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Coventry Climax FWMV8 engines; fascinating facts


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#1 bradbury west

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 00:21

Looking through Walter Hassan's Climax in Coventry book, written in conjunction with Graham Robson, these two gems emerged.

1; The ultra short stroke engines in 1964 and 1965 were not developed specifically for their potential high revving capability, but to provide a larger diameter cylinder bore to accommodate the movements of the closely packed valves. Combustion problems had delayed this engine layout, so it had run very well in two valve configuration in the interim.

2; The "flat" crank engine was not the result of much considered research into its potential benefits, but to make instalation easier in a car which was not built, that car being a further variuation of the Ferguson P99 car, but with the V8 motor. Clearly the tangle of the crossover exhaust in the normal FWMV would make it impossible to sit a driver in the cockpit on this front engined car, so the only way that the exhaust pulses could be got right with an alternative system was to convert to a flat crank design. Power remained constant and there were none of the expected increases in vibration. The engine note then assumed the even beat rather than the usual V8 irregular exhaust beat. Exhaust installation became much easier and many other FWMV engines were later modified on rebuilds.

We might assume that Harry Ferguson stumped up the money for the development, mindful of the careful way in which Leonard Lee ran Climax, other than the generous way in he must have subsidised F1 teams with his perceived pricing policy. Ferguson was actively designing a 4wd saloon car again in that period.

Roger Lund

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#2 Roger Clark

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 06:09

Originally posted by bradbury west

We might assume that Harry Ferguson stumped up the money for the development,

Harry Ferguson Research perhaps, but Ferguson himself died in October 1960.

#3 bradbury west

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Posted 08 November 2005 - 09:18

Roger, mea culpa.

I checked it in a Ferguson article after I had posted the words last night, and realised that HF had died prior to the first race of the P99 car. The time of my post was pretty late, so I thought I would correct it this morning, but too late. A least it proves that Ferguson Research were still committed to innovative research enginering. The article in Classic Cars, July 2005, made it clear just what a talented man HF was.

RL

#4 Macca

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 15:32

Interesting similarities and differences with Tony Rudd's approach at BRM. From 'It Was Fun!', he was "obsessed" with cross-coupling the V8's exhausts like C-C which he couldn't do until the centre-exhaust version, and that Weslake's 4-valve heads were a failure. Even without cross-coupled headers, BRM had trouble with exhaust routing and so went to flat-cranks for 1963.


Paul M

#5 bradbury west

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 15:58

Mention has been made on another thread of Ian Bamsey's book, IMHO excellent, on the Auto Union GP cars. He did another on the Lotus 25 and in the introducton he sets out the scenario with what I think, as a non-engineer, is a very lucid technical comparison between the Climax V8 and the BRM V8 . It meant that I could understand the differences, and the potential benefits and shortcomings/consequences of the two designs.

RL

PS I found his tome on the Vanwall similarly worth reading.

#6 Roger Clark

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 19:10

Originally posted by Macca
Interesting similarities and differences with Tony Rudd's approach at BRM. From 'It Was Fun!', he was "obsessed" with cross-coupling the V8's exhausts like C-C which he couldn't do until the centre-exhaust version, and that Weslake's 4-valve heads were a failure. Even without cross-coupled headers, BRM had trouble with exhaust routing and so went to flat-cranks for 1963.


Paul M

Did BRM use cross-over piping with the central-exhaust engine?

#7 Macca

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 20:51

Apparently not - after giving up on the Weslake-developed 4-valve heads, they got the extra power with better combustion, and took the benefits of stiffer mountings to stress the engine and improve torsional stiffness, as well as better fuel stowage in the tub horns - but they could have done if they'd wanted.

At least, not with the V8 - I don't know about the 48-valve V12 in 1969.

Paul M

#8 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 16 November 2005 - 23:51

Originally posted by bradbury west
Mention has been made on another thread of Ian Bamsey's book, IMHO excellent, on the Auto Union GP cars. He did another on the Lotus 25 and in the introducton he sets out the scenario with what I think, as a non-engineer, is a very lucid technical comparison between the Climax V8 and the BRM V8 . It meant that I could understand the differences, and the potential benefits and shortcomings/consequences of the two designs.

