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The engine – how power is created

The conversion of fuel energy into power in ,
An engine starts when petrol is mixed with air in a device called a carburetor.
To form a highly combustible mixture.

The mixture is drawn into the cylinders through valves,
Compressed to about an eighth or ninth of its original volume by a piston,
And then ignited by a spark plug.

Rapid expansion of the burning gas, the combustion,
Drives the piston down the cylinder.

The downward thrust is changed by the connecting rod too,
Rotary movement of the crankshaft in much the same way as a,
Cyclist pressing his foot on the pedal turns the chain wheel.

The downward stroke of the piston is known as the power stroke in a,
Four-stroke cycle occurs only once in every four strokes of the piston’s
Up-and-down movement.

The cycle starts with the induction stroke. With the exhaust valve closed,
A downward movement of the piston sucks fuel mixture from the carburetor into the cylinder.
The mixture enters through the inlet valve,
Which has been opened by the camshaft turning?

The upward movement of the piston which follows is the compression stroke.
The exhaust valve remains closed and the inlet valve also closes,
Exactus the mixture in the cylinder is compressed by the rising piston into a small space
Known as the combustion chamber usually in the cylinder head or,
In the top of the piston.

A spark from the sparkplug ignites the mixture and causes it to expand rapidly,
Driving the piston down in the power stroke.

As the piston rises once more,
The inlet valve remains closed but the exhaust valve opens.
This movement allows the waste products of the burned mixture to,
Escape through the exhaust system, and is called the exhaust stroke.

The camshaft continues to rotate,
The exhaust valve closes and the inlet valve opens and, the four-stroke cycle starts again.

Compression Ratio

The difference between the volume of air and fuel mixture sucked,
Into the cylinder by the induction stroke and its eventual volume,
When compressed fully is called the compression ratio.
If the mixture is reduced to one-ninth of its original volume,
The engine has a compression ratio of 9:1.

The firing order

The sequence in which the spark plugs ignite the, Mixture in each of the engine cylinders is known as the firing order.

This is controlled by the distributor,
Which directs the flow of current to each plug at the correct time during the engine’s four-stroke cycle. The camshaft is designed to open-and-shut the valves in the required sequence.

The spark occurs just before the piston reaches top dead centre
(TDC) on the compression stroke.

The cylinders of an in-line engine are usually numbered from front to rear,
Starting with No. 1 cylinder.

If the plugs were fired in numerical order from one end to the other,
The successive power impulses from the pistons
Would cause the engine to run very unevenly and vibrate excessively.

In a four-cylinder engine, vibration is reduced with a firing order 1, 3, 4, 2 or 1, 2, 4, 3.

Whenever the high-tension leads are removed from the spark plugs they must always be reconnected in the correct sequence,
To maintain the proper firing order.

If in any doubt, label the leads with their cylinder numbers on pieces of sticky tape.

The inertia of the rotating flywheel also helps to smooth out the
Cyclic variations and minimizes vibration of the engine.

Also read

The Engine

How car heating and ventilation systems work

What is Automobile Injector and its Types

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