Reflection

Hello everyone,

If you guys didn’t know, this 8-week project was meant to be for school related and this is going to be my final post (I may come back to add more later).

Here is my impression:

I liked this project a lot and it should be continued. I have been wanting to further expand my knowledge about cars for a fairly long while and I just couldn’t find the time. With this, now it turned into a task and now I finally have more knowledge about cars.

What could have been improved:

I know I should have had a “final product”, which I do not have. However, this blog and the information it contain will be my final product which I will use to acutely apply for car-related jobs as soon as I am 18 (I belive you have to be 18 to be covered under their insurance). Now again, I would build a car from scratch except again, I do not have the time, or the budget for it and you have the issue of reliability… The only thing that should be improved is to have more time. Maybe 10 weeks instead of 8. There were few subjects I had to skip or compromise on because of this issue.

Moving forward:

Again, I am planning to use this blog as a tool when applying/interviewing for car-related jobs and in my opinion, it should be helpful…hopefully.

Week 8

Hello everyone,

I purposely saved this topic for this week simply because it’s my favorite to talk about. The forced induction system is a simple concept, basically forcing compressed air into your combustion chamber and your ECU will detect the extra air and thus sending more fuel. More air and fuel will result in higher power. The forced induction system work when adding a turbocharger or a supercharger.

Now you can get more performance if you can do an engine swap with more cylinders, or make your current cylinders bigger. But sometimes that option is not feasible. And that’s where forced induction comes in.

turbochargerTurbocharger: The cool thing about turbochargers is they could increase power significantly without adding much weight to the car. A typical turbo adds about 6-8 boost, known as pressure per square inch (psi). A turbo charger compresses the ir flowing into the engine, and with more air in, that means more fuel has to be added, resulting in a bigger explosion, thus adding more power with not much weight. That means a better power-to-weight ratio.

To achieve this much boost, a turbocharger uses the exhaust flow from the engine to spin a turbine which spins an air pump. Interestingly enough, a turbine can spin up to 150,000 rotations per minute, an average car engine can go up to 5,000 RPM.

The turbocharger is mounted to the exhaust manifold. The exhaust spins the turbine in the turbo; and the turbine is connected to the compressor by a shaft, between the air filter and the intake manifold. The compressor adds pressure to the air. The exhaust from the cylinder has to pass through the turbine blades. The more exhaust, the faster they spin

Pros:

1. A strong horsepower increase

2. Power-to-size, allows smaller engines to produce much more power to their size

3. Better fuel economy (ironic given that they require more gas) but smaller engines uses less fuel to idel with turbo and have less rotational  mass which improves fuel economy. A lot of car companies are now using smaller engine displacements with a turbo. The Ford EcoBoost is a good example where 1) engine is smaller 2) better fuel efficiency 3) more power! And to give you a perspective, Ford’s ultimate race car (Ford GT) will be using an Ecoboost system in the 2017 model using a V6 which they claim should compete with Ferraris which use up to 12 cylinders. Even the new 4 cylinder Mustang EcoBoost, which produces more power than the V6 at also a higher cost.

Cons:

1) Turbo lag: Turbo chargers take time to spool up and provide power.

2) Boost threshold: Turbochargers are often are made to work for a certain RPM where exhaust flow is enough to provide additional boost to the engine. Meaning turbos do not work across the entire RPM scale.

3) Power surge: Happens especially with larger turbos where reaching the boost threshold would provide an almost instantaneous surge in power which would take away from the tire’s traction or cause instability.

 

Now let’s talk about superchargers (my personal favorite).

I found the supercharger to be little more complicated than I expected, but I know this guy does a much better explanation.

Although Superchargers are mostly used in American muscle cars, they also appear in European cars like some Jaguars and Range Rovers.

Pros:

1) One of the biggest pros is that you can get a good boost at low RPMs where turbochargers take time to spool up. The turbo uses air where superchargers are connected to the crankshaft which gives it an instantaneous start as soon as the car is running.

2) Much better mechanical reliability.

3) The whine it makes sounds infinitely more times pleasing than a child’s.

Cons:

1) It consumes engine power because it needs to be spun by the engine. However, in return, the supercharger generates enough boost to make up for the power loss. Typically a supercharge takes away 20% of the engine’s stock horsepower. But to make up for that loss, a supercharger should bring back at least 40%.

