Air Filters

The air filter is designed to protect the engine from direct contamination by external pollutants. An engine’s air intake is between 200 and 500 m3 of air per hour, depending on its cubic capacity. The absorbed air is full of impurities depending on climate, ground surface, level of atmospheric pollution etc… In addition there is dust which, if mixed into the engine oil, eventually becomes an abrasive paste, lethal to the engine.

What does it do?

The engine air filter could be compared to the automobile’s lungs. It is designed to eliminate the dust contained in the ambient air taken in by the engine. Simplistically an internal combustion engine functions by drawing in air to be mixed with fuel in the right proportions and at the right instant this mixture is ignited providing the power to drive the engine, vehicle or equipment attached. The air is drawn in from the atmosphere that contains abrasive dirt and sooty exhaust particles. If not filtered these particles will cause rapid wear on internal engine components and ultimately considerably shorten engine life. It takes a very small amount of road dust to ruin an engine, only a cupful, approx. 220 grams would do the job. As a rough measure, for every gallon of fuel burned in the combustion process 10 to 12,000 liters of air are consumed. This gives an idea of the magnitude of the job to be done by the air filter or air cleaner as it is sometimes called.

Although the principal reason for the air filter is to reduce intake of harmful and contaminant (abrasive dust, airborne exhaust soot, etc.) it often has other roles. In nearly all cases a properly designed air filter housing not only carries the filtration cartridge but by careful design of the intake system can reduce intake noise, which is considerable. Air filter housings also play a large part in reducing water ingress, which can cause considerable engine damage, by allowing the designer to place the air intake at the most advantageous position.

In heavy duty commercial vehicles in particular air filter housings are designed to cause precipitation of excess water prior to the air stream arriving at the filtering element.

Another role of the air filter is to provide a carrier for air intake temperature control sensors and diverted valves, particularly important in controlling emissions as well as assisting in optimizing combustion efficiency. As part of the air intake system on a car, for example, the air filter and in particular the intake tube can often be tuned to minimize power loss. If the air filter is dirty, three things can happen, all of them bad: reduced engine power (a key to peak engine performance is the flow of clean air to the ignition point), decreased throttle response and increased engine wear.

(Information and images courtesy of Fram)

Cabin Filters

Component Distributors supply FRAM cabin air filters which remove more than 90% of all pollen and road dust particles entering into the car cabin without inhibiting the flow of fresh air. Depending on the environment FRAM cabin air filters also protect the driver from unpleasant odors and vapors.

What does it do?

When driving a car, the driver is exposed to two or three times more pollution than a pedestrian. In fact, a car’s ventilation system is usually situated directly behind the exhaust of the vehicles in front, and as a result its intake is even more concentrated in terms of dust, pollen and soot. For drivers/passengers with allergies this often causes problems. Furthermore, the cabin filter effectively reduces the film of dirt on the windscreen, thus improving night vision – these facts mean that all major car manufacturers currently produce cars with cabin air filters. To guarantee that the air in the interior is pure at all times, the filter needs to be replaced regularly. A pressure drop as a result of unnacceptable build up of particles of dust, soot and pollen in the filter signals the necessity for replacement.

The main signs of clogging up or saturation are:

•  Appearance of foggy mists which are difficult to remove

•  Strong unpleasant smells when starting up

•  Reduction in ventilation air flow

•  Heavy atmosphere

Crankshaft Pulleys

A wheel attached to the front end of the Crankshaft which is connected by Fan belts to the fan, the Alternator, and other devices so that the rotating Crankshaft can drive these other parts as well. The crankshaft pulley usually has Timing marks located on it, and these are necessary for checking and adjusting Timing with a Timing light. Also called a harmonic balance wheel.

Cylinder Head Bolt Kits

Consisting of all cylinder head bolts needed to hold the cylinder head in place.

Engine Gaskets

Engine Gaskets are usually made of cardboard, cork, paper, rubber, or soft metal and are placed between two metal parts to insure proper sealing.

Fuel Filters

A fuel filter is a filter in the fuel line that screens out dirt and rust particles from the fuel. They are normally made into cartridges containing a filter paper. They are found in most internal combustion engines.

