A new method has been developed to directly measure valve train friction as a function of crank angle using specially designed timing belt pulley torque transducers fitted to the inlet and exhaust camshafts of a single-cylinder gasoline engine. Simultaneous and instantaneous friction torque of both the inlet and exhaust camshafts at any engine speed can be measured, with no apparent detrimental effect of timing belt loading on the output reading. Experiments are reported for valve train friction at a range of motored engine operating conditions with different lubricant formulations, with and without a friction modifier. These are compared with the predictions of an existing valve train friction model based upon elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory. Measured friction decreased with increasing engine speed but increased with increasing oil temperature and the fuel economy benefit of friction modifiers was observed. The model yielded similar magnitudes of friction at medium engine speeds and above but predicted much lower friction with high oil temperatures at low speed. Comparison of theory and experiments also suggests that some oil may leak from hydraulic lash adjusters during the cam event with a consequent reduction in geometric torque.

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