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My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Engine

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TurboJ

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Post Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:28 am

My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Engine

I've noticed that the engine design aspect of Automation can be quite challenging to new players or people with little knowledge of engines in general.
The simulation is quite accurate and has many features and that is a good thing. But it also means the learning curve can be a bit steep.
If you feel building the perfect engine is a little bit challenging, this video guide series may just help you. I am assuming
some basic understanding of engines here but the tuning info is targeted at everyone looking to learn about tuning an engine in Automation.


VIDEOS CURRENTLY ONLINE:

PART 1: Carbureted Engines
PART 2: Turbocharging Basics
PART 3: Advanced Turbocharging






Please bear with me with possible video quality issues - I'm still playing with the encoding settings. And I record these 100% live so please excuse my grammar errors and random lapses!
Last edited by TurboJ on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:54 am, edited 4 times in total.
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J.S.C Motori Speciali - My open-source performance engines
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My Engine Tuning Video Guides
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Sillyworld

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Post Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:03 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

Nice video, I will be waiting for more.
Since you're at it, your will only cover engines or also full cars?
Will you do gameplays of a fictional company? :)

On other things, can I add a personal opinion regarding the tunning on engines (especially from 50's to mid 80s), based on what I have seen in the cars presented in the forum?

2 valves per cylinder for engines that rev relativaly lower (below 6,000 - 6,200 rpm)
4 valves per cylinder for engines that rev higher (higher than 6,500 rpm)

Why? Because I've seen a lot of engines with 4 valves per cylinder where the peak power is at the rev limit (something like 6,000 rpms or lower), which in my personal opinion is a waste of engineering time/money, because you can get a similar performance with 2 valves. The extra valves add power in the top end, but if the engine is rev lazy there is no really need for that.

EDIT: I forgot to add... with extra valves you'll get lower emissions and higher especific power output, but that is only relevant in the 90s onwards, because of the taxes on emissions and displacement.
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TurboJ

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Post Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:29 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

Thanks for your comments!

I agree on what you say about multivalve technology. One thing I will try to adress on this series is how to use the simplest/cheapest designs and
components for achieving any given goal. And to not be tempted to go crazy with the quality sliders if it's supposed to be a large scale production run.

About multivalve heads, I think about it in terms of power goals. In the earlier years it is difficult to make an engine rev high with any real reliability.
So if your expensive multivalve head would only be making extra power in the very high rev range, you will most likely not benefit enough from the
multivalve system. The later you go in terms of years, the more you can benefit from better airflow at the top end because your rotating assembly and
valve train will be able to use the higher rev ranges where multivalve setups give the most benefits.

Since Automation is a game it's too easy to just pick the "best" possible components and easily achieve the goals. More realistic approach would be
to use the cheapest possible solutions and spend a lot of time tuning and optimizing the setup so you can have the same results with a much less
expensive engine build. This is why I don't simply use the "best" parts on every engine. On the Patriot cars I even have simple pushrod iron engines
that can still beat a Lamborghini as a result of careful tuning.

As for future content, I will try to cover all basic concepts in engine tuning first, and after that I could do a lot of different things in case people are
interested. If anyone wants to suggest stuff, I'm more than interested in reading about it. The next videos I have already planned for, and they will
be something like....

Part 2: Turbocharging the previous 4-cyl engine
Part 3: A modern eco-engine with variable valve systems
Part 4: A modern supercar engine - how to combine turbo with VVL

and so on....the stuff that comes after that I'm not yet sure about. I'm open to suggestions here, however I'd appreciate if they served the needs of
new players and/or people who have trouble optimizing their engines first, so my primary goal of helping others could be fulfilled.

