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The piston in an internal combustion engine is one of the most stressed components. For the piston, several thousand revolutions per minute means a kilometer-long path through the cylinder. Example: the piston of a Formula 1 engine travels up to 27m / s. In a minute that's a good 1,6 kilometers and after a race distance of about 2 hours that's almost 200 kilometers. And with dozens of combustion explosions that shoot the piston down into the cylinder with great force each time. All this can be found under different load conditions (Full throttle, part load, overrun) with varying outside temperatures, which also have an impact on the combustion, with possibly fluctuating fuel qualities and with fresh or used oil.
Heavy work for the piston
The piston does a lot of work and is a potential weak point in the engine, which the manufacturer is trying to strengthen with various measures. Regardless of whether with special alloys of the piston itself, an extra stable and at the same time lightweight construction, special coatings on the cylinder liner or piston bottom cooling nozzles. These nozzles are simple metal tips through which the engine oil is injected into the cylinder with the pressure built up by the oil pump. This means that the oil has a pressure of 2-6 bar when it emerges from the nozzle and hits the piston that is currently in the up or down movement in the cylinder. The oil must of course not affect the combustion process, which would destroy the engine very quickly, since uncontrolled combustion would result in the asynchronous movement of the mechanical components and thus their immediate failure.
Oil cools the piston in the engine
The oil is only sprayed from the nozzle onto the piston crown. Then it drips down again onto the connecting rod and the crankshaft, which rotates above or partially in the oil pan in their bearings. The piston rings scrape off the remaining oil from the cylinder wall when the piston moves down. Unlike most other places in the engine where oil is needed, the spray nozzles under the pistons are primarily used for cooling. The sprayed oil takes a lot of heat from the red-hot pistons, helping them to retain their strength and dimensional stability over the long term. Because if a piston gets too warm, it can deform beyond the specified dimensions and thus damage the cylinder. Piston bottom cooling is used particularly often in turbocharged engines because the specific output per cylinder is usually very high, which means that the piston is subjected to exceptionally high loads.
Retrofitting is sometimes expensive and time-consuming
The nozzles can also be retrofitted if necessary, but this depends on the respective engine, but is also not exactly inexpensive, since the engine has to be completely dismantled and mechanically processed by the professional. No job for the amateur screwdriver in the garage. If you shy away from this effort, it may be more worthwhile to look directly for an engine or for a car model with an engine that already has these nozzles and thus offers an additional reserve in terms of stability. The oil spray nozzles are installed, for example, in the VW diesel engine for the T4, in various BMWs and in the tuning scene, so you can equip / upgrade older Opel engines with them. Note: If it is cool on the piston crown, the mood always stays up.
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