I have also enjoyed Bamsey's various books and I agree that his presentation is excellent.

For those interested in the various Coventry Climax engines, I would highly recommend "Coventry Climax Racing Engines" by Des Hammill. An outstanding work on the subject.

#9 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 07:14

Originally posted by Macca
Apparently not - after giving up on the Weslake-developed 4-valve heads, they got the extra power with better combustion, and took the benefits of stiffer mountings to stress the engine and improve torsional stiffness, as well as better fuel stowage in the tub horns - but they could have done if they'd wanted.


Paul M

That was exactly my understanding, but you still get people saying that BRM couldn't use linked exhaust until they introduced central exhausts. By the time they did that they were using flat cranks, so why would they want to?

#10 pertti_jarla

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 15:35

Does any of the book mentioned, or some other source, have a three way drawing of the FWMV engine? That would be most useful for model scratch building purposes. Cutaways aren't that good, as they are usually drawn at an angle.

#11 hansfohr

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 16:36

For those interested in the various Coventry Climax engines, I would highly recommend "Coventry Climax Racing Engines" by Des Hammill. An outstanding work on the subject.

I recommend this very informative stuff on the FPF and the FWMV: http://www.veloce.co...cs/pdf/V283.pdf

Edited by hansfohr, 16 February 2010 - 16:40.


#12 D-Type

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 17:33

Does any of the book mentioned, or some other source, have a three way drawing of the FWMV engine? That would be most useful for model scratch building purposes. Cutaways aren't that good, as they are usually drawn at an angle.

You could try writing to Coventry Climax. I appreciate that in Finland you are not in a position to approach the owner of one of these cars.

#13 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 22:03

As mentioned earlier in this thread, the FWMV's distinctive high-level exhausts was introduced to enable pipes from cylinders of opposite banks to be linked and therefore to aid extraction of the gases. Later engines had flat crankshafts which did not require this linkage and several cars, notably from Brabham and Lotus raced with low-level exhausts.

I was looking at some FWMVs today. All had high-level exhausts but none of them had pipes from opposite cylinders linked. Is this because FWMVs used in historic racing today have flat cranks? And did some FWMVs in the 60s use flat cranks and high-level, but unlinked, exhausts?



#14 David Birchall

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 22:23

As an aside, is this the time to ask somebody to correct the statement in Wiki:

"FPf
The FPF was a pure-racing development twin cam version from the basic FWB layout."

#15 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 19:48

As an aside, is this the time to ask somebody to correct the statement in Wiki:

"FPf
The FPF was a pure-racing development twin cam version from the basic FWB layout."

Why not do it yourself?
The advantage of Wikipedia, which is also its disadvantage, is that it's open to anyone to contribute, edit, vandalise, etc.
I've done a bit of editing either where I know have something worthwhile to contribute or where what's there is in some way wrong and can be corrected.
We had a good thread about that recently

#16 David Birchall

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:24

Oh, I thought you had to be a registered editor.
I shall pluck up my fortitude and elucidate the masses in that case... :rolleyes:

#17 bikr37

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:46

[quote name='pertti_jarla' date='Feb 16 2010, 16:35' post='4146274']
Does any of the book mentioned, or some other source, have a three way drawing of the FWMV engine? That would be most useful for model scratch building purposes. Cutaways aren't that good, as they are usually drawn at an angle.

There is an SAE article written by Walter Hassan in 1966 that covers the 1.5 liter engines quite well. It does have some cross sectional views. It is number 66074-you can get it thru the SAE or maybe a local university technical library would have it.

Bob

#18 David Beard

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:05

As mentioned earlier in this thread, the FWMV's distinctive high-level exhausts was introduced to enable pipes from cylinders of opposite banks to be linked and therefore to aid extraction of the gases. Later engines had flat crankshafts which did not require this linkage and several cars, notably from Brabham and Lotus raced with low-level exhausts.

