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The Dykes Ring

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There have been many different types of piston ring developed over the years. Rectangular, taper face, barrel face, scraper, Napier, torsional twist, reversed torsional twist to name but a few. But one particular version that seems almost totally forgotten today, except for a few highly specialised applications is that of the Dykes ring. Peculiarly 'L'-shaped in cross-section and named after it's inventor not an embankment built to prevent flooding as might be at first thought,...

Piston challenges more prevalent on Cup open engine

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Toyota Racing Development's MAHLE Motorsports pistons are somewhat similar to the 2618 material typically used in NASCAR Sprint Cup applications, according to Brad Green at MAHLE's Fletcher, North Carolina American headquarters. As TRD continues to try and gain performance edges while having to deal with shrinking budgets - as everyone does these days - using exotic materials just isn't the route to take. Still, according to David Currier, TRD's vice president of engine...

Polishing & finishing

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When we specify or design components for a racing engine, quite often we are interested in the surface finish. It is an important aspect of the overall perceived quality of the component, and it can have a large influence on the performance of the part in question for a number of reasons, of which there are three main ones to consider, namely endurance, wear and friction. In terms of endurance, we know from reading Race Engine Technology, other magazines, learned papers and textbooks but...


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The most common type of engine dynamometer today used by engine builders the world over, must be the eddy current machine. But few will ever forget, of those who ever used them, the DPX water brake. Made by Froude in Worcester, England since shortly after the turn of the (20th) century, and once to be found gracing some out-of-the-way engine test facility at University, to many this would be their introduction to the subtle art of engine testing. Classed as a fluid friction device,...

Tractive effort

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In recent RET-Monitor features we have considered several aspects of transmission design and engineering, each time with the implicit assumption that some means of gearing between the power unit and road wheels was a prerequisite feature. Why should this be so, and how do we then determine what we need? Essentially we seek to transform rotational motion and energy at the engine flywheel into linear motion and kinetic energy at the vehicle tyre contact patch. To do so we require a...