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Pushing For Victory

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Mark Smith’s PME Engines of Mooresville, North Carolina powers the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (CWTS) entries of Ron Hornaday Jr and Matt Crafton, currently first and second in points as the campaign hits its home stretch. To keep things consistent, there’s not much out of the ordinary that he’s ready to do with his Bill Miller and Mahle pistons at this point in the game. “We do a lot of testing with different moly coatings on the rings and ring lands,” he...

Ring Radiotherapy

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Mention the subjects of durability and wear measurement in engine development and the image immediately conjured up is one of tests lasting hundreds of hours and lots of precise measurements, both before and after the test. When it comes to the piston ring we might want to check the ring gaps both free and as installed, measure the weight as accurately as we can, take a few harness measurements and visually examine the wearing surface. Apart from that there is little extra even the...

Which Surface Treatment Is Best?

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Race engine crankshafts are typically produced from steel billets and are gas nitrided to improve fatigue life and reduce wear. However nitriding is not suitable for all crankshafts, as the author found recently whilst detailing a crankshaft from a 70-year old historic Grand Prix racing engine. The crankshaft in question ran with rolling element main and crankpin bearings, in which the actual rollers ran directly on the journal surfaces of the crankshaft. Under these circumstances...

Never Assume Anything

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Here’s a word of warning for you which highlights the importance of getting the basics right. The author recently visited a company who run a small water brake dynamometer for training purposes. The company recently came into possession of a brand new 4-cylinder Honda road car engine, donated to them by Honda as the car it had come from could not be sold and therefore needed to be disposed of. They were delighted; the Honda would replace an ageing Ford engine which had seen better days...

The origins of the modern race car gearbox?

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Up until the end of the 1950s, when the front engined Grand Prix car predominated, it was not uncommon to find it’s transmission attached to the engine bell housing, in classic road car configuration, with the box itself almost always in-line, and often road car derived. But it was equally the norm to find the transmission in unit with the rear axle and differential, particularly in a thoroughbred racing design, in which case it was as common for it to be aligned transversally, as...