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Coated bearing bores on con rods

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There have been brief mentions in the pages of Race Engine Technology of the possibility of coating the big-end bore of con rods directly with the soft metal bearing coatings that we find on the surface of bearing shells. Further mentions have appeared in previous RET-Monitor articles on the subjects of coatings and con rods. Many years ago, this was indeed the way it was done, with the bearings manually 'scraped' by hand to achieve the correct size. Progress in the production of...

Is nitriding the only option?

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The crankshaft lies at the heart of the fundamental mechanical system in the vast majority of race engines. Only rotary race engines don't have what we might call a crankshaft, although other mechanisms exist and which have been tested to turn reciprocating motion into rotary motion. Conventional wisdom has it that our steel race crankshafts are nitrided, almost without exception. An earlier article by Tom Sharp (1), posted in 2009, pointed to the fact that induction hardening is used...

CAN bus - the communication superhighway

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According to some people a data acquisition system is the least expensive performance enhancement you can make. Often a fraction of the cost of other purchases, in supplying both vehicle and driver information - lap after lap, session after session - the data provided is totally objective and, used intelligently, can only improve overall performance. The loggers of the past were large and unwieldy devices often strapped in the back of the vehicle somewhere using only a very few...

Cast-in pipes

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Engine developers have always been regarded as 'strange' people. The reason for this is unclear, although the fact that we tend not to come across as 'straightforward thinking' people in the eyes of others may have something to do with it. But then finding non-straightforward solutions to problems is part of the engine developer's job. One of the most interesting things about an engine is that its various systems need to cooperate in order to achieve the engine's...

The Plasma Transferred Wire Arc process

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With engine manufacturers increasingly moving towards lightweight engine architectures, keeping the length of the engine to a minimum and using lightweight materials - particularly aluminium - is an obvious start. However, the process of replacing parent-metal cylinder liners in one-piece cast aluminium blocks, later on in the life of the vehicle, is fraught with difficulties. Traditionally, in less challenged times (both financially and engineering), blocks would have been re-bored and...