The internal combustion engine has come a long way from 3 bhp, when first enqineered, to the the current levels of 3000 bhp with top speeds of well over 400 kph, but what is this thing we petrol heads call a engine?
Well the combustion engine is really just a air pump. This pump uses the force of the air to turn the drive train, creating motion. Spark, fuel, and air, the most basic components to the engine. The engine is composed of the main engine aluminium block, inlet and outlet manifold for the oxygen, pistons and a crankshaft to induce the motion, spark plugs to create spark, valves, injectors control the flow of petrol.
What happens in a engine is that air is forced into the engine through the inlet manifold into the combustion chamber. This flow of air is directly proportional to the amount of fuel entering the combustion chamber. The fuel and air mix, a spark is created and we have our “combustion”. During this combustion, the pistons are forced down allowing the crank shaft to be rotated. The burnt mixture is then sent out of the engine using the outlet manifold ,exhaust if you will. Oh and take not that these rotations dont just take place at granny pace but rather happen at about 5000 revolutions per minute, on average during that is. All of which controlled by the car’s ECU unit.
Petrol heads like myself don’t see this as enough to give us the feel of excitement when speeding down the fast lane of the highway. Thus the new generation of petrol heads has figured out hundreds of ways to make our engines pump the air in and out at a much faster rate, ultimately making the engine output much more power. These methods are through fitting chargers, exhasut sytems, improved drivetrains and much more.
The engine really is a work of beauty and continues to develop at a rather rapid rate. The internal combustion engine is the only block full of happiness and excitement to the petrol heads and junkies of the world.
“Life is too short to drive slow,
too short to drive boring
And too short to drive the ordinary.”
-Koketso Washington Mahlangu