How a Turbo Works

With turbocharging becoming more and more prevelant in new car building I thought it might be a good time to rehash our old post on how a turbo works. Turbos are everywhere now and they aren’t just for horsepower. Turbos are being used to boost fuel economy and driving characteristics of small and big engines. Some set ups are even getting quit exotic with sequential set ups and even triple turbos.

Toyota Showroom Turbo by motoyen, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  motoyen 

Of course car guys like turbos for their horsepower and insanely flat torque curves. Turbos are pretty basic way to boost power. Air comes out of the engine which spins a turbine. That turbine is connected to an impeller via a shaft. The impeller compresses the air on the intake side of the engine thus cramming more air into the cylinders. Magic and witchcraft take place and more power is made. To explain some of the witchcraft is a cool little video just after the jump.

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Ford’s New Rapid Prototyping Technique

3d printing is what’s next for everyone. It just is. Someday not too far away we will all have 3d printers at home and that is how we will get a lot of the goods we buy. 3d printing is just one form of rapid prototyping which is revolutionizing the manufacturing world and it should be of no surprise to anyone that the automakers are going to be all over rapid prototyping. Ford today has given us a glimpse via video of their rapid prototyping and how they may use it in the future to do everything from concepts to small production run vehicles. It could just be the ticket out of the homogenized world of automaking where every car has to sell in volume, use parts that are on a half dozen other cars, and largely lack any real character in order to be profitable. Rapid prototyping just may put the creative design back into designing cars. So in honor of Tech Tuesday which is on hiatus for the summer I thought maybe we would take a look at this new technology.

ford rapid prototyping

Ford calls it F3T which stands for Ford Free Form Fabrication Technology. Yeah we will stick with F3T. What F3T does is allows Ford to skip the mold making process for parts because instead of going through the old fashion way where an original had to molded to be reproduced with accuracy Ford can now plug in the parts computer signature and have it produced in full real life 3d out of a 2d sheet of metal. It is quite groundbreaking and it is the future. After the jump is a short and very informative video on the technology and what Ford is doing with it.

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Film Friday: WRC tech

If you missed our Rally Argentina coverage then you might not have seen this gem that was buried in the Youtube playlist. ┬áDid you ever wonder how WRC cars charge through those water splashes without dumping gallons of water straight into the engine? Qatar M-Sport’s Rich Millener explains how their system works.

Tech Tuesday: Spark Plugs, more than you want to know

This week for Tech Tuesday we are talking about spark plugs. They start the fire inside your internal combustion engine. So hit the bump and find out more about this important part of your engine.

Spark plugs ignite the air fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber. So let me run down how it works and the terms involved with this part. If the terms get confusing, check out I-G’s super cool diagram debuting today.

I’ll start at the beginning of the plugs job with the ignition wire. From an earlier episode of tech talk, we know that the an electric current has been sent through the ignition wire and it meets the the terminal end of the spark plug. The knob end of the plug is designed to be a firm connection to the wire. It should fasten with a snap and you should definitely feel it connect.
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