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Methods of fitting heavy metal to counterweights, part 3

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The reasons why we might want to augment the moment caused by the counterweight by using a dense material are well understood and, in previous RET-Monitor articles, some of the methods by which we can add 'heavy metal' to crankshaft counterweights have been discussed. In this article I want to discuss the method that is generally held to be the most effective - adding tungsten. Happily, it can also prove to be one of the cheaper methods, especially when judged by the criterion of...

Methods of fitting heavy metal to counterweights, part 2

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In the previous article on the subject of adding tungsten counterweighting to crankshafts, we looked at one of the more widely adopted methods where cylinders of tungsten alloy are pressed or shrunk into specifically machined bores in the counterweights. The conclusion that many crankshaft manufacturers and design engineers have come to is that this is a reasonably effective method of adding tungsten while affording generous safety factors against failure. It is also simple from a...

Methods of fitting heavy metal to counterweights

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In the article on crankshafts which will appear in Race Engine Technology (issue 50, November 2010) there is a brief discussion on the use of heavy metals for crankshaft counterweighting purposes. There are a number of reasons why it might be deemed desirable to use a high-density material for a crankshaft but, for a given level of counterweight moment, it will lead to a lower inertia crankshaft assembly. The advantages of adding a high-density material to a crankshaft - or rather,...

Split crankshafts

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The vast majority of race crankshafts that we see are made from one piece of material and are generally machined from either a billet of wrought steel, a forging or possibly a casting - certainly in the case of multi-cylinder engines this is the norm. For a substantial proportion of certain types of engine, however, it is typical to find a crankshaft assembled from a number of pieces. This is generally the case where needle-roller bearings are used for the big-end bearing. The types of...

Camshaft drive gears

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While the main purpose of a crank is obvious, it has many other demands placed upon it. Rotating constantly as it does, it is ideal for taking drives to other assemblies such as pumps. While it is possible to drive pumps electrically - and there are some advantages to doing this - it is banned in some forms of motorsport, and the vast majority of series-production engines drive their pumps mechanically. With very few exceptions, four-stroke engines use camshafts to open poppet valves, and...