Automotive Systems

Formerly Automotive Systems I

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The flywheel (fig. 3-45) stores energy from the power strokes and smoothly delivers it to the drive train of the vehicle between the engine and the transmission. It releases this energy between power impulses, assuring fewer fluctuations in speed and smoother engine operation. The flywheel is mounted at the rear of the crankshaft near the rear main bearing. This is usually the longest and heaviest main bearing in the engine, as it must support the weight of the flywheel.

The flywheel on large, low-speed engines is usually made of cast iron. This is desirable because the heavy weight of the cast iron helps the engine maintain a steady speed. Small, high-speed engines usually use a forged steel or forged aluminum flywheel for the following reasons:

  • The cast iron is too heavy, giving it too much inertia for speed variations necessary on small engines.
  • Cast iron, because of its weight, pulls itself apart at high speeds due to centrifugal force.

When equipped with a manual transmission, the flywheel serves to mount the clutch With a vehicle that is equipped with an automatic transmission, the flywheel supports the front of the torque converter. In some configurations, the flywheel is combined with the torque converter. The outer edge of the flywheel carries the ring gear, either integral with the flywheel or shrunk on. The ring gear is used to engage the drive gear on the starter motor for cranking the engine.

Figure 3-45.—Flywheel.
Published by SweetHaven Publishing Services
Based upon a text provided by the U.S. Navy

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