pressure as applied to the piston crown changes throughout the engine cycle can give an insight into fundamental gas dynamics, from which, for example, optimum engine efficiency can be established or the magnitude and nature of the loads inside the engine...

Does a flat gasket really seal?

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This month's article will deal with gaskets and seals. It will describe that sealing a certain structure is not just about putting a seal or gasket between the two components, but that there is more to think about. In this case we will look at one of the oldest sealing solutions, perhaps the simplest one - the flat gasket. As we all know, an engine cannot be made seal-less, although that would make our engineering lives a lot easier. And I'm sure we can agree that sealing the...