4WD MODIFICATIONS – TECH TORQUE
If you want to know how ESC works, what a nanotube is, who Ackroyd was or why Australia will grow its own fuel – it’s all here.
Electrification doesn’t mean the end of the internal combustion engine, but tomorrow’s passenger car engines are being designed primarily for hybrid-electric vehicles and as range extenders.
The leaf spring has been with us since horse-drawn wagon passengers demanded better ride quality and the long-serving leaf spring is still the principal springing medium for the rear ends of light commercial 4WDs.
Cylinder deactivation – shutting down multiple cylinders during light-load conditions – is becoming increasingly popular as a means of reducing fuel consumption and emissions. We explain how it works.
It’s accepted wisdom that there’s no alternative to the diesel for heavy duty 4WD tasks. Two highly-qualified US researchers disagree and have come up with a petrol-fuelled alternative. The editor sourced this MIT Energy Initiative report.
Australian consumer law says that goods must be suitable for any particular purpose the buyer makes known to the seller.If you make it clear that you want to drive your intended new 4WD in long grass and do lots of stop-start and low speed work the salesman should tell you that a new turbo-diesel Euro 5 wagon or ute is not for you.
On August 8, 2018, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) gave a public demonstration of its newly developed ammonia-to-hydrogen fuelling technology. What are the ramifications of this technology, you may well ask.
Heavy trucks have been using up to 20-speed gearboxes for many years, so multispeed transmissions aren’t new in the automotive world. However, they’re relatively new to the 4WD scene and the main reasons are economy and emissions reduction.
As vehicle makers enter a new era of propulsion based on electric motors it’s timely to look at the fuel cell. This cold (or warm) combustion power source is already in service in several areas, including portable electricity generation and vehicle power.
It seems inevitable that the future of 4WDs is as hybrids and range-extended electric vehicles.
Five years ago we’d have laughed if someone said 4WD diesel engines are higher-maintenance and more likely to break down than petrols, but that’s the situation today. The latest diesels are high-maintenance and fragile.
Infiniti presented a VC-T (Variable Compression -Turbocharged) engine at the Paris Motor Show on 29 September 2016. It’s claimed to be the world’s first production-ready variable-compression-ratio engine.
Shock absorbers are probably the least understood components of a 4WD’s suspension. These devices are more properly called dampers and their function is to control spring action.
The dual goals of meeting tight emissions standards and improving fuel consumption have seen some engine development companies look to designs of the past for inspiration.
The 12-volt electrical system has been with us for many years, but is now running out of capacity. A dual 12V-48V system is the first step towards a higher-voltage solution.
If you took any notice of the current Federal Government (but who would?) you could be forgiven for thinking that there’s no such thing as Climate Change and we can go on blissfully digging up coal to burn here and sell overseas, while importing almost all our liquid fuels.
The amount of aluminium content in 4WDs is steadily increasing and some makers have adopted all-aluminium bodywork. What’s driving this trend?
We try not to get excited about battery breakthroughs, but this simple design seems to hold more promise than complex technologies. Let’s hope!
Dual-mass flywheels are fitted to some modern manual-transmission 4WDs. What was wrong with the tried and proved solid flywheel and sprung clutch plate?
Lights that lit the way for 4WDs used to be variations on the same incandescent-globe theme, but now there are HID and LED lights. Here’s how they all work.
We clocked up 190,000 mainly bush kilometres on our Discovery 3 and the suspension lived up to Land Rover’s claims for superior on and off road behaviour over conventional steel spring suspensions. The rest of the vehicle was a disappointment, however.
When BMW released its 2008 twin-turbo, three-litre, X-5 diesel Down Under it was a 4WD production vehicle first. We’d been seeing twin-turbo engines for years, but this design was different.
We’ve been living with traction-controlled 4WDs since late last century and systems have improved dramatically in that time.
Within a few years it’s likely you’ll look under the bonnet of a new 4WD and discover there’s no alternator. The electric power to run the vehicle’s ancillary systems will come from the exhaust system – or, rather, from a thermoelectric generator (TEG) that’s part of it. The technology is being employed in post-2014 F1 racing cars.
It’s so obvious you might wonder why stop-start engines aren’t standard on all vehicles, but making stop-start work smoothly, safely and reliably is not as simple as it first seems.
Most people think that the internal combustion engine was invented in the late 1800s, but the principle of internal combustion was demonstrated by Dutch scientist Christian Huygens way back in 1673. In the Huygens engine a piston was blown upwards in a cylinder by a gunpowder explosion.
A nanotube is a cylinder made up of atomic particles and has a diameter that is as small as one billionth of a metre: a nanometre. Between 10,000 and 50,000 nanotubes can fit across the diameter of a human hair.
At a Geneva meeting in June 2008 the UN World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (UNECE WP29) adopted a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) on ESC for light duty vehicles and passenger cars.
In the early days of the motor vehicle, designers soon tumbled to the fact that a solid rear axle wasn’t the ideal arrangement across the back of a car, because when the machine went around a corner the outside wheel dictated the rotational speed and the inside wheel had no choice but to spin off excess speed.
It’s not so long ago that we were all in fear of the imminent arrival of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) on 4WD diesels. The latest systems have DPFs and SCR as well.
‘She’ll be right’ has long been the Australian motto, reinforced by the smooth transition we made from a wool-based export economy to an iron ore- and coal-based one.