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Bowers Group’s XT Thread Gauges Help UWR in Custom Race Car Solution

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

Bowers Group’s precision measurement expertise played a crucial role in supporting the University of Wolverhampton Racing Team (UWR) with the manufacture of an adaptor plate. Used by OEM manufacturers such as Morgan, MINI, and Toyota, adaptor plates convert the standard oil heat exchanger on the BMW B48 variant engine into an external oil cooler system. To ensure accurate measurements of critical components, Bowers Group supplied an XT3 Holematic thread gauge, aiding UWR in achieving optimal performance.

UWR and the Morgan Motor Company had been engaged in an ongoing partnership to assist building two new CX platform Plus 4 cars from road production vehicles into fully prepared racing cars, which in March of 2021 were the first of their kind. The UWR team scheduled track test days to gather performance data on the new racing cars, where they discovered an issue under extreme track conditions. This resulted in high engine and oil temperatures that could impact performance, which was more noticeable at the time in the automatic version of the car than the manual.

The UWR team decided that the best way to address the engine overheating was to lower the oil temperatures. However, at the time of the project, the latest iteration of the BMW B48 engine had no off-the-shelf oil cooler conversion available. However, time was of the essence as they understood that elevated oil temperatures could significantly impact the engine and its components.

It was decided that straining the cooling system and cooling the oil externally, rather than relying on the standard BMW oil filter housing’s heat exchanger, would be more effective in reducing heat within both the engine and oil.

After exploring additional venting options to increase airflow through the radiator and engine bay that didn’t give them the desired impact, the UWR team designed an adaptor plate to replace the standard heat exchanger on the oil filter housing. This plate would enable the installation of an external oil cooler system, which was much better suited to effectively lower both oil and engine temperatures in unison.

The team sought assistance from its partners and sponsors, including Bowers Group, Quickgrind, and Tungaloy UK, for the tooling and manufacturing of the plate. With time being critical to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to continue development of the vehicles, Bowers Group promptly supplied an XT3 Holematic Thread Gauge to test the connections of the adaptor plate, ensuring it could be built accurately. Precision measurement was crucial for manufacturing plate, which acts as a fluid barrier and pathway for both oil and engine coolant, to ensure it performed as intended.

Professor Amar Aggoun, Head of the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, said: “The speedy assistance from Bowers Group helped us to produce a bespoke solution in manufacturing a heat exchanger replacement adaptor plate for the B48 BMW engine found in the Morgan Plus 4. It was imperative to the project that we were able to manufacture the solution quickly to keep the build of the cars on-track. The assistance from our sponsors was second-to-none. With their expertise and understanding, all aspects of the manufacture of the parts went smoothly, this had an impressively positive impact on the whole project and is something for which we are extremely grateful for.”

The XT3 Thread Gauge from Bowers Group ensured the accurate production of the adaptor plate, with measurements correctly matching the CAD design. The thread gauge facilitated precise measurements for producing the threaded holes, ensuring a secure fit for the fittings and plugs.

The accuracy of the base component was also critical to prevent crossover between the oil and coolant pathways, which could have been catastrophic for the engine. The CAD design’s accuracy translated into a finished product that worked as intended, ensuring a usable and safe build for the racing cars.

The adaptor plate’s final fitment to the oil filter housing proved successful in both workshop and track testing. The precision and timely support from Bowers Group were instrumental in the project’s success, showcasing the value of their partnership with UWR.

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