Spark Plug

The spark plug was invented by African-American inventor Edmond Berger on February 2, 1839. It is used to ignite the fuel/air mixture in most internal combustion engines, and so as a device is essential to the world economy as we know it. They are used in most two and four-stroke reciprocating engines, as well as wankel rotary engines.

Ram Air

Ram Air is a [[forced induction]] system for automobiles. There are actually two different things which are known as ram air; Actual ram air systems, which compress air and force it into the [[throttle body]], and thus the [[combustion chamber]]s, and [[positive pressure]] systems, which increase pressure only in the [[airbox]] and improve [[intake]] [[efficiency]]. Ram air has been a feature on some cars since the late sixties, but fell out of favor in the seventies, and has only recently made a comeback.

Oxygen Sensor

In order to determine whether the air-fuel ratio (AFR) is rich or lean, the ECU (engine control unit) in a vehicle with electronic fuel delivery control (either carburetor|carbureted with electronic mixture control, or with elecronic fuel injection/EFI) monitors the voltage output of an oxygen sensor (sometimes referred to as an O2 sensor) and adjusts fuel delivery accordingly in order to closely approach a stoichiometric ratio.


A misfire is when complete combustion does not occur in the cylinder. The most common misfire is a miss, where the fuel does not ignite and the air-fuel mixture is blown out of the chamber and into the exhaust manifold]. The fuel often ignites here due to heat. If it does not, it can frequently flow into the catalytic converter (on vehicles so-equipped) where it may damage the cat by raising temperatures.


An internal combustion engine is running "lean" when it has less fuel in the fuel/air mixture than it would have at the point of greatest [[stoichiometric]] efficiency. The penalties include premature detonation, which increases heat, reduces efficiency, and will damage your engine.


[[James Watt]]'s calculation of horsepower was based on a horse driving a water pump. The horse walked in a circle at the end of a twelve foot long lever. This means that the horse was walking about 75.4 feet for each revolution. It pushed at about 180 pounds, and 144 revolutions per hour, or 181 feet per minute. This works out to just shy of 33,000 pound-feet per minute. Horsepower and [[torque]] can be calculated from one another via the following simple formula: HP = ( RPM * Torque ) / 5252 or Torque = ( 5252 * HP ) / RPM

Ford Modular Engine

The Ford Modular Engine (AKA "Mod V6", "Mod V8", et cetera) engine is the basis of practically every V8-powered vehicle made by Ford Motor Company (FoMoCo) in existence today. It is also the basis of the V10 powerplant inserted into a prototype Mustang and several Ford trucks. The "Modular" name has little to do with the motor, but on the manufacturing methodology; the plants can be retooled to put out different versions of the Modular powerplant in a matter of hours.7


The Exhaust system carries exhaust gases away from the engine. In the typical passenger vehicle they are expelled from the rear of the vehicle, down low behind the bumper. On trucks, they are sometimes spit out of the side of the rear of the vehicle, behind the back wheels but in front of the bumper. In the US, this is typically to the right, which is away from the center of the road. Some vehicles also bring their exhaust pipes together up above the bumper, for example the Porsche Boxster.

Engine Balancing

Engine Balancing refers to the process of balancing the rotating assembly of an internal combustion engine. This consists of the [[crankshaft]], [[connecting rod]]s, and [[piston]]s. It is considered a mandatory upgrade for the tuning of naturally aspirated engines, as it decreases vibration, thus increasing efficiency, allowing the engine to rev higher, thus potentially producing more power. To take advantage of the higher rev limit, the cams are usually changed so that power is made at higher engine speeds.


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