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Slosh simulation

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In the highest echelons of motorsport every system on a car is optimised to the greatest possible extent. For example, the volume of lubricant carried is pared to the minimum in order to reduce overall vehicle weight and the packaging requirements of ancillaries such as oil tanks. These packaging requirements also mean that the shape and structure of oil tanks will not always be the dictated solely by the need for consistent oil supply. Extensive work is therefore undertaken to simulate...

Wet sumps

Though rare in most competition cars, wet sumps are still found in race series as diverse as touring cars and drag racers. Each of these places different demands on the lubrication system, with engineers trying to strike a balance between ensuring sufficient oil supply without increasing the losses due to 'windage' effects (the parasitic losses caused by friction between the oil and rotating components). Here I want to investigate some of the methods used by drag racers to circumvent...

Ford's 1964 Indianapolis engine

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In 1963 a Ford-powered Lotus 29 driven by Jim Clark came tantalisingly close to winning the Indianapolis 500, and was prevented from doing so only by the leading roadster of Parnelli Jones dropping oil on the track. The Lotus was running a development of Ford's Fairlane pushrod V8; drawing pump fuel through carburettors it produced far less power than the competition's highly tuned Offys running on the more usual Indy brew of methanol. Ford, however, was keen to emphasise the racing...

Wet sumps

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It is a fact that wet-sump oiling systems are rare in racing. Given the g-loadings that most racecars experience, controlling the oil level while ensuring a constant supply of lubricant is far easier with a dry-sump set-up. However, some series still require the use of a wet sump, notably those for touring cars running to the FIA S2000 regulations. Running wet sumps has caused problems for many years, as one engineer from a notable engine manufacturer explains, "We've said for a...

Optimisation of oil flow in a dry-sumped gearbox

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In the rarefied atmosphere of Formula One, engineers are often given the resources to investigate engineering issues that would be beyond the scope of other racing organisations. With the regulations limiting engineering freedom to an extensive degree, teams will go to great lengths to gain any advantage. One example of this is the development work undertaken by the now defunct Minardi team in the production of a new gearbox for the 2005 Formula One season. The team had been working on its...
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