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CAN data systems

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A considerable amount of data can be obtained from factory-fitted engine sensors in a modern roadcar-based racer, and mining the data has become far easier in recent years thanks to the widespread adoption by mainstream manufacturers of CAN (Controller Area Network) bus wiring systems. There is a range of ways of interacting with and connecting to these sensors, but first it is worth looking at what exactly a CAN system is. In simple terms, a CAN bus is a network of individual electronic...

EV transmissions

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It is a popular myth that electric and hybrid vehicles, thanks to their use of electric motors capable of delivering maximum torque from zero rpm, do not need a transmission. But while it is perfectly feasible to run an electric motor (or motors) directly driven to the wheels, it is increasingly common to use a transmission, particularly among EV racers. Why is this? The answer is that, by using different ratios, the efficiency of a motor can be increased by ensuring that it is operating...

Avoiding damaging spring vibration

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In race engines that contain them, the valve spring is the most highly stressed component. In the best springs, the materials, heat treatments, hardening processes, manufacturing techniques and surface treatments combine to allow them to operate at incredible levels of stress. If they are of the best quality, correctly installed and operating within calculated limits then valve springs are very reliable; they fail because they are either over-stressed due to driver error (over-revs on down...