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Rapid prototyping

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The recent article on additive manufacturing in Race Engine Technology (issue 76, February 2014) by David Cooper was a good read; the possibilities of this technology are almost limitless, and con rods are perhaps an ideal opportunity for this production process. The con rods used in Formula One are beautifully engineered and, in common with a great many racing rods, are machined all over – that is, every external surface is machined. You might imagine that this gives the mechanical...

The all-electric water pump

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There was a time when the nearest any electrical signal could get anywhere close to an internal combustion engine was in the condenser to the ignition system. Discharging an electrical pulse through the ‘points’ of the mechanical distributor to fire the spark was about as much electrical energy as one needed but, of course, times have changed. In my view the rot set in with the invention of the silicon chip and its application to electronic fuel injection. Since then, electronic...

More on dampers

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The previous article in the RET-Monitor section on crankshafts introduced the concept of damping the torsional vibration of the crankshaft. We discussed the most common form of commercially available damper currently supplied for racing – the inertia damper. Dampers with multiple damping masses can offer a further improvement by damping vibrations across a wider frequency range, but the advantage of the multi-mass dampers (usually two masses) is really confined to roadcars, where the...

DIY wiring looms

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Imagine the scene: I’m driving a rally car at competitive speeds along the narrow, twisting country lanes of Yorkshire, England. When braking hard for the downhill, hairpin bend ahead, suddenly the electrics fail. Confronted by total darkness without even the glow from the dashboard to guide me, if ever there was a time when I needed a fully functioning wiring loom, this is it. Fortunately, however, something tells me to take my foot off the brake pedal, and full lighting is restored....

Does it always work?

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This month I have chosen not to write about ‘real’ content on the topic of gaskets and seals, but to focus more on the ‘how do we know it is right’ side of things. When I read about developments of some kind in gaskets or seals, I sometimes also wonder if the developments really work and if they will keep working in all kinds of circumstances. And ‘circumstances’ can be read here in the broadest sense – do they function under all kinds of ambient...