I would like to do more stuff too, but let's see what other people are interested in!
Last edited by TurboJ on Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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J.S.C Automobili S.p.A - Exclusive sports cars since 1959
J.S.C Motori Speciali - My open-source performance engines
Patriot Motor Force - 'Murican Evolutionary muscle cars

My Engine Tuning Video Guides
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cpufreak101

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Post Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:49 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

a suggestion could be to optomize a single engine family with multiple variants for certain things, like say i build a family sedan and i want to have a base economy model, a more performance orientated model, and maybe something right in between using the same engine family (so either I4 or V6 would be realistic here) and maybe 1999 4 liter N/A DOHC V8 optimizations?
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TurboJ

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Post Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:06 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

cpufreak101 wrote:a suggestion could be to optomize a single engine family with multiple variants for certain things, like say i build a family sedan and i want to have a base economy model, a more performance orientated model, and maybe something right in between using the same engine family (so either I4 or V6 would be realistic here) and maybe 1999 4 liter N/A DOHC V8 optimizations?


I will look into this and see if I can find interesting learning points that could be highlighted this way. The idea is good, thanks for sharing!
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J.S.C Automobili S.p.A - Exclusive sports cars since 1959
J.S.C Motori Speciali - My open-source performance engines
Patriot Motor Force - 'Murican Evolutionary muscle cars

My Engine Tuning Video Guides
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TurboJ

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Post Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:33 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

Second video is up!

We're looking at turbocharging basics. In practice, we turbocharge the previous 4-cylinder engine and show how efficiently
you can make similar power compared to a more highly tuned naturally aspirated engine.

Further point - carburetors work just fine if you do an early turbo build.

A more thorough "advanced turbocharging" guide will come later....

SCROLL UP TO THE BEGINNING OF THE TOPIC TO SEE THE VIDEO LINKS
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J.S.C Automobili S.p.A - Exclusive sports cars since 1959
J.S.C Motori Speciali - My open-source performance engines
Patriot Motor Force - 'Murican Evolutionary muscle cars

My Engine Tuning Video Guides
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DeusExMackia

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Post Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:23 pm

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

Excellent video, very helpful. I think this may come in handy for a potential Turbo charged BRC76 entry... :D
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TurboJ

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:22 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

DeusExMackia wrote:Excellent video, very helpful. I think this may come in handy for a potential Turbo charged BRC76 entry... :D


Thank you sir! I have decided to do an "advanced" turbo tuning video next to cover some things I didn't on the #2 video.

Perhaps the next one would then be about simple vs. high tech design - when to use multi valve heads and when not to etc.

And the next one after that would be a modern engine that has VVL (which can be surprisingly challenging to tune) and then how to add turbo to that equation.

What do you guys think - what would be the most important topics that should be covered first? What aspects of engine tuning did YOU find difficult when you
started playing Automation?
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J.S.C Automobili S.p.A - Exclusive sports cars since 1959
J.S.C Motori Speciali - My open-source performance engines
Patriot Motor Force - 'Murican Evolutionary muscle cars

My Engine Tuning Video Guides
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Madrias

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:05 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

One I'd love to see covered (even though I've somewhat figured it out through trial and error... mostly error) is when to increase quality vs. when to pick the better part.

I'd also love to see VVL + Turbo + EFI (in both MP and DFI configurations, and with various different throttle types) because I still struggle bad with VVL + Turbo.
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TurboJ

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:07 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

Thanks for commenting! Yeah, I actually had in mind a vid about quality sliders - that's definitely something I will look into.

And the fuel injection + VVL + turbo is really quite a challenge to do well and that is surely going to be covered soon!
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J.S.C Automobili S.p.A - Exclusive sports cars since 1959
J.S.C Motori Speciali - My open-source performance engines
Patriot Motor Force - 'Murican Evolutionary muscle cars

My Engine Tuning Video Guides
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phale

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:25 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

I'm interested in learning about how to optimize the torque curve, especially for a certain purpose. For example, I thought that for BRC a short stroke engine with max torque around 6000RPM would be best, but a lot of the best performing cars used a long stroke engine peaking under 3000RPM. And for non-racing purposes, I'm really confused by the "engine" modifier in the drivability detailed stats - sometimes I'll make a small change and the modifier drops like 2%.
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Sillyworld

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:52 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

phale wrote:I'm interested in learning about how to optimize the torque curve, especially for a certain purpose.

You should also check killrob's video on torque and acceleration https://youtu.be/UIQjyn95c-o
But on that topic, a video showing the effects in game of different torque curves will be cool.

