Group 18 - GM V-6 Engine Gate1

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Gate 1: Request for Proposal

Work Proposal

We have been presented with the task of working alongside another group to disassemble, analyze, and reassemble a GM V6 engine. This is no easy task, and it must be approached in an organized, systematic manner.

The purpose of this work proposal is to have a specific plan for disassembling the engine, as well as identifying strengths, weaknesses, and potential challenges for our group. It is also to present a timeframe for working through each step of our plan to ensure timely delivery.

Plan for Dissection

Anticipated Tools Necessary:

  • Socket wrenches in a variety of sizes, as needed
  • Valve Spring compressor
  • Standard screwdriver or pry bar, should we need to pry something
  • Torque wrench (reassembly)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Pulley Puller (for the harmonic balancer)

Timeframe: Our group plans to meet in the dissection lab on Wednesdays at 5:00 pm. We have scheduled 3 weeks to dissect the engine.

Group Strengths

  • 4 of the 5 group members have experience disassembling products
  • Meredith has excellent leadership qualities and experience
  • Andrew has solid modeling experience, as well as web site and wiki development experience
  • Brett has experience disassembling and reassembling gasoline engines
  • Several members of the group we are working with also have experience dissecting engines

Group Weaknesses

  • 4 of the 5 group members have no experience taking apart gasoline engines


  • Coordinating and communicating with a second group to work on the same project, and still accomplish the task in a reasonable amount of time. 

Management Proposal

In order to effectively and efficiently complete our task, we assigned roles to each of the group members, based on their strengths and the need for certain roles to be filled.

The purpose of this management proposal is to define roles, responsibilities, and availability for everyone, providing accountability.


All 5 group members are available on Wednesdays at 5:00 pm to work in the dissection lab.
At least 1 group member is available for any given time that the dissection lab is open, should a group member need to be present to work with the other group.

Roles and Responsibilities

MeredithProject Manager / Communication LiaisonMakes sure the group stays on track and gets everything done by the deadlines. Coordinates everyone's schedule to meet as a group. Communicates with the other group, and makes sure no serious problems arise. Is the point of contact for Erich.
BrettDissection ManagerDissects the engine and figures out how best to deal with snags. Is in charge of the group when in the dissection lab.
MattLead Wiki Developer / Dissection SupervisorIn charge of updating and maintaining the wiki. Transfers details from dissection to the wiki. Coordinates with the other group in dissection lab.
AndrewTechnical ExpertCreates CAD models and assists in the development of the wiki.
DerekInformation SpecialistTakes pictures and written notes of dissection. Documents the progress of the group and everything that will go on the wiki.

Gantt Chart

Our progress will be tracked on the following chart:

Figure 1.1

Initial Product Assessment

Intended Use

1. The intended use of the GM V-6 Vortec engine is to convert chemical energy to mechanical energy through a combustion process that drives a piston crankshaft set up to convert pressure into linear rotational energy to be used to drive an automobile.

(a) This product is used for home or professional use, depending on how the mechanical energy is applied and depending on the structure build around the engine. Although this engine due to its size and layout is most likely for home use.

(b) The function of the engine is to convert pressure from chemical combustion into energy through the use of pistons. The main function is to create all power needed for a vehicle including electrical (interior lights and gadgets) and mechanical power.The engine could also be used to power any machine in which mechanical energy was needed although it was intended for automotive use. The engine is also expected to be efficient and reliable.

How It Works

2. The product works by creating an internal spark that ignites gasoline to create a combustion reaction. This reaction drives a piston housed in a cylinder downward. The piston is attached to a rod and crankshaft assembly that converts the oscillating motion into linear mechanical energy. The excess waste from combustion is pushed out an exhaust valve when the piston head returns to the top of the engine and the cycle repeats.

(a) At first, electrical energy is used to create a spark. Then, chemical energy is used and is converted to mechanical energy.

(b) As explained in how the product works, an explosion creates a rapid expansion that drives a piston down a cylinder wall creating mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is at first linear, but is then converted to rotational motion in order to drive the wheels of the vehicle.


3. In the products current state it is not able to function due to many crucial components such as a fuel source the top half of the throttle body and assembly, a radiator, and a original power source to start the engine.

(a) Due to the above conditions this is not testable, although upon initial observation a large crack was spotted in the air intake manifold that may have created problems in the performance of the engine.

(b) As mentioned above, a crack in the intake manifold may result in improper air to fuel mixture that would sacrifice performance greatly.


4. An Internal Combustion engine is an extremely complex machine. It is not complex in the way that many small parts fit together or why something does something unexpected. It is however complex in the fact that a minimal number of major parts can create such an enormous amount of force. These individual components are not complex by themselves, but the way that the parts fit together and are timed to work as a unit creates the complexity of the engine as a whole. Once the engine is disassembled, one can get a good view at why every component does what it does.

