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Can we manage without big-end bearings?

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The big-end bearing shells that we find in almost all four-stroke racing engines are an item made with great precision. They are generally 'graded' and as such are available in thickness grades which have a range of only a few microns. Moreover, their length is critical in ensuring that the correct pre-load is achieved when fitting. The continuing development of various platings and coatings applied to the bearing shells allow higher pressures than were possible a few years ago....

Small end lubrication (2)

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In last month's article on connecting rods, I looked at a common way of providing lubrication to the small end of the connecting rod - drilling (or multiple drillings) into the small end of the rod. In many cases this is enough to supply lubrication of the small end. But there are many cases where this might prove inadequate. The oil entering the small end via these radial drillings has to find its way into the entry of the drilling (hence the generous chamfer provided), and the source...

Small end lubrication

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The lubrication of the big end of the con rod is generally looked after very well, especially in the four-stroke racing engine as it is normally positively lubricated, i.e. continuously fed by high pressure oil issuing from the oil holes thoughtfully provided by the designer in the crankpin. The lubrication of the small end of the con rod is, by comparison, not so well provided for in terms of lubrication. Owing to the low surface speeds and the oscillating nature of the contact, we cannot...

Smaller and lighter is always better

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In the case that you don't have this article delivered to your inbox, I hope that the title has drawn you here either in the hope that you will find how to make your con rods smaller and lighter (in which case you may be disappointed) or because you disagree with the fundamental statement of the title. Previous articles on the subject of con rods have talked about some of the material choices for these parts, and in the recent magazine Focus article on the subject of con rods, the...

Con Rods: Application of Shot-peening

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In a number of previous articles, I have touched on the subject of residual compressive stress, and how this can be helpful to us in increasing the fatigue strength and hence life of components. This allows them to be smaller and lighter than would otherwise be possible for a given life requirement, and as designers and tuners of racing engines, this naturally appeals to us. Light components, most especially those that rotate are becoming more important than ever to the series production...