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Automotive What does it take to make an F1 GP engine

  1. Dec 30, 2016 #1


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    At a cost of 1 million pounds per engine there must be some very exotic materials used.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 30, 2016 #2
    Overall I believe it has to do with the economic of scales, research, and cost of production. These engines aren't naturally aspirated now. The drive train consist also of an electrical KERS systems and a complicated turbo system(s) to generate the incredible power for the 1.6 Liter V8's. The latest F-1 regulations do not allow for advanced composite materials (they were banned some time ago due to cost) and today's systems primarily use forged aluminum and other forged iron alloys.

  4. Jan 1, 2017 #3

    Ranger Mike

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    it takes cubic money. Although the engine case ( block) crankshaft , pistons are mandated to be of certain iron/alloy non composite material, the various other components are wide open to composite use. I once saw an oil pump rotor impeller made of carbon fiber. Very light but insane cost to reduce fractions of HP drag.
    There is no substitute for cubic money.
  5. Jan 1, 2017 #4


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    :check: ...
  6. Feb 22, 2017 #5
    Pandalloy is the new alloy.
  7. Feb 23, 2017 #6
    The million pounds number is often used but its basis originates in accounting and has to do with recovering what's called the sunk costs associated with developing and proving an engine platform. F1 engines are very expensive but your number is for financial statements. But; on the rare occasions a manufacturer is actually developing an entirely new engine platform the million pounds number is way short for a per engine cost. Fortunately the goal is usually a better mousetrap and not an altogether new one. Consider the Cosworth DFV engine and all the generations of the engine that followed. Arguably one of the most successful racing engines ever if not the most successful and yet they were developed from work Ford did with their Y block and small block engines in the early 60's. Speaking of Ford, they spent over a billion US dollars developing and proving their Modular Engines and then they incurred all the tooling costs along with the costs in plant and facilities required to actually make the engines. The total was over 4 billion. In the first ten years Ford probably sold each engine at a loss on the statements but they never actually sold an engine at a loss.

    Ranger Mike, an oil pump with an impeller? Can't say I've seen that but I believe that impeller would technically be a violation. Aren't the rules on composites limited to static parts and components such as covers? It's been a few years so my understanding could be outdated. That would make this possible too, for mutual understanding at one time plastics were plastics and the various carbon fiber products were composites.
  8. Feb 25, 2017 #7
    The mod motors came from Yamaha's work and I'll bet quite a bit of patent licensing........and likely a few undisclosed agreements.

    I've worked on both mod motors (2700hp) and lexus engines and yamaha design is all over both of them.
  9. Feb 26, 2017 #8

    Ranger Mike

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    135,000 hp V-12 / Jet engine land speed record vehicle with top speed of 1000 mph...any one?
    a lot of additive manufacturing ..current trend..hugggge future
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  10. Feb 27, 2017 #9
    Understand, I usually don’t have any interest in the opinions people have concerning any manufacturer. I have no reason to defend Ford or challenge your opinions about them or their products. I honestly don’t care but you have entered in to the thread comments that are erroneous but with history.

