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How Many is a Crowd?

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In this month’s article we will take a look at how engine designers arrive at the number of cylinder head bolts in their engine designs and the compromises they need to make in getting there. Looking at a broad range of engines, not just high-performance race engines, one sees a wide variety in the number of cylinder head bolts in the different designs. Look a little further the reasons for this are obvious. Typically, the number of bolts is a consequence of some other,...

Does a flat gasket really seal?

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This month's article will deal with gaskets and seals. It will describe that sealing a certain structure is not just about putting a seal or gasket between the two components, but that there is more to think about. In this case we will look at one of the oldest sealing solutions, perhaps the simplest one - the flat gasket. As we all know, an engine cannot be made seal-less, although that would make our engineering lives a lot easier. And I'm sure we can agree that sealing the...

Liners - top or bottom (part 2)

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The previous article on this subject described the concepts and decisions to be taken when applying a wet liner, and concerned the choice between top, bottom or mid-stop liner. Some basics were shared on the advantages of each one, and it was mentioned that a number of secondary engineering decisions need to be taken to establish the final design. This follow-up article will provide some more insight into these secondary decisions. Let us take a closer look at some of those decision areas:...

Liners - top or bottom?

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After having written a number of articles on some interesting engine projects, especially in the field of amateur racing, this article will give some more background on an internal aspect of engine design - cylinder liners. In deciding on the best liner design for an engine, a number of boundary conditions need to be evaluated. First, a conceptual decision needs to be made between whether the engine will use parent bore (bore in the base block or cylinder material), dry liner (liner...

Against all odds?

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As described in a previous article under this keyword, there are many interesting engines that have their origin in amateur racing series. As mentioned, one of the technically most open motorcycle racing classes is the Supermono, and although this series is not as active and 'hot' as it was in the late 1990s, there are still many great single-cylinder race engine projects riding around. The engine that is the focus in this article has already been described to an extent in the...