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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class

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The all-new G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show in G550 form. Completely redeveloped and fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo gasoline engine offering 427ps and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm to 4,750rpm, despite near-identical looks to its predecessor plenty has changed for the Mercedes-Benz SUV.


Ford’s F150 pickup gets its first diesel motor

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Developed by the powertrain team behind the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine for super duty trucks, the all-new 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke unit promises 250ps, 440 lb-ft of torque, and an anticipated 5175kg of towing capacity.


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Drive System Design invests in new transmission and driveline test facility

Drive System Design (DSD) has opened a new test facility that, according to the engineering consultancy, provides complete turnkey solutions to customers in the transmissions and driveline industry. The dedicated 400m2 test facility includes workshops and a range of test equipment for the development and validation of mechanical hardware.
“We can now take customer projects all the way from modeling the optimum solution to assembling and validating the finished product,” said Rob Oliver, DSD’s chief engineer of development and control. “This can be anything from a synchronizer assembly or park brake to a complete transmission. We are also experiencing growing demand for the design and supply of specialized test rigs, whether for testing complete transmissions or individual assemblies.”
The test facility houses two environmental chambers with temperature and humidity control, one of which includes a high capacity shaker rig capable of mounting a test piece of 650kg and vibrating it at up to 2.5KHz under varying climatic conditions.
There are also two spin rigs that can absorb up to 60kW, sufficient for simulation of the new European drive cycle. According to DSD, one rig is capable of tilting in two axes to allow efficiency mapping and oil system development at speeds up to 6,500rpm, while the other offers extensive instrumentation for general-purpose transmission development.
Other equipment includes rigs for validating the durability and engagement speed of a park-lock mechanism for automatic/EV transmissions. DSD says it has developed its own gearshift quality measurement system, dubbed ‘Gate’, for in-vehicle shift quality measurement and development in manual transmissions. There is also dedicated synchronizer test rig that accepts assemblies up to 200mm in diameter.
A general-purpose hydraulics test bench with 14 individual pressure transduce channels, capable of operating at up to 80 bar pressure or with oil flows of up to 40 liters/min, is used for functional testing, valve characterization and control system development.
For general purpose rig builds and component testing, the facility houses two cast iron slotted bedplates, each measuring 1.8m x 3.7m. DSD’s instrumentation capability includes pressure, torque, speed and deflection on components, systems or complete vehicles, with data logging equipment from National Instruments, HBM and Matlab. Transmission assembly and strip-down takes place in a separate clean room.
And to support vehicle modification and build, the workshops include general fabrication, installation and fitting capabilities, encompassing two vehicle lifts, each rated for full size SUVs or light trucks.

20 February 2014


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