I was looking at some FWMVs today. All had high-level exhausts but none of them had pipes from opposite cylinders linked. Is this because FWMVs used in historic racing today have flat cranks? And did some FWMVs in the 60s use flat cranks and high-level, but unlinked, exhausts?


One of the not crossed over systems we looked at...
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#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:51

Des Hammill's "Coventry Climax Racing Engines" says: "... The front line FWMV engines of the 1964 and 1965 racing seasons all had larger bores and single plane, ultra short stroke crankshafts". Doug Nye, in "History of the Grand Prix Car" says that many FWMVs became flat-crank units.

We didn't see that many engines with low-level exhausts, even in 1965, so does this imply that some of the 64 and 65 with high-level exhausts had flat crank engines? That would, I assume, imply that they didn't need high-level exhausts to link cylinders from opposite banks.

Edited by Roger Clark, 29 April 2012 - 12:53.


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#20 Roger Clark

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 16:25

The FWMV used two types of Weber carburettor in 1961 and 62. The early engines used IDMs, but they changed during 62 to the DCNL4. The IDM was superior but out of production and so in very short supply.

I believe it is possible to distinguish between them because the IDMs were mounted longitudinally and the DCNL4s transversally. Does anybody know:

(1) whether this is a reliable way of telling which carburettor an engine has;
(2) whether the change in orientation was due to some characteristic of the carburettor or to a change of philosophy by Climax;
(3) when the DCNL4s began to be used?

#21 David Beard

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:03

With regard to exhausts on flat crank engines. I have read something that suggests the flat crank version was originally evolved to suit the Ferguson 4wd car, which couldn't accomoadate a high level cross over exhaust layout. Then when it was built, it turned out to be a better job in terms of vibrations than was anticipated.

#22 bradbury west

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 07:15

Yes you have read it before. See post 1 point 2.
RL

#23 David Beard

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 07:42

Yes you have read it before. See post 1 point 2.
RL


Oops, sorry Roger! :blush:
That's not where I read it though...

#24 Roger Clark

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Posted 15 May 2012 - 05:51

I can't remember when I first read the story about the low exhaust FWMV being built for Ferguson but I've known it for a long time so I think it was a contemporary magazine, probably Motor Sport.

The first low exhaust FWMV that I can recall was Gurney's Brabham at the 1963 Dutch Grand Prix. His original broke before practice and a replacement had to be sent out by Climax.

DSJ's report of the British Grand Prix says that Bonnier's Cooper and Amon's Lola both had flat-crank engines. I don't think that either of these had low exhausts.

#25 David Beard

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 07:51

I can't remember when I first read the story about the low exhaust FWMV being built for Ferguson but I've known it for a long time so I think it was a contemporary magazine, probably Motor Sport.

The first low exhaust FWMV that I can recall was Gurney's Brabham at the 1963 Dutch Grand Prix. His original broke before practice and a replacement had to be sent out by Climax.

DSJ's report of the British Grand Prix says that Bonnier's Cooper and Amon's Lola both had flat-crank engines. I don't think that either of these had low exhausts.


The flat crank and the Ferguson is mentioned in Walter Hassan's book "Climax in Coventry". It also says lots of engines were converted to flat crank spec in 1963 and 1964, rather than them being new ones. All the more reason for the engines out there today to be flat crank?
I also have one of those yellow Unique Motor Books compilations which contains an article that seems to have come direct from Climax (Hassan again?) entitled "The Coventry Climax Racing Engine 1961 -!965". This also tells the Ferguson story about the flat crank origin.

#26 Roger Clark

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 17:55

It would be interesting to know when Climax started work on the flat-crank engine. THe first ones appeared (I think) in 1963 but it's difficult to believe that Ferguson were still contemplating a return that late.

There must have been some engines racing in 63-65 with flat-crank engines and high exhausts. Has anybody seen any contemporary photographs showing (presumably) unlinked pipes like those racing today?