2) It puts strain on the engine (crankshaft). A supercharger running on the crankshaft puts strain, if it’s not strong enough to support the strain, it could break.

yo-dawg (1)

Week 7

Hello everyone,

Week 7 and 8 contain my two favourite subjects in regards to cars. And for this week we will be looking at the electronics involved in a car. That’s where hopefully my career will be, a programmer/electrician working at a car company.

I’ll cover as much electronics as I could possibly find.

ECU: The system that decides how much fuel should enter the engine is called the engine control unit (ECU). It consists of sensors and micro controllers, which govern the fuel’s flow into the engine. There is also the pressure sensor, throttle position sensor, oxygen sensor, fuel injector and many other components. Its aim is to increase fuel efficiency, and although it wasn’t stated on the source, I’d argue that it can be used for performance tuning should you decide to upgrade the ECU system, given you have the engine for it.car-computer-inside

source: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/trends-innovations/car-computer1.htm

In automatic cars, electronics play an important rule. The automatic transmission of a car is controlled by a TCU, transmission control unit. It collects information from the sensors attached into the vehicle to sense the gear shifting and the driver’s behaviour.

There are multiple sensors involved.

1. Vehicle speed sensor, it sends frequencies to the TCU to determine the engine’s rotational speed. This information is then used to let the TCU decide when to change gears.

2. Throttle position sensor. It’s connected to the gear shaft, and informs the TCU the current gears that’s currently running by the car.

3. Turbine speed sensor. It provides real-time information oh how the air intake system is working.

4. Transmission fluid temperature sensor. Measures temperature of oil, fuel, engine coolant, and provides a signal to the powertrain to control the module.

 

The Anti-lock break systems (ABS) have two advantages: They apply a better stopping power, and let you steer while breaks are applied. The ABS has four major parts: Speed sensors, controllers, valves and pump.ABS-Sys

source: http://hdabob.com/ABS.htm

 

There is also the dashboard. Most people know that in a fairly technological dashboard, it could come with entertainment systems such as the sound system, bluetooth connection, GPS, air conditioning controls and so on. These are all somehow managed by computers and programmed by engineers.

Reverse parking sensors: These technologically wonderful tools lets you back your vehicle with more confidence while driving in reverse. They detect objects from behind the vehicle and emit a beep or a sound that tells you when to stop. They emit radio or ultrasonic waves that bounce off of objects behind the vehicle. The waves that return are then registered and analyzed by a computer inside the vehicle the size of the object, and how close to your car. They could also detect moving objects like dogs… and humans.

parking-sensors-1

Source: http://www.drivearabia.com/news/2009/03/04/product-review-parking-sensors-by-veba/

Looking ahead: Next week, I will be talking about my second favorite subject which is called forced induction!

 

Sources:

http://electronicsforu.com/newelectronics/circuitarchives/view_article.asp?sno=840&title%20=%20Electronics+in+Cars&id=11280&article_type=8&b_type=new

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-do-reverse-parking-sensors-work#b

Week 6

This week I’ll be trying to cover, to the best of my ability the transmission. Now this is the most complicated subject in the automotive industry by far; and I am currently going through a very difficult phase trying to deal with personal losses of I. Thankfully, cars has always been a method of coping but I don’t expect the level of details is going to be that great especially when this subject is complicated in my eye and I don’t understand its technicality.

Here we go, sigh*

I’ll just cover the automatic transmission (the most common) and I will come back later and cover the manual (my favourite and the one I want to learn). I’ll try to write as much as I can until I lose focus from the subject, which I think would be better to come back later and edit.

Well, to start, transmissions have mechanical, hydraulic, electrical systems with computer controls that when combined, they turn into this wonderful piece.

At the most basic level, a transmission, connected at the back of the drive wheels that tries to keep an engine running at its certain best Revolutions Per Minutes (RPMs). The transmission tries to make sure that the power is delivered to the wheels while keeping everything within that range.

First gear: The engine turns much faster when compared to the drive wheels

5 or 6th gear: The gear can be loafing when the car could be going 70+ MPH.

And of course, it has the reverse system and the neutral position which disconnects the engine from the drive wheels (hence why you can push the car around). And finally there is the park position, where a latch mechanism is placed in a slot in the output shaft to lock the drive wheels from turning, and stops the car from rolling.

