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High-strength steel rod unveiled

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At the recent Autosport Show in England there was a lot to interest the motorsports enthusiast, but during the two trade days preceding the public show days, there is a simultaneous show, Autosport Engineering, where the latest developments in motorsports components are shown, manufacturing technologies are highlighted and much new technology is discussed. Many specialist engine component manufacturers from Europe and the US are represented here. One engine component represented such a...

Location of con rod caps, part 2

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In the previous article on the subject of maintaining the accurate locations of the two parts of a split con rod design, we looked at dowel pins and ring dowels, and the relative merits of the two methods. The subject of joint shear stiffness was raised, and it was noted that the ring dowel, having a greater cross-sectional area, provides more stiffness to the joint. A stiffer joint is more stable and less likely to suffer from joint face fretting wear. While the con rod bolt may not have...

Location of connecting rod caps, part 1

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In an article published in 2009, I looked at some of the design features of the joint face of a split con rod. One important requirement is that the two parts of the con rod - the 'blade' of the rod and its cap - must be positively and reliably located with respect to each other. It is important that these location features are machined into the rod before the big-end bore is finished to size. This guarantees that when the rod is assembled and the bolts pre-loaded to their design...


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Any technical discussion about engine vibration generally revolves around one of two areas, namely the cranktrain and the valvetrain. In terms of the crankshaft, torsional vibrations - or rather their avoidance or mitigation - are a major concern. In these days of computer simulation, we can run analyses to study this phenomenon. For many years, however, engineers had to rely on formulae and a lot of painstaking calculations, as laid down in books such as "A Handbook of Torsional...

Metal-matrix composite rods

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In my previous article on the subject of con rods I asked, "Can we manage without big-end bearings?" and went on to look at the various attempts to do this and the possible future options. The article briefly mentioned the benefits of not having a bearing, and observed that there is one currently successful application of bearing-free technology being raced. In the application concerned - four-stroke, single-cylinder race engines with 'assembled' cranks, where the...