May The Force (Of Induction) Be With You!

May The Force (Of Induction) Be With You!

Since we’re always looking for smart ways to gain more horsepower, one of the best approaches is supercharging. It’s a device designed to grab Mother Nature by the scruff of the neck and shake her silly. Supercharging dramatically ups the ante on the pressure and quantity on your intake charge thereby making significantly more power for an internal combustion engine. Call it “unnatural aspiration”. The concept has been around for 131 years and even helped generate the power for some of history’s greatest prop-driven fighter planes. Lateral-g online magazine: Read the story of how a TorqStorm supercharger performed on Blueprint’s 383 SB...
How Renault F1 won a World championship by creating the tuned mass damper

How Renault F1 won a World championship by creating the tuned mass damper

By Fergus Ogilvy: At the end of the last century, probably the autumn of 1999, senior R&D man at Renault F1, Dave Hamer, was asked to investigate what could be done to stabilize their wind tunnel model. At that time it was a half-scale model, fifty percent the size of their current Formula One car, and it had a tendency to yaw (move laterally) during wind tunnel testing. Previous attempts at reinforcing the supporting strut had failed; to their dismay they had succeeded only in increasing its natural frequency of oscillation. “The supporting strut is particularly under-damped,” explains Hamer, “therefore, it was easily triggered into oscillation.” Could a mass damper stabilize the model in the wind tunnel? To oppose or eradicate the oscillating forces, he suggested the use of a tuneable mass damper, similar in concept of those placed at the top of some skyscrapers to protect them from the effects of earthquakes. The Taipei 101 skyscraper uses a tuned mass damper that weighs 800 tons. “We hired a specialist company to conduct a stability analysis of the model,” said Hamer, “and our drawing office designed some devices, but with negligible results. Confined space within the model was the chief impediment.” Then four and a half years later, in 2004, another attempt was made. By now the wind tunnel and the work performed within it was more refined. Significantly, the R&D department had access to a vibration specialist, who was on loan from Renault at the time, and between him and Benetton’s then Head of the race team’s R&D department, Robin Tuluie, they introduced a leaf spring to address the instability of...
EFI controllers dominate high-end drag racing

EFI controllers dominate high-end drag racing

Written by Moore Good Ink Using the most powerful processors in the industry, Big Stuff 3 EFI controllers dominate Pro Mod, Outlaw 10.5, NHRA Comp Eliminator, Bonneville competition—and now it’s the impelling force in hundreds of street-strip engines. In 1983 John Meaney, originating from the south side of Chicago and now in his early twenties, had an idea for a carburetor. But his Professor at Valparaiso University said, “Don’t waste your time on those things they’ll be extinct in five years. Why don’t you consider an electronic fuel injection system?” Persuaded by its novelty and its potential, he, aided by his professor, made an EFI system, adapting it for use on his 1969 Camaro. On the last day of school he gave some of the engineering profs rides in the parking lot. “They were all smiles,” exclaimed John, “They thought it the best.” After college John took employment at UTC (United Technologies Corporation) in Michigan. UTC owned aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and worked closely with GM, who was embarking on an ambitious program to create a replacement Bosch injector. “But when I realized the program wouldn’t get off the ground, I went to work for Bosch at their Farmington Hills location in Michigan.” Bosch years At Bosch, a Germany company based in Stuttgart, luck intervened on John Meaney’s side. Not only was he responsible for developing the full engine management program but also he discovered his supervisor was an ardent racer with a 1969 Camaro. Normally an engineer would be assigned to a single project, like developing a fuel injector or a fuel pressure regulator or an O2...
You may not think it will kill your clutch but it will

