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The Elio Engine

Discussion in 'Elio Drivetrain' started by ls10, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. ls10

    ls10 Elio Aficionado

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    I haven't raised any concerns about it on any forum but I'll confess, I've been a bit concerned with the all-aluminum engine. Not only bad experience with an early '70's vehicle with aluminum heads but a dozen years as a machinist and now twenty-five years as a mechanical designer cause me to worry a bit. Cast iron sleeves in an aluminum block don't ease my worries any. If you understand the difference in the thermal expansion rate of aluminum vs. cast iron, you know why. But after a little research, I feel better. Here are a couple of excerpts for those who don't want to dig too deep and a link for those who might.

    http://www.flame-spray.com/

    "An important goal for engine manufacturers is to reduce fuel consumption, which can be accomplished by decreasing overall vehicle weight and improving engine efficiency by reducing the internal friction losses. Substantial weight savings can be achieved with the use of aluminum engines. However, most aluminum engines require cast iron liners to be used as the wear surface. Additional weight savings and potential friction reduction can be achieved by replacing these heavy cast iron liners with a low friction, wear resistant PTWA coating on the cylinder bores. Additional benefits of PTWA in new production engines include improved heat transfer and decreased bore distortion, which reduces friction loss and oil consumption."

    "Flame Spray Inc., Port Washington, N.Y.,announces that the Plasma Transferred Wire Arc coating process has been selected by Ford Motor Co. to coat the internal surface of the aluminum engine block cylinder bores in the Ford Shelby GT500 sports car. PTWA provides a lower cost and lower weight alternative to cast iron liners, while delivering increased displacement in the same size engine package, and a potential for better heat transfer."
     
  2. LGilbert

    LGilbert Elio Aficionado

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    Aluminum engines with ferrous sleeves have been around for over fifty years in both consumer and racing applications. There is no problem with heat related expansion differential between the bore and the block. My BMW engine is built that way as are the engines of most cars I have driven in the last fifty years, whether street or race variations. Some smaller four cylinder engines might still be all iron as are old style American V8s, but the weight savings of aluminum with iron bores has relegated the iron block to small econoboxes, drag racers, and American retro muscle cars/replicas. The coated aluminum bore is another story. The Chevy engine alluded to above had a silicon coated liner that worked fine, except it was subject to instant destruction upon slight overheating wherein the cylinder was permanently damaged and the car could then be used for fogging. It was a terrible engine, anyway, and prone to vibration, resonance and other problems. Few lasted long.

    I would be happy with a proven aluminum engine design with thin wall iron linings, perfect for an engine of less than 1/3 liter per cylinder. It would be light and reliable. If it could be substantiated that a flame deposited, ceramic coating would wear 'like iron' (and it should as it is very hard, hard enough to be used as ball bearings), I am willing to accept that, also. It might save 10-12 lbs and reduce the number of required components for the engine. Remember, the Elio design criteria is light weight, strong, and inexpensive to produce. If we buy into that philosophy than taking a chance with a high-tech engine is in order.
     
  3. Robert McWhirter

    Robert McWhirter Elio Addict

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  4. RickDeckard

    RickDeckard Elio Aficionado

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    This isn't IAV's first rodeo... they have done tons of R&D and design for the big guys (VW& Porsche and others) Just because it has been around for years doesn't mean it is the best there is... sometimes you have to get into the 21Century. Flam Spray is a proven technology that gives better engine life and keeps the wgt down... If you are concerned you can put your own engine in it because it is what it is and not our choice
     
  5. NRB

    NRB Elio Addict

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    Am confident Elio Motors has done it's homework as well as IAV in engine selection. Hope so as I intend to pick mine up at the factory and head for home some 800 miles away. The first 500 miles should entail variable engine speed's (rpm) say 45 and under and then it should be good to go at reasonable speed''s
     
  6. BTW 1987

    BTW 1987 New Member

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  7. BTW 1987

    BTW 1987 New Member

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    I built a 3 wheel trike in 1984-85-86. Started with a 1972 VW super bettle with a 1600cc dual port and the next year switched engines. Put in a custom built 1835cc, boared & mid cam, lightened fly wheel, dual 40mm Weber carb and headers. The engine is all aluminum and iron sleeves. IN 2002 my wife of 39 yrs became terminally ill and I sold the trike. Until my wife was unable to ride, we traveled some thirty thousand miles. Equiped with wheely bars you could down shift and pull the front wheel up 4 feet, second gear was nothing but thrills. I don't have any problem with the aluminum with iron sleeves engine.
     
  8. NRB

    NRB Elio Addict

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    Agreed---the iron sleeve VW air cooled engines of the past worked very well until do-gooder emission requirements killed the whole car!
     
  9. ls10

    ls10 Elio Aficionado

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    Yeah, the old VW engines were the bomb! That's why most folks who owned a VW kept a spare engine sitting on their workbench ready to swap out with the one in their car.
     
  10. jrm_cr_fl

    jrm_cr_fl Elio Enthusiast

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    Recently watched a show on Velocity channel showing the build of a new Lamborghini 12-cyclinder engine. They exposed the cast iron sleeves to liquid nitrogen before inserting them into the block. As they returned to ambient temperature they expand slightly. Very tight fit. These engines are proven technology and in some of the most expensive cars in the world. Go Elio!
     
    Edward43, D Borland, LonePine and 2 others like this.

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