Group 7 - GM 2.2L 4-Cyl Engine Gate 1

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Group 7 has been assigned a GM 2.2L 4-cylinder inline engine to analyze for this project. The purpose of Gate 1 is for our group to effectively establish how and when we will disassemble, analyze, and rebuild the engine throughout the semester. Our group has done so by assigning each member a specific role in the group, establishing the necessary tools and processes for the process, and creating a timetable outlining when important tasks will be completed. Our group has overviewed each of our individual abilities and shortcomings to handle the task complexity, how conflict will be handled, and how we will work with another group. This gate also provides an initial assessment of the engine, outlining its development, usage, energy, complexity, materials, and product alternatives.

To return to Group 7's main page click here: Group 7 Main Page
To move on to gate 2 click here:  :Gate 2: Product Dissection
To move on to gate 3 click here:  :Gate 3: Product Analysis
To move on to gate 4 click here:  :Gate 4: Product Reassembly


Project Management: Request for Proposal


Our work proposal outlines our specific plans to reverse engineer the GM 2.2L 4-cylinder engine. Here we will discuss our disassembly and assembly process, the tools required, and the challenges involved.

Dissection and Assembly Overview

Our group will be working with Group 18 throughout the semester due to the engine's size and complexity. We will be working on it together on separate days and updating each other with precisely what tasks we completed, what parts we took apart, and who has what part. Pre-dissection we plan on taking several hi-resolution pictures of the engine from different angles to assist with the reassembly process later on; a knowledge of the component placement will be highly useful throughout this process. We will continue taking these pictures throughout the process as we get deeper into the engine.

Group 18 and ourselves have agreed to dissect the engine from top to bottom. We will place each part in labeled zip-lock bags and document how each part was removed, with what tools, and the difficulty of removal for each. The entire process will be meticulously documented so the reassembly process can go smoothly. We estimate that anywhere between six to ten total laboratory hours will be required between the two groups to complete the entire process, depending on the volume of people in the laboratory at any given time.

Our group has determined that the following tools will be required for engine dissection and reassembly:

    • Full set of socket wrenches
    • Full set of open-end and box wrenches
    • Screwdrivers
    • Pliers
    • Engine mount
    • Ring compressor
    • Pulley remover/press

Tools like the ring compressor and pulley remover are for specific parts that may be hard to disassemble with basic tools.

Group Capabilities and Shortcomings

The following table outlines the attributes and shortcomings of each individual group member, thus allowing us to assess where we are as a group and how we can better our management and technical skills to collaboratively complete this project successfully.

Table 1: Individual Assessment
Member Skills/Attributes Shortcomings
Samuel Harrod

- Is interested in car engines
- Proficient in mathematics
- Organizational skills

- Lacks experience working on car engines
- Time management

Adam Lawyer

- Experience with technical writing
- Proficient in mathematics and communication
- Experience with automated software via MAE177 and other coursework
- HTML Formatting experience

- Very limited hands-on engineering experience
- Limited knowledge of 4-cylinder engine function

Catherine Bonga

- Is good working with tools
- Has experience working with AutoCAD
- Is proficient in mathematics

- Has limited knowledge of car engines

Leanna Bradley

- Good assembly skills
- Quick learner
- Proficient in mathematics

- Not much engine knowledge
- Limited knowledge of components

Jeff Miller

- Proficient in mathematics and other related subjects
- Works well under pressure
- Always willing to put in the work

- Has limited knowledge on the assembly of car engines
- Has tough time constraints

As a whole, our overall technical experience requires improvement,a shortcoming which we feel we will be able to adapt to throughout the course of the project. Another major shortcoming we have is times we can all actually get together to work on the project, as all of our schedules conflict throughout the week.


Our group plans on managing our time and work effectively and efficiently by splitting up the work in such a way that guarantees a balanced workload for each member based on our skill sets and time constraints. The Project co-managers will take care of assigning which group member completes what task.

Our group's point of contact is Adam Lawyer-

For the engine dissection, our group has agreed to meet Thursday nights in office hours from 6:30 up until the end of hours, depending on whether or not we meet our goal for the given night. We also plan on having a brief meeting Monday nights in Capen from about 9 to 930 to figure out where each of us are with our individual tasks. We plan on sending one member of our group to document what Group 18 does with the engine when they go to office hours so it is easier to pick up where they left off, and they will be doing the same for our group.

