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The cylindrical device

which forms the
moving end of the
cylinder. All power
produced by the
engine is transmitted
as pressure applied
to the working face
of each piston.

Compresses air molecules before
Transfers the pressure of expanding
gases to the crankshaft, forcing it to
On a 2 stroke engine it acts as a
valve by covering and uncovering
cylinder intake and/or exhaust ports.
Inside each cylinder

Top of the
shapes aid
in creating




Part of the
between the
each ring
used to seal the first ring
groove above
the space
between the the piston pin
cylinder wall hole, and the
bottom of the
and piston
openings in the
piston body.
Provide a means
to connect the
piston to the
connecting rod.

Ring Lands

Part of the piston

above the top ring
or between the ring
grooves. Limit and
support the piston
rings in their

Oil Drain

Permit oil to pass

through the piston
from the cylinder
wall into the

Trunk Type

Skirt is long
enough to
take up side
thrust without
the liner.

Crosshead Type:
A two piece unit with a crown that can
withstand the high heat and pressure of a
turbocharged engine. The crown and skirt
are held together by the piston pin. The
downward load on the crown is directed
onto the piston pin through a large bearing.
Skirt is specifically designed to absorb side
thrust. The skirt has less thermal distortion
than the crown, and free of downward
It guides the piston in the liner, takes up
side thrust, and carries oil rings. The
crown is subject to only a slight amount of
side thrust.

Piston Oil Cooling

Heat absorbed by the piston must be dissipated to prevent

excessive metal temperature, and the carbonization of
lubricating oils.
Piston Cooling Methods



A compartment in the piston

head is supplied with oil
from the drilled passage in
the connecting rod by
circulating through passages
behind the rings.

The motion of the piston shakes the oil

so it is spilled into channels or pipes
which return it to the crankcase.

Oil Jet:


Oil from the connecting rod is

sprayed through a nozzle
against the underside of the

Delivered from a jet

at the bottom of the
cylinder liner.

Piston Rings

Seal the cylinder.

Prevent combustion pressure from entering the
crankcase (blow-by).
Prevent oil from entering the combustion space.
Distribute oil to lubricate the cylinder walls
Transfer heat from the piston to the cylinder walls.


Rings fit in grooves around the piston crown and /or skirt.
Number and location will vary with type and size of piston
Ring gaps are staggered when installed to minimize blow-by.

General Classification of Rings

Compression Rings
Principal function of the compression ring is to seal the cylinder and
combustion space so gases cannot escape.
Made of gray cast iron
Some have inserts or facings for better seating (bronze or chrome)

General Classification of Rings continued

Oil Rings

The sharp edge on lower side, removes excess oil on the piston
down stroke, the tapered upper side distributes the remaining
oil on the piston upstroke.
If this ring is installed upside down, it will act as an oil pump
rather than a scraper.
Oil Ring Expander
Basically a spring that is placed in the oil grooves of the piston
prior to the oil rings being installed.

Used for distribution, removal of excess oil, and control of oil film.
Note: Different manufacturers use a variety of terms in their Tech. Manuals
to identify the oil rings, such as oil control, oil scraper, oil wiper, oil cutter, oil
drain, oil regulating.
Furthest from the combustion chamber, Regulate the amount of oil passing
between the skirt and cylinder wall.
Preventing excessive oil from entering the combustion chamber.

Piston gudgeon Pins/Wrist Pins

Usually hollow and made of alloy steel.

Machined, hardened, precision ground and lapped.
Some may be chrome plated to improve wearing properties.
Purpose: Connect the piston to the connecting rod.
Location: Ride on a carrier or boss inside the piston

Stationary Pins
Secured to the piston at the bosses. Connecting rod oscillates on the pin.
Uses one bearing surface.
Semi-Floating Pins
Secured in the middle of the connecting rod. Ends move freely in the bearing
surfaces of the bosses.
Uses two bearing surfaces.
Full Floating Pins
Not secured at either the piston or connecting rod.
May be held in place with caps, plugs, snap rings or spring clips.
Pin rotates in both the rod and piston bosses.
Uses four bearing surfaces.

Connecting Rod

A bar or strut with a bearing at each end.

