By Mike Kojima
In the coming months we will explain all of the basics of how to extract more power from that noisy chunk of metal connected to the wheels. Your new knowledge can be put to good use when selecting hop up parts for your ride, helping you make good solid choices of where best to spend your hard earned money. With knowledge you will be able to make informed choices when buying parts and will be less likely to get punked by unscrupulous mechanics. In this series we will explain how all the popular hop up parts work, how to understand there specifications and how to pick the right parts to best fit your needs.
Now that you know what all of the basic parts of an engine are and what they do, it’s time to understand how they work together in a system. Almost all cars except for the rotary powered RX-8 and nearly all motorcycles use 4 stroke engines or what is called by engineers, the Otto Cycle to turn the chemical energy of gasoline into power. Manipulation of the 4 stroke cycle is essential for obtaining more power from a motor so it is important to know what the different parts of the cycle are and how they affect your power output.
In our last edition of our ongoing series on engine tuning and theory, we explained how the 4-stroke cycle works. Now we are going to break down a couple of common and very important terms that you will hear all the time when discussing engines that you must understand if you are going to successfully tune or select parts for your motor. This information can also help prevent you from getting ripped off by bogus speed shops. This can also help prevent you from being steered wrong by SPE's, FFF's and other lameo guru types that inhabit various forums and online resources.
For part one of the series click here!
For part two of this series click here!
We all make mistakes, especially when we are starting out as beginner enthusiasts. Cars can be very unforgiving machines, especially modified cars that have been tweaked for more performance. Unfortunately many seemingly minor mistakes can have very devastating and costly consequences.
For part three of the series click here!
Detonation is perhaps the deadliest sin you can inflict upon your motor. It is usually caused by gluttony, another bad sin, gluttony for more power. Detonation is the result of going too far in the quest for power. Pushing things to the limit when eking the last bit out, too far for your fuel's octane, too far for your fuel system flow capacity, too much heat for your cooling system to dissipate, the list goes on and on. All of these can lead to a quick end to your motor. Really bad detonation can destroy any engine very quickly, about the only way quicker would be to dump out your oil while it's running full tilt.
Ignition Timing is expressed as the number of degrees of crankshaft rotation in advance of Top Dead Center or TDC, when the sparkplug is fired. This kicks off the explosion of air and gasoline that pushes the piston down to drive the crank. Since even explosions take a few milliseconds to develop, the engine’s ECU usually commands the sparkplug to fire a few degrees of crank rotation before TDC.
For more engine basics click here!
Compression Ratio - A Look From The Thermo Side
By Khiem Dinh
You want more power and probably better fuel economy due to ever increasing fuel costs. The government wants lower emissions. So how do you achieve all those? Increasing the compression ratio of the engine is one method.
Suck Squish Bang Blow: All You Wanted to Know About How Headers Work - Part 1
by Mike Kojima
Headers are one of the most common and basic of your bolt on mods, however very little is understood about how they actually work. How and why headers work is an arena full of old hot rodders and internet keyboard guru’s tall tales and myths. We can easily understand why this is true as there are not many accurate stories on the net on how headers actually work. Most of us know that headers can produce substantial amounts of power on a motor with very few negative compromises. Properly designed headers work well in producing extra power with without many of the typical negative side effects of power mods such as loss of low end drivability and mileage reduction. Headers are a rare, win-win modification with hardly any negative trade-offs. This makes them a mod that is almost essential for any engine build-up from serious to mild bolt on.
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