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The split rear main crankshaft seal

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The modern internal combustion engine is a masterpiece of engineering. Whether gasoline or diesel, intended for road or race track, the complexity under the hood can be a little awe-inspiring even to those familiar with the technologies used. So why, when we have engineering development processes like FMEA, Six-Sigma and the like, do we still build engines that after only a few short months or even days can still leak oil out of the crankshaft rear oil seal? Owners of the big-block Chevy...

Rally exhausts

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Not only is rallying an exciting sport to take part in and to watch, it places unusual demands on many of the components that make up the car and engine. Turbocharged engines in particular, with their anti-lag systems to aid transient response, place a lot of stress on components. In this regard, exhaust systems stand out as having to cope with more than their fair share of additional stress and hardship. In addition to high levels of vibrations and shocks from jumps and so on, rally...

Nut design for increased fatigue resistance - 2

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In the previous article, the subject matter was the work done in the former USSR on fastener fatigue and particularly the positive effect that nut design and material selection can have on the fatigue life of studs and other male fasteners. In this article we will look at attempts by fastener manufacturing companies to achieve the same effects using relatively subtle changes in the fastener geometry. There have been several attempts to manufacture nuts with a thread form that distributes...

Compressed natural gas

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Many years ago, journalists and vehicle road testers used to talk about 'cooking engines'. At the time I understood it to be a term describing the performance of the unit, but I was unsure if it related to a high-performance, highly tuned engine or simply a fairly standard, docile unit reminiscent of a kitchen stove; the term meant nothing to me. Today, of course, with increasing awareness of fuel security and global warming, any engine described as 'cooking' must surely be...

Oil tanks

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Where regulations allow, most racecars run a dry-sump oil system, with the engine lubricant scavenged from the crankcase and stored in an external tank. This allows for a higher degree of oil control, a reduction in the possibility of oil surge and starvation, better de-aeration of the oil and, where applicable, a reduction in installation height thanks to the elimination of the sump pan. The design of the oil storage tank is of vital importance to the efficiency of the system, with the...