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Inverted bolts

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While the ‘solid’ con rod – that is, one with no joint at the big end – is very attractive from an engineering point of view, it relies on the use of an assembled crankshaft, as in a crankshaft that is a multi-piece assembly. For this reason, their use is generally limited to engines with small numbers of cylinders, and they are especially common in single-cylinder engines. However, most engines are fitted with con rods that have a bolted joint at the big end. This...


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The design of the vehicle cooling system on a racecar is a comparatively simple task, provided a number of basic facts are truly understood. So after the positioning of all the other major components in the vehicle, the engine, the gearbox – and of course the driver – somewhere in the remaining space will eventually dictate the position of the radiator, and for practical reasons (like the need to supply copious quantities of cool air) this is normally placed adjacent to the...


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In reply to a previous article that discussed crankshaft fillets and their importance in terms of crankshaft reliability, a reader left a comment saying most crankshaft fillets are not true radii, but are in the form of an ellipse or other conic section. Although I’m not aware of anyone offering elliptical or conic fillets – or indeed anyone specifying them – it is certainly possible, with modern computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing techniques, to specify exactly...

The ECU – the holistic approach

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I don’t know about you but whenever I hear someone talking about the ‘holistic’ approach I tend to recoil with concern. Perhaps it is a reminder of my youth and the hippy 1970s, a time of much promise but little in the way of ultimate change. Or, more likely, it’s the arguably misplaced belief that individual parts of a system can only be explained by reference to the whole. So when somebody explained the concept of the ECU in a Formula One vehicle as holistic in...

Liner flange design

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In this article I will take a closer look at the specifics of the liner flange design and what one should take into consideration, with the goal of trying not to crack it. In principle, cylinder liner design does not look too difficult. It is more or less a machined cylindrical component, often with a flange somewhere of somewhat bigger diameter to keep the liner at its correct height. But on closer inspection there are a lot of things that might lead to distortions of either the liner...