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  • No Camshaft

    I read in Chris Economaki's column in NSSN, that a firm in France is working on an engine with no camshaft. The valves are actuated by electomagnets. The timing is via electronic circuitry. Think of weight savings in camshaft, bearings, gearing, etc.

  • #2
    This has been worked on for at least 30 years. I have an issue of Car Craft from the 1970's that shows a picture of such a setup.

    The idea is not weight savings. With electronically controlled valves, one has, in a way, the perfect camshaft for all operating condtions. Imagine having every
    camshaft ever ground for your engine avaliable simutaneously.

    Also, one could eliminate the throttle plate.

    Imagine an engine that could idle smoothly at 400 rpm, yet rev strong to as
    much as 10,000 rpm.
    "It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny." - James Fenimore Cooper

    "One man with courage is a majority." - Thomas Jefferson

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    • #3
      One problem left to be solved, last I heard, was the incredible amount of
      electrical power required. Seems like I read that GM was working on this
      and was suggesting that a 42-volt electrical system would be the minimun
      required to do the job. I can't remember why they lost interest, It's been
      a couple of years.
      "It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny." - James Fenimore Cooper

      "One man with courage is a majority." - Thomas Jefferson

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      • #4
        Right you are, Ken, I was in a dyno cell in Detroit in the early 70s where they were running engines with this setup for the very reason you mentioned, testing all types of cam timing without ever having to stop and change cams.

        Another interesting thing that they did in the dyno room was to run up engines and watch them under strobe lighting........... You wouldn't believe what an aluminum engine block does in real life!
        .

        http://indyroadsters.webs.com/
        http://macmillersgarage.webs.com/
        http://www.youtube.com/user/macmiller46241


        I love any race car whose last name is "Special"

        .

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        • #5
          should be an easy trivia question-what were the last cars to run indy without a camshaft?....

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          • #6
            WHOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!



            roach

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            • #7
              Hey Mac Miller,

              Did you ever see extreme slow motion of the front suspension and a tire at 65miles an hour on dirt, pavement and off road.

              That has to be the scariest thing I ever saw, and I still think of it every time I drive down the highway.


              There are only three things in life wothwhile, a cocktail before and a nap afterwords.
              Dick Ralstin www.dickralstin.com

              Satisfaction guaranteed or your Monkee returned

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              • #8
                Haven't some of the Formula One engines used/are using, a pneumatic system to operate the valves instead of a camshaft?
                Or does that system just replace the valve springs?

                Dick, I hate to admit it, but I think I've reached the point in life were the only thing left is the nap.
                Gave up tobacco and alcohol nearly ten years ago after I tried dieing (sp?) and all the different medications I have to use now to keep me alive, well....
                Now the docs tell me that I need to lose weight. They want me to give up food too!
                At least it was lotsa fun gettin' this far.
                Think about where you're going in life...
                You may already be there!
                boB

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rlm
                  Haven't some of the Formula One engines used/are using, a pneumatic system to operate the valves instead of a camshaft?
                  Or does that system just replace the valve springs?
                  The latter: only replacing the valve springs. I suspect pneumatics wouldn't respond fast enough at high RPM's.

                  One other point: don't forget that replacing the camshaft and most of the valve train would also reduce internal friction. I don't think weight savings would amount to something worthwhile and may well be cancelled out by the weight of the actuators and electrical system additions.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dick Ralstin
                    Hey Mac Miller,
                    Did you ever see extreme slow motion of the front suspension and a tire at 65miles an hour on dirt, pavement and off road?

                    Yes sir! There is nothing more mind bending than watching a top fuel "digger" tire wind up for a launch...... I think that a race tire, the way it almost defies the laws of physics, is one of the wonders of the engineering world.

                    I remember that, when the five thousand lb springs appeared in Indy cars, the suspension was actually flexing more than the springs were compressing.

                    Super slo-mo cameras have brought the bizarre images of what tires and suspensions do in real life...
                    .

                    http://indyroadsters.webs.com/
                    http://macmillersgarage.webs.com/
                    http://www.youtube.com/user/macmiller46241


                    I love any race car whose last name is "Special"

                    .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've been hooked on Rotary Power for over 33 years...sorry Cam King

                      No cams, no valvetrain. no pistons, no competition...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Saw150
                        I've been hooked on Rotary Power for over 33 years...sorry Cam King

                        No cams, no valvetrain. no pistons, no competition...
                        I remember seeing the 4-rotor Mazda IMSA GTP car on TV-sounded like an F-15!
                        "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                        "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tcummings
                          should be an easy trivia question-what were the last cars to run indy without a camshaft?....
                          The STP turbines in 1968. The last piston engine to do so was probably Leon Duray's 16 cyl. two cycle which ran in 1931.
                          Proud to be a complainer.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sea Fury
                            I remember seeing the 4-rotor Mazda IMSA GTP car on TV-sounded like an F-15!
                            ...and that was with a muffler the size of the door,...now the '91 LeMans winner was incredible!...check out Rotarynews.com (Sevenstock...600 Rx7's) for some sound.

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                            • #15
                              O.K. not really racing related but how about the engines with cams and no "valves"???Sea Fury better not miss this one {hint,hint}........

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