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Turbo oil seals

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If a shaft spinning at 20,000 rpm can pose a sealing problem then what about one doing 120,000 rpm or even, dare I say it, 240,000 rpm? A simple enough question, you might say, but before answering it we need to understand the application and the desired effectiveness of the seal required. A crankshaft oil seal for instance needs to be 100% reliable under all conditions. This is because in the mind of the customer, it takes but a single drop of oil to constitute a failure. In the case of a...

Elixir of life

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It is often said that water is the elixir of life. But when used as a coolant in a high-performance racing engine it can be the kiss of death instead. Let me explain. Ever since the invention of the 'heat' engine, limits to the properties of the metals used mean they have necessitated some kind of cooling. And since water is all around us, it makes sense to use this is a transport fluid to remove heat from the cylinder head and disperse it into the atmosphere. But water brings with...

Liner Distortion

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Spare a thought for the poor cylinder liner. As well as expecting it to be perfectly round from the outset, we then go on to expect it to remain so throughout the rest of its life, and under the most arduous conditions. But are we making it as round as it could be? Take for instance the typical case of a replacement dry liner. We'll measure its external diameter in at least three positions around its axis, and then again in another three places up and down the bore. Averaging these and...

Crank seal revolutions

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If you thought it was only race engine manufacturers who are paranoid about friction at the crankshaft seal, think again. The inexorable push towards ever lower CO2 emissions - better fuel economy to you and me - is making many an original equipment (OE) engine component supplier look much more closely at its products. Chief among these is Federal-Mogul, which has just introduced a 'new approach' to lip seal technology, claiming that it reduces friction by up to 70% compared with...

Valve seat resurfacing

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Ever since the dawn of mass manufacturing, engineers have been preoccupied with shape and position but it is only in comparatively recent times that this has been formalised into a geometrical standard. The language of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, GD&T to you and me, consisting of rules, symbols and conventions, was designed to ensure parts could be made anywhere in the world and put together with the highest confidence to produce a fully functional product or assembly....