63 engine block cylinder head and cylinders

engine block cylinder head and cylinders


By Vukasin Herbez on 2018-07-06 16:58:19

Today, we will tell you about the crucial parts of the engine, the engine block, cylinder head, and the cylinders. Those parts are the most important components which make the internal combustion engine and define its construction, displacement, power, and torque. There are several engine configurations currently in use like inline four or six cylinder engine, V8 or V12 motors or even flat six units but regardless of the format, all internal combustion engines have the same components and work on the same principle. Let‘s get straight to it.

1.Engine block

The engine block is the biggest and heaviest part of the engine which is built from a solid piece of steel or aluminum. It houses the pistons and it is mounted deep in the engine bay of the car. The engine block must be a heavy and durable part since it ensures the most in terms of forces and thermodynamics so, during the production, a special attention is devoted into casting and machining this piece. Besides the cylinders, which are holes for the pistons, the engine block has numerous channels for cooling, oil delivery as well as parts for bolting other important components like fuel and oil pumps, oil pan, engine mounts and so on.

2. Cylinder head

The cylinder head sits on the top of the block and hosts valve train, camshafts and intake and exhaust manifolds. Inside of the cylinder head, there is a combustion chamber on top of which sits intake and exhaust valves, fuel nozzle (in case of direct injection engine) and spark plugs. Diesel engines don‘t have spark plugs so construction of the cylinder head is a little bit different from petrol units. When the fuel and air mixture is delivered to the cylinder head, it is then sent to the combustion chamber where it is ignited. The explosion of flammable mixture causes pistons to move, making the engine power. The exhaust fumes leftover from the ignition process is then extracted through exhaust valves.

Since the cylinder head and the engine block are separate parts, there are head gaskets between them as the way of perfectly sealing the gap which is important for proper combustion and power delivery.

3. Pistons

Pistons are moving parts of the engine, located in the engine block and connected with the crankshaft. The internal combustion moves the pistons up and down in the engine block transmitting power to the crankshaft. Pistons must be perfectly machined and installed and also properly lubricated since friction created by rapid movement in the cylinders will create so much heat that the engine would melt itself in a matter of minutes.

You are probably asking how all those moving parts, like valves, camshaft, ignition modules, fuel injections, pistons, and crankshaft are synchronized? To make the engine work properly, all those components must work in perfect harmony and the slightest delay of valve opening with the cylinder movement could cause catastrophic engine failure which would definitely leave you stranded. The answer is simple and in front of the engine, the timing belt or chain is responsible for synchronizing all the engine‘s moving parts. The bottom of the timing belt is connected to the crankshaft and the upper part is connected to the camshafts. When the engine is assembled, mechanics perfectly align the parts so when the motor is started everything works as it should. Also, the timing belt powers the water pump for cooling and oil pump for lubrication.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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