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Archive

GT exhausts

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GT racing remains a popular form of car racing, and there are a number of successful national and international race series. The GT classes are well represented at the important Le Mans 24 Hour race - indeed, GT racing seems to have become more popular at the expense of the Prototypes. The racing is close, the drivers are top quality, and car manufacturers are keen to support this kind of competition. GT racing is characterised by long races, and 24-hour events are a popular format. The...

Forging ahead, or not?

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When an engine builder picks up a con rod bolt, examines it and lubricates it before fitting, he perhaps doesn't consider the manufacturing processes involved. However, it is very likely that the head of the bolt will have been formed by forging. Con rod bolts are generally equipped with bi-hexagon (12-point) heads. Conventional sockets tighten bolts through contact close to the corners of a hexagon because of large clearances between socket and fastener. More corners equals more...

The carburettor

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Any engine man these days, no matter how young or old, will have at least a pretty good idea of how electronic fuel injection works. With its speed, temperature and pressure sensors, maps and ECUs, the digital nature of the technology is well understood by many. Go back though say, 40 years and although a good many so-called engine tuners will have thought they knew about fuelling systems, when it came down to it, the complexities of the carburettor required a very special kind of...

Variable intake

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The CAN-AM series of the late 1960s and early '70s made a big impression on a younger me, and may in part have kindled my passion for high-performance engines. An 8.1 litre Oldsmobile unit on the dynamometer test stand at Imperial College London and its thunderous roar as it fired into life was one of those evocative sights that has remained with me for more than 40 years. But apart from the sight and the sound of it all - and the stream of huge sparks coming from the electric starter...

Oil condition

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Lubrication supply is a key factor in governing the longevity of a race engine; however, the quality of the lubricant is equally important. For many years, the only component ensuring this was a filter to remove damaging particles from the oil. The only means to test the condition of this oil was to analyse the contents of the filter to try to identify any impending problems, and the analysis was only possible with the car stationary in the pits. Given the complexity and cost of modern...
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