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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.

We’re all living with corrugations

We’ve read many theories on why corrugations occur, but Outback Travel Australia’s conclusion is that nobody really knows. Also, corrugations occur on river beds and on coastal shores, on asphalt and concrete roads, on railway lines and in the atmosphere.

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Variable-compression-ratio engines

Infiniti presented a VC-T (Variable Compression -Turbocharged) engine at the Paris Motor Show on 29 September 2016. It was the world’s first production-ready variable-compression-ratio engine.

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Diesel Emissions Systems

It’s not so long ago that we were all in fear of the imminent arrival of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) on 4WD diesels. Current systems have DPFs and SCR as well.

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A particulate filter makes many modern diesel 4WDs unfit for purpose

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.

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Alternatives to diesel examined

Whether you believe in climate cage or not isn’t the issue: the fact is that all engine makers are heading down the alternatives-to-fossil-fuel path and a tiny market like Australia’s isn’t going to influence global developments.

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Diesel future under a cloud

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.

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Hydrogen storage issues being addressed

Hydrogen fuel cells are touted as the best solution for electric 4WDs and RVs, because battery packs are just too big, too heavy and take too long to charge. However, hydrogen tanks are also too heavy and lack capacity. How about powdered hydrogen?

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Lithium Battery technicalities

Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4), also known as lithium and LFP, batteries deliver high energy and power density for mobile applications. They often have the best combination of performance, safety, cost, reliability and environmental characteristics for RV and marine applications.

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Atkinson and Miller cyle engines

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.

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All leaf springs are not the same

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.

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Cylinder deactivation explained

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.

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High performance research petrol engine

It’s accepted wisdom that there’s no alternative to the diesel for heavy duty 4WD tasks. Two highly-qualified US researchers disagreed and came up with a petrol-fuelled alternative in 2017. The editor sourced this MIT Energy Initiative report.

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Ammonia as a source of hydrogen fuel

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.

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Multispeed transmissions

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.

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Fuel Cells explained

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.

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Shock absorbers explained

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.

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Flat engines could be the future

Flat engines could be the future

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.

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Carbon dioxide isn’t the end of the combustion line

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.

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Air Suspension Works

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.

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Two Turbos are Better than One

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.

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Thermo Electric Generators Are on the Way

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.

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Stop-Start Technology is Here

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.

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Should the ‘Diesel’ Really Be Called an ‘Akroyd’

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.

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Nanotubes Explained

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.

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Differentials Explained

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.

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