Usually forged from alloy steel.
I or H section to give it greater strength for its weight.
Upper end is attached to the piston by the piston pin.
Lower end is split so it can be fastened around the crankshaft.

Transmits reciprocating motion of the piston to the rotary motion of the
Transmits force of combustion on the piston to the crankshaft.
Transmits force to the piston from the crankshaft during the compression stroke.
In the bore of the cylinder, between the piston and the crankshaft.

Types of Connecting Rods

Conventional design: Most common type used.
Fork and Blade: Fork rod straddles the blade rod.
Hinged strap type: Variation of the fork and blade.


Forged steel with design determining the firing order for a given
direction of rotation.


Converts the reciprocating motion of the piston and its connecting rod into rotary

Supported by bearings below the block.
Block and main bearing caps are precision (line) bored.

Crank Journals
(Main Bearing Journals)
Induction hardened for durability and wear.

Connecting rod journals

Offset from the crankshaft centerline
Orbit the centerline as shaft rotates.

Crank Throw
3 parts- 2 webs and a pin
Provide attachment points for the connecting rods.

Machined to a highly polished finish.

Mounted to the block by main bearing caps.

Construction Cont.
Counter Balance Weights
Heavy metal sections opposite the throws to offset the weight of the throws and
connecting rods. Fine balancing is achieved by drilling the counterweight.
Oil passages- Main bearings receive oil from the main oil galleries.
Passages are drilled between main and connecting rod journals
Rod journals receive oil from the drilled passages
Flywheel Hub allows a flywheel
To be bolted to the crankshaft.


a heavy wheel or disc for opposing or moderating speed fluctuations.

Purpose helps the engine run smoothly by absorbing some energy of the
power stroke and releasing it during the other strokes.
Some engines utilize the flywheel to install a starting ring gear, turning ring gear,
or overspeed safety mechanism.
Location- firmly bolted to the hub of the crankshaft.

Single cylinder engines require large flywheels to

keep speed variations within limits.

Multi-cylinder speed variations become less as the number of cylinders increases.

Cylinders are smaller and impulses more frequent.
Ends of the connecting rods, crank webs and crankpins have considerable
weight and therefore have the same inertial effect as the flywheel.
Some engines the rotor of the generator serves as the flywheel.

Vibration Dampers (Harmonic Balancer)

Purpose- operates to reduce the torsional (twisting) stresses on the crankshaft

caused by the power strokes and loads on the engine.
Location- Free end of the crankshaft.
Two Basic Types

Elastic Type

Usually incorporated with a fan pulley

Consists of a rubber ring, bonded
to a heavy metal ring on one side,
and a stamped metal disc on the
The rubber allows some flexing
between the heavy ring and crankshaft
to absorb vibration from the engine.

Fluid Type

Consists of a heavy metal disc

suspended in fluid inside a sealed
Any movement of the internal
mass is resisted by the fluid
friction. This tends to dampen
excessive torsional vibrations in
the crankshaft.

Valve Assemblies

Intake and exhaust valves are Poppet Type

Purpose- on 4 cycle engines the valves open and close to allow clean air to
enter the cylinder and allow the exhaust of spent gases.
Some 4 cycle engines use 2 intake and 2 exhaust valves per cylinder.
2 cycle engines may have intake ports and exhaust valves or may have
both intake and exhaust ports.
2 cycle engines using exhaust valves generally employ 2 or 4 valves per
Location- Valves are located in the cylinder head assemblies.

Valve Construction

Intake valves- constructed of carbon steel or low alloy steel.

Directly cooled by the air flowing past them
Exhaust valves- usually made of silicon-chromium steel or steel alloys.
High content of nickel and chromium in the steel or alloy for corrosion
Some exhaust valves use sodium as a cooling agent. At operating
temperatures the sodium liquefies and splashes up and down in the hollow
valve stem, transferring heat from the stem to the engine cooling system.

Sodium valves are effective but not commonly used.

Sodium can be highly explosive when it comes in contact with the atmosphere.
Seating edge of the face may be 30,45 or 60 degrees.
Seating angles are required to provide a positive seal.
Over half the heat a valve must dissipate, leaves through the valve face.
Face and seat surfaces may be hardened with a cobalt-tungsten alloy to
resist thermal damage.

