Improve your engine performance
Make your engine perform more efficiently
Increase displacement - More displacement means more power because you can
burn more gas during each revolution of the engine. You can increase
displacement by making the cylinders bigger or by adding more cylinders. 12
cylinders seems to be the practical limit.
Increase the compression ratio - Higher
compression ratios produce more power, up to a point. The more you compress
the air/fuel mixture, however, the more likely it is to spontaneously burst
into flame (prior to the spark plug igniting it). Higher octane gasolines
prevent this sort of early combustion. That is why high-performance cars
generally need high octane gasoline - their engines are using higher
compression ratios to get more power.
Stuff more into each cylinder - If you
can cram more air (and therefore fuel) into a cylinder of a given size, you
can get more power from the cylinder (in the same way that you would by
increasing the size of the cylinder). Turbo chargers and super chargers
pressurize the incoming air to effectively cram more air into a cylinder.
Cool the incoming air - Compressing air raises its temperature. You would
like to have the coolest air possible in the cylinder because the hotter the
air is the less it will expand when combustion takes place. Therefore many
turbo charged and super charged cars have an intercooler. An intercooler is
a special radiator through which the compressed air passes to cool it off
before it enters the cylinder.
Let air come in more easily - As a piston
moves down in the intake stroke, air resistance can rob power from the
engine. Air resistance can be lessened dramatically by putting two intake
valves in each cylinder. Some newer cars are also using polished intake
manifolds to eliminate air resistance there. Bigger air filters can also
improve air flow.
Let exhaust exit more easily - If air resistance makes it hard for exhaust
to exit a cylinder, it robs the engine of power. Air resistance can be
lessened by adding a second exhaust valve to each cylinder (a car with 2
intake and 2 exhaust values has 4 valves per cylinder, which improves
performance - when you hear a car ad tell you the car has 4 cylinders and 16
valves, what the ad is saying is that the engine has four valves per
cylinder). If the exhaust pipe is too small or the muffler has a lot of air
resistance then this can cause back-pressure which has the same effect.
High-performance exhaust systems use headers, big tail pipes and
free-flowing mufflers to eliminate back-pressure in the exhaust system. When
you hear that a car has "Dual Exhaust", the goal is to improve the
flow of exhaust by having two exhaust pipes instead of one.
Make everything lighter - Lightweight
parts help the engine perform better. Each time a piston changes direction
it uses up energy to stop the travel in one direction and start it in
another. The lighter the piston, the less energy it takes.
Inject the fuel - Fuel injection allows very precise metering of fuel to
each cylinder. This improves performance and fuel economy.