Engine Engine Block

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The engine block contains some of the most essential components of the engine. These include the crankshaft, camshaft, piston, valves, valve springs, tappets and cams. Without these vital components the engine would not be able to combust and tranfer the chemical reaction into mechanical power. The block is made of cast iron or aluminum and is designed to withstand great temperatures and forces.


This is an example of sand casting.

Engine blocks can be manufactured in many different ways. These include evaporation molding, where the aluminum is melted and poured into a containter filled with sand containing a mold of the engine out of foam. When the liquid aluminum is poured in, the foam evaporates creating a pocket in the sand. The aluminum replaces the foam and takes the shape. Another method is Sand molding, where aluminum is pourded into a mold made from a metal die that was compacted.



In 1860 Leinor's converted steam engine combusted natural gas in a double acting piston, using electric ignition. Nikolaus Otto then patented the four cycle engine in 1876.

Engine blocks have gone through two major evolutions in their life-time. The first would be the invention of the small block. The small block was created by GM to outperform their rival Ford at the time. The Engine block had a short stroke and a larger bore design. The spacing of the bores were also increased to 4.4 inches.

These established the small block as a an American innovation in cars for almost half a century. The second evolution was the large block. Big Block engines are engine blocks that have bores that are placed closer together. Many of the big blocks engines have large displacments usually greater than 360 cubic inches. Big blocks today are used in large V-8's and luxury cars. Big blocks are less common than small blocks because of fuel effiency and the trend of making smaller more compact cars.


50 Years of the Small Block


Big block Chevy Engines

3D parts

Subassembly Bill of Materials
Part Name # Req'd Function Mfg Process Material CAD File Image
Engine Block 1 Houses Drive Train. Cast milled to tolerance Cast Iron Engine Block
New block.jpg
Crankcase Cover 1 Covers the crankcase. Cast Cast Iron Crankcase Cover
Crank cover.jpg
Gasket 1 Keeps crankcase sealed. Cast Cast Iron Gasket
Crank gasket.jpg
Crank Bolts 1 Hold cover to case. Cast Cast Iron Crank Bolts
Crank bolts.jpg
Crank Cover Pin 2 Used to locate the crank cover relative to the crankcase. Machined Steel Crank Cover Pin
Crank cover pin.jpg
Oil Drain Plug 2 Allows oil to be drained from crankcase. Machined Steel Oil Drain Plug
Oil plug.jpg
Oil Cap 2 Allows oil to be added to crankcase. Cast Cast Iron Oil Cap
Oil cap.jpg
Engine Block Assembly 1 Holds drivetrain assembly. Cast Cast Iron Engine Block Assembly
Block assem.jpg

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