Engines 101 part 3
Continuing our Engines 101 blog series, we are ready for part 3. Previously, we have discussed the different engine fluids and engine belts, now we are going to cover some of the common engine parts that you may not know.
What is an Engine Block?
The engine block is the start of building an engine, created to have a specific number of holes in it for cylinders and water and oil paths that are for cooling and lubricating. The diameter of the holes for the cylinders is called the bore of an engine. Then, there are also semi-circular seats with thrust bearings that hold the crankshaft and have bearing-caps to secure the crankshaft with the another thrust bearing. The engine head is created like the engine block and is placed on top, with openings for air flowing into an engine cylinder and an exhaust opening where burnt gases leave. The engine head also has holes to insert a valve stem, to put spark plugs into an engine cylinder and seats for camshaft bearings.
What are Pistons?
Pistons are a cylindrical structure that have flat surfaces at the top. These are what moves up and down within an engine cylinder. There are groves on a piston that hold piston rings that will rub along the engine cylinder instead of the piston, reducing the friction created.
What is a Crankshaft?
A crankshaft is designed to convert the up and down motion of a piston into rotational motion. There are usually small holes in the crankshaft, which help balance it while rotating at high speeds. A timing belt is used so that the crankshaft can turn the camshaft. Then, there is a sump that surrounds the crankshaft and contains some amount of oil, which collects at the bottom, usually referred to as the oil pan.
What is a Connecting Rod?
This connects a piston to the crankshaft. A wrist pin secures the piston to the connecting rod, which acts like a bearing and lets the connecting rod move like a pendulum under the piston. The other end of the connecting rod has two parts, the crankshaft is held and secured between these two parts.
What are Valves?
Valves control the inlet and exhaust air that goes into and out of an engine cylinder. There are two parts of a valve—the valve stem and valve head. The valve stem goes through a hole in the engine head where it rests on a valve seat, the valve head is the part that rests on the seat.
What is a Camshaft?
A camshaft regulates the valves opening and closing time. This is done by the cam profiles that are on it pressing into the end of a valve stem, the cam profile will open the valve head. The camshaft is held in internal holes of the engine head.
What is a Valve Spring and Tappet?
The valve spring is what closes the valve head after the cam profiles on the camshaft opens it. The tappet is a smooth surface that the cam profile will press into the valve spring as it moves.
What are Spark Plugs?
Incredibly important, spark plugs are what ignite the air-fuel mixture in the engine cylinder. A spark plug uses the electrical energy of the battery to produce a spark at the right moment.
What is a Gasket?
The gasket is what’s in between the engine block and engine head. It acts as insulation to prevent any leakage from the two parts.