Fillet (neck):
Constructed with the head and neck of a material
which resists heat

Hardened Tip:
Reduce wear from rocker arms.

Valve Springs

Made of highly tempered round steel wire,wound in a spiral.

Serve to close the valves
Provide sufficient force to overcome inertia of the valve assemblies caused
by the rapid motion of the valve being lifted.
Springs surround the valve stems

Valve Guides

Provide a guide and
bearing for the valve
Also aid in conducting heat
from the stem to the water
jacket which surrounds the
Pressed into the cylinder

Valve rotators:
not found on all engines.
Rotate the valve, preventing carbon
buildup and hot spots that could
damage the valve and seating
May be installed above or below the
valve spring, according to design

Valve Keepers

Lock the valve spring retainers to the valve spring.
On top of the valve spring

Valve Actuating Mechanism

Used to control the opening and closing of valves and fuel pumps/injectors
Camshaft: A long slender shaft with a number of projections called cam
The timing desired determines the shape of the lobes.
Lobes are elliptical so the valves are opened and closed gradually to
avoid excessive inertial forces.
May be located low near the crankshaft, on the cylinder block or in/on the
cylinder head.

4 stroke engine- normally operates the intake and exhaust valves, fuel
nozzles (spray nozzles), fuel injector pumps, fuel injectors or air starting
2 stroke engine- operates the exhaust valves, fuel nozzles, fuel injector
pumps, fuel injectors, or air starting valves
Machined surfaces
One end of the camshaft has a machined surface to which the camshaft
drive gear is attached


Camshafts time the events of the intake, compression, injection, power and
exhaust to the crankshaft.
Therefore the connecting drive must be positive, i.e. gear, chain or cogged
belt drive.
Cam must rotate once for each cycle of events.

In 2 stroke engines a cycle of events occurs in one crankshaft rotation, so the

cam and crankshaft rotate at the same speed.
In 4 stroke engines, a cycle of events occurs in 2 crankshaft revolutions, so the cam
rotates at the crankshaft speed.
Some V-engines use 2 camshafts to actuate the intake and exhaust valves. Other
timing functions are divided between the two camshafts

Cam followers

Change the rotating motion of the camshaft to

reciprocating motion to open the valves.

Three types:

Mushroom type
Roller type
Hinged Roller type

Cam followers ride the cam and are raised by a section or

the cam as the camshaft rotates.

Push rods

transmit the motion of the cam and lifter to the rocker on the cylinder head.
Between the cam followers and the rocker arms.

Rocker Arms

Part of the valve operating mechanism which opens and closes the intake
and or exhaust valves.
To actuate the valves through the use of push rod or cam followers and the
Changes direction of motion only

On some engines a rocker arm operates the unit fuel injectors and fuel
injection pumps.
Each rocker arm actuates either one or two valves.

Mounted on the head of an engine on a shaft, which acts as a pivot.


Make up a very important group of parts.

Support rotating shafts and other moving parts
Transmits load from one part to another.
Reduce friction between moving surfaces.
Dissipate heat produced by friction

2 general groups

Bearings for rotary motion

Journal bearings (support radial loads)
Thrust bearings (support axial loads)
Combination (support radial and axial loads)
Bearings for reciprocating motion
Piston skirts
Valve guides
Slipper type bearings

Classification by construction

Precision type
Requires no fitting to the shaft.
May be split inserts which form a bushing when put
May be of solid construction.

Thrust type

Same as precision type except babbitt is carried on over the edge of the
shell, and is machined to give it a surface to absorb the axial thrust.
All sliding contact bearings will support radial loads or combinations of radial
and axial loads.

Drive Mechanisms

Identifies the group of parts which take power from the crankshaft and transmits
that power to various engine components and accessories.
The drive mechanism does not change type of motion but it may change
direction of motion.

Types of Drives
Gear Drive

Consists of various helical gears arranged at one or both ends of the engine.
Most common type of drive mechanism.

Chain Drive

Consists of a chain and sprockets.

Used on Fairbanks-Morse opposed piston diesel engines.

Cogged belt

Modified to ensure positive engagement between the crankshaft and driven

Used on some smaller diesel engines.