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Crank seal revolutions

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If you thought it was only race engine manufacturers who are paranoid about friction at the crankshaft seal, think again. The inexorable push towards ever lower CO2 emissions - better fuel economy to you and me - is making many an original equipment (OE) engine component supplier look much more closely at its products. Chief among these is Federal-Mogul, which has just introduced a 'new approach' to lip seal technology, claiming that it reduces friction by up to 70% compared with...

Diesel Particulate Filters

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Diesel fuel is extremely popular for automotive use, particularly in Europe where, for some manufacturers, diesel vehicles account for more than 50% of sales. Part of the reason is that, in some countries, diesel fuel is much cheaper than petrol (gasoline). In the Netherlands, for instance, petrol is 30% more expensive than diesel. But even in countries where diesel comes at a premium compared to petrol, such as the UK, diesel vehicle sales continue to account for an increasing percentage...

Thread Inserts (3)

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Continuing the discussion of wire thread inserts in previous articles, this month I'll consider 'solid' types of insert. There are at least two varieties of 'solid' inserts in common use, and these are used mainly for repairs and, less often, in situations where female thread strength is felt to be a problem and that without such an insert, the chances of thread stripping are high. The 'problem' with solid inserts is that they can (and generally do) bias the...

What a gas?

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The use of fuels other than gasoline is nothing new in motorsports, yet somehow when teams first make their selection known it always takes us by surprise. So when the Team Aon Ford Focuses of BTCC drivers Tom Chilton and Tom Onslow-Cole finally admitted that they were forsaking the traditional BTCC-spec gasoline and fuelling up on LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) it took some time for the news to sink in. But LPG is nothing new in tin-top racing. Twelve years ago, Vauxhall introduced a...

Dry sumps - the alternative

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We live in a world of choice, or so our politicians would have us believe. But when it comes to engine oil systems for racing, is there anything other than a dry sump that can do the job? I would argue not, but despite that there are still authorising bodies or rule setters out there who insist on banning the systems, even though the alternatives are far inferior and these days probably no cheaper. In the 1960s, a dry sump was totally unheard of outside the top echelons of the sport. At...