Be Your Own Auto Repair Technician by Joseph Miller

By Joseph Miller

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They primarily use hydraulics to select gears, depending on pressure exerted by fluid within the transmission assembly. Rather than using a clutch to engage the transmission, a torque converter is put in between the engine and transmission. It is possible for the driver to control the number of gears in use or select reverse, though precise control of which gear is in use is usually not possible. Automatic transmissions are easy to use. In the past, automatic transmissions of this type have had a number of problems; they were complex and expensive, sometimes had reliability problems (which sometimes caused more expenses in repair), have often been less fuel-efficient than their manual counterparts and their shift time was slower than a manual making them uncompetitive for racing.

Raising the compression ratio, which makes more efficient use of the cylinder pressure developed and leading to more rapid burning of fuel, by using larger compression height pistons or thinner head gasket or by milling "shaving" the cylinder head. • Supercharging; adding a supercharger or turbocharger. The fuel/air mass entering the cylinders is increased by compressing the air first, (usually) mechanically. • Using a fuel with higher energy content or by adding an oxidiser such as nitrous oxide.

A recently publicised fully-active system from Bose Corporation uses linear electric motors, ie solenoids, in place of hydraulic or pneumatic actuators that have generally been used up until recently. Springs • • • • • Leaf spring - AKA Hotchkiss, Cart, or semi-elliptical spring Torsion beam suspension Coil spring Rubber bushing Air spring Dampers or shock absorbers The shock absorbers damp out the, otherwise resonant, motions of a vehicle up and down on its springs. They also must damp out much of the wheel bounce when the unsprung weight of a wheel, hub, axle and sometimes brakes and differential bounces up and down on the springiness of a tire.

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