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The thrust bearing

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I think it’s fair to say that the crankshaft thrust bearing will not be very high on the list of priorities for most engine designers. And yet with higher engine output torques requiring greater (if somewhat intermittent) axial forces within the torque converter or clutch assembly, the thrust bearing now has to do so much more than it was originally designed for. And while a radial bearing can accept forces of many thousands of pounds per square inch, limitations of space and simple...

Back to basics

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I would guess that very few of those who handle cams – in that they either buy them or install them, or have some form of interaction with them in any way – have ever thought about the actual profile of the cam and the way it is generated. Sure, enthusiasts regularly talk about cam timing and lift, or even about valve lash or ‘lobe separation’, but in consideration of how such timing and lift is achieved in the practical sense I’ll bet that only a tiny fraction...

Metallic plating

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The applications of plating in a racing powertrain aren’t as widespread as we might find in an automotive engine. Engines in general are reasonably benign environments for metallic components: oil is an excellent anti-corrosion fluid and most of the stressed components in an engine or transmission come into contact with oil during use, so many of the applications of metallic plating in an engine are for corrosion resistance. Racing engines are also stripped and inspected much more...

The role of FEA

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The modern race engine is something of a technical marvel, not simply in terms of power output but also reliability. In terms of the basic concepts and the components involved, however, there is very little that the race engine designers of the 1920s and ‘30s would not be familiar with. While theirs was very much an era of trial and error in terms of the design of complex components, the modern engineer has at his fingertips an array of tools that can help optimise any number of race...

The end of the hose?

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Next to the failure of vehicle electrics, leaks associated with the plumbing of the oil circuit were at one time the largest reason for a DNF (did not finish) on the motor racing scene. I well remember a time when vehicle under-bonnets were regularly streaked with oil and dirt, and much time was spent in the paddock between practice and the race, and again in the workshop at home, cleaning up afterwards. These days though there are no excuses for oil leaks. There is an entire system of...