#27 ray b

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 00:28

did anyone ever try to blow one for the new 66 rules

I mean GM was selling turbo cars by 61
in the 50's ford and stupidbaker had blowers

while CC and BRM PLAYED over sized versions 1.9 to 2.2
I wonder if they could make 300hp with a lite boost
enough till the CW came out anyway ?

#28 David McKinney

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 05:40

It surprised me at the time that no-one did. Apparently the argument was that a blown 1½ would be much thirstier, and therefore require larger fuel-tankage, which ruled the concept out on weight grounds

#29 David Beard

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 00:06

It surprised me at the time that no-one did.


Me too. I bet it would have been competitive for a while, the way things turned out in the early years. Anyone care to guess what the power output might have been?

#30 Allan Lupton

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:26

It surprised me at the time that no-one did.

Yes and me, until I thought about it a bit more.
I seem to remember that the rulemakers' idea was that the 1½ litre engines would indeed be developed with supercharging for the new formula.
One problem would have been that all the previous work with supercharged GP engines was on meth-based fuel but by 1966 they had to use AvGas.
The other difficulty was that the 1½ litre engines were not designed to be strong enough for the extra power that was necessary to equal the naturally aspirated engines, so it was never going to be as simple as just sticking a supercharger on an old design.


#31 Roger Clark

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:04

Yes and me, until I thought about it a bit more.
I seem to remember that the rulemakers' idea was that the 1½ litre engines would indeed be developed with supercharging for the new formula.
One problem would have been that all the previous work with supercharged GP engines was on meth-based fuel but by 1966 they had to use AvGas.
The other difficulty was that the 1½ litre engines were not designed to be strong enough for the extra power that was necessary to equal the naturally aspirated engines, so it was never going to be as simple as just sticking a supercharger on an old design.

There was also the difficulty of finding space for a supercharger in the cars of the time. Most people though that 400bhp would be necessary from the start of 1966 so a 1.5-litre engine would probably have needed two-stage supercharging at least. On the other hand, Jack Brabham's column in Motor Racing, immediately after the new formula was announced, said that he expected a supercharged engine to be the best solution.

Formula 1 by this time required pump petrol, not AvGas, but Allan's point is still valid.

Edited by Roger Clark, 23 August 2012 - 08:05.


#32 David Beard

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 20:41

The other difficulty was that the 1½ litre engines were not designed to be strong enough for the extra power that was necessary to equal the naturally aspirated engines, so it was never going to be as simple as just sticking a supercharger on an old design.


Not sure what you mean Allan. Is it to do with BMEP? They wouldn't have been expected to rev higher, would they? Perhaps reducing the compression ratio a tad would have done the trick?

I think there was no excuse. An opportunity was missed. The same goes for nobody trying a 2 stroke. :D

Edited by David Beard, 23 August 2012 - 20:43.


#33 Allan Lupton

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 21:36

The other difficulty was that the 1½ litre engines were not designed to be strong enough for the extra power that was necessary to equal the naturally aspirated engines, so it was never going to be as simple as just sticking a supercharger on an old design.

Not sure what you mean Allan. Is it to do with BMEP? They wouldn't have been expected to rev higher, would they? Perhaps reducing the compression ratio a tad would have done the trick?

The racing engines of the 1½ litre formula would not have been built strongly enough for the vast increase in power that would have been necessary (let's say 80% more for the following rough analysis). Because they wouldn't need to rev higher the torque they had to produce would have to be increased by 80% so the cranckshaft had to be 80% stronger in torsion and the crankcase similarly had to be stronger.
Supercharging is a fine way of increasing the MEP and hence power. Increased MEP increases the loads on the whole combustion chamber, valves, piston crown and walls. Supercharging, which involves burning more fuel in the same space and time, also results in more waste heat to dispose of.
When adding a supercharger to a road engine the C.R. was frequently reduced to avoid knock. That is entirely the wrong thing as C.R is also the Expansion Ratio which determines how much of the combustion energy becomes propulsive energy, so the C.R (or E.R.) has to be as high as possible.

