The opening and closing of the valves
The cylinder head is attached to the engine block by numerous bolts or studs. It has several functions. The cylinder head seals the cylinders on the side opposite to the pistons; it contains short ducts (the ports) for intake and exhaust and the associated intake valves that open to let the cylinder be filled with fresh air and exhaust valves that open to allow the combustion gases to escape. However, 2-stroke crankcase scavenged engines connect the gas ports directly to the cylinder wall without poppet valves; the piston controls their opening and occlusion instead. The cylinder head also holds the spark plug in the case of spark ignition engines and the injector for engines that use direct injection. All CI engines use fuel injection, usually direct injection but some engines instead use indirect injection. SI engines can use a carburetor or fuel injection as port injection or direct injection. Most SI engines have a single spark plug per cylinder but some have 2. A head gasket prevents the gas from leaking between the cylinder head and the engine block. The opening and closing of the valves is controlled by one or several camshafts and springs?or in some engines?a desmodromic mechanism that uses no springs. The camshaft may press directly the stem of the valve or may act upon a rocker arm, again, either directly or through a pushrod.
Engine block seen from below. The cylinders, oil spray nozzle and half of the main bearings are clearly visible.
The crankcase is sealed at the bottom with a sump that collects the falling oil during normal operation to be cycled again. The cavity created between the cylinder block and the sump houses a crankshaft that converts the reciprocating motion of the pistons to rotational motion. The crankshaft is held in place relative to the engine block by main bearings, which allow it to rotate. Bulkheads in the crankcase form a half of every main bearing; the other half is a detachable cap. In some cases a single main bearing deck is used rather than several smaller caps. A connecting rod is connected to offset sections of the crankshaft (the crankpins) in one end and to the piston in the other end through the gudgeon pin and thus transfers the force and translates the reciprocating motion of the pistons to the circular motion of the crankshaft. The end of the connecting rod attached to the gudgeon pin is called its small end, and the other end, where it is connected to the crankshaft, the big end. The big end has a detachable half to allow assembly around the crankshaft. It is kept together to the connecting rod by removable bolts.
The cylinder head has an intake manifold and an exhaust manifold attached to the corresponding ports. The intake manifold connects to the air filter directly, or to a carburetor when one is present, which is then connected to the air filter. It distributes the air incoming from these devices to the individual cylinders. The exhaust manifold is the first component in the exhaust system. It collects the exhaust gases from the cylinders and drives it to the following component in the path. The exhaust system of an ICE may also include a catalytic converter and muffler. The final section in the path of the exhaust gases is the tailpipe.
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Gasoline engines take in a mixture
Some systems disable alternator field (rotor) power during wide open throttle conditions. Disabling the field reduces alternator pulley mechanical loading to nearly zero, maximizing crankshaft power. In this case the battery supplies all primary electrical power.
Gasoline engines take in a mixture of air and gasoline and compress it by the movement of the piston from bottom dead center to top dead center when the fuel is at maximum compression. The reduction in the size of the swept area of the cylinder and taking into account the volume of the combustion chamber is described by a ratio. Early engines had compression ratios of 6 to 1. As compression ratios were increased the efficiency of the engine increased as well.
With early induction and ignition systems the compression ratios had to be kept low. With advances in fuel technology and combustion management high performance engines can run reliably at 12:1 ratio. With low octane fuel a problem would occur as the compression ratio increased as the fuel was igniting due to the rise in temperature that resulted. Charles Kettering developed a lead additive which allowed higher compression ratios.
The fuel mixture is ignited at difference progressions of the piston in the cylinder. At low rpm the spark is timed to occur close to the piston achieving top dead center. In order to produce more power, as rpm rises the spark is advanced sooner during piston movement. The spark occurs while the fuel is still being compressed progressively more as rpm rises.18