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NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

28/09/2021 - 30/09/2021

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06/10/2021 - 07/10/2021

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NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

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Low friction tribo tape helps to improve endurance race reliability

Low friction tribo tape helps to improve endurance race reliability

What is classed as 'the most extraordinary journey possible in a motor car' will kick start next year when more than 100 vehicles, in Vintageant and Classic categories, will attempt the sixth Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. Starting from the Great Wall of China near Beijing on 12th June 2016 and just over a month later ending in Paris, the intrepid drivers will cross the finish line in Place Vendome on 17th July.

The route takes the cars and drivers into the most adventurous region of Mongolia, the stunningly beautiful northern sector. Competitors will cross into Russia with the support of the Russian motor-federation who worked with the Endurance Rally Association (ERA) in seeking out long gravel farm-land sections for Time Trials, and the Ukraine motor-federation who closed down streets in town-centres in the 2013 rally where drivers arrived at the end of the day to be mobbed by thousands of well-wishers and enthusiastic spectators. For 2016, competitors will also drive an exciting new route across Europe with closed-road mountain climbs in the Alps.

The Vintageant category is for pre 1941 model types, while the Classic category is for models of a type in production before 1975. Tents, sleeping bags, and all spare parts including wheels must be carried by each entrant, and cars have to be prepared in period-style, so no alloy-boxes on the back, no modern-looking ski-boxes or roof-top boxes are allowed.

To qualify for a place in the rally, cars had to be able to stand a reasonable chance of coping with the demands of the event. The route includes driving some of the worlds toughest terrain with participants required to maintain a demanding rally time-schedule. For the second time ever, a 1960s Morgan Plus 4 will be competing in the motor challenge. In preparation for the race, Mulberry Fabrications, a Warwickshire based company that has over 30 years experience in modifying and rebuilding sports and racing cars, has been tasked with over-hauling the classic car to the expectation that it can complete the event without any mechanical failure.

Mulberry has extensive experience in Morgan race modifications. The steel chassis of the Plus 4 four seater was substantially redesigned and reinforced using modern high strength steel and aircraft grade materials. Under race conditions, both the rear springs and front suspension are usually heavily greased or lubricated, which in very dusty, sandy and dirty conditions can lead to premature failure. A rear leaf spring defect, which left the car stranded in the Gobi desert for four days in the previous race, was of particular concern.  

"I had already planned on using the Igus J3 bearings to replace the conventional bushings on the front springs, which would negate lubrication and solve the potential critical failure points," says Simon Hall, director at Mulberry Fabrications. "However, when I was provided with a sample of the self-adhesive Iglidur tribo-tape, the back leaf springs seemed an obvious application."

Previously PTFE strips had been sandwiched between the leaf springs to replace the grease, but tended to extrude out under continued loading. The tribo-tape is made of Iglidur A160 material, which is charac-terised by having low friction values, high wear resistance and self-lubricating. Being light in weight and easy to cut, this tape also offers considerable noise reduction in the leaf springs, something that the two drivers will appreciate while travelling along the 10,000km of mostly dirt track roads. With over five decades of plastics experience, and the industry's most rigorous testing regimes, Igus products deliver reliability in the most arduous applications.

A brand new set of Morgan leaf springs were bought by Mulberry and dismantled. The individual leaves were carefully de-burred and polished on the sliding surfaces, and then the tribo-tape was cut out and bonded to each leaf and then it was reassembled.  

"Initial testing indicates a noticeable reduction in friction thanks to the tribo-tape which should result in a softer ride and eliminate the potential failure mechanism of accelerated wear due to contamination," adds Simon. "Equipped with Igus technology, we're confident the 1960s Morgan Plus 4 will outshine the competition by overcoming some of the world's toughest driving conditions and cross the finishing line to complete the greatest motoring adventure ever."

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