#34 Allan Lupton

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 21:43

I think there was no excuse. An opportunity was missed. The same goes for nobody trying a 2 stroke. :D

All the really successful two-stroke racing engines at that time had had a very narrow power-band. Memories of the V16 BRM, which had that problem, would have kicked in.

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 00:20

So a slight increase in crank journal sizes, the blocks slightly redesigned to cope with bigger bearings and higher loads, new rods and pistons and it would have been possible... if expensive and of dubious value?

Who services these engines (and the BRM V8s, for that matter) today?

#36 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:58

Not sure what you mean Allan. Is it to do with BMEP? They wouldn't have been expected to rev higher, would they? Perhaps reducing the compression ratio a tad would have done the trick?

I think there was no excuse. An opportunity was missed. The same goes for nobody trying a 2 stroke. :D

Do you think a blown 1.5 would have been a short, or a long, term solution?

#37 RCH

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:04

By 1966 no one had seriously raced a supercharged F1 engine for 15 years, the lessons from the tight power band of the V16 BRM and the fuel consumption of the 158/9 Alfa Romeo would still be current and designers surely saw that progress in normally aspirated racing designs meant that was the way to go. To a certain extent throughout the motor industry supercharging had become old hat. Turbocharging was probably not even considered, problems like turbo-lag meaning they would not be flexible enough.

The engine manufacturers were confident that their 3 litre designs would work so there was only the need for a short stop gap filled by oversized BRM and Climax V8s rather than stepping into the unknown of bolting on a supercharger.

#38 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:17

How many oversize Climax V8s were there, in fact?

One or two?

On the other hand, how many 'stop-gap' Climax FPFs were used?

#39 bradbury west

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 13:50

As a recognised non-engineer I have been reluctant to put my head over the parapet, but my views aligned with Allan's especially in terms of thermal stresses, not to mention installation and packaging difficulties on the V8. Moreover, I have always taken it that fuel consumption of 2 strokes was proportionately higher than 4strokes.

As I see it the main issue would have been with hardware. Turbocharging at that time, or when anyone would have needed to contemplate it as a practical option, was in embryo stages surely, for such racing car use, and would have been seen as very much a "black art", and whilst the V8s would have been obsolete/escent there was still the on-cost of trial and error engineering to make a blown set-up work. But the big question must have been; what supercharger would have been suitable? Peter Meldrum et al had used Shorrocks for hillclimbing either on Ford's 4 pot or the later popular Daimler V8s in various sizes, but what others were available as a practical option? Daphne Arnott had ceased operation, and any blowers used on commercials would be on the large size, both it size and weight as well as volumetric capability, and there is always the problem of driving the pulley. So does that mean that something ex ERA etc would have been cobbled up as our best effort?
I know it is all hypothetical but the question was asked. I have always understood that superchargers lost around 25% of the extra power driving the belts and blower
Whatever anyone might have considered, someone would have had to work out where the development money was coming from for what would have been a minority operation. As an aside, with his knowledge gained working at Rolls Royce prior to BRM, one assumes the esteemed Mr Rudd would have considered all options at Bourne.

BTW there was one race car contructor in period who had grand plans for a turbo engine, but not a Climax.

Ray, ISTR that Walter Hassan details the no of 2 litre V8 in his book, and that one won the 1966 season opener in ZA, but will check
Roger Lund

Edit; Perhaps from a potential installation point of view the flat 16 might have been a better bet

Edited by bradbury west, 24 August 2012 - 14:01.


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#40 Allan Lupton

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 14:35

I can agree with most of what Roger puts forward there!
Turbosupercharging was used on the Halford Special in the 1920s but even so Frank Halford did not persevere with it, and the real exponents were in aviation where constant power settings are the norm.
Quite surprisingly most of the supercharging of "real" racing engines only used Roots blowers, resorting to two-stage blowing when higher manifold pressures were needed. The work of Cozette, Zoller, Shorrock, Arnott, etc, etc. was ignored and the only real superchargers were centrifugal - o.k. for Indianapolis where the requrement is more nearly constant speed and power than in Grands Prix as the BRM showed. Since the centrifugal supercharger was the Rolls Royce contribution to the BRM, I don't think Mr Rudd's time there would have helped him in 1966.
Oh and "real" racing engines don't use belt-drive for superchargers, but that 25% power loss isn't in the driving system but is probably about right for the pumping losses in a Roots blower (that's why intercoolers are needed). Vane-type superchargers are much more efficient

Edited by Allan Lupton, 24 August 2012 - 14:37.


