So we have completed our new high-pressure piston design and it is out for quotes. In our last re-design effort we tried modifying our existing pistons rather than starting to start from scratch in order to save money. This led us to try some “innovative” ring designs to make it work. Turns out there is a reason engine rings and grooves are made the way they are. Who knew? So this time we’re making all new crowns using current best practices – or at least as close as we can get to it. I won’t go into exactly what we’re doing and why, but I’m excited to see how these babies perform. I wanted to put in a picture, but I’m worried that perhaps there’s something in there we will want to patent so no graphics for you today.
When assembling the engine, getting the cranks in sync and controlling gear lash has been a labor-intensive effort that is very easy to mess up. To alleviate this we have designed a new doohickey (that’s a technical term) that lets us do this in a much more controlled and repeatable manner, eliminating another unknown source of potential error for us. Finally, we’ve got some new seals for our low-pressure pistons which should be another enhancement, but without as dramatic improvements as our new HP pistons. Our new shaft syncing device should improve the LP seals as well.
We’re adding some data channels to our test cell that will give us more insight into the performance of our poppet valves. Our pressure traces from our last tests tell us the timing is not what it is supposed to be, though at our low testing speeds, the effect on engine performance due to this error should be pretty minimal. The new data will allow us to ensure we get it right next time.