Engine Crankshaft

The engine crankshaft, or crank as it is often referred to is an important part of the engine. If the engine crankshaft does not work properly than the entire engine will not work, so if you have been told that your engine crankshaft needs to be repaired or replaced this is something that you need to see to right away. The engine crankshaft is the part of the engine that effectively translates the reciprocating linear piston motion. The crankshaft does what is often referred to as crank throws to convert the reciprocating motion into rotation.

Generally speaking, the engine crankshaft is connected to a fly wheel which reduces the pulsing of the four stroke cycle, which effectively reduces torsion vibrations that exist along the crankshaft. This is a delicately put together system and if one this if off kilter than the whole system does not work as it should and the vehicle experiences mechanical difficult, which often renders it useless.

The engine crankshaft is a well established mechanism, having been in existence since 1206. The crankshaft was first developed in al-Jazari's water raising machines. Later in 1405 similar crankshafts were developed in and mentioned by Francesco di Giorgio. While the crankshaft has been in use and in development, at least in theory, since 1206 the design was not actually patented until 1597 and the patent was given to Cornelius Coneliszoon van Uitgeest who used a crankshaft to power his sawmill.

Today there is more than one type of engine crankshaft that can be seen in vehicles. Large engines usually use a multi-cylinder crankshafts as this reduces the pulsing from individual firing strokes while there is more than one piston attached to a much more complex engine crankshaft. In smaller engines like those that would be found in garden type machines the crankshafts have a single cylinder and use a single piston, which lends itself to a much more simple crankshaft design.

The crankshaft does not work alone, in fact it has to be supported by several bearings for it to work properly. The typical crankshaft has a linear axis that it rotates around and this includes bearing journals and what are known as main bearings in the engine block. The higher performance the vehicle, the more bearings that are there to support the crankshaft as it moves about the linear axis.

The type of crankshaft that you have in your vehicle will really depend upon the vehicle type and the manufacturer. Crankshafts may be made out of one piece or they may be assembled from many different pieces. The monolithic or single piece units are more common in larger engines. Crankshafts may be forced or case from a steel bar or from a ductile iron. Many manufacturers are using the forged crankshaft construction because the result is a much more lightweight unit. Other engine crankshaft units are machined out of a billet, though this is not quite as common due to the favor of the forged crankshaft.

For obvious reasons, if your engine crankshaft needs to be repaired or replaced this is not something that you should put off. The crankshaft is designed to work in a very specific way and it control piston stroke and is integral to the workings of the engine configuration. Many times bearings or bearing journals just need to be replaced for it to begin to work properly, though the crankshaft is subject to tensions and stress as well as fatigue so rarely there are more serious issues with the crankshaft. For the health of your vehicle, crankshaft issues must be addressed immediately.

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