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Cold start / coolant temperature control

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This may mark me as some kind of ancient relic but at one time the height of engine sophistication was the part-throttle weakening device. Designed to improve fuel economy by running the engine lean when the carburettor throttle plate was away from wide-open throttle, this ingenious instrument was perhaps the pinnacle of engine management technology in its time. Injection systems were around but were predominantly mechanical in nature, very temperamental and gave very poor air fuel ratio...

The Long Bolt

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Many years ago, as a young and somewhat naive apprentice, I was told by my training supervisor to go to the engineering stores and ask for ‘a long wait.’ Thinking that this was some form of specialised turning tool, I dutifully did as requested only to be told after 10 minutes at the counter “You’ve had your long wait, now clear off!” Engineers and former apprentices of a certain age might recognise my continuing embarrassment. So when the idea of the...

Nikasil coating

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Historically, the relatively soft grey cast iron cylinder liner with its inclusions of graphite, correctly prepared, has made an excellent material when running against much harder chromium plated rings. However, the differences in thermal expansion between the liner and that of the aluminium alloy piston make it necessary to introduce a greater than desirable radial clearance to prevent piston scuffing and eventual seizure. As the specific performance increases along with larger diameter...

Seals and gaskets under scrutiny

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In the first RET Monitor Seals and Gaskets article, we started to examine the research which Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, a leading multi-national manufacturer of gaskets and seals, has published into the interaction of sealing compounds with biofuels. This research will cause fuel system designers to rethink material selection for sealing gaskets and O-rings. In that article we focused on water contamination of bio-diesel, something which is to an extent, almost inevitable. Water...

Non-circular exhaust sections

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In one of the previous articles, the discussion points were on the traditional methods of manufacture, and this month we shall look in more depth at non-circular sections in exhausts. In the article dated June 14, we mentioned pressed mends as a means of being able to produce very tight radii where space constraints require this. Of course, there are other applications of pressed parts in exhausts, especially where the space envelope is tight. As we know, the aero departments have a great...