Engine Components

Engine Components

Most car owners are aware of the presence of aftermarket parts. The simplest definition of aftermarket parts is that they are vehicle accessories that are not manufactured by your vehicle's manufacturer. Most people prefer them since they tend to be cheaper while matching the quality levels offered by OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. But there is more to aftermarket parts than cheaper alternatives. When you demand more from your vehicle, either as a racer or as someone who enjoys drifting, then you will quickly find out that your original vehicle parts might not be suitable. They were made for ‘normal usage' not for high-performance racing. While there are vehicles that come from the manufacturer already tuned for these high-performance exploits, they tend to be on the higher side of the price range. Replacing some of the engine parts with high-performance aftermarket options can get you a high-performance engine on a budget.

Who needs aftermarket performance parts?

For some people, a vehicle is not just a means to transport yourself from point A to point B; it is a tool which you use to channel your inner petrolhead. Most popular vehicle models are meant for ‘normal' usage which does not involve any high-performance activities. If you take your vehicle, with its stock parts, to a racing meet or out for drifting, you will quickly realize two things. One, you will find out that your car will not perform within the levels that you would expect. Secondly, you will find yourself replacing your car parts more regularly since they are not made to withstand the increased intensity of usage. This is where aftermarket performance parts come in. They will allow your vehicle to reach performance levels that couldn't be imagined by their original manufacturer. Secondly, they are more resilient to the wear and tear that is involved in high-performance motorsports. Basically, you can turn your everyday car into a high-performance beast by replacing a number of its stock parts with high-performance aftermarket parts. Nowhere is this more important than in the engine.

Why focus on the engine when purchasing after market performance parts?

In any vehicle, the engine is where mechanical energy to propel the car is produced after the combustion of the fuel. This means that it is impossible to improve your vehicle's performance without factoring in the engine. Most of the other aftermarket modifications carried out in high-performance vehicles are there to stabilize the vehicle, or for aesthetic purposes. True performance changes can only be achieved if you place a higher emphasis on the engine. Whether you are a competitive racer, or if you simply want to increase the overall performance of your vehicle, you will be demanding more from your vehicle's engine than its stock engine parts can handle. This is why aftermarket engine components can be broadly grouped into two categories. The first categories are the parts that you put into your engine to improve its performance. The second category are parts that you add to the engine to enable it withstand the effects of the increased performance.

High-performance aftermarket engine parts

Some of the aftermarket performance engine components that are available include:

Pistons

The piston is the engine component that is moved up and down in the combustion chamber to create mechanical energy. Most vehicle manufacturers prefer to use cast pistons due to the cost benefits they offer. But high-performance mechanics and enthusiasts prefer to use forged pistons. Forged pistons have a different manufacturing process that ensures they are resilient to the increased demands in high-performance engines. They are also more customizable to meet different aftermarket engine modifications. The increased combustion speed generally wears out stock pistons at a financially unsustainable rate. While most motorsport enthusiasts prefer forged pistons, there are other types of reinforced pistons that can be used, especially if you don't regularly engage in competitive racing.

Crankshaft

The crankshaft, usually referred to as the crank, is an engine part that connects to the piston to transfer the up and down motion into rotation which is subsequently transferred into the wheels. As with the pistons, most vehicle manufacturers ship their cars with cast crankshafts. But, due to their increased resilience and customizability, high-performance vehicles work best with forged cranks. Contrary to popular sentiment, forged cranks are actually not that expensive if you purchase through the right retailer.

Connecting Rod

The connecting rod, commonly referred to as the conrod, is what connects the piston to the crankshaft. Since they are in constant motion, aftermarket conrods are preferred to handle the increased rpm (rotations per minute) in high-performance engines. As with pistons and crankshafts, forged conrods are the preferred aftermarket option. If you don't use a forged conrod, then the performance benefits offered by aftermarket piston and crankshaft options would be lost.

Engine/Transmission Mount

The ‘mount' refers to the framework which connects the engine and transmission system to the car's body. Once you make aftermarket upgrades to your engine, it will behave in a manner that might overwhelm its original mount. This is why you need to change the engine and transmission mount to better support the more robust high-performance engine.

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