#41 RCH

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 19:51

How many oversize Climax V8s were there, in fact?

One or two?

On the other hand, how many 'stop-gap' Climax FPFs were used?


I think there was only one. Two stopgap FPFs spring to mind, Dan Gurney and Bob Anderson although more were presumably used in Tasman racing.

One thing that has always puzzled me, why did Climax develop the Flat-16, given the 1.5 formula was coming to an end as was their racing participation? Based on purely ignorant speculation so don't shoot me down in flames but could this have been the basis for a supercharged 1.5 engine?


#42 D-Type

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 22:02

I think there was only one. Two stopgap FPFs spring to mind, Dan Gurney and Bob Anderson although more were presumably used in Tasman racing.

One thing that has always puzzled me, why did Climax develop the Flat-16, given the 1.5 formula was coming to an end as was their racing participation? Based on purely ignorant speculation so don't shoot me down in flames but could this have been the basis for a supercharged 1.5 engine?

Did the top management always know what the Hassan, Munday etc were up to. Remember that the 'Godiva' was given the type reference FPE (Fire Pump Engine?) and there was the FWA (Feather Weight Automobile), FWM (Feather Weight Marine) that took the Index at Le Mans which was the basis of the FWMV - the V8. maybe they wanted to develop the Flat 16 but when the management realised they put the kybosh on all racing engines.

#43 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 23:43

There were two 2-litre FWMVs for Team Lotus in 1966. They were later loaned to Healey for their Le Mans cars.

It's possible that Climax engineers did some initial design work on the Flat-16 without Leonard Lee knowing but I don't think that could have continued when manufacturing and testing started. I've never heard a suggestion that the Flat-16 was intended to be supercharged. Climax were never interested in the new formula; Hassan told Tony Rudd that he didn't think he could get funding immediately after the meeting at which the formula was announced.

I don't think there's any mention in Tony Rudd's autobiography that BRM considered a supercharged engine. If anyone was going to do it, they would be the most likely. They did spend many months arguing the merits of a V12 and the H16. That lost time meant that the H16 was later and more compromised in its design than it should have been.

#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 00:08

Originally posted by RCH
I think there was only one. Two stopgap FPFs spring to mind, Dan Gurney and Bob Anderson although more were presumably used in Tasman racing.....


At the South African GP of 1966, several locals had Climax engines, presumably FPFs, there was four of them in the 1967 race, of whom Dave Charlton could reasonably be said to be using his as a 'stop-gap' (he later had a Cosworth V8) as could John Love (ditto). In the '66 race I'm not sure which Climax Denny Hulme used, but I'd think it would have been an FPF.

Spence won that race with a 2-litre FWMV, by the way.

#45 Concreteconrods

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 11:59

At this years Silverstone Classic I think I saw Lola Mk4 - chassis BRGP4/1 - fitted with a Climax FWMV. This I assume is the car that was previously in the Donington Collection fitted with a Climax FPF engine.

I have read that is was the prototype and used the FPF for early season testing & non-championship races because the new FWMV was in short supply. Back in 1962/3 did this car ever race with with a V8 installed?

Edited by Concreteconrods, 15 September 2012 - 19:00.


#46 David McKinney

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 20:10

I don't believe BRGP41 did race with a V8 in period

#47 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 15:18

Was it a car that came to the Antepodes for Surtees and/or Maggs?

I've been beginning to wonder (again) about the origins of these cars lately... were they purpose-built for the 'down under' races or modified from F1 form?

#48 David McKinney

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 22:03

The two 1963 cars were converted F1 cars

BRGP41 wasn't one of them