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Contributed By: Brian C.
The pistons are one of the most important parts of an engine, because they are the mechanisms that contains the engines energy. The pistons are located in the cylinder block. The number of cylinders in an engine can vary.
Inside the cylinder a mixture of fuel and air is injected through the intake valve. Pressure in the cylinder is created when the piston returns to the top of the cylinder from its previous cycle. When the pressure is greatest the spark plug, located at the top of the cylinder, ignites the gas and causes an explosion. The piston is the sent downward extremely fast. The energy travels through the Connecting Rod, which is connected to the bottom of the piston, and the linear motion is converted to rotational motion through the crankshaft. The crankshaft is connected to the transmission, so when the crankshaft turns, the wheels turn also.
Pistons come in many different materials and sizes that are based on the cylinder bore of the particular motor they are being installed in. Using the proper pistons is very important to get the proper fit in your engine block, as well as maintain the proper compression ratio. If unsure of which pistons should be used with what particular coatings for your engine application, be sure to ask and talk to your engine builder or machine shop.
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