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Welding of assembled crankshafts

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In 2010 I wrote a RET-Monitor article on assembled or ‘split’ crankshafts. In it I mentioned some of the applications of this type of crankshaft assembly, and discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages. There was a brief mention of the use of welding in the assembly of such crankshafts, but no further explanation. Although somewhat late in doing so, I’d like to explain more about the reasons for welding. The 2010 article mentioned that welding is sometimes used to...

Wiring connectors – past and present

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I can’t think of anything more annoying than those little intermittent electrical faults. You know the type, the ones that cut the engine out halfway around the first lap of practice and then mysteriously disappear when you get the car back to the pit lane afterwards. At this point the older hands among us resign ourselves to a long day ahead. With modern diagnostics systems, problems with engine management, wiring or sensors are generally easy to diagnose, even when they’re...

The carbon-face seal

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In engine design sometimes parts cannot be made out of a single piece, which unfortunately means that seals and gaskets are necessary to keep the several fluids and air inside the engine, and keep dust, debris and water on the outside. I say ‘unfortunately’ because every gasket or seal is a weak spot in the engine. Seals are always made from a material with lower mechanical properties then the base block or head material, and the two mating surfaces always carry some risk of...

GT exhausts

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The rigours of endurance racing make such events a real test of the machinery and the team behind it, and the exhaust system of any car or motorcycle needs careful consideration in its design, from the general layout through to the smallest details. GT racing has always been the backbone of national and international endurance car racing. In the good times there is the money to support big-budget Prototypes, but there is always a very healthy, well supported base of GT teams that offer...

The perils of fastening thin components

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There is very often a need to fasten thinwall parts to other components. In the case of engines and transmissions, this might be cosmetic covers, airboxes, airhorns, electrical enclosures or any number of other items. The fastening of thin components is not technically difficult to achieve: we can use the same type of fasteners that we use in normal circumstances, but we need to be aware of the difference in behaviour of threaded fasteners, which can tend to lead to fastener loosening or...