Lancia Auto SA Technical questions, workshop ,software

By: Lancia  11-11-2011
Keywords: engine, Classic Car

  • Is crack detecting..
    Or is it ?

    Well in Aviation it is better known as Non-destructive Testing. Which simply means to look for a defect without breaking the part. We use the latest Technology to find hairline cracks invisible to the naked eye. Although it’s not as much fun as Destructive testing it certainly is more cost effective.
    Non-destructive testing is slowly working it’s way into the Automotive Industry and already top Formula one teams are utilizing this “new field “ to their advantage, with people like Williams Honda, McLaren, Ferrari and even some South African Motor sport teams employing a permanent facility. Very clever if you consider that the first form of “Crack testing” was performed when woodworms was the major hazard to Aircraft. Engine components was first soaked for hours in hot Paraffin then dried off and dusted with a white chalk powder. A “wet stain” then indicated the crack. These days a Fluorescent Penetrant is used and cracks as small as 0.1mm have been found on Turbo impellers. Yes they do crack !Recently a horrifying experience permanently shelved a good friend’s Classic car restoration project after he bought a set of very expensive, secondhand, imported con-rods because that was all he could find. It turned out that one of those con-rods had a defect in it and snapped at 7000 rpm. only one month later. Although this wasn’t a Lancia all this damage could’ve been avoided if he had those con-rods tested for cracks before fitment. At least his Bank manager gave him a Kleenex on the way out.Another method of finding defects open or close to the surface is to magnetize the part. This we do with a magnetizing Bench using either a central conductor or a coil. You’d be surprised at what is revealed when you apply iron filings to the surface. Like one of our colleges recently found out when he asked us to test his BMW Motorbike’s replacement front brake disk… He is still shaking.
    We can also test your wedged and balanced crank as well as those imported cams you love so much.We all know what Ultrasonic Inspection is, from watching the Train driver with his small long stem hammer tapping against the wheels of the train. If it goes “cling” it is OK. And if it goes “clunk” it’s cracked. Modern day equipment uses the same principle, by sending high frequency sound waves into an item and then listening to the echo. It’s an excellent method for finding internal defects in forgings like side-shafts.
    X-Ray’s are certainly more dangerous than the Train driver’s hammer, but just as reliable. Because now, you have a 3-D picture of your part with the defect clearly visible. Expensive yes, but very effective for looking at the quality of welding on a cylinder head repair and just how close you came to that water jacket while porting.
    A few weeks ago we found a crack on a cylinder head between the inlet tract and a water jacket because of excessive porting. Unfortunately this guy already had the head skimmed twice and replaced a few gaskets before he decided to have the head checked for cracks. You can’t save them all… Eddy Current Inspection uses the change in a material’s Conductivity characteristics to find cracks. It’s great for testing weld-repairs to your expensive mag-wheels. Non-destructive testing used to be available only to the super rich Works teams and the Aviation industry. It is now affordable to the classic car Enthusiast as well as the Performance junkie. Now you can assemble your car’s engine with confidence to prevent premature failure and embarrassment.
    Lancia, you either hate it, or you love it with a passion. If you find yourself in the latter category like most of us you can rest assured that there is no proven Medication for our condition. You just have to make the best of it and always treat your Lancia to the highest quality parts, if you should have any doubt about a part give me a call and have it non-destructively tested. Your car deserves it.
    I recently heard a very good saying and would like to share it with you. It is sad that the people who really know how to run the world spend all their time working on old cars.

    Some interesting thoughts about Injection methods

    Sequential or Bank???Most everyone will say (mee too) that sequential is better. Not much tho. When you really break it down, it really is not as big of a benefit for best power. Look at an intake valve is opening and closing 25/second at 3,000 rpm. At 6,000 = 50/sec and so on..
    Lets start with 3,000 rpm. You have a total available time for an injector open/close event of 40 msec. If the injector duration is 15msec, that leaves 25 msec of closed or off time. At 6,000 rpm the total event is now 20 msec you still need the 15 msec duration, the off time is only 5 msec which is not enough to really allow for opening and closing of the injector. You can go to a higher lb/hr injector to reduce the duty cycle and many do this.
    Many of the first sequentials were double shots where there are 2 injection events for each valve opening. Some say that this is to cool the back of the intake valve???? At 3,000 rpm this "cooling" must take place in the half-event time of 20 msec. Huh??? You are really down to splitting hairz. There is in fact a benefit to sequential but many many very high performance engines do extremely well on bank or gang-bang injections. A dyno test I saw showed that the method of injection made little difference. The biggest factor to stay away from was having the injector open when the intake was open. Otherwise, not much difference. Most OEM's are sequential for a coupe of reasons: OBD2 requirements and also there is a difference on low speed and idle operations that mostly benefits emissions.
    When you think about it, OEM's typically only do something for two reasons, they have to because of regulations or the cost/benefit is in their favor. The costs for sequential are minimal - a few extra drivers inside of the ECM and just some software (the software engineers don't like it when you say it that way). Even with minimal costs, the only real benefit to the OEM's was emissions. If there were a true performance gain that in itself would raise MPG. The OEM's all spend millions on trying to better their CAFE (Corp. Average Fuel Economy). If this really helped performance and efficiency, they would have gone sequential much sooner.

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    Keywords: Classic Car, engine