You may not think it will kill your clutch but it will

Written by Moore Good Ink: Why precipitate the loss of a perfectly good clutch when it can be avoided? Ram Clutches offers two valuable tips: On chassis dynamometers Probably the greatest threat to the longevity of a clutch system is imposed by the chassis dynamometer. Because there is no tire slippage during the run, any hint of engine lugging can cause the clutch to slip. Consequently chassis dyno time is much more strenuous and abusive on your clutch system than racing passes at the drag strip. At the drag strip On the burnout make certain the tires are wet but not operating in the water. As they begin to gain traction with the pavement, depress the clutch pedal. Do not attempt to extend the burnout toward the tree. When the tires hook they exact a heavy load on the clutch, especially in 3rd or 4th gears. To extend the burnout further exposes the clutch system to a tremendous and unnecessary load. Though this may sound elementary, make certain your car is in first gear before you leave the starting line. Leaving the line in 3rd gear will almost certainly destroy your clutch system. So, prior to pre-staging always ensure you select 1st gear. Lastly, ‘hot lapping’ can transmit severe heat to the clutch. Though some events require consecutive runs always try to provide sufficient time for the clutch to cool. Focus on making quality runs rather than quantity. To understand the basics of Ram’s billet drag racing clutch systems click here. Source: RAM Automotive Company 201 Business Park Blvd. Columbia, SC 29203 Telephone (803) 788-6034 www.ramclutches.com...
“All our friends are dead”: Weekend of a champion

“All our friends are dead”: Weekend of a champion

By Freddie Heaney, September 8, 2014 Set in May of 1971 in Monte Carlo, an area of the Mediterranean Principality of Monaco, Weekend of a Champion is a documentary that portrays how three-time F1 world champion Jackie Stewart applies himself to the task. Produced by Roman Polanski and directed by Frank Simon, the film premiered at the 1972 Berlin Film Festival and subsequently remained unscreened for 40 years. Now re-released and available on Netflix, it is the finest documentary on F1 for car racing enthusiasts of that period. Though it was a trendy time particularly for the racers—hair styles, side burns, beautiful cars and voluptuous girlfriends with Riviera suntans—F1 was a sport that inflicted profound loss and grief. In common with US sprint car racing of the last century, Formula One spawned an appalling death rate. When Stewart sat down with his wife, Helen, they calculated that 57 professional racing drivers had perished during his final five years of racing from 1968 to ’73. Marked by destruction, two of every three drivers were fated with violent death. They knew the slightest error would betray them—no wonder she had said: “all our close friends are dead.” After his retirement at the end of the 1973 season, Stewart, now 76, became an F1 champion of safety, implementing an often contentious campaign that rid F1 of deaths for 18 or 19 successive years. For enthusiasts, though, the essence of an enjoyable documentary is one that allows you to marvel at the details as they unfold. And on this particular weekend, Stewart was extremely fortunate in that the rain held off, for the team...
Remedy for sprint car driveline troubles

Remedy for sprint car driveline troubles

By Alfie Bilk, August 2, 2014 East Berlin, PA: There is a universal belief among the sprint car community that most driveline failures are the result of an inadequate universal joint. Nothing could be further from the truth according to Aaron Long of AL Drive Line. “The U-joints available today,” insists Long, “are undoubtedly strong enough for the demands of a WoO sprint car and we have failure-analysis data to prove so. The problem lies within the design of the traditional driveshaft, which whips and bends and ultimately causes the U-joint to fail from fatigue. ” The problem is fatigue; the remedy is a titanium design unlike any other. Nothing in the delivery of a sprint car’s power is diluted. Consider transmitting torque in excess of a 700ft-lbs with neither a clutch pack nor transmission to absorb the chaos between the crankshaft and the rear end. With a single U-joint attached to a conventional drive shaft, the whipping effect is so fatigue-inducing that a lightweight aluminum U-joint will be eventually flailed into submission if not replaced every 8 to 12 races. Heavier, more durable types are available but, still, the universal joint is widely regarded as the sprint car’s most vulnerable component.  But Aaron Long discovered by combining three certified titanium alloys in the driveshaft’s construction with larger diameter and precision-machining, the shaft could better absorb the adversities of harmonics, vibration frequencies and torque spikes. Moreover, the shafts could also be made lighter and by reducing binding in the drive-train, the rear suspension works better. Constructed entirely from titanium the billet splined ends and the seamless tubing are machined...