The internal combustion engine is a feat of engineering excellence; a complex machine that works as a collective of individual parts to serve a common purpose: propulsion. The only problem with intricate machinery is that there are many parts – some of which are vital for the engine’s operation. One of these is the crankshaft, a moving part that can cause untold damage to an engine when it fails. So, can this rather pricey piece of engine be repaired? Why do they need repairing in the first place, and are there warning signs to look out for? This article takes a closer look at crankshaft repairs:
What’s a crankshaft?
The crankshaft is the nexus that sits between the gearbox and the engine. It transmits power created inside the cylinder and chamber to the transmission. The crankshaft is made up of main bearing journals, rod bearing journals, counterweights, flywheel flange, pulley end and crank web. This part comes in various sizes and configurations, depending on the number of cylinders.
Why do crankshafts fail?
The most common reasons for crankshaft breakdown include:
- Not enough oil running through the engine.
- Placing the engine under excessive load.
Friction forces, vibrations and load can all affect the crankshaft. When there is not sufficient oil running through the crankshaft, this leads to dry friction. Knock-on effects of this problem can be connecting rod bearing damage, crankshaft bearing damage, and eventual crankshaft failure.
How are crankshafts repaired?
- After deconstruction, the crankshaft will undergo a high-pressure wash to remove all debris and clean the work surfaces.
- Magnetic particle inspection then detects the smallest of cracks and surface imperfections.
- Crankshaft grinding is the next phase of refurbishing the worn crankshaft, using a precision crankshaft grinder.
- An important step once any imperfections have been grinded down is to rebalance the crankshaft using a digitally-controlled balancer.
- Before returning the crankshaft to its rightful place in the engine, the crankshaft repairers will carefully micro-polish the surfaces.
Expert crankshaft repairs and maintenance in KZN
Looking after an engine’s crankshaft can save hefty engine repair costs down the line. The Eagleharm Engineering workshop in Hillclimb Road, Pinetown is kitted out with world-class engine cleaning and refurbishing machinery. Get your engine’s crankshaft looked at, or bring us your engines for regular maintenance, by getting in touch with Ryan or Todd Harmsworth.