Steve Prentice Design           Powertrain Design Consultancy

 

We design engines and transmissions for automotive and primary power manufacturers:

  • Car

  • Motorcycle

  • Motorsport

  • Truck

  • Off-road

  • Light aircraft

  • Industrial power

  • Marine power

  • Component suppliers

Steve Prentice Design aims to:

  • Design products that are better than our clients could have ever imagined

  • Build on our top class reputation for innovative design

  • Complete projects on time and within budget

 

In 1975 I was one of the last engineers to benefit from the legendary Austin Apprenticeship scheme at Austin Rover Cars, Longbridge and studied Mechanical Engineering at University of Aston in Birmingham.  From 1978 I was working in Advanced Engine Design (Sir Alec Issigonis's department) under the guidance of Stan Johnson who had been Chief Designer on the Mini.

 

From 1982 I was at Lotus Engineering, working and learning under Tony Rudd and Geoffrey Wilde for 3 years on Project L9, an F1 engine that never raced but incorporated many features years ahead of its time.  It was turbocharged and supercharged, had direct in-cylinder fuel injection, monobloc construction and was fantastically compact and lightweight.

 

I set up Steve Prentice Design Limited in 1986.  Most of our work has been in performance automotive engine design, including motorsport. Many of these have been stand alone projects and on others we have worked as part of large multi-site / multi-discipline teams.

Design projects for complete assemblies or single components can take from a few days to several years.

 

Outline of past projects:

Base engine concept design

  • Clean sheet design studies - completely new engine designs. Petrol and diesel engines from 200cc to 35 litres capacity. These are rare opportunities to establish bore, stroke and bore spacing to suit the duty required. These dimensions are usually fixed because many new designs share some components, features or history with an existing engine.

  • New engine projects - sharing components and manufacturing facilities with existing engines. Families of engines can be built sharing pistons and valve gear into engines with different numbers of cylinders for different power outputs.

Engine Package concepts

  • Package projects - on base engines for specific applications. Designing a range of engine mounts, manifolds, flywheels, oil systems, turbochargers, cooling groups and ancillaries for new base engine designs. Applications in motorsport, automotive, truck, light aircraft, marine and static industrial.

  • Re-package projects - on existing engines for specific vehicles and static industrial applications.

Layout and details

  • Detail projects - detail draughting of components for base engine designs.

  • Layout and detail projects - schemes and details for modifications to existing engine designs, and other engineering projects.

  • CAD data transfer - transfer of data between different CAD systems, repairing and rebuilding where translation has failed.

Motorcycle

  • Projects – complete engine and gearbox designs and dry sump conversion kits.

  • Chassis - We were the first people to build and race Grasstrack / Longtrack bikes with inclined engine and aluminium frame (as Fictitious Racing in 1984).

Motorsport

  • Engine and transmission designs for Formula 1, LeMans 24 hour, World Rally Cars, British Touring Cars, sportscars and historic racecars.

Transmission

  • Projects - gearbox designs (most commonly 6 speed sequential for motorsport), differentials, 4x4 transfer boxes, electric and hybrid-electric car transmissions, industrial power take offs and tracked vehicle transmissions.

Castings

  • CAD to casting projects - transmission housings, cylinder block and cylinder head CAD models prepared for specific casting techniques (CAD pattern making).

Reverse engineering

  • Assembly projects - inspection of sample engine and transmission assemblies. CAD models generated for analysis work and re-manufacture.

  • Legacy data conversion - creation of 3D CAD models from old 2D drawings.

Finite element and kinematic analysis

  • FEA stress and motion force studies - on components brought to us by clients and on components within concept design projects.

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