Simple Car questions...

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Hello,
I have just started learning about cars, reading about them on howstuffworks.com and searching google...
This stuff is all very interesting to me and i have some further questions i would like to ask

1. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/Mushroocup/JS2.jpg
What is that thing that is on top of the engine, the oval thing with the lines down the side? Is that a supercharger? Sometimes i see they are circular too.

2. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/Mushroocup/55550050-5.jpg
Is this a supercharger? Where does it attach to on the engine? Like how does it get attached?

3. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v415/Mushroocup/AmericanV8.jpg
What is that plastic box on top of the engine? All the engines seem to have that.

4. What is the different in shape between a small and big block? Sometimes i hear that people can bore (what's that?) a small block into a size that is of a big block, what does that mean?

5. What is a W block? All i know is that are inline, V, and Flathead blocks...

6. Why do so many people talk about the V8 engine as a very powerful one but don't talk about the Flathead 8 or inline 8 as much? What makes the V8 so much better than the other configurations?

7. "1973 GTO 455" What does the 455 represent, the CC's or the Horsepower?

8. "1970 Olds 442 / 455 4 speed" What why does it have 2 bunch of numbers and a seperation? i.e 442 / 455. What does that mean? And what's it mean by 4 speed?

9. I see some people talking about carbeurators in their high performance cars, but i have read that they were a thing of the past and people use fuel injectors now which are better. Why do they still use carbs?

10. Is there way you tell whether a car has a 6 cylinder or 8 cylinder buy the number (1973 GTO --->455<---) ?


If someone could answer these questions, it would be very much appreciated,
Thankyou :)

posted by  Crapozo

1. The gizmo on top of the engine is an air cleaner
2. The gizmo in the second picture is an eddlebrock carburator sitting on top of an intake manifold for a V-8
3. The plastic cover is just that - a plastic dust cover
4. Small block - there is no formal definition although small block refers to an engine with a lower deck height while big block engines are taller.
5 W-block - have no clue
6. Some manufacturers used an inline or straight 8 in the 1930s. The V configuration allowed a for an engine with less weight and was relatively cheap to produce. The v configuration made it easier to get the engines into the bodies being designed by the stylists @ Fisher Body div of GM in the 50's and 60's. It also made it easier to counterbalance rotating forces allowing for a smoother running engine. Flat heads are not used on modern engines since there are more mechically efficient valve and intake configurations available today.
7. 455 cubic inch displacement. A 455 is approximately 7000 cc's (7.0 L)
8. This is a Cutlass 442 with a 455 cid. engine and a 4 speed manual transmission (usually this tranny was modified with a Hurst shift kit)
9. Older cars (muscle car era) had carburators with the exception of one or two which had rack controlled fuel injection. In the late 1970s through the 1980s the carbs were electronically controlled by the cars ECMs. From the late 1980s to present fuel injection is used. The reason modern cars use fuel injection controlled by the ecm is to provide more precise fuel metering for better fuel efficiency and less air pollution
10. You cant tell from the displacement how many cylinders a car has - you have either to look @ the cars specifications or the engine itself.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

It always makes me smile to see youngins and oldins wanting to learn about cars :wink2:

posted by  99integra

1. The "oval/circular thing" is a air cleaner/filter. It varys in size, and can be bigger if you have 2 or more carbeurators. (Note: Carbs are no longer used on cars now. Except for in NASCAR.)
2.That is a FAKE supercharger/blower. Thats just a fancy non-fuctional air intake. A REAL superchager/blower would be sitting much higher, and would would have a belt connecting it to the engine.
3.The plastic thing is just a way over covering up the air intake plenum to make the engine look cleaner and less disorderly.
4.A small block has a smaller engine block than the big block, and also is smaller in cubic inches, and vice versa. Boring an engine, means to increase the diameter of the cylinders, which, in turn, gives you more power. This also inceases the cubic inches.
5.There isnt a W block that I am aware of. My Mustang has a 351W. The W stands for Windsor, which is just a code name given to that engine.
6.The Flathead 8 is still a V8. Just one that has not been used since the 40s and 50s by Ford Motor Company. It was the very FIRST V8. People like to use V8s more, because they are easier to deal with, and because they have many performance parts. They also make power more efficiently. No one makes a inline 8 anymore I think.
7.The 455 reprecents the cubic inches. Just like the Ford 302, or the Chrysler 440, or the Chevrolet 350.
8.The Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 w/ 455 4 speed. The 442 is the model of the car, which stands for 4 speed, (the other 4 I dont remember) and 2 which means duel exhaust. The 455 is the cubic inches of the engine. Ans 4 speed means how many gears the transmission has.
9.Manufactuers no longer use carbs. on their cars. Fuel injection is more efficent. Carbs. in my opinion are better for racing. NASCAR uses carbs.
10.if a car has a cubic inch displacement of 260 or higher, its a 8. If a car is lower than that, it is a 4 or 6 cylinder.

posted by  FordFromHell351

8. the second 4 was for "4 barrels", referring to the carburetor.

10. go w/ tbaxley's answer... c'mon, fordfromhell. :banghead: how can you forget the granddaddy of your 351, the ford 221? but then a 300 ci ford 6 cylinder is bigger. honestly, there isn't any solid rule you can attach to displacement vs. cylinder count... or displacement vs. small block/big block...

posted by  dodger65

Thankyou for the answers, have been a very great help!

