Science of Cars

Automotive engineering and mechanical science

How are natural gas engines different from gasoline engines?

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With the recent push to convert buses and trucks to natural gas I wanted to know what the major differences were between nat gas and gasoline powered engines. Is it a matter of horsepower or more of a safety issue?

Tuning a Rc Nitro Engine for Optimal Power – a Guide for Beginners

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imageWhen I first started racing Gas Powered RC cars, I used to struggle to get the engine into tune, while I was able to get the engine to start on a dime and it used to run fine for almost an entire fuel tank, it always seemed to over-heat near the end of the run. After many hours out on the track I can now finally say that I’ve got it down, tuning for me is now a 5 minute operation before I take my RC car out, and once it’s dialed in I only need to adjust one needle a fraction of a turn to get it back to it’s optimal settings.
I assume that your understand the basics of a RC Nitro Engine and how it works, if not please see my other articles which you can find on my website, see the resource box for details.
The Idle Screw
I always start with the idle screw, I adjust it so that the car will idle high when I’m first dialing in the engine. Once I get the engine up to temperature and with a tube that can keep it running without stalling I slowly adjust the idle down to the point where it’s about to stall, then I turn it back about 1/4 to 1/2 turn depending on the temperature. If your car stalls often it can be worth while increasing the idle to prevent this, it’s only a temporary fix while you sort out the other tuning issue, but it helps keep frustration levels down.
Low Speed Needle.
One of the great debates is which needle to adjust first, if your carburetor only has one needle adjustment screw then it’s not a problem, but if like most glow engines you have two you need to decide which to tune first. I always start with the low speed needle, this is because when you adjust the low speed needle you change the high speed needle. Once the low speed needle is dialed in you shouldn’t have to adjust it again. Make sure you keep it slightly on the rich side, when you RC Car idles the combustion chamber should start to fill up with fuel, this helps keep it cool. After a while the engine will stall, by measuring this you can tell if it should be richer or leaner. A good time is about 30 – 60 seconds before it stalls. The RC Car should pull off quickly from a standing start and should not bog down or flame out when you apply full throttle.
High Speed Needle.
Once you have your low speed adjustment needle dialed in it’s time to start getting the power out of the RC engine. This is done with the high speed needle, which adjusts the air to fuel mixture of the engine while it as high RPM (about 40% and up). Keep an eye on the trail of smoke as this is your first clue about the tune. You want to have a lot of smoke coming out of the engine at all RPM, if at some point there is little or no smoke then you are running too lean.
Hints, Tips and Tricks

Jacobsen Greens King IV: Replacing Older Engines

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imageSmall engine vehicles have been revitalized and revamped over the last several years. Golf carts and hauling vehicles once innovative in the 1980s were still able to be improved upon in the areas of design, steering mechanism, vehicle weight and basic functionality. Mowers, however, have remained constant in their design and mechanics for quite some time. The single biggest area of improvement for golf course and large area mowers is in the engine. Recent small engine mechanics innovation has allowed designers to create more powerful, easier to maintain, and more efficient engines for these pieces of equipment. Though older model mowers may have quality engines that are still getting the job done, many landscapers or greens keepers may find that the engine does not provide the power or efficiency that a newer vehicle could. Buying a new mower in order to get the power of a modern small engine is not necessary if you consider repowering the vehicle instead.

What Is Repowering?

Repowering a small engine refers to installing a newer rebuilt engine into an existing vehicle in order to improve its performance and save on buying a brand new vehicle or motor. By repowering, a landscapers or golf course maintenance crew gets more than just swapping out an old engine for the same rebuilt model engine. Rather, a repower kit swaps out an old engine for a newer, better engine model built with the latest technology. Repowering results in a better small engine in a vehicle for the fraction of the price of buying a new one.

I Already Have A Quality Engine

If you are a smart consumer, you have already bought a large mower from a reputable brand that stands by its products. So, you may wonder why you would ever want to consider repowering. Consider the Jacobsen Greens King IV. Jacobsen has an incredible reputation for being a leading turf maintenance mowers and equipment manufacturer for over 100 years. The company’s Greens King IV has been one of their best selling vehicles for over a quarter of a century. These mowers, however, will last longer and perform better if their engines are updated to newer models.

The need to innovate and improve performance is well understood by Jacobsen. The company’s newer model Greens King IV has a 16 or 18 horse power Briggs & Stratton Vanguard gas engines. Older models have a 14 or 16 horse power Kohler engines. Improving the engine is important to the long-term life of the mower and to achieve better performance. This is why so many are choosing to repower their landscaping mowers – to give their well-maintained older models more power and extend their life.

Jacobsen Greens King IV is a popular landscaping mower and hauling vehicle manufacturer. As such, there are a variety of repower kits available. There are Briggs & Stratton Vanguard small engines or Kohler small engine rebuild kits available, depending on what engine is currently installed in the GV IV. Diesel models are also great candidates for repower kits. Those landscapers with other mowers brands, something other than a Jacobsen, can easily find a repower kit compatible with their model too.

Where Do I Find A Repower Kit?

