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'Knock' about

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Simply mention the words 'engine knock' to any aftermarket EMS supplier and I almost guarantee that the conversation will cease albeit perhaps only briefly. But safe to reiterate that 'knock' or more precisely detonation, should be avoided at all costs and that the engine should be mapped sufficiently away from these borderline conditions, the conversation will no doubt continue along the original lines. And in truth for the vast majority of race units, particularly naturally...

Wall wetting - the 'Tau' factor

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In a conventional multi-point port injected gasoline engine the fuel is introduced into the air stream in the form of a jet of liquid. Atomising into small droplets, these mix with the air, begin to vaporise and eventually get carried off past the intake valves and into the combustion chamber. In between, varying amounts of this fuel might condense on the wall, travel along it and eventually vaporise back into the air stream. However the presence of this fuel, often referred to as a...

The sleeping beauty

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Can you imagine waking up one day and not remembering where you are? I'm only too certain that this may have happened to many of you after the recent festivities but the experience is probably something you would prefer to forget. Perhaps then you might spare a thought for the feelings of an engine upon being cranked into life. Waking from its enforced slumber the camshaft will tell it when to open and close the intake and exhaust valves but who tells it when to fire the charge and...

The Big Bang

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The news that the Large Hadron Collider, near Geneva in Switzerland is back in commission, is to be greeted with relief by all who have a genuine interest in particle physics. Designed to answer fundamental questions about the Universe by accelerating beams of high energy particles creating proton-to-proton collisions, the results, it is hoped, should provide explanations to some of the most basic of laws surrounding the most elementary of objects in space and time. And from all this we...

Taking charge

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Even as a boy I was continually mystified, and occasionally perplexed, by the operation of the carburettor. The myriad of main jets, air correction jets and emulsion tubes and the science on the fixed jet DCOE was a veritable minefield for the inexperienced, but once mastered, the satisfaction of getting an engine to start let alone run sweetly on the road or track, was reward in itself. The arrival of electronic fuel injection with its altogether totally different approach was greeted...