Each group member will also have a specific job title and will be required to do what that title entails as well as complete their assigned work. Our job titles will include “Project Manager”, “Communication Liaison”, “Technical Expert”, “Technical Editor” and “Documentation Specialist.” Along with the job descriptions given, each group member will be expected to complete the section of work assigned to them by the Project Manager. The job descriptions and person assigned to each position are described below.

  • Project Co-Manager/Communications Liaison: Adam Lawyer
    The two Project Co-Managers will have the responsibility of splitting up all project work and make sure each group member has an outlined section of work that they must complete by a certain date. They will also be responsible for outlining due dates and creating the dates for meeting times and dates that work must be completed so it can be reviewed and corrected in a timely manner. Along with these, the project manager will also need to make sure each group member is doing their part with regards to work load and make sure everything is put together and completed in an efficient way.
    In addition, as communications liaison, Adam will be the point of contact between our group, any groups that we will be working in conjunction with, the teaching assistants and the course instructors. They will be responsible for keeping any and all information regarding questions that our group has asked either the instructors or the TA’s, and they will also need to make sure that the most important questions get answered

  • Project Co-Manager Catherine Bonga
    Assist in carrying out managerial duties

  • Technical Expert Jeffrey Miller
    The Technical Expert will be in charge of any and all CAD models or technical drawings. If the assigned drawing and models were split up between more than 1 group member, the Technical Expert will be responsible for reviewing the pictures and models and make sure they are appropriate for the project. They will also review any calculations relating to the project and make sure all calculated values are as accurate as possible.

  • Technical Editor Sam Harrod
    The Technical Editor will be responsible for the review and editing of all parts of the project. While every group member will have a chance to look over completed parts of the project before they are submitted, the Technical Editor will make sure absolutely everything in the project meets all format requirements and all calculations are correct with units and format as well.

  • Documentation Specialist Leanna Bradley
    The Documentation Specialist will be responsible for documenting and recording everything we do with our product in terms of dissection and taking it apart. They will also keep track of time and date of when we did certain dissections, when we completed parts of the project and even when things were edited and changed with the project. They will keep records of everything we do and every time we meet as a group. This person will also be responsible for holding onto extra copies (digital or real) of parts of the project that we have completed. They will make sure that we know exactly what we had done in the past so we can work more efficiently to finish what we need to in a timely manner.

Any group conflicts will be handled by the Project Manager. The Project Manager will have the final say on any group conflict, and if the manager cannot make a decision about a conflict they will discuss with the co-manager what should be done. If a decision still cannot be finalized, one of the TAs or course instructor will be contacted by the Communication Liaison.
Our group anticipates few conflicts, but we do expect some. In the event of a group conflict, each group member has agreed to handle the conflict in the most professional and mature way as possible. In the event a conflict does arise, this will allow for the easiest resolution so that our group can continue to work together effectively no matter what adversity we encounter along the way.


Below is our tentative timetable for completing each section of the product. This is tentative because we assumed gates 2-4 are also pushed ahead by 1 week, but the final deliverable date remains the same. We elected to begin work on the final delivery before gate 4's due date.

MAE 277 gaant snapshot.jpg

Product Archaeology: Preparation and Initial Assessment

In this section our group will compile a thorough pre-dissection analysis of the GM 2.2L 4-Cylinder Inline Engine. This section will profile the engine's development, usage, energy usage, complexity, materials, user interaction, and product alternatives.

Development Profile

The GM 2.2liter inline engine was developed sometime around 1982. During this time, the global economy was going through difficulties as a whole. The United States itself was experiencing a recession. Inflation was becoming a problem, and the 1970's brought about an energy crisis. Newer car engines were developed during this time with the intent of improving energy efficiency and producing the same power output as larger engines that required more energy for transportation. This engine was developed among these; it was, and still is, sold and distributed globally, intended for worldwide use. In present day, GM has been expanding, and have planned an array of new global products. [1] This engine is more likely to be sold where it is more utilized, in first and second world countries. These are the types of countries that will be more likely to afford the cars that this engine is a part of. It will be in these countries that more advertisement will be found for the cars. Third world countries may also be able to purchase a car with this engine but it the cars will be more readily found in wealthier countries. The intended impact of the engine was to reduce the environmental footprint of motor vehicles while preserving personal mobility. Certain factors were looked at when the product was being designed so that it would still perform at a level that is competitive with other companies and similar products, but at the same time is lowering harmful impact on the environment by reducing the amount of fuel needed, and the amount of waste produced. The impact upon the consumer from this is that they will need to spend less money on gas because of the efficiency of the engine. Also, with the reduction of harmful effects on the environment, it will help to preserve the world that the consumers live in.[2]

