In this article we look at some of the design and engineering consultancy projects Neale Consulting Engineers have sucessfully completed within the Automotive Industry.

Design Review of a Motor Cycle Gearbox

This study included a review of operating conditions, gear loadings and lives, bearing lives and shaft stresses as well as temperature and lubrication issues. Improvements were identified, mostly requiring only small dimensional changes, but resulting in large increases in life of bearings and gears.

Because the review took place prior to the start of production, these changes were easily implemented. Other gearboxes which were known to be successful were used as a baseline.

Design and Operation Review of Sintered Iron Components For Automotive Engines

Examination of sample products from a range of sintered components for the automotive industry. Components were examined for assessment against two criteria, namely;

  1. The suitability of design for manufacture taking into account factors such as cross sectional profile, powder flow, die friction and compaction consistency.
  2. Consideration of the likely service loads which may be applied to the components and the stresses likely to arise from these.

The findings resulted in the preparation of a “Guide to the design of sintered components”.

Design Criteria for Durability of Cams and Followers

This report considered the failure modes of cams and followers, as well as their contact stresses and the EHL (elastohydrodynamic) film thickness. Surface finish, surface treatments, and oil characteristics are all parameters which need to be controlled to ensure good lubrication at all engine speeds.

Design Assessments of Novel Vehicle Transmission Components

A major automotive engineering company was developing novel designs for a differential and a CV (constant velocity) joint. Assessment of the tribological design features identified the reasons for various development problems, and improvements were devised and recommended.

Oil spillage reduction, Capital City Bus Fleet

A major city transport authority wished to reduce the oil contamination of roads from their fleet of buses. Neale Consulting Engineers were called in to investigate the cause of the leakage and identified that one of the major reasons was oil loss from their gearboxes. This was caused by the use of the wrong seal material to withstand the high operating temperatures experienced.

Tractor Timing Chain Drive Unreliability

The engine timing drive of a tractor design was proving to be unreliable in service. Our investigation identified that the loss in engine performance was due to wear in the timing sprocket bearing caused by a design defect in the timing chain drive arrangement. A major re-design of the drive arrangement was not feasible, so as a palliative solution, an improved bearing design was proposed.