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The design of the vehicle cooling system on a racecar is a comparatively simple task, provided a number of basic facts are truly understood. So after the positioning of all the other major components in the vehicle, the engine, the gearbox – and of course the driver – somewhere in the remaining space will eventually dictate the position of the radiator, and for practical reasons (like the need to supply copious quantities of cool air) this is normally placed adjacent to the...


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In reply to a previous article that discussed crankshaft fillets and their importance in terms of crankshaft reliability, a reader left a comment saying most crankshaft fillets are not true radii, but are in the form of an ellipse or other conic section. Although I’m not aware of anyone offering elliptical or conic fillets – or indeed anyone specifying them – it is certainly possible, with modern computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing techniques, to specify exactly...

The ECU – the holistic approach

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I don’t know about you but whenever I hear someone talking about the ‘holistic’ approach I tend to recoil with concern. Perhaps it is a reminder of my youth and the hippy 1970s, a time of much promise but little in the way of ultimate change. Or, more likely, it’s the arguably misplaced belief that individual parts of a system can only be explained by reference to the whole. So when somebody explained the concept of the ECU in a Formula One vehicle as holistic in...

Liner flange design

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In this article I will take a closer look at the specifics of the liner flange design and what one should take into consideration, with the goal of trying not to crack it. In principle, cylinder liner design does not look too difficult. It is more or less a machined cylindrical component, often with a flange somewhere of somewhat bigger diameter to keep the liner at its correct height. But on closer inspection there are a lot of things that might lead to distortions of either the liner...

Formula One exhausts

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A year ago, the topic of discussion in the corresponding article to this one was how Formula One engineers might compensate for no longer being allowed to ‘blow the floor’ with exhaust gas. In 2011, much of the technical discussion, as far as exhausts were concerned, centred on the use of the energy in the exhaust gas flows to create extra downforce. ‘Hot blowing’ and ‘cold blowing’ were bywords in a season that culminated in a rule change being agreed...