On a rear wheel drive car, the transmission is usually mounted at the back of the engine, located under the hump in the center of the floorboard. Power flow goes from the engine, through the torque converter (I do not know if I have mentioned what it is or not), through the transmission and drive shaft until it goes through the final drive where it goes two the rear wheels after splitting.

 

trans_reardriveflow

 

This is a great illustration to what a rear wheel drive system looks like.

On a front wheel drive system, the transmission is combined with the fnal drive to from a transaxle. The engine on a front wheel drive is typically mounted sideways in the car with the transaxle under it on the side of the engine facing the rear of the car. Front axles are connected directly to the transaxle and would provide power to the front wheels.

Now for the parts:

Planetary Gear Sets: Mechanical systems that provide various forward gear ratios as well as recerse.

Hydraulic System: Special transmission flud sent under pressure by the Oil Pump through the Valve Body to control the Clutches and the Bands in order to control planetary gear sets.

Seals and Gaskets are used to keep the oil where it is supposed to be and prevent it from leaking.

Torque Converter which is like a clutch to allow the vehicle to a stop in gear while the engine is still running.

The Governer and the odulator or Thorrtle Cable monitor speed and throttle position in order to determine when to shift.

On new vehicles, shifts are controlled by a Computer which directs electrical solenoid to shift oil flow to the appropirate component.

Week 5

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

Last week I have tried my best explaining how the intake system works. This week is going to be a continuation from last week and we’ll look at what comes after the intake system. Meaning what happens when the air coming from the intake is used and no longer needed.

Before starting to break down the parts, if you remember when I was explaining the engine, the air that goes into the cylinder chamber mixed with fuel does indeed come from the intake. Keep this in mind because that’s the entire reasoning behind the intake system. And everything I will be talking about today comes after the power stroke, when what used to be air turns into emission. So in simple words, the first part was the intake, the last part is exhaust and the in-between is the engine using the air and turning it into exhaust. And the exhaust system is what we’ll be looking at today.

 

Note: The entire model takes place starting from the engine and working its way back all the way to the rear-end of the car.

Exhaust manifold: The exhaust manifold is attached to the cylinder head and take the exhaust from all the cylinders and combines it in one pipe.

8501hkrtr-em1003_3_

 

 

Oxygen Censor: All modern cars with fuel injector (which used to be carburetors in the old days) come with an oxygen sensor. It measures how much oxygen is left in the exhaust so that the computer can add or subtract fuel for maximal fuel efficiency. This sensor is mounted in the exhaust manifold or in the exhaust pipe.

smog-check-oxygen-sensor

Source: http://www.autoexcellenceonline.com/smog-check-emissions.html

Catalytic Converter: This is a great tool that converts harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to water vapor and carbon dioxide. Some converts harmful nitrogen oxides. It’s mounted between the exhaust manifold and muffler.

catalytic-converter

 

Muffler: As the name suggests, the muffler quiets the system down to reasonable level. Most muffler baffle to bounce the exhaust around dissipating the energy and quitting the noise. The cool thing about muffler is they can come in different styles. typically trucks and larger suvs tend to have their muffler hidden underneath their car with the tip welded in a curved “L” shape. Where as regular cars usually have it to the right-hand side with the tip pointing outward. Some cars, mostly V-6 and sportier, use dual exhaust which means dual muffler at each side, but that’s not necessarily true for every application I have seen I4 (inline 4s) that use dual exhaust. And special editions of some cars, or just plain expensive, use quad exhaust tips which in my opinion are the most impressive looking if you care about styles. And again, this is the most general types of exhausts, Corvettes usually use all 4 exhaust aligned in the middle for example.

$(KGrHqN,!qcFEOWU6V0lBRes1O5VNw~~60_35

This is the current Mustang GT500 quad exhaust mufflers (can’t wait for the 2015 model!)

HKSTi1

This is a regular muffler, not sure for what car it serves…

2475_1_lg

This is a regular muffler with two exhaust tips (again, not sure for what car but it seems like it’s for a truck or at least hidden down given the curve, again, I could be wrong).

