Help Create Newbie Car Dictionary......

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by yello_dragonz, Sep 27, 2002.

  1. Im trying to get into this car thing cuz im going to look for my first car soon, but reading those car magazines like Sport Compact Car... but i can't really understand the language it uses.. so please.. vets of the car game.. please help a newbie out....

    needs to know what the following car equipment does:

    Cool Air Intake
    Spark Plugs
    Difference between Muffler/Exhaust
    Springs/Suspension System

    Thats it for now, i'll ask more later:confused:
  2. MikeMurder

    MikeMurder Guest

    Cool Air Intake- The engine takes in air to run.... colder the air the better.... a CAI is an intake pipe that's wouted towards the bottom of the car (getting away from the engine heat) to pick up the coldest air...
    Spark Plugs- Creates a spark for the engine....(best way I could explain)
    Difference between Muffler/Exhaust- Muffler = muffler.... exhaust = whole system (muffler + piping)
    Chassis- the car minus the lights, interior, body, practically everything..... it's the skeleton (more or less)
    Springs/Suspension System- How do I describe this? I don't know... have someone else do it...
  3. Playboy

    Playboy Part time arrogant bastard

    Oct 17, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Los Angeles
    Hmm this will be a sticky for all the newbies :)
  4. goober

    goober Guest

    basically thats it except..

    spark plugs: yes they create the spark but what for? to ignite the gasoline that is drawn into the cylinder. When the spark ignites the gas, itll blow the piston down, therefore creating a revolution.

    Muffler/exhaust: advantages of full exhaust is better air flow but you may experience some loss of torque due to less pressure.
  5. Anachronism

    Anachronism Guest

    Exhuast system is made up of (from engine back)
    Header - downpipe - Catylitic converter - B-Pipe - Muffler.

    A common exhaust upgrade is a 'catback' or B-pipe and muffler combination.

    A CAI is also supposed to give some gains from having a long smooth intake path also. Many maxima owners feel that the long intake path of the CAI becomes restrictive at higher RPMs and the air under the hood is just as cold once the car is moving. Of course results with different cars will vary.

    An underhood intake is sometimes called a HAI (hot air intake) :ugh: , usually by the guys who claim the CAI is better.
  6. Turboed_2

    Turboed_2 .

    Oct 23, 2001
    Likes Received:

    It could also be exhaust manifold > turbo exhaust housing (or whatever it's actually called) then downpipe and so on. Minus the cat if you don't run with them or gut them. Also I think in some cases the downpipe can eliminate the cat as well and just hook straight up to the b-pipe.
  7. Anachronism

    Anachronism Guest

    :uh: I forgot to mention that of course some cars will be different, but I think that is the most common setup for non-turbo cars. I have seen a few cars that have the cat(s) built into the downpipe. Mine used to :naughty: , but it has a main cat also.
  8. Josh717

    Josh717 Guest

    yeah and that rice is teh ghey
  9. chimmike

    chimmike Guest

    good analogy for how the combustion system works:

    suck, squeeze, bang, blow

    suck: Intake squeeze: Compression bang: Ignition blow: Exhaust

    [Pilots do it in the air :big grin:]
  10. anfrey

    anfrey ɹǝƃuoɯǝɔɐǝd

    Jun 26, 2001
    Likes Received:
    a good site for you to check out is - they have pretty good explanation for several automotive things, such as how an engine works.
  11. AluH20

    AluH20 Guest


    took the words right out of my mouth
  12. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Irmo, SC
    Body Kit - A vastly overpriced set of plastic or fiberglass pieces created to remove large quantities of money from idiotic kids under the guise of making their car look "pimp" or "tight". BEWARE: Owners of body kits often have inferiority complexes and tend to be rather pugnacious.
  13. anfrey

    anfrey ɹǝƃuoɯǝɔɐǝd

    Jun 26, 2001
    Likes Received:
    roflmao emfuser
  14. Kydaimon

    Kydaimon Guest

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
  15. more:

    Thanks for all the help.. