Basic Elements of a Gasoline Powered Small Engine

Uses of small engines

Gasoline powered small engines are used in many types of equipment and tools. Various industries make use of a wide range of this particular type of equipment. Gasoline powered small engines are also used for domestic purposes. Lawn mowers, air compressors and pumps are amongst the most the popular equipment used that is gasoline powered. Small engines power quad bikes, motorcycles, scooters and certain light aircraft.

The system is also known as an internal combustion engine as a spark, created when the ignition is switched on, causes explosions as it comes into contact with the gasoline in the combustion chamber.

As gasoline is a slow burning combustible liquid but quite explosive when it mixes with air, this is what gives the engine its power. There are however various systems, each made up of individual small engine components, that have to work together to create a smooth running engine.

Parts of the Engine

The fuel system is a major part of a small engine. There are a number of small engine components that make up this section. The fuel tank is where the gasoline is contained before entering the carburetor. A fuel pump pumps the gasoline through a fuel line into the carburetor. As the function of the carburetor is mix the required volume of air and gas in proper proportion, it is important that it remains clean and unclogged from small particles of dirt and sediment. A small filter collects these before gas enters the carburetor.

The speed of the engine is determined by the amount of gas that is fed into it through the carburetor. The throttle working in conjunction with a governor regulates the amount of gas and air combinations produced by the carburetor and this is how the speed is controlled.

A small engine component that is usually activated when trying to start a cold engine is called a primer. This little device injects a small amount of extra gasoline into the carburetor as to create a higher fuel intensity and stronger spark. Another small engine component that is also fitted with to reduce the amount of noise is a muffler. The gases that are released from the engine are fed through the exhaust pipe.

The ignition system is another vital part of the small engine. Combustion cannot take place if the spark needed to create the condition is not ignited. The ignition produces a high voltage spark to set off the combustion needed to start the engine. If this spark does not happen, the engine will remain as dead as a dormouse. A battery is used to activate this. Other important small engine components of the ignition system are the points; which allows the engine to switch on or off and a spark plug through which the current must flow.

Combustion takes place in the cylinder block; that is the single biggest part of the engine. Within the combustion chamber, the heat released by the chemical reaction causes a high-pressured gas and temperature condition. As this pressure force is conducted to the pistons of the engine, it causes the crankshaft to rotate.

Cooling and maintenance

A running engine requires an efficient cooling as well as lubrication system as the amount of heat and friction created can become quite intense. As small engines are usually cooled by air, metal fins are connected to reduce internal heat. Bearings are small engine components that are used to bring down the amount of friction on the engine by use of lubricants. Regular servicing by keeping the engine well oiled and filters clean will provide longer and better service.

- Ben Anton, 2008

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