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how an overhead cam engine works Q&A Review

How does a single overhead cam engine work?

Single camshaft engines simply has both intake and exhaust lobes on one single rotating shaft. With single overhead camshaft designs a very wide range of cylinder head designs are still possible and used where followers and rocker arms allowed many valve angle variations. Single overhead camshaft usually rotate by timing belt or timing chains. Most late model engines use variable valve timing to control exhaust and intake valve open separately, this limits single overhead camshaft flexibility.

How reliable is the 4.6 liter F-150 engine?

The 4.6 is the engine that Ford designed to replace the Windsor V8 that they built for almost 40 years. There are two distinct 4.6 liter engines Ford built during the last 25 years. They are known in the Ford terminology as Modular engines, and only way I know to easily distinguish them is related to the valve train. The majority of them are single overhead cam engines, two valve and three valve designs. There were some double overhead cam engines as well. The DOHC engines are not quite rare, but made in much smaller numbers. The SOHC 4.6 is most commonly a 2-valve per cylinder engine that was criticized for being under powered, and apart from some cooling system issues (cracked intake manifolds) it was a suitable motor. It’s no longer being produced. It was common to the Ford Crown Victoria (taxis, family cars and police cruisers) and was also available as a base engine in the half ton F150 pickup and perhaps some Explorer body on frame SUVs. There was later a 3-valve version of this engine that displaced 4.6 liters as well as a variation that displaced 5.4 liters. The DOHC 4.6 was a high-performance engine readily identified by its out-sized cylinder heads—it had four valves per cylinder. They were so out of proportion to the rest of the engine it made servicing anything under the hood a lot more work. Replacing spark plugs, for example. It was used in some Mustangs, and more notably in Lincoln sedans. Each of these engines was dropped in favor of better designs that followed, the 3.5 liter DOHC six cylinder Cyclone engine family, and later the 5.0 DOHC Ford V8, aka “Coyote.” All of these engines reflect engineering Ford acquired through its work with Volvo, Mazda and Aston Martin designs. During the same period of time General Motors rejected a plan for overhead cam V8 engines and designed an all new V8 known as the LS engine. It remains in production and is widely favored over the Ford V8 for its durability and simplicity.

Why do big American V8s still not use overhead cams?

You could say - they don’t need to. People constantly forget how light and compact these engines are. We had a little shocking moment in my workshop when we lifted up this baby: This is a 6 liter, steel block (cast iron) V8. My mechanic, who is a little bit of a street racer, couldn’t believe it. The engine is about the same weight as the 2.9 liter VR6 engine he uses in his VW Golf. His is like 200 hp, that V8 does 300 hp N/A in the “truck trim” with a mild cam and on shitty fuel. Power per liter is not as impressive, but power per weight? And if it isn’t about fuel and engine size tax, who cares if you get 50% more horsepower out of the same amount of material by just using a bigger displacement? So - the push rod design for “big engines” which don’t have to rev very high to do what is needed, is actually very simple to work on and requires less camshafts and there is not a long belt or chain to run the cams. It’s also an old design you don’t need to spend much R&D money for. And for big engines, R&D money is short! Look how even Toyota said they don’t have the funds to develop another inline 6. Big truck engines (and that’s essentially what they are) also in Europe, even though they are mostly diesel, are also still mostly push rod design - even with 4 valve heads.

How can I replace cylinder 5 on my vehicle?

If you have to ask a question like this, you should take it to someone that does this kind of work. It is doable by a home mechanic, but it is NOT EASY. The way that you have asked the question tells me that you do not understand how an engine works. If your engine has an overhead cam, and if the job is not done correctly, it will DESTROY your engine.

I am planning to buy Royal Enfield interceptor 650 is it worth buying?