Now i got a few more questions... :)

1.How long would it take to build your own car?
That is, buy an old one, put a new engine in, wheels, tires, redo interior, basically everything but keeping the body...
I am guessing maybe a few months?

2. If i want to build my own car, and i have near 0 knowledge of how to do this is are there like courses or something which could teach me how to do this? And where would i be able to build my own car?

3. So if that pic of the scoop supercharger thing is a fake,
If i bought a butterfly scoop (that red thing) would it come with a supercharger? or do i buy those 2 seperatly and attach them to each other?

posted by  Crapozo

3. "World Products BB-Chevy 509 & 540ci / 540-600hp ''World Class'' Merlin Street Engine " ... this one is confusing? It's just an engine btw...

4. Is it the lower or higher the cylinders, the deeper the sound of the engine is? e.g a 454 ci engine has a deep sound (low pitched?)

5.Diesle engines, they usually give more power right? And use less fuel? Do V8's come in both gas and diesle?

posted by  Crapozo

Didn't Bentley or someone make a W-16?

With a little help from google, I see that the Bugatti Veyron has a W16.

posted by  windsonian

Bigger engines with more cylinders tend to rev lower --> deeper pitch.

posted by  windsonian

1.
What is that thing that is on top of the engine, the oval thing with the lines down the side? Is that a supercharger? Sometimes i see they are circular too. Air cleaner

2.
Is this a supercharger? Where does it attach to on the engine? Like how does it get attached?Air intake scoop

3.
What is that plastic box on top of the engine? All the engines seem to have that. Turtle

4. What is the different in shape between a small and big block? Sometimes i hear that people can bore (what's that?) a small block into a size that is of a big block, what does that mean? For Chevs small blocks are 260, 307, 330, 350, 403 and big blocks 400, 425/427, 455 cubic inches. The chev small blocks "tended" to have the same stroke, but differing bore sizes; they also had a shorter head and narrower width . Ford small blocks "tended" towards same bore with differing stroke.

These days there's a general opinion that anything over 400 cu in is a big block.

5. What is a W block? All i know is that are inline, V, and Flathead blocks... Ford Windsor for my money

6. Why do so many people talk about the V8 engine as a very powerful one but don't talk about the Flathead 8 or inline 8 as much? What makes the V8 so much better than the other configurations? Personal choice

7. "1973 GTO 455" What does the 455 represent, the CC's or the Horsepower? Cubic inches

8. "1970 Olds 442 / 455 4 speed" What why does it have 2 bunch of numbers and a seperation? i.e 442 / 455. What does that mean? And what's it mean by 4 speed? A 4 forward geared car with a 455 cubic inch engine

9. I see some people talking about carbeurators in their high performance cars, but i have read that they were a thing of the past and people use fuel injectors now which are better. Why do they still use carbs? Theres a place for both. Carburettors still punch out the goods on the strip and some guys replace the fuel injection with carbs for better performance under certain conditions.

10. Is there way you tell whether a car has a 6 cylinder or 8 cylinder buy the number (1973 GTO --->455<---) ? Rego papers or count the spark plugs.

posted by  Wally

1. Try about a year of weekends
2. Find a circle of enthuisists and look for a mentor
3. It's not a fake anything, it's a scoop with butterfly shutters. There are filters behind the shutters

posted by  Wally

4. for the record, besides the 427, those are olds engine displacements...
what makes it a big or small block is actually the block design and what the manufacturer decides they want to call a small or big block... wrap your mind around this---350 chevy=small block, 348 chevy=big block, 350 chrysler=big block, 360 chrysler=small block. (correct me if i'm wrong on the 348, i'm not sure whether the 348/409's qualify as big blocks or their own classification, i.e. ford 272/292/312 "y" block)
6. the flathead engine is a v8 (the ford one, at least) it's problem was overheating and the fact that the intake and exhaust ports were cast into the block, severely limiting easy performance enhancements. the problem w/ straight 8's is length, and the fact that the crank weighs a ton on a long engine like that and probably doesn't rev up very quickly at all...
10. you might not want to count plugs, b/c some 4 cylinder ford rangers might end up w/ 8 cylinders that way... :screwy: :laughing:

posted by  dodger65

Forgot about those 2 engines :banghead: :oops: Thats true.

posted by  FordFromHell351

Thankyou for replies :)

Now got questions about different automobiles...
May sound stupid...

Why do the engine sounds in trucks, buses and cars all sound different from each other? Are there like things as bus engines and truck engines or something? Like what makes them sound different and have that distinct sound (like you know what a bus and truck sounds like, etc..)
know what i mean?

posted by  Crapozo

Its because of the size of the engine and the exhaust. Buses have huge ass diesel engines that will run for like 400,000 miles. The kind of trucks you seem to be talking about is because they have V8's in them. They make a different sound because of how big the engine is, how much rustholes are in the muffler and how big the exhaust is. :thumbs:

posted by  99integra

Long stroke, tight LSA, short duration, stump pullers :wink2:

posted by  Wally

ok Thankyou

also....i was just trying to search the internet for videos or guides on how to build a car, but i couldn't find anything...
How did you people get knowledge of how to build a car?

posted by  Crapozo

It ain't rocket science

posted by  Wally

i think you mean "rocket surgery", :screwy: duh...

posted by  dodger65

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