Monthly Archives: April 2012

Torque – Command Transmission

Currently, American Motors’ automatic transmission-equipped cars use three-speed Torque-Command transmissions much like Chrysler’s Torque Flite. Three different models are used, and they are similar in size, appearance and operation. Model 727 is shown in Fig. 45-40; Model 904/998 is illustrated in cross section in Fig. 45-41.

All models combine a torque converter and planetary gear system, giving three forward gear ratios and one reverse. The three element torque converter incorporates an impeller connected to the engine, a turbine splined to the transmission input shaft and a stator connected to the transmission case through an overrunning clutch.

The transmission contains two multiple disc clutches, two bands and servos, an overrunning clutch and two planetary gearsets with a common sun gear. The two gearsets are connected to the two clutches through a driving shell, which is splined to the sun gear and front clutch retainer.

The hydraulic system of the Torque-Command units includes a single oil pump, a valve body containing the pressure regulating and shift control valves, the governor valve assembly, two band-actuating servos and the accumulator.

Dexron transmission fluid is cooled by circulation through which drives the planetary pinions. Since the secondary sun gear is locked in place, the planetary pinions are forced to “walk” around the secondary sun gear, driving the internal gear at intermediate speed.

In high with the selector level in D position, the front and rear clutches couple both sun gears to the input shafts. All units lock together and turn in direct ratio to the input shaft.

 

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2011 Nissan Leaf

One of the first things you notice when you walk around the 2011 Nissan Leaf is that there’s no tailpipe. The next thing you notice is that it is otherwise pretty familiar, which is exactly what Nissan is striving for. A different sort of vehicle that is too different would only confound potential consumers.

It’s a quirky looking hatchback, but still within the established bounds of hatchback cute. It rides and handles nicely enough, offers plenty of interior space and has a few futuristic design touches (like the stubby, blue-lit, mouse-inspired shifter, and the surprisingly soft seat fabric made from recycled pop bottles).

Because the car operates silently, engineers had to take care to diminish other noises that were suddenly too loud – noises that exist in all cars but are masked by the sound coming out of the engine bay. For instance, there was wind noise around the mirrors that was dealt with by designing long, striking (patent-pending) LED headlights that split airflow around the mirrors and direct it up and over the A-pillars.

They also programmed in a few muted sounds where necessary, such as pedestrian warning that kicks in at low speeds, but isn’t audible from inside.

To keep features such as heat from draining the battery, solar panels on top of the tailgate run some of the accessories, and the heating and air can be timed to come on automatically, programmed online or through your Smartphone.

Leaf has a range of about 160 km when fully charged. The 24 kWh lithium-ion battery is charged via a plug under the logo on the hood: level 1, a trickle charge at 110 v takes about 20 hours; level 2, a normal charge at 220 v takes eight hours; and level 3, a quick, DC-only 50 kW charge that is not yet widely available, can be accomplished to about 80% power in half an hour.

With 207 lb.-ft. of torque right from the get-go, it gets up to about 40 km/h as well as many V6s, power at higher speeds is adequate, much as any four-cylinder.

Engineers did some considerable tinkering with the software controls to get the acceleration to behave consistently. Braking dynamics are familiar, though a bit sensitive.

Because the battery is housed in the floor and the weight distribution nearly 50/50, it handles nicely. The seats are comfortable but barely bolstered, and taking a corner particularly aggressively can give you some body roll, but it isn’t the way such a car is meant to be driven.

There is plenty of legroom and headroom everywhere, but realistically this is a four-person vehicle – no averaged-sized adult is going to want to be sitting in the centre at the back.

Among its gauge cluster is an eco-metre (tree-shaped, natch) that lets you know how ecologically sound your driving is, as well, the power gauge that lets you know how much range you have left adjusts to your driving style.

The dash does feature a good dollop of hard plastic, but its swoopy organic shape takes the edge off and makes it more attractive than it should be.

There are still issues to be ironed out – you could drive it to work on a blustery day, park it outside at your office, and return to it eight hours later to find half your range gone. A cold weather package including heated seats (front and rear) and steering wheel will be standard in Canadian Leafs (Leaves?)

All of Nissan’s factory-capacity 20,000 Leafs for the first year have been spoken for south of the border (where Leaf arrives in winter 2010). American buyers are paying just under $33,000, but Canadian prices have not been announced yet.

Even though it comes well equipped, that’s still a big chunk of change for a small hatch, were it your garden-variety small hatch. But it’s not.

 

Fact File 2011 Nissan Leaf

Trim levels: SV,SL

Notable options: Quick charge port

Configuration: front motor/Front wheel drive

Motor: 80 kW AC synchronous

Transmission: single speed reducer w/shift-by-wire drive selector

Power/torque: 107 hp/207 lb.-ft

Battery: 24 kWh lithium-ion

Warranties: Exp. 3 years/60,000 km (basic), 8 years/160,000 km on battery pack.

Competitors: Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Strengths: no more stops for gas like many small hatchbacks, looks cool

Weaknesses: lack of infra-structure; questionable cold weather performance; no flat load floor for cargo

 

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American Bosch Series PS Pumps

The American Bosch PS series of fuel injection pumps, is built in three main types: PSB, PSJ and PSU. They are all similar in that each utilizes a single, hardened steel plunger which reciprocates (moves back and forth) for pumping action and rotates continuously for distribution of the fuel to the discharge outlets.

A PSJ series fuel injection pump, for example, is a distributor type pump and differs from APE and APF models in that a single pump plunger is used for multicylinder engines. This eliminates the need for individual fuel adjustments for each cylinder. Fuel is injected during the high velocity portion of the plunger stroke and fuel metering employs precise port opening and port closing principles.