The Single Overhead Cam engine is air cooled (uses an oil intercooler). The engine has fewer components, less weight and an easier maintenance cycle of 10k kms Unique rumbling exhaust note (due to the 270-deg firing order) from the twin silencers smoothly delivers the torque across the rev range. It really is comfortable, growling mildly at about 4000 RPM at 100 kmph. The engine is the biggest plus in this bike. Coupled with a powerful slipper clutch, it makes gear shifting a dream compared to the previous Enfields. Sitting on a Harris performance Chassis specially designed for this bike, you realize how agile it is on the move and best of all, carries its weight exceedingly well. That really is ,“Easy got back” Now on to some small niggles that I see (these are not deal-breakers). You will need to change the front handle if you are a tall chap. Yes, you may also need to change it if your beer belly comes in the way while bending forward. The seat needs to be modified slightly as well (add gel padding inside), if you plan on riding long distance or get the touring seat from RE (that is still soft to me btw). The Suspension and the lights are adequate for city riding, which is what the interceptor was made for. You will need to change the lights if you are doing ,hard and fast, late evening highway rides (as I do). The suspension needs work. Probably one thing that I see needing more work if you are carrying double on your rides. But if you are riding single which is the most enjoyable part of this bike, you shouldn’t be facing any issue. The ABS and disc brakes are sufficient to stop the bike at any speed and you realise the superb balance of the bike at high speed braking. As long as you follow the golden rule of 70% effort on the front brake and 30% effort on the back brake, you will find this bike a delight to be on when you need to stop on a coin. The reason you want the Interceptor, is the oodles of usable power that you have at your fingertips (or rather your palm if you want to nitpick). The vehicle climbs to highway speeds rather quickly for an Enfield and is capable of holding it as well without any strain to the engine. Indian highway speeds of 120kmph can easily be maintained, while doing a 100mph abroad should not be too much of a challenge. With my new seat, lights and the extended handle bar I find that ,“Super Easy got back” PS: Being in India, how could I forget to add the answer to “,kitna deti hai?,” The answer to that is around 23 within the city due to the constant gear shifting, while I get around 28 on the highway. highest was 31 on the way to Delhi from Ajmer while on the way from Delhi to Chandigarh it gave me 27 kmpl. Last point (Actually starting point for many buyers) : Pricing is competitive (actually eye popping) for the features that are there.

Is there any car which thieves can not steal?

Question: ,“Is there any car which thieves can not steal?” I once owned one. This thing: It was a Mercedes Benz 190 SL. No it did not have any anti-theft devices or ignition cut outs. What made it impossible to steal was this: See all those knobs on the dash? ,They all look alike,. ,And not one of them is labeled. ,And among them are both a ,Cold Starting Choke, and a ,Hot Starting Choke,. I had to use one or the other to start the car. Now few people in those years knew what a Manual Cold Starting Choke was, much less how to properly use one. The better American cars had had automatic chokes from the 1930s. Yes, there were cheap cars that used manual chokes as late as the 1960s, but no one expected to find one in an expensive convertible. And NOBODY who did not already own one of these cars had any idea what a Hot Starting Choke was or that they even existed! Because no one knew how to start it, the car was essentially theft proof. The problem was that garage attendants could not start the car either. This was a problem at the time because we lived on the Chicago Gold Coast and worked in the Loop. Attended garage parking was necessary in both places. The parking attendants were always too full of themselves to listen to the owner’s warning that the car took some special knowledge to start. Besides the hot and cold starting chokes the car had a separate starter button. Of course that too had no label on it. The parking attendant would eventually admit, after having me wait while they wore the battery down, to being unable to start the car. And they would get angry when I started it on the first turn after pulling out one of the unmarked controls. But the car was theft proof. Note: the Mercedes 190 SL had another standard feature that could have been used to annoy car thieves. One of those knobs (Yes, it was again unlabeled and looked like all the other ones.) allowed the driver to switch from the main fuel tank to the reserve fuel tank in the event that they had neglected to look at the fuel gauge and had run out of gas. If the knob was pulled half of the way out it shut off fuel from either tank. If that was done, if the car thief had gotten the car started at all, there would only have been enough fuel in the float bowls to get from the parking place up to the ramp to the next level before the car ran out of fuel. Note: For those who expressed interest, the Mercedes-Benz 190 SL or Super-Leicht was built unchanged from 1955 through 1963. It was powered by an over-square four cylinder single overhead cam engine displacing 1897 cc based on the 6-cylinder engine of the 300SL. Only 25,881 190SLs were built.

How hard is it to remove a cylinder head from a modern engine?

It depends on what type of engine you’re working on. The simplest engine to remove a cylinder head from would be an overhead valve engine (OHV). With an OHV engine all you are dealing with on the cylinder head are the valve rockers and you really don’t need to deal with them much at all; simply loosen the rocker pivot nuts to release any valve spring pressure. The cam and timing chain/belt are located in the engine block and pushrods are used to actuate the the valves. Simply loosening the cylinder head bolts, in proper sequence, is all that’s generally need to remove the cylinder head. The next complicated head to remove would be from an overhead cam engine (OHC). With an OHC came engine you need to be concerned with the timing chain/belt, the cam itself and the eventual correct timing of the crankshaft and cam shaft. While not too complicated it does add a layer of complexity to reinstalling the head ...something you needn’t worry about with an OHV engine providing you don’t rotate the crankshaft with the head(s) off the engine. The most complicated head to remove is from a double overhead cam engine (DOHC). With a DOHC engine you have *two* camshfts per cylinder head; one camshaft works the intake valves while the other works the exhaust valves. When reinstalling you have two camshafts that must timed properly against each other in addition to the timing them both to the crank shaft. This would be the most complicated mainstream engine to replace a cylinder head on.