(a) There are many parts of an engine. To count up all the components of an engine we must start with how many cylinders it has. A V6 internal combustion engine contains 6 cylinders. V-6 engines also have an engine block, cylinder heads, piston rings, a crankshaft, connecting rods, a camshaft, a fuel body, an exhaust manifold, pistons, and much more. There are many more small parts that are required for operation; however a rough count of major parts of a V-6 is around 40.


5. A variety of materials are used in the v6 engine including plastic, cast iron, aluminum, and rubber.

(a) The engine block is visible that appears to be made from cast iron, and the intake manifold is visible that looks to be made from a single forged piece of alloy. Rubber hoses and vents are also visible as well as plastic shrouds and mounts on the intake assembly.

(b) Materials that may be present inside of the engine is possible aluminum for the piston heads, and various other alloys that make up valve spring steal, the camshaft, crankshaft, and pushrod assembly.


6. The GM v6 engine is a product that produces a high level of satisfaction for consumers. It makes transportation of people and goods simple and efficient as it provides sufficient amounts of power to drive cars and trucks of all shapes and sizes.

(a) The engine is comfortable to use simply because there is no direct physical interaction required between the consumer and the engine itself. The consumer operates the engine from the comfort of the driver’s seat of the vehicle in which the engine is installed. Vibration will generally be minimal due to the harmonic balancer along with the material of the engine block (cast-iron) absorbing vibration. The engine does make some noise that can be heard from the driver's seat, but not enough to cause any discomfort or distraction.

(b) The engine is very easy to use because it is operated with a single acceleration pedal on the driver’s side floor of the car. All functions of the engine happen automatically once fuel is injected into the engine by pressing the gas pedal.

(c) The engine does require regular maintenance, as does any other engine used to power a vehicle. It is important to keep engines clean in order to obtain optimal performance and to keep them performing as long as possible. However, engines are fairly complex machines, so they can be fairly difficult to service without proper training or equipment. The solution for the average consumer without automotive expertise is to have regular checkups on their engine performed by trained mechanics at their car dealership or at an automotive center.


7. There are several alternatives to the GM v6 engine. First of all, there are companies other than General Motors that manufacture V6 engines to install in their cars, such as Toyota or Honda. Next, there are different engine sizes that are used in different sized vehicles. For example, there are inline-4 cylinder engines that increase gas mileage, but decrease horsepower, and there are v8 engines that increase horsepower, but decrease gas mileage. These are just a couple of examples, but in general, the trade off for engine size is power for fuel efficiency and vice versa. The other alternative to a GM v6 engine is a different type of engine. Some examples are hybrid systems, electric motors, or hydrogen fuel cells. The goal of these alternatives is to improve fuel efficiency and reduce the burning of fossil fuels, but, like different engine sizes, there are trade offs that come along with these, such as cost or power.

(a) Engines are not usually parts that are bought individually. The average car buyer is concerned with engine costs as parts of the vehicles that they are interested in as a whole. However, if one is concerned with purchasing an engine by itself, prices vary significantly based on size and manufacturer. A v6 engine could cost anywhere between $5,000 and $12,000 depending on the quality of the company making the engine. Prices will generally shift down for I4 engines and up for engines greater power. Hybrid systems are not available for purchase by themselves, so prices are generally gauged on the vehicle by itself. The same thing goes for Hydrogen fuel cell cars, although they are very rare and very expensive. A current cost would be over $200,000 and there are only a couple places in the United States where they can be filled up with hydrogen gas.

(b) The advantages to alternative engines vary by engine type. I4 engines are generally more fuel efficient and less expensive. V8 engines are much more powerful and increase its vehicle’s performance. Hybrid systems increase fuel efficiency even more so than I4 engines and work to reduce fossil fuel emissions by incorporating electric motors along side the fuel injection engine and electric cars would not use any gasoline at all. Hydrogen fuel cell cars are relatively new concepts that use hydrogen gas and oxygen to create electricity to power a motor and water as the only waste product.

(c) The disadvantages to alternative engines also vary by engine. I4 engines will be less powerful than larger engines. V8 engines are much less fuel-efficient and are usually more costly. Hybrid cars tend to be more expensive than their fuel injection-only counterparts and also decrease performance. Electric only motors are still undergoing development and are not yet on the automotive market as a regular vehicle power source. But even so, electric motors would require a lot of power from the battery. This would lead to a short span of time that the car could operate between charges, and increased electric bills assuming the charging of the car was done at home. Hydrogen fuel cells are another work in progress. Working prototypes have been built and some are even used by consumers, but their current cost is extremely high, there are very few places that one can fill up their tank with hydrogen gas, and very few mechanics are experienced with hydrogen fuel cells.

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