1.5-2.5 Hours to Start

Discussion in 'The Champagne Room' started by SRT-Tom, Mar 20, 2023.

  1. SRT-Tom

    SRT-Tom Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderator Article Writer

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    Oct 2, 2011
    southern New Jersey
    Did you ever have an old car that was hard to start?

    Well, what about a Formula 1 race car that take an incredible 1.5-2.5 hours?

    F1 cars from 1998, used high-revving V-10 engines. To start a Minardi M198, this is the tedious process.

    First, the engine must be pre-heated with warmed coolant. A common misconception is that the tolerances in these engines are so tight that they are seized when cold. While that isn't true, running an engine like the M198's Ford-Cosworth V-10 at lower-than-optimal temperatures leads to excessive wear. Air is also flushed out of the hydraulic lines before the car is started.

    Next, onboard air cylinders need to be charged. These provide air to actuate the valve springs, as conventional valve springs can't keep up with the speed at which the engine revs. The engine is then primed with fuel and cranked over using an external starter motor, which plugs into the back of the gearbox, which in turn spins the crankshaft.

    Everything is controlled by an ancient laptop running Windows 95, because the car's software isn't compatible with newer computers. Even some period laptops are faster than the car's onboard computers, which can skew readings. This isn't a problem limited to race cars from the 1990s; the McLaren F1 also requires 1990s computers to interface with its outdated electronics. If all temperatures and pressures look good, the car is ready to hit the track.
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