PSJ series pumps are connected to the engine lubricating system for complete lubrication of the camshaft, bearings, tappets, lower portion of the plunger and governing mechanism. The upper portion of the plunger is lubricated by the high-pressure fuel. The manufacturer claims the PSJ series is particularly adapted to multifuel engines.

 

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Nozzle Operation

The operation of the nozzle is controlled by the fuel pressure. As soon as pressure exerted during the delivery stroke of the injection pump exceeds the tension of the pressure spring in the nozzle holder, pressure acting on the pressure tape of the nozzle needle causes the needle to be lifted off its seat and fuel is injected into the combustion chamber.

Nozzle opening pressure (which is adjustable) is determined by the initial tension of the pressure spring in the nozzle holder. The needle stroke is limited by the plane surface on the nozzle holder.

When injected, fuel flows through the delivery pipe, connector and pressure passage of the nozzle holder, then through groove and passage of nozzle, and out of the injection hole or holes of the nozzle into combustion chamber of the engine.

The importance of delivering only absolutely clean fuel to the nozzles cannot be overemphasized. Because of the closely fitted parts, even microscopic size foreign matter can cause malfunctioning and wear of the parts. Consequently, two or more filters usually are installed, Fig. 27-7. The first, or primary, filter is designed to remove the larger and heavier particles. Often, it is the cleanable metal edge type. The final filter should be capable of removing particles down to 3 to 5 microns (0.00012 to 0.00020 in.).

wpg3 263x300 Nozzle Operation

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The Diesel System

It requires the injected fuel to pass through a round orifice to produce a hollow-cone shaped spray. The projection of the pintle through the nozzle induces a self cleaning effect thereby reducing the accumulation of carbon at that point.

The hole type nozzle has no pintle, but is basically similar in construction to the pintle type. The hole type nozzle has one or more spray orifices which are straight round holes through the tip of the nozzle body beneath the valve seat, Fig. 27-6.

wpg2 300x241 The Diesel System

Spray from each individual orifice is relatively dense and compact. The general spray pattern is determined by the number and arrangement of the holes. As many as 18 holes can be provided in the larger nozzles. The diameter of the individual orifices may be as small as .006 in. The spray pattern may or may not be symmetrical (regular in shape), depending on the contours of the combustion chamber and fuel distribution requirements.

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American Bosch Diesel System

The American Bosch Arma Corporation produces fuel injection pumps for single cylinder engines, and also for multi-cylinder engines. Typical of American Bosch port controlled design are the APE and APF series. The APE series for a four cylinder diesel engine is shown in Fig. 27-2.

Each pump element is made up of a plunger and a barrel. The plunger is so accurately fitted in the barrel that it will provide a seal without special packing, even at high pressures and low speed. The plunger jacket is milled out along a helical line, to provide for the control helix on the plunger. The barrel has two opposing radial holes through which the fuel oil reaches the delivery chamber of the barrel.

On the compression stroke, the pump plunger is actuated by a cam. On the suction stroke, it is actuated by the plunger spring. The valve is closed by a spring-loaded delivery valve, connected with the delivery pipe to the respective nozzles in the cylinder.

To vary the quantity of fuel delivered by the pump, the pump valve has a control sleeve on the upper end of which a toothed quadrant is clamped. A control rod meshes with the tooth quadrant, so that the pump plunger can be rotated during operation.

Various positions of the plunger are shown in Fig.27-4. In its upward movement, the plunger closes the intake port. This forces fuel through the delivery valve to the delivery pipe.

wpg11 269x300 American Bosch Diesel System

Fuel delivery stops as soon as helix and inlet port coincide, since the delivery chamber of the barrel is (from that moment) connected to the suction chamber through the longitudinal and annular grooves. The fuel is forced back into the suction chamber. If the plunger is turned far enough for the longitudinal groove and inlet port to meet, as at 6 in Fig.27-4, the fuel in the delivery chamber is not subjected to pressure, and no fuel will be delivered.

The injection nozzle used in the diesel system made by American Bosch is designed to control the mixture formation in the combustion chamber. American Bosch nozzles are either of the pintle type or hole type, Figs.27-5 and 27-6.

wpg13 208x300 American Bosch Diesel System

 

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Constant Velocity Joints

To solve this problem, special universal joints known as “constant velocity’ types were developed, Fig. 46-13. In the example shown, rolling balls in curved grooves are utilized to obtain uniform motion. The balls, which are the driving contact, move laterally as the joint rotates. This permits the point of driving contact between the two halves of the coupling to remain in a plane which bisects the angle between the two shafts. By this means, the fluctuation in speed is avoided.

wpg1 269x300 Constant Velocity Joints

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Automotive Encyclopedia

In an attempt to absorb some of the natural vibration created by the drive line, Ford introduced a “tuned dynamic absorber” as standard equipment on lighter vehicles. This absorber consisted of a7 lb. weight suspended by a beam below the front universal joint. The beam was attached to the rear of the transmission extension housing and is engineered to an exact length so that the weight oscillates at the natural frequency of the drive line.

More recently, Chrysler took a different design approach, building into the drive shaft an “internal vibration absorber,” Fig. 46-12. This unit obtains the same basic effect as the Ford “absorber.” It absorbs the natural vibrations created by the fluctuation in speed of the drive shaft.

This fluctuation of speed is further emphasized in the design of driving axles. In the case of front wheel drive vehicles, the universal joint, or joints, used in the driving axle assemblies must transfer driving power to the front wheels and, at the same time, compensate for steering action on turns.

wpg8 300x168 Automotive Encyclopedia

wpg9 229x300 Automotive Encyclopedia

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