Usage Profile

The intended use of a gasoline engine is to convert fuel into energy that generates motion, which permits the speedy transportation of people and goods. Gasoline engines can be utilized for both home and professional use. It can be used for people to drive to work and travel; in today's society, many families have multiple cars that they may use for entertainment or transportation. This particular engine is more intended for home use. This engine will be used in smaller, non-commercial vehicles. Vehicles provide convenience in this sense. Companies also utilize vehicles for the transportation of goods or advertisement, as seen on many commercial trucks and vehicles. Car engines may also be modified for prime performance in professional sports, such as NASCAR. [3]

Energy Profile

In the General Motors 2.2 liter 4 cylinder engine that we have been provided, three main types of energy are used: chemical energy, electrical energy and mechanical energy. Our engine, a gasoline engine, follows the Otto cycle. [4] The ideal Otto cycle has 6 stages that occur as follows:

Stage 1 - 2: Fuel and air fill up a cylinder at constant pressure.
Stage 2 - 3: The fuel and air are compressed, increasing pressure, as a piston moves up the cylinder.
Stage 3 - 4: Heat is added which again increases pressure.
Stage 4 - 5: The pressure in the cylinder does work by driving the piston back.
Stage 5 - 6: Exhaust is released again lowering the pressure.

At the beginning of this cycle, our fuel, which is gasoline, enters the cylinders through the intake valve. The fuel, which has chemical potential energy is then compressed to a very high pressure. The spark plug supplies the cylinder with electrical energy which quickly heats up the cylinder increasing its pressure. This increased pressure drives the piston down which turns the crankshaft via the connecting rod. The work done driving the piston down creates mechanical energy in the form of rotational motion on the crankshaft. [5]

A diagram of how the Otto Cycle works with regards to temperature and pressure:

Here is a diagram depicting the 4-stroke cycle from Warwick University: [6]


Complexity Profile

Assume that product complexity is defined as an assessment of the number of components in the product, the complexity of each individual components' functions, and the complexity of the interactions between each component to make the system run as intended.

Overall, our group has determined that our car engine as a whole is highly complex. Our assessment is broken up into the three categories below:

Number of Components
Our group estimates that there are roughly 150 to 200 total components in the engine, which comprise several systems that interact with one another within the engine. Each system contains many bolts and fasteners to hold the parts together. Based on our research, these systems can be broken down into the following categories and examples of components within them:

    Internal Engine
    -The internal engine contains the components which produce power via the combustion cycle:
    • Pistons
    • Crankshafts
    • Piston Rods and Rings
    • Bearings
    • Gearbox
    Fuel Supply System
    This system is responsible for physically pumping fuel throughout the engine
    • Throttle Body
    • Fuel Injectors
    • Fuel Pump
    • Water Pump
    Electrical Components
    • Spark Plug
    • Coil
    • Starter
    • Camshaft and Crankshaft position sensors
    • Exhaust cams
    Accessory Drives
    • Power Steering Pump
    • Alternator

How complex are the individual components?

Each individual component in and of itself is very simple; however, the degree of precision to which they are constructed in order to allow for interaction with one another is very high. Since there are so many components overall, there is minimal room for error with the measurement of each individual component, along with their locations with relation to one another inside the engine.

How complex are the component interactions?
The car component interactions are very complex, due to the high precision of which every individual component must work with each other for optimal power output, and the overall number of components that do work together as a whole.Typically speaking, an interaction is to be more complex if it has to do with the main function of the engine, or even the more dangerous parts of the engine. For example, the spark valve connection to the cylinders is to be far more complex that the interactions between components that allows exhaust to leave the engine. For safety purposes, it is important to ensure precise connections between components that could cause harm to the engine, car or the consumer operating the vehicle.

A diagram depicting the basic components of a car engine is shown below: [7]

Material Profile

Visible Materials
When viewing the engine without any initial dissection, we observed that multiple types of metals are the most utilized materials. The largest part of the engine, the body or engine casing, is made of a cast iron alloy. This specific cast iron is most likely Grey Cast Iron, which is composed of 3.5% carbon, 2.5% silicon, and .65% manganese. This material was used because it is very strong, heat resistant, resists corrosion and it is very cheap to make compared to many other durable alloys. Some newer engines also employ aluminum alloys in the engine block as they are, in most cases, just as good as cast iron and they have very good casting properties, so they are easily molded into engine blocks in less time than cast iron. Aluminum is used on some of the smaller parts of the engine like the water pump and other small valves because is is cheap to make and is easy to mold and shape into small parts. Aluminum is more likely to be used for certain parts because it is easier to melt than steel and thus it is easier for form parts from it. While it is more expensive it is possible that a lower melting point can save money during the manufacturing process. A type of steel is most likely used for gears and nuts and bolts because of its strength and durability. Also visible are plastics and rubbers used on small parts like caps, hoses, small wires and other small pieces that are used to hold things like wires together.

