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The Piston and Ring in Harmony

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A piston can’t do a good job unless it has a good ring pack, and likewise, a good ring pack will be useless without a good piston. Most people will appreciate that the piston ring exists principally to reduce the amount of combustible gases escaping into the crankcase, but I’m afraid there is a lot more to it than that simple statement. To start off with, the seal has to move at a speed of something up to 5000 ft per minute (26 m/sec) and cope with piston temperatures of 300 deg...

Steel piston tech

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Ever the innovator, NHRA Funny Car crew chief Austin Coil of John Force Racing is currently investigating the use of JFR-produced forged steel ring land inserts on the Venolia pistons used on 14-time Funny Car John Force’s Ford Mustang. “It is a lot like units that the diesel pistons have and the approach was used very successfully in the turbocharged Honda Formula One cars, back in Ayrton Senna’s day,” Coil told us. “But since we can’t afford a million...

Super Finishing Metals

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For years now, race component manufacturers have closely guarded their proprietary metal super finishing processes. Using increasingly finer grinding mediums to produce the desired surface finish whilst still complying with the precise geometric requirements of the component. Grinding is the traditional final metal finishing operation performed on engineered metal-to-metal contact surfaces such as roller bearings and some gears. It results in a surface with a unidirectional ridged...

Jaguar measurement

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RET was recently invited to Jaguar Land Rover’s PCC – Product Compliance Centre – at its Solihull plant to witness the CO2 emissions testing of the 2009 BTCC race cars. In last month’s Monitor we examined the chassis dynamometer and vehicle restraint system; this month we will focus on the gas analyzing equipment. The PCC consists of two rolling road dynamometers, Cell 1 and Cell 2. Hatton Systems Ltd is responsible for the dynamometer equipment and control systems...

Revamping the NMT

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Until relatively recently it has been acceptable to keep racing gearboxes relatively simple and add ancillary systems externally. But space inside a racecar is at an ever-greater premium, mainly due to the overriding demands of aerodynamics squeezing the internal volume in pursuit of better airflow. It was once perfectly acceptable for oil pumps and filters to be mounted in the lines to the gearbox oil cooler. But now these things are an unwelcome accessory and racecar designers want to...