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The design of con rod fasteners, part 1

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For many companies supplying a race engine, the choice of con rod can be a very straightforward affair. Often there are multiple suppliers of uprated engine internals, and there are a number of very competent and successful con rod manufacturers. The engineer has only to be satisfied of the advantages of choosing a rod from a certain manufacturer, who will have chosen to use some very specialised bolts (or studs and nuts) to hold together the two pieces of the rod (assuming a split rod...

The Wooler engine

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We motorsport engineers are a lucky bunch; I tell people that, as an engineer, there are few areas of the engineering industry that can approach the rewards of Formula One in terms of the scope for creativity and the willingness of companies to explore new ideas. For many years, when the regulations governing motor racing were more liberal than they are now, we saw some incredible innovations, and a fair share of them came from the motorcycle fraternity. The incredible Honda NR engines,...

The Commer Double Knocker

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This article is unusual in that it looks at a concept that will almost certainly never be applied to a race engine but is technically interesting enough to merit examination. In the 1950s a British truck maker made a production engine the likes of which we will never see again. Commer, a name that disappeared many years ago, came along with an engine called the TS3, but widely known as the Double Knocker. It was a three-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine with a single crankshaft, six...

The Scotch Yoke, part 2

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In the previous article, there was a picture of a very basic Scotch Yoke mechanism, and the mechanically astute among you would have noticed some obvious problems with such a basic implementation of the principle behind it. The two glaring ones are high contact pressure in the contact between the crankpin and the slot in the con rod, and the lack of stiffness in the rod. If we deal with the first of these, this is solved relatively easily. If we interpose a bearing block between the...

The Scotch Yoke

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Anyone who deals with engines will be familiar with the con rod (unless you are a fanatic of the rotary engine to the exclusion of all others). It is a simple articulating link that connects the piston to the crankshaft and, in doing so, converts reciprocating motion into rotary motion, making it much easier to extract work from the expanding gases in the combustion chamber. However, the con rod poses some problems for the engine designer, especially the race engine designer who is under...