What is a Crankshaft?

What is a Crankshaft? How does Crankshaft work?

The crankshaft, which is the engine element that converts the linear movement of the piston to circular motion with the help of connecting rod, is an important part that enables several different elements to work. Without this element, which is one of the expensive parts, there will be no pistons and therefore no engine. In its simplest form, it is an iron rod on which the engine pistons work. In U-shaped slots, the movement of the pistons turns circular.

crankshaft; It is a part that moves the camshaft, oil pump, fuel injection pump, water pump and auxiliary equipment. It is generally produced from alloy steel by casting or forging in one piece. Camshafts forged in dies are manufactured from annealed and nitrated steel. Cast irons are produced from spheroidal graphite cast irons.

It is an engine element whose strength must be very high. It is also essential to be flexible. When these two concepts, which seem to be opposite to each other, meet at one point, they form the crankshaft. It also ensures that it does not crack or break during movement. Pistons need this element in order to work and all parts move in connection with each other.

What is a Crankshaft?

In order to understand what a Crankshaft is and how it performs its task, we must first know its shape. The Crankshaft is a long rod made of a metallic part, but with U-shaped protrusions every 5-10 cm. Each successive protrusion is in the opposite direction of each other. Do not think that these “U” protrusions are a separate part, because the Crankshaft has to be one piece, that is, one piece.

The crankshaft, which is located on the pistons that run the engine, has a multi-shaped structure to give full efficiency. It is connected to the pistons at an angle of 90 degrees, and if there is a saturation at this angle, it means that the pistons and therefore the engine cannot fulfill their task. A problem in the shaft directly affects the pistons and the engine.

After a certain use, the crankshaft may slip due to excessive wear of the engine or due to continuous high performance and vehicle use. This slippage damages the engine and incurs high costs.


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The crankshaft is the most expensive and most important part of engines. However, little is known about how it works and what it does. In this article, we will help you to have more detailed information about the Crankshaft. First of all, we should point out that; Without the crankshaft there would be no pistons, without the pistons there would be no engine. The crankshaft is simply the name given to the iron rod on which the engine pistons are located. The most important feature of this rod is that the pistons are connected to the “U” shaped slots, which are completely opposite to each other.

People related to vehicles have often heard that the crankshaft is constantly dispersed, especially in old and performance vehicles, and accordingly the pistons and even the engine block are dispersed. The most important reason for this is that the pistons are connected to the crankshaft with exactly 90 degrees angle. When deviation occurs in pain, the pistons are wasted by the power of the engine.

How Does a Crankshaft Work?

There are pistons connected to “U” shaped protrusions on the Crankshaft. The Crankshaft lies horizontally on the ground. Pistons are connected to this Crankshaft from above and in vertical position. Its angles are 90 degrees and only have to be 90 degrees. They cannot be 89.5 degrees or 90.5 degrees. They are connected with a very delicate balance, and as these pistons move the “U” protrusions on the shaft in the opposite direction to each other up and down, the crankshaft gets the force to move around itself with a circular loop.

To better visualize this operating system, consider the operating system of the bicycle pedal and wheel. In fact, we can give this example, although it is not 100% similar. While cycling, your feet move up and down. And the pedals transmit the force that your feet create by moving up and down, to the wheels as a circular rotational force. This is the working system in the Crankshaft – Pistons and Engine trilogy, in its simplest terms.

As the pistons rotate the U slots they are connected to, the crankshaft also performs a circular rotation around itself. This makes it central to the power transmitted to all wheels in the car. For this reason, the crankshaft has an extremely important role among engine parts.

With the flywheel mechanism, it provides the continuity of the mobility of the idle engine. This mechanism consists of a disc-shaped part. It keeps the engine running even when the engine is in neutral, that is, when the pistons are not working. In short, the flywheel mechanism ensures that the car does not stop.

What Does a Crankshaft Cycle Do?

The Crankshaft is the main center of all the rotational power transmitted to the wheels, after converting the linear motion from the pistons to circular motion with a simple formula. While moving the Cam Shaft by means of a chain or trigel belt; It also ensures that the idle engine still continues its mobility through the flywheel mechanism.

The part we call the flywheel has the appearance of a disc. The task of the flywheel is to keep the engine running even though there is no movement from the pistons, when the pistons are stopped, that is, when the engine is running in neutral gear, as people say. The piston gives the engine its motive power by combustion.

If the piston does not work, it means that the combustion task is not performed. Occurrence of the combustion event means that not only the operating power to the engine; It also means that it gives the power to move the car forward. However, the operating power from the Flywheel does not give the engine enough power to move the car adequately. But it ensures that the engine does not stall.

If this system did not exist, when you stop at a red light, you would either have to turn off the ignition of your vehicle or you would just wait with one foot on the brake and the other on the clutch during the entire light.

How Many Parts Does a Crankshaft Consist?

Crankshafts mainly consist of 4 different parts:

• Main Bearing and Connecting Rod (Arm) Trunks,
• Lever Arms,
• Balance Weights,
• Flange

Damage to the Crankshaft can even cause the engine to be scrapped. Because the most valuable and important part in the engine is the Crankshafts. The slightest mistake you make while being repaired can cause irreversible damage. One of the biggest requirements for the Crankshaft to work is its balancing feature.

How is the Crankshaft Balanced?

The biggest factor in balancing Crankshafts is the use of counterweights. These counterweights are; There are two of them, Inertial Force and Centrifugal Force. We can also call the Force of Inertia the Force of Inertia.

How to Identify Crankshaft Failure?

If there is any problem with the crankshaft, it must be repaired. When the element fails, the engine fault lamp may come on. At the same time, the ignition system will interfere and the vehicle will not start correctly. If your vehicle is experiencing misfire and stalling, it may be caused by the crankshaft. It is generally known that the vehicle stalls while driving and does not restart until the engine cools down.

Noisy engine running may be a sign that the crankshaft has deteriorated. If you are experiencing any of these problems, you should show your vehicle to a master. Otherwise, the problems may escalate.

The most common causes of failures in crankshaft bearings are as follows;

• Running out of engine oil
• Low oil pressure
• Inappropriate oil type,
• Crankshaft bearing axes are scratched, tapered or worn,
• The main shaft oil channels are clogged,
• Worn or burnt bearings,
• Incorrect connection of bearings,
• Losing the smoothness of the main shaft or the bearing axes of the main shaft,
• Full or partial cracking of the crankshaft.

Some noises can also occur with the failure of the crankshaft. Insufficient lubrication is the leading cause of these horizontal sounds. Any bearing gap and bending can also cause these noises. The fact that the main bearings are not aligned is also the reason for the formation of various sounds.

Among the reasons for the sounds; There are also problems such as excessive watering of engine oil, loosening and dislocation of the crankshaft gear, loosening or dislodgement of the flywheel, bending of the upper crankcase.

The repetition of metallic noises from the crankshaft bearings increases with the rotational speed of the engine and the increased load. Sometimes knocking sounds are more clearly heard when the engine is idling.

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/crankshaft

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