    For students, Ronald Reagan once said, "Trust but verify." You are pursuing a profession that is replete with "conventional wisdom" and "common knowledge," that is often easily proved to be wrong. This Yamaha and Ford stated relationship is a good example of wrong.
    Starting with Lexus, Haruhiko Tanahashi is an outsourcing genius. The company is a division of Toyota which is in control of most Lexus production but beyond that they are almost hands off. That said, Lexus has rather small engineering and design departments taking advantage of Toyota’s accessible resources. Except for the LFA, Lexus engines are Toyota’s. Granted, in I believe 2000, Yamaha entered into a relationship with Lexus concerning the LFA engine but again, 2000. I would need an explanation of how you see Yamaha all over Lexus engines. In fact considering the history of Toyota and the history of Yamaha when it comes to automotive engines I suggest it would be easier to find Toyota in Yamaha. That is except for the LFA engine but this is to be explained.
    About Ford, the Modular Motor as a Yamaha came about from competitor marketing in the guise of "Automotive News," and was made worse by bad, sloppy and biased journalism. Good journalism has debunked the premise.
    If the modular was based on Yamaha designs, so what? It is common practice by all manufacturers to reverse engineer competitor products and take advantage of any improvements when and where it can be done. It will be rare when you see something that can’t be directly traced back to someone else’s work. This is one reason why patents relating to engines are rare and "one" of the arguments that led to George Selden having his Patent on the automobile taken away in court by Henry Ford.
    "I'll bet quite a bit of patent licensing........and likely a few undisclosed agreements."
    This statement tells me a lot and you'd bet wrong. With your Modular experience please explain what there is about the motor that would lend itself to a patent?
    The first concept to get a handle on with the Modular Motor is that the Modular has nothing to do with the performance of the motors or how they work. Modular refers to the production process. The Ford 5.0 Coyote Motor is a Modular Motor and by no stretch of any imagination can the Coyote be compared to the 4.6 or 5.4L Modular Motors. I believe the only common part between them is the lifter.
    Now about Ford and Yamaha. Ford and Yamaha have a long history of partnerships and joint ventures and yes Yamaha was involved in the development of the Modular Motor. Some news from the time reported Ford hired Yamaha but the financial statements from the time debunk that. It was a joint venture primarily in production techniques and technology. It should also be noted that Ford Europe, Australia and Asia have a history with Yamaha that predates any relationship with Ford, North America. I could be wrong but I believe the year of the joint venture was 1991 debunking any notion that Ford possibly benefited from the LHA engine. If anything, the LHA V10 engine chased the modular 6.8L, V10.
    HowlerMonkey, can you explain how you see Yamaha in the modular motors? Modular motors have square and under-square configurations. Except for maybe the outboards which I know nothing about, Yamaha’s are over-square designs. Yamaha’s power curve peaks in the mid 7’s while the modular peaks in the mid 6’s. The top end of the motor designs are different. I could go on but why pursue a statement that has no source reference?
    Considering the bottom end. I'm not aware of Yamaha ever making a production engine with a flat plane crankshaft until their partnership with Ford on the V6 SHO motor. The flat plane was a design spec from Ford. Yamaha was known for its cross-plane cranks. This is not a statement on the benefits or drawbacks of either design. It's a statement about obvious and critical differences in designs.
    The V8 SHO motor was based on the Ford Duratec motor and not the V6 SHO. Yamaha then designed a motor for Volvo. A transverse, front wheel drive V8 based on the V8 SHO. The necessary counter balancing design changes aside, the Ford V8 SHO is all over the Volvo motor from Yamaha.
    In all my working years I never got over how unaware people are of the cooperation and sharing that goes on between most manufacturers in the automotive industry. It's an odd psychology reinforced by the manufacturers. An example of where "most" doesn't apply is with the Cosworth, Chevrolet Vega. When it was available it was Chevrolet's most expensive car except for the Corvette. Chevrolet spec'd the engine and both Ford and Cosworth told Chevrolet it was a bad design. Chevrolet said to build it as spec'd and the car was a colossal failure. Because of the Ford\Cosworth relationship at the time neither wanted to be associated with the car. Everybody had egg on their face over the fiasco. This was all part of DeLorean's years at GM and led to probably the worst decision GM's ever made. GM decided to pull back design and engineering from the divisions to the corporate offices and that decision was a disaster. It led to GM's lean years in the 70's and 80's. Most manufacturers understand that whatever happens in the industry has repercussions throughout because everything about heavy manufacturing has been interdependent for years. It's only the "Boutique" builders that live in a vacuum. Even in racing the amount of cooperation found in Motorsport Valley is impressive. Everyone understands what proprietary means and they know when it doesn't apply.
    The point of this being your observations about the Modular Motor's is in error but even if your perceptions were correct, so what? It doesn't matter either way to the manufacturers. The statement of payoffs and patent infringements is about a lack of insight in to the industry. The perception and reality are very different.
    What’s in this post just scratches the surface.
    RangerMike, I'm going to a symposium next month on additive manufacturing even though I'm retired. Solid modeling was a game changer and additive manufacturing may have just as much of an impact. It was novelty when processes were changing and replacing traditions like clay modeling but improvements in materials and processes has opened up once unheard of possibilities. What was not long ago simple layering is becoming the construction of woven, long polymer chains. Imagine designs like the old Allard's questionable twisting frame as part of the suspension dynamics but potentially coming from a seamless, one piece frame with the strength of carbon fiber. I've heard rumors of some whiz kids in Asia completely redesigning the side impact area based on a lighter and stronger honeycomb design. It's work that is being done with a faith in what they believe is inevitable and coming. That's an engineering mindset that's a game changer.
    Last post so best of luck to all.
  11. May 6, 2017 #10
    It's all in the head design.........not the bore/stroke dimensions of the block.

    Remember that yamaha's design work for toyota engines dates back to 1965 and with ford starting before 1984.

    They are responsible for the basic design and I consider evolutions of that basic design to still be that "basic design....with changes".

    I've had a ford GT mod motor apart next to a coyote engine and they are almost identical.

    I actually work on these engines and and have them in my hands to compare.

    Sure there are few interchangeable parts but the basic design is the same.........and that design came from yamaha whether they are credited/paid or not.
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  12. May 6, 2017 #11

    Randy Beikmann

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    I agree that the head design is the most important aspect of performance, but bore and stroke are still big factors. For a given displacement, an engine with a larger bore has room for bigger valves, and its shorter stroke means the piston moves slower, making it easier for the incoming air to follow. A 2.4 liter F1 engine of about 10 years ago had about the same bore as a NASCAR engine, but only 40% of the stroke (something like 1.6 inches). The F1 engine could spin about 2 1/2 times as fast, and make about the same power.
  13. Jun 9, 2017 #12
    Sorry man......my quote "it's all in the head design" is about an earlier reference to the work of yamaha being related to the Ford modular engine and toyota engines going back to ........well the 2000gt, the 4age, the 1 and 2jz.

    It is an answer to the lengthy post way up there.

    My point is that, whether directly credited or licensed...........or not, most of the head design "advances" made by ford were derived from the work done by yamaha.
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