Fuel filters serve a vital function in today’s modern, tight-tolerance engine fuel systems. Unfiltered fuel may contain several kinds of contamination, for example paint chips and dirt that has been knocked into the tank while filling, or rust caused by moisture in a steel tank. If these substances are not removed before the fuel enters the system, they will cause rapid wear and failure of the fuel pump and injectors, due to the abrasive action of the particles on the high-precision components used in modern injection systems. Fuel filters also improve performance, as the fewer contaminants present in the fuel, the more efficiently it can be burnt.

Fuel Hose

A fuel line is a hose used to bring fuel from one point in a vehicle to another. It is commonly made of reinforced rubber to prevent splitting and kinking.

Fuel Pumps

A Vacuum device, operated either mechanically or electrically, that is used to draw fuel from the tank and into the carburetor or fuel injector nozzles. Mechanical pumps have a rocker arm that is activated by a cam on the camshaft; the arm causes a diaphragm to move up and down, thus pulling the gas through the pump. Some electrical pumps have a rocker arm which is activated electrically and does the same thing as the mechanical pump. Other electrical pumps are located at the bottom of the fuel tank and push the fuel through the fuel lines.

Glow Plugs

An electrical element located in the combustion chamber of a diesel engine which helps to heat up the air in the chamber so that the diesel fuel will be ignited more quickly. Often they are connected in series so that when one becomes defective the others are inoperative. Also called a “heater plug”.

Hydraulic Lifters/Tappets

A hydraulic lifter, also known as a hydraulic tappet or a hydraulic lash adjuster, is a device for maintaining zero valve clearance in an internal combustion engine. The conventional means of adjusting valve actuation always requires a small clearance to be left between the valve and its rocker or cam follower to allow for thermal expansion and wear. The hydraulic lifter was designed to ensure that the valve train always operates with zero clearance, leading to quieter operation and eliminating the need for periodic adjustment of valve clearance.

The hydraulic lifter consists of a hollow expanding piston situated between the camshaft and valve. It is operated either by a rocker mechanism, or in the case of one or more overhead camshafts , directly by the camshaft. The lifter is filled with engine oil intermittently from an oil galley via a small drilling. When the engine valve is closed, the lifter is free to fill with oil. When the valve is opening and the lifter is being operated by the camshaft, the oil feed is blocked and the lifter acts just as a solid one would, oil being incompressible.

Oil Filters

One of the essential prerequisites for the satisfactory operation of an internal-combustion engine is continuous lubrication of the moving parts of the engine with oils which are kept at the required level of cleanliness to avoid any premature wear.

The oil filter has an essential part to play in this process, because it provides continuous purification of the oil, by retaining abrasive particles which are caused by normal wear and tear, and also dust and combustion residues. It has to be capable of withstanding the mechanical and thermal loads created in the environment of the engine. It has to retain the oil when the engine is switched off and it helps to cool the oil to its optimum operating temperature.

Oil Seals

A device used to prevent oil leakage past a certain area.

Spark Plugs

A device containing two Electrodes across which electricity jumps to produce a Spark to fire the fuel charge. The center Electrode is insulated from the spark plug shell by means of a molded Insulator resembling Porcelain. The side Electrode protrudes from the bottom edge of the spark plug shell and is so positioned that there is a gap between it and the center electrode.

Tensioners and Idlers

A device designed to maintain the tension of a belt or chain.

Timing Belts

In the internal combustion engine application, the timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft(s), which in turn controls the opening and closing of the engine’s valves. A four-stroke engine requires that the valves open and close once every other revolution of the crankshaft. The timing belt does this. It has teeth to turn the camshaft(s) synchronised with the crankshaft, and is specifically designed for a particular engine. In some engine designs, the timing belt may also be used to drive other engine components such as the water pump and oil pump.

Timing Belt Kits

Timing belt kits contain a belt, tensioner, idler wheels

Valve Guides

In most types of reciprocating engines, a valve guide is provided for each poppet valve in the cylinder head. Along with the valve spring, it serves to positively locate the valve so that it may make proper contact with the valve seat. A valve guide is a tube-shaped piece of metal, pressed into the cylinder head, with the valve reciprocating inside it. Guides serve also to conduct heat from the combustion process out from the exhaust valve and into the cylinder head where it may be taken up by the cooling system. Bronze is commonly used, as is steel; a balance between stiffness and wear on the valve is essential to achieve a useful service life.