Sources: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/shelby-gt500-mufflers

http://www.autoaccessoriesgarage.com/Exhaust/Mufflers

http://www.autoexcellenceonline.com/smog-check-emissions.html

 

Exhaust Pipe: Between all the parts mentioned above comes the exhaust pipe which carries the ga to the tail pipe. It’s usually made of steel or stainless steel sometimes (last longer due to corrosion resistance) or aluminum steel tubing. It’s a half way route between steel and stainless steel. It’s not as resistant as stainless steel but more resistant than steal, and less-costy than stainless steel. Personally, I would try to get stainless steel piping in general if I lie in snowy/rainy area, spending the extra money upfront can save you time and even more money to fixing it.

builder+kit+2.5+inch+NEx

 

Source: http://truestreetcars.com/forums/parts-accessories/4959-exhaust-piping-systems-fittings.html

Note: I already mentioned corrosion or rust is an enemy to steel. Moisture, or water-vapor is present in the exhaust as a by-product of combustion and the catalytic converter. It can also come in form of rain. Shorter trips in your car can shorten the life of your exhaust system. When the car is shut off, all the water vapor in your car condenses and turns back into liquid. On a short trip, the water does not get hot enough and just stays in the system and rusts away the pipes. Consider stainless steel if that’s your situation. If you drive more than 15 miles at a time, then this shouldn’t be a problem. If your area uses salt during winter time, make sure to wash the bottom of your car every few weeks. Water and salt can speed up the process. The more often the better and make sure you run your engine to evaporate the water you used to wash it off.

As usual, if I have forgotten something that I should have added, please let me know below!

Sources:

https://www.holley.com/products/exhaust/headers_and_exhaust_manifolds/exhaust_manifolds/parts/8501HKR

http://www.tomiokaracing.com/index.php/exhaust-manifold-for-evo-4-9.html

http://www.autoexcellenceonline.com/smog-check-emissions.html

http://edscustommufflers.com/services/catalytic-converter/

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/shelby-gt500-mufflers

http://www.autoaccessoriesgarage.com/Exhaust/Mufflers

http://www.autoexcellenceonline.com/smog-check-emissions.html

http://truestreetcars.com/forums/parts-accessories/4959-exhaust-piping-systems-fittings.html

http://www.autorepairkey.com/2011/06/your-car-exhaust-system-explained/

Week 4

Hello everyone,

Today I will be discussing one of my favourite car-topics, which is intake. This will be a lengthy post, and I’ll do my best explaining it, based on what I know and understood upon researching.

The main purpose of the intake is to get air from he outside and pressed into your cylinder chamber so that it can be mixed with fuel and ignited.

Intake manifold: The intake manifold is attached to the cylinder head. The cylinder head splits the air and divides it by how many cylinders you have in your car.

intake_manifold

Air Filter: All the air is first entered through the filter, it’s job is to clean out the dirt and foreign particles in the air, to prevent it from entering the engine or anywhere in between the process of getting into the engine. It’s usually housed in a box to prevent heat and dirt from either heating the air that’s coming in or getting unwanted particles in the filter. There are also air cleaning components that are installed into the intake to further clean the air that’s being sucked in by the car.

k&N performance car air filter

Throttle Body: The throttle body is part of the intake system that controls the amount of air flowing into the engine’s combustion chamber. It’s housing contains a throttle plate that rotates on a shaft, when accelerator is pressed, that plate opens and allows air into the engine. When it’s released, the plate closes and cuts the air flow. This controls the rate of combustion and speed of vehicle. RRC-throttle-body

Note: It’s also important to mention that tubing is very important factor. Tubing is made depending on your engine’s size vs. how much space you have, where heat is radiated and usually trying to avoid it, the type of car you drive (regular, or sport) and so on. I am not keen on every detail, that’s what professionals are for but it’s an important aspect to keep in mind.

Now, there are three general types of intakes. Intakes can either help your car gain power, fuel-efficient, or sometimes even both!

Cold-Air Intake: This type of set-up is the most expensive. It’s often placed at the bottom of your car’s bumper and as far away from the engine as possible. Sometimes, reputable brands equip their intakes with aluminum tubing as it cuts down on heat and possibly weight too (less weight = faster car). Now you may ask, why would you pay for an expensive upgrade (if you wanted one), or why would manufacturers consider putting cold-air intake into their cars when it’s expensive and the most complicated to set up? Well, the benefits of this set-up is to get the coldest air possible to your engine. The cold air allows for higher horsepower output, and increasing your car’s power in general, however it has little to no impact on fuel economy.

