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Which performance to push?

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After having written in my previous article about process control issues, something occurred to me about the differences between engine applications. In general, RET-Monitor and Race Engine Technology magazine put an emphasis on high-performance engines. This often means also high-revving engines, due to the simple assumption that the easiest way to make power is make use of high rpms. What came to mind is what this statement means in regard to other engines. The reason I started thinking...

Keeping valve springs alive on a budget

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In the destructive world of NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car competition, few parts take more of a beating than valve springs. "What kills them is going up and down 8000 times a minute uncompressed, as close as we can get them," says Jim Dunn, who runs his eponymous Funny Car race team from a small workshop in South Gate, California. Dunn is pretty much of a throwback to the earlier days of straight-line competition, a man who prefers not to use computers in his...

Reed valves: other applications in race engines

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In the previous article on valves, I turned to the subject of reed valves and their use in the induction section of a two-stroke engine. In race series where two-stroke engines are still popular, reed valves are commonly used and, owing to their mechanical simplicity, are likely to remain so. They require no mechanical drive or other actuation, and depend only on pressure differentials to open and close. There have been a number of uses of reed valves on four-stroke engines, some of which...