Assumed Invisible Materials
Some possible materials that are not visible before the dissection of the engine could include more metals including aluminum alloys, steel, and more cast iron. Aluminum or cast iron is possibly used for the pistons and valves depending on how new the engine is. Older engines most likely used cast iron and the newer engines used aluminum alloys. Steel is probably used for smaller parts such as springs and bolts and parts that require high durability. Also, more plastics and rubbers are used on the internal part of the engine for smaller parts such as caps and covers, the dip stick handle and small clips and hoses. Many of the materials used for the internal part of the engine are currently speculation based on common knowledge, but facts cannot be known until the actual engine dissection. [8]

User Interaction Profile

When designing a product, a company must consider what types of interactions the users will have with the product. The users of the GM 2.2L 4-cylinder inline engine do not have a direct interaction with the engine during regular use. The users have only to interact with the engine in 2 ways. One is the insertion and turning of the key to start the engine. The other is by the throttle. By physical input to the gas pedal, the user increases the rpm of the engine to allow the car to accelerate. This makes the engine easy to use because the user does not need to know how the engine works or any of the specific components of the engine in order to make it operate, despite the complexity of its functions. The only time the users have a direct interaction with the engine is when there is a problem with the engine and they wish to take it apart and fix the problem themselves. Otherwise, they may rely on various resources to fix the engine if there are any malfunctions, such as mechanics in auto-body shops, who have the necessary tools and experience to perform work on the engine.

Aside from the case of a major malfunction, there is some regular maintenance required such as changing the oil, refilling the coolant, and replenishing gasoline. All of these are fairly simple because it only requires putting a liquid into a designated spot which is not done frequently. Maintenance becomes more difficult with greater issues. Major problems with the engine can be costly and take time to fix, so the ease of maintenance varies with the issues that may arise within the engine. Therefore, in most cases, the GM 2.2L 4-cylinder inline engine is easy for its users to use and maintain.

Product Alternative Profile

With every product, there are always alternatives. The GM 2.2L 4-cylinder inline engine has alternatives such as the V-shaped engines , rotary engines, and flat/boxer engines. Advantages and disadvantages vary based on the user and the purpose each user desires from the engine. Below is a table outlining some basic advantages and disadvantages of the in-line engine and its alternatives:

Table 2: Product Alternatives
Engine Advantages Disadvantages

- Good handling
- Lower fuel consumption
- Smaller overall dimensions

- 4-cylinder in-lines are often off-balance and rough


-Reduced weight
-Faster speed

-Less handling abilities
-Higher product complexity
-More expensive


- Less susceptible to breakage

- Less common in cars
- Not built for speed at all

Flat/boxer engine

- Excellent handling
- Less components
- Natural dynamic knowledge

- Some models are noiser

All of the following are as easy to operate for a user, since they are all activated by a key-ignition function. The V-design is generally the most expensive, while the rotary is the least expensive but also least powerful. Overall the in-line engine and the flat-boxer design seem to be the most balanced options.


[1] "The Outlook." SP Outlook. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <>.
[2] "General Motors | Research & Development Lab | Design & Technology |" General Motors. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <>.
[3] Brain, Marshall. "HowStuffWorks "How Car Engines Work"" HowStuffWorks "Learn How Everything Works!" HowStuffWorks, Inc. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <>.
[4] "Ideal Otto Cycle." NASA - Title... Web. 4 Oct. 2011. <>.
[5] Brain, Marshall. "HowStuffWorks "Internal Combustion"" HowStuffWorks "Auto" Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <>.
[6] "IC Engine." University of Warwick. 2001. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <>.
[7] Longhurst, Chris. "Car Bibles : The Fuel and Engine Bible: Page 1 of 6." The Car Maintenance Bibles. Web. 10 Oct. 2011. <>.
[8] Satyanarayana, Ashwin. Automobile Engine Construction Details. Bright Hub. Sept. 8 2008. Web. Oct. 7, 2011. <>.