Diesel Automotive Engines

1. Diesel Automotive Engines

Energy and Power Technology Textbook Chapter 14 

Download: HANDBOOK OF DIESEL ENGINES BOOK

Read More: HOW A DIESEL ENGINE WORKS

2. As you study this chapter, you will learn to:

Explain why the diesel engine has grown in popularity as an automobile and truck engine.

Identify the two major differences between gasoline and diesel engines. 

Describe the function and operation of the diesel engine fuel injection system.

Explain the difference between multiple-plunger and unit injector fuel-injection systems.

Identify the type of diesel engine that requires an air blower. 

Also, read: TOP 5 WAYS – PROPERLY MAINTAIN YOUR DIESEL ENGINE

3. Diesel Automotive Engines

Diesel engines have long been the source of power for heavy-duty trucks, trains, and ships.

During the past few years, diesel engines have become more common as power sources for automobiles. 

Also, read: WHAT IS BLOW-BY ON A DIESEL ENGINE AND ITS CAUSES?

4. Diesel Engines in Automobiles

The main advantage of diesel engines over gasoline engines is their good fuel efficiency.

Diesel-powered automobiles average about 25% more miles per gallon than gasoline-powered automobiles.

Diesel engines, however, must be made larger, stronger, and heavier than gasoline engines.

They must withstand combustion pressures two to three times higher than those produced in gasoline engines.

The added weight needed for strength reduces the acceleration of the automobile.

A diesel engine of the same horsepower as a gasoline engine is larger. 

Also, read: DIESEL BLACK SMOKE: REASONS AND SOLUTIONS

5. Types of Diesel Engines

There are two basic types of diesel engines in use today: Four-stroke cycle Two-stroke cycle These engines differ in the number of piston strokes required to produce a power stroke.

Their methods of intake and exhaust are also different. 

Also, read: HOW DO GASOLINE ENGINES DIFFER FROM DIESEL ENGINES?

6. Four-Stroke Cycle Diesel Engine

Four-stroke diesel engines are very similar to four-stroke gasoline engines.

The piston travels from one end of the cylinder to the other four times during each cycle.

The fuel is ignited at the beginning of the third stroke of each cycle. 

Intake air flows into each cylinder through intake valves in the cylinder head.

Exhaust gases leave through exhaust valves. These valves operate the same way as the valves in four-stroke gasoline engines.

On the intake stroke, atmospheric pressure pushes air into the cylinder through the intake valve.

The exhaust stroke forces burned gases out through the exhaust valve. During the compression and power strokes, both valves are closed. 

Read More: WHY ARE DIESEL ENGINES USED IN HEAVY VEHICLES? EPIC REASONS

8. Two-Stroke Cycle Diesel Engine

Two-stroke diesel engines are similar to two-stroke gasoline engines. They have only two strokes per cycle.

The fuel is ignited on every other stroke of the piston. In the two-stroke diesel engine, the air is forced in and exhaust gases are forced out on a single stroke.

Usually, a blower forces air into the cylinder through intake ports.

The incoming air pushes the remaining exhaust gases out of the cylinder through an exhaust valve. 

Read More: WONDERING “WHY ARE DIESEL ENGINES NOISY?” THE REASONS

10. Engine Design The diesel engine looks much like the gasoline engine.

The operations of the mechanical systems are also similar in both engines.

The piston and crankshaft assembly, the valve assembly, the lubrication system, and the cooling system operate in the same way.

However, diesel systems are built stronger to withstand higher combustion pressures. 

Read: WHY THERE IS NO SPARK PLUG-IN DIESEL ENGINE?

11. Engine Design Continued

The two major differences between gasoline and diesel engines are the way that fuel is supplied to the cylinders and the way the fuel is ignited. 

The diesel engine does not need an ignition system. Compression heat ignites the fuel in the cylinder.

A special fuel system supplies fuel to the cylinder. Diesel fuel systems are very different from gasoline fuel systems. 

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12. Fuel System In a gasoline engine, fuel is mixed with air in the carburetor or the intake manifold.

Diesel engines do not have carburetors. Only air flows into the combustion chamber through the intake manifold.

Each intake stroke fills the cylinder with air. Special devices inject fuel into the air inside the cylinder.

Engine power is controlled by metering the amount of fuel injected into the cylinders. 

13. Fuel System Continued At idle, only a small amount of fuel is injected into each cylinder.

The ratio of air to fuel maybe 40 to 1. The ratio in gasoline engines at idle is about 18 to 1. As power needs increase, the amount of fuel injected increases.

However, the amount of air remains the same. Therefore, the ratio of air to fuel decreases.