Small engine repower or rebuild kits are available from several certified dealers online. When looking for a kit, make sure the one you purchase comes with a warranty that you would expect from the original factory dealer. They are available. This will give you piece of mind and assurance that the quality of your machine will remain intact. After all, repowering a small engine is a step toward improving the value of your mower and extending its life.

~Ben Anton, 2008

Will a 408 Stroker engine fit in a Colorado?

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I have seen S10’s with 5.3 engines will a 408 stroker fit in a colorado? Or atleast a 5.3 engine?

Drive your car with passion drive with Chrysler and Ford Engines


imageWhenever we talk of car engines, the first thing that strikes our mind is Chrysler engines and Ford engines. Both these companies have left unique identities for themselves in the field of automobile engines. The LA engines are a part of pushrod OHV 90? V-block gasoline engines built by Chrysler family. From the year 1964 till 2003, Chrysler engines have been installed in passenger vehicles, trucks, vans, commercial vehicles and marine and industrial applications. Chrysler offers a line of crate engines based on the Magnum design that bolts into the older muscle cars and street rods with little modification. Let us look at one of the most popular models of Chrysler engines.Elegant, stylish, superb features and powerful performance this is what Chrysler Aspen is all about. Launched in the year 2007, this is one of the latest versions of sports utility vehicle. This is in fact the first truck based sports utility vehicle that was launched under Chrysler engine brand. Aspen comes with three rows of seating for accommodating eight passengers, electronic stability program, tygre pressure monitoring system and parking sense. This model comes with three Chrysler engines, a flex-fuel 4,701 cc V8 capable of running on gasoline, a gasoline 4.7 V8 and a 5,654 cc Hemi V8 with MDS. The features of this model includes a full screen navigation radio, a rear seat DVD entertainment system, interior LED lights and advanced safety features are really mesmerizing. A higher version of Chrysler Aspen was released in year 2009 which included features like 340 hp Hemi engine with MDS as well as a new two-model hybrid system developed with GM and BMW. Following a suit, this model was discontinued leaving Chrysler with no SUV’s. Ford engines on the other hand have set a benchmark for themselves throughout the world not only in the field of engines but also for their vehicles in aftermarket, sports and kit applications. One of the most popular ford engines is Ford 351 Cleveland V8 engine. This was introduced in 1969 as a new performance car engine. This engine comes with poly-angle combustion chambers with canted valves and thin wall casting technology. This ford engine has both 4V and 2V carburetor built with 2 valves per cylinder. The 2V barrel carburetor comes with a cylindrical head which harbors smaller valves, ports and open combustion chamber that suits the intended applications.Only the Q-code 351 “Cobra Jet” (1971-1974), R-code “Boss” 351 (1971), and R-code 351 “HO” (1972) versions have 4-bolt mains although all 335 series engines (351C/351M/400) have space for them even in 2-bolt main form. The only difference between 351C/351M/400 engines is in the length of the connecting rod and main bearing size. The 351M/400 engines have the largest bearing size and the tallest deck height while sharing the 429/460 bell housing pattern. The 351C engine has a medium main bearing size and shorter connecting rods than the 351W and the 351M/400 while retaining the SBF engineBoth these models have set unbeatable standards for themselves in the automobile engine market. You have a great engine no matter which kind you own whether it is a Ford engine or a Chrysler engine. What happens when it comes time to replace you car engine. Should you spend all kinds of money replacing it with a new one? Absolutely, not! Cars come and go in people’s lives and when they go it doesn’t mean that the engine is out of order. You can locate a perfectly good used car engine through different avenues.

Air Car (1 of 2) from France

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See for part two. A new type of engine to run on compress air. Part one of two. An update: in Feb 2007, Tata motor in India signed an agreement with MDI to use this technology. And in Mar 2008, Tata motor acquired Jaguar and landrover. Will there be an air powered Jaguar or Landrover soon? Your guess. Google “Tata Motor MDI” for more details.

Car Sun Shades UV Car Shades Better than Tinted Glass from Vanstyle

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Demonstrating the UV car Shades which fit the window of each make and model perfectly. Car Sun shades, Van accessories and 4×4 accessories and van alloy wheels for all makes of vehicles. This is a short video highlighting some of the main products we offer. For a full range visit our website

Water Powerd Cars – How To Run On Water Instead of Fuel

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , Water Powerd Cars – How To Run On Water Instead of Fuel Wanna know how to easily save hundreds each month by running your car on water instead of fuel gasoline? You can do that quickly and easily these days and save the earth as well.

Are you Ready for the Worst Cars?

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imageWhat can be considered as the worst vehicles that the automotive world has come to know for this year, 2006? Well, it looks like our questions have been answered for one website, The Truth About Cars (TTAC), has already made their own list of the worst vehicles. The list can be actually found on their very first “Ten Worst Automobiles Today”. Yes, they are awarding these vehicles and giving them the proper recognition for being the worst.

What is the truth on Salt water fuel?

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I think Ch.3 in Michigan, was the one that reported that it was found that salt water, can be used for fuel same as gas, and stated that they where testing it in Ohio or indiana.


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