The engine blocks – also known as a cylinder block.

It contains all of the major components that make up the bottom end of a engine.

Engine blocks are one of your engine’s central components. It plays a key role in the lubrication, temperature control and stability of the engine.

Engine blocks contain cylindrically bored holes for the pistons and ways to attach other components such as the crankshaft. It is a solid, sturdy and heavy piece of metal usually made of cast iron, or sometimes, aluminum alloy.

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The engine block, also called the cylinder block, is the biggest and heaviest part of the engine. Strip everything off an engine and this lump of cast metal will be the last thing left. Its main purpose is to house the cylinders and it also contains passages through which oil and coolant are pumped. Virtually all modern blocks also form the housing for the crankshaft, an area called the crankcase.

Because the block is huge and strong it makes an ideal mounting place for many other parts of the engine – the alternator, water pump, power steering pump and starter motor are all bolted onto the block.

Blocks are a one-piece casting of either cast iron or aluminium alloy. Aluminium alloy has been more frequently used for engine block manufacture due to its lightweight. Prior to this, the block was made from cast iron which is far heavier. Cast iron blocks are still widely used, especially for diesel engines due to the higher compression forces at work.

The oil passages inside the engine are called galleries. Oil is pumped up from the sump and through the galleries by the oil pump. These passages allow oil to reach the crankshaft, and the cylinder head.

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