The intake stroke always takes in enough air to burn all the fuel injected during full-load operation. 

14. Fuel-Injection Systems

The main components in a diesel fuel injection system are the fuel-injection pump and the fuel injectors.

The job of the fuel injectors is to inject a measured amount of fuel into the combustion chamber.

When pressure is applied to the fuel, the injector opens and sprays fuel into the cylinder. Combustion begins immediately.

15. Fuel-Injection Systems Continued

The fuel injection pump produces the necessary high fuel pressure.

On injection, diesel fuel must be under enough pressure to offset the pressure inside the combustion chamber (about 1000 psi during combustion).

If the fuel pressure were not at least as high as the pressure in the combustion chamber during combustion, the fuel would not inject.

Instead, the pressure would leak from the combustion chamber into the injector nozzle. 

16. Fuel-Injection Systems Continued

The injection pump has two other functions. It must regulate the amount of fuel directed to the cylinder.

It must also control the timing of the fuel injection. Engine power depends on the amount of fuel supplied to the cylinders.

The time at which injectors spray fuel into the cylinders is just as important. The injection pump controls this timing.

It makes sure that the injectors spray fuel just before TDC (top dead center) of the compression stroke. By the time the fuel ignites, the piston will have started its downward motion.

17. Fuel Injection Arrangements

The injection pump and injectors may not be completely separate.

These two parts can be arranged in three different ways. Multiple-Plunger System Unit Injector System Distributor System 

18. Multiple-Plunger System

In this system, there is a separate pumping unit (plunger) and a separate injector for each cylinder.

The plungers are all part of the fuel injection pump. A camshaft inside the pump controls the action of the plungers.

Fuel lines connect the plungers to the injectors. The amount of fuel to be injected is controlled at the fuel injection pump. 

19. Unit Injector System In this system, the injection pump, and injector are combined into one unit and are driven by the overhead camshaft.

The plunger is a part of the injector. Pressurization, timing, and metering of the fuel all take place in the unit injector. 

An engine with this system has one unit injector for each cylinder. 

20. Distributor System In this system, a single injection pump supplies fuel to a distributor.

The distributor directs fuel to the injectors in the right firing order. The metering of fuel is done at the pump. 

21. Fuel-Injection System Operation

Diesel engines use several different injection systems.

Their operating principles are the same. The multiple-plunger system contains both high- and low-pressure fuel systems.

The low-pressure system consists of a fuel pump, lines, and filters, similar to the parts in a gasoline system.

These parts deliver fuel from the tank to the fuel injection pump.

The high-pressure system consists of the fuel injection pump and the injectors. These parts supply fuel to the cylinders. 

22. Glow Plugs Because there is no spark to ignite the fuel, diesel engines can be hard to start.

This is especially true in cold weather. For improved starting, diesel is often equipped with glow plugs.

Glow plugs have a small wire element that gets red-hot when connected to an electrical source.

Each cylinder has a glow plug. When the diesel is to be started, current from the battery heats the glow plugs.

The glow plugs then heat the fuel as it enters the cylinders.

This preheating of the fuel lowers its ignition point to improve starting. 

24. Air Blowers and Turbochargers

Two-stroke diesel engines require an air blower. This device forces air into the cylinder and drives out the exhaust gases. 

When the piston reaches the bottom of the power stroke, the air inlet ports are uncovered. The blower forces air into the cylinder.

The air drives the burned gases out of the exhaust valve and fills the combustion chamber. 

25. Air Blowers and Turbochargers Continued

Some modern four-stroke diesel engines use a special kind of blower called a turbocharger.

A turbocharger consists of an air impeller and an exhaust turbine connected to a shaft. 

High-pressure exhaust gases leaving the engine drive the turbine. The turbine, in turn, drives the air impellor.

The air impeller forces air into the combustion chamber at a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure.

The action puts more air into the cylinder. This provides higher compression for greater power output. 

27. Test Your Knowledge Question

What factor helped diesel engines grow in popularity as an automotive engine? Good Fuel Efficiency 

28. Test Your Knowledge Question

Name the two major differences between gasoline and diesel engines? 

The way fuel is supplied to the cylinders (fuel injection) And the way the fuel is ignited (compression ignition). 

29. Test Your Knowledge Question

What is the function of the diesel engine fuel injector?

To inject a measured amount of fuel into the combustion chamber. 

30. Test Your Knowledge Question

What is the function of the glow plug? During starting, the glow plug heats the fuel as it enters the cylinder.

That lowers the fuel’s ignition point to improve starting. 

31. Test Your Knowledge Question

Which type of diesel engine requires an air blower? Two-stroke cycle engine. 

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