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Con Rod Bearing Bores

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The big end bearing is critical to the operation and reliability of the four-stroke racing engine. At lower levels of racing, it is possible to run with standard road-going shells of good quality (provided of course that they are rated highly enough to cope with the service loads). After this, special uprated bearings are required. On the RET Monitor website, Anne Proffit has written several articles which discuss the construction and materials of bearing shells. The reliability, function...

Crankshaft Hardening

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In previous articles on the subject of crankshaft materials and hardening, we have made reference to the benefits of having residual compressive stress at the surface of the component. With the nitride hardening treatment used extensively on crankshafts, we not only make the crankshaft more wear resistant, but the change to the composition of the surface also imparts compressive residual stress. There are other methods of achieving this other than by nitriding the crankshaft, and we shall...

The Big Bang

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The news that the Large Hadron Collider, near Geneva in Switzerland is back in commission, is to be greeted with relief by all who have a genuine interest in particle physics. Designed to answer fundamental questions about the Universe by accelerating beams of high energy particles creating proton-to-proton collisions, the results, it is hoped, should provide explanations to some of the most basic of laws surrounding the most elementary of objects in space and time. And from all this we...

Casting back

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The trouble with advancing years, or so I was always told, was that you can always remember how it used to be. In the dim and distant past, it seemed to be much more fun (even though it probably wasn’t) and if the job couldn’t be precise then we always made it as accurate as we could somehow adapting the product to the limitations of the manufacturing process. A typical case of this, I was reminded recently, was in the casting of cylinder heads and crankcases. In those days and I...

Sintered Aluminium Liners

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A motorcycle engine, indeed any engine running at over 10,000 rpm, presents a particularly difficult challenge to the surface of its cylinder bore. The amount of heat flux and the limited time to dissipate it through the cylinder wall and into the coolant, will inevitably lead to high running temperatures and all of its associated problems. Although lightweight aluminium cylinders have been used to assist with the heat transfer, to minimise durability issues, thin steel liners have often...