Short Ram Intake: The benefits to short ram intake is that it’s cheaper, easier to install, provides a better throttle response due to the increased air flow, better MPG than CAI. However, it has little effect on horsepower, with less torque than CAI and is much likely to pull warmer air. But in my opinion, SRI is an ideal set up for beginning enthusiasts to practice with and get themselves in their cars. While it may not increase their performance, it will give a better throttle response and a slight improvement in MPG. Maybe if you look around good enough, you may find one that does increase your power. Again, this is my opinion, thoughts may vary.

Warm Air Intake: The warm air intake is the exact opposite of CAI. Now with the warm air coming in, there is no horsepower gains whatsoever, if not loss in performance. Warm air causes the throttle to open more, and because it’s open for a longer time, then your engine does not have to work hard forcing air in, reducing pumping losses and making your car more fuel-efficient.

If I have missed something I should have mentioned, please let me know in the comments. I am learning along too and I may very well have missed few points that I should have mentioned. I am open for constructive criticisms (positive thoughts too) so that I can learn from my weaknesses and try to improve next time.

http://www.sgcarmart.com/news/writeup.php?AID=127

http://shortram.com/air-intake-system-explained/

Week 3

This is a continuation from last week, there is a lot to be covered.

Last week I’ve talked about the components that make up the basic look of an engine, this week I’ll cover what causes the engine to acutely go up in the rotational/diagonal movement. Despite almost everything in the car is essential for it to work, we can say this is the starting point or an early point to that movement.

Engine head: mounted on the top of the engine is the cylinder head, can you guess exactly which part? It was covered (hint: It’s the piston itself). Anyway, and the function of a cylinder head is to have the valves (explained later) bolted.

 

valves and Sparksplug: Engine valves are found in the engine head, and it controls the air flow that comes in and out of the cylinder. The air is used to ignite the fuel from the sparksplug . There are two types of valves, an intake and exhaust valves. As the name suggests, an intake valve allows air into the cylinder and the exhaust does the opposite. When the piston is at the bottom of the cylinder, the intake valve opens to let air in, and closes to compress the air as the cylinder is going up. Once the cylinder reaches the peak of its height, and with the fuel/air mixture is compressed, a spark ignites from the sparksplug causing an explosion in the cylinder head which gives the piston, connection rod, and the crankshaft enough force to strike down very quickly (hence the “RPM” reading you find on your tachometer) . Then the exhaust valve will open and let the waste out through the exhaust system and to the rear and out of the car (as you guessed that will be explained later as well). Then the valve closes. And the cycle repeats its self.

Fuel Injector: The fuel injection is an alternative method to the mechanical carburetors. There are two types of fuel injector:

Multipoint Port: The multipoint comes just before the intake valve, in the intake manifold (explained later). And as the intake valve opens up, the fuel injector senses the action and sprays fuel and gets sucked into the cylinder with the incoming air from the intake manifold and into the cylinder. Each cylinder has one injector, being sprayed at a calculated time.

Direct Injection: Instead of having fuel sprayed before entering the valve, instead it directly sprays it inside the combustion chamber. It gives the benefits of fuel economy, lower emissions, and more power. Instead of waiting for the valve to open, it can spray at a different timing.

Camshaft: I won’t explain it because I belive this guy does the explaining of this important part much better than I could in less than a minute. The details were overwhelming when researching what a camshaft does! I have seen it in video games but I never knew it could have a lot of effect on a car’s behaviour and the way it responds. It can control the power or torque outcomes and different setups are used for different cars or purposes (racing, trucking).

I covered almost everything up to 4:16, with a great visual tha goes a long with it. He explained the entire process I have been trying to explain for two weeks now and the camshaft is covered throughout the four minutes.

For next week I will be talking about the intake system and cover the basics of what an intake system is and how it works. I am also planning, depending on time, merging the next two weeks from the introductory post into one, giving me more time to discuss other things I have in mind. So far, almost everything seems to be a review of what I knew, but next week there will be details that I am not familiar with and I am very curious to find out.

Sources:

1) https://mobiloil.com/en/article/car-maintenance/how-to-do-it-yourself/how-to-change-a-head-gasket

2)http://www.enginebasics.com/Engine%20Basics%20Root%20Folder/Engine%20Valve%20Basics.html