If the engine block from a modern production sports car was transported back to 1966, what would the characters in "Ford vs Ferrari" think of it?

Have you seen racing engines from the 20s and 30s. Built like Swiss watches, elegant sophisticated, twin overhead cams, and supercharged. Fuel injection in aero engines goes back to 1916. Ferrari engines followed this European tradition. They were works of automotive art. Here is the engine from the era. The Ford engine in the GT40 had none of this history, but it was big…my god it was big. However, it was a simple engine compared to what the Europeans had been using for years. So I expect Ken Miles would be interested in a modern engine block, but there isn’t much new in block design. If he saw the modern engine with all its ancillaries he may be mildly impressed on how much plastic some of the newer engines use. But remember that if he had managed to make it to the early 70s, he would have seen the 1.4L BMW M12/13 turbo engine developing in excess of 300hp. Many brilliant engineers have paved the way for modern engine designs, however, many of the technologies that modern engines employ, have been around for a long time. One huge exception is the use of modern control systems to control fuel, ignition and valve timing. But, these are not evident if you are just looking at an engine block.

My old V8 engines had large rocker covers over the valve lifters. My newer truck just has a flat plate where the rocker covers were. What makes the valves work in these newer engines?

“My old V8 engines had large rocker covers over the valve lifters. My newer truck just has a flat plate where the rocker covers were. What makes the valves work in these newer engines?” Here’s an image of the valvetrain of the ubiquitous Chevrolet small-block V8 engine that debuted in 1955 and was installed on vehicle assembly lines until 2003 and is actually still in production today as a crate engine, more than 65 years after it debuted: Fun fact: The valvetrain design was actually developed by Pontiac engineers and debuted on its StratoStreak V8 engine series that also debuted in 1955. GM liked the simple, efficient, cost-effective design so much that it insisted that Chevrolet adopt it for its then-new engine, as well. What’s important here, in reference to your question, is the height of the rocker arm and spring above the gasket surface of the cylinder head. Note how the rocker protrudes about two inches above the gasket surface. That height isn’t particularly important, other than the rocker arms and related components have to be covered so that oil doesn’t splash or leak out of the engine (and so that contaminents don’t get in), so, for cost effectiveness, Chevrolet designed the engine to use stamped steel rocker covers that look like these: They’re nearly 4 inches tall, to clear the rocker arms as they tilt back and forth. And there are taller versions available to clear higher-lift camshafts and taller, beefier rocker arms. So, here’s a typical Gen-1 Small-Block Chevrolet V8 engine with typical (standard-height) rocker covers installed. Note how tall these standard-height covers are: Today, the LS and LT series of GM “small block” V8 engines employ an astonishingly similar valvetrain: Note how much higher the rocker cover gasket surfaces are, compared to the height of the rocker arms and the springs. Basically, GM designed these heads with higher rocker cover rails because it virtually eliminates oil leakage, since the gasket surface is far above where oil will pool in the heads. In the classic Chevy small-block (above), the gasket could often be bathed in oil as it pooled behind the shallow walls of the old-style cylinder heads, virtually guaranteeing that leaks would eventually occur. As a result, the rocker covers for the newer engine design can be much shorter, as seen here, with a rocker cover being installed onto this GM LS cylinder head: Stock GM LS V8 rocker covers are only about 1.5 inches tall. As with the old-style covers, there are “tall” versions available to clear higher-lift camshafts and taller rocker arms or rocker stud girdles. Overhead cam engines have similar deep-wall designs, for the same reason: it’s much harder for oil to leak out of the engine through a solid cast iron or aluminum wall, compared to having a gasket surface at a level at which they might be continually or frequently bathed in oil. Here’s a look at a Ford overhead cam “Coyote” V8 cylinder head: Note how tall the walls of the cylinder head are, providing ample space for oil to pool or accummulate during operation without risking leaks. And here you can see the modest height of the Ford Coyote engine cam covers: The Ford covers are about 3–4 inches tall, but that’s still shorter than most older, classic V8 rocker covers, especially Ford’s own Boss 429 covers from 1969–1970: Note the roughly 6-inch height of the Boss ‘9 rocker covers. So, basically, rocker covers (or cam covers) tend be shorter now, because the cylinder head castings tend to be taller, at least in part to minimize oil leaks. The shorter covers also tend to reduce engine noise, as an additional benefit. I hope this information is helpful.