EDIT: I did some experimentation a few weeks ago, with the same square engine, same rev limit same gearing, same cooling and same tuning, but different torque. 3 variants, one with equal torque and power, one with less torque than power and one with more torque than power. I found that the the engine with more torque was slightly faster around a track, but I think that was because of the torque curve rather than the torque figure, because the torque was available earlier and it was pretty flat. Also (I could be wrong on this) engines that have a peak torque high in the rev range tend to be more inefficient, usually their economy is below 12% or so.
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phale

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:21 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

Yes, of course - I've seen killrob's video before and learned a lot from it :) So a high revving short stroke (undersquare) engine should theoretically be best for racing. But I built one based on the BRC rules and I'm getting far worse track times than cars using a long stroke engine. On the track, I can see that the long stroke engine is almost always revving above its peak torque and economy, so it should be less than ideal. But I built a short stroke engine with a power band right in the common rev ranges (4000-6000rpm) and it was several seconds slower around the track.
Last edited by phale on Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TurboJ

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:11 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

I will try to cover this in an upcoming video.

For now, I can say that a broad torque curve makes car accelerate better IN GEAR, under ranges not necesserily reaching the peak rpm. Peak torque number in itself is not that important if you don't have a broad area of rpm range where you're CLOSE to that peak torque number.

Now, Killrob's video addresses one common misuderstanding - that high torque in itself makes a car accelerate faster (which is not true). What most people in the general population don't understand is that POWER and TORQUE are simply two aspects of the same phenomenon. At peak POWER, you will achieve the quickest possible acceleration. But since a car will have a transmission with varying ratios (we're not looking into CVT here since that's not in the game), what actually matters is how you can make an engine that makes the most power under the widest part of your usable rev range, and especially under the rev range that you will be USING under maximum acceleration runs. This is also why you never want the rev limiter cut in exactly at peak power, but instead you want to have a few hundred spare revs left after peak power. Now when you shift up at readline, you will have used a longer part of the rev range with CLOSE TO peak power, and the next gear acceleration will also start further up in the rev range so you will be making more power right after the upshift too. So effectively spending the longest relative time closest to the peak horsepower is what makes you go fast. Assuming of course that we're talking about useable peak power and not simply a flat curve making very little actual power.

A torque curve is useful in that it will show you the rev range your engine is making power. If you have a mild cam, you will have a fat torque curve in the lower rpm range which is good for economy and driveability. If you use an aggressive cam, your torque curve will shift towards the top end of the rev range, which will give better acceleration - but you will lose efficiency and driveability at the lower end.

So we read the torque curve in order to optimize for a rev range where, relatively speaking, we will want to have most power. A race engine will have high torque at the top range and a normal road engine will have high torque at the lower end so that both engines will have best efficiency under the rev range that is actually going to be used. Then of course if we look at certain rules we might have in a racing challenge etc, that is another thing and we need to look at the rules and determine how that in turn affects our engine tune.

But just to make things yet more complicated: for best possible performance in track driving, we also need to look at our gearing. We want to optimize gearing in relation to our power curve so that we will always have most possible power available in each gear when driving fast, i.e. shifting near the redline. The best example of bad gearing / bad engine setup is a highly-strung turbo engine with long gearing. In that case you would always drop off-boost after each gearshift, which would make you really slow in relation to your power numbers.
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J.S.C Automobili S.p.A - Exclusive sports cars since 1959
J.S.C Motori Speciali - My open-source performance engines
Patriot Motor Force - 'Murican Evolutionary muscle cars

My Engine Tuning Video Guides
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strop

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Post Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:23 am

Re: My Video Guide Series on How to Tune and Optimize an Eng

I've not had the time to actually watch the videos, but I did want to mention that the determining the optimal power curve is where the Performance Index on the testing screen comes in: it's handiest for determining the rpm cutoff which yields your engine's theoretical best performance, as it is essentially a form of Area Under Curve function (but not simply the sum total AUC, more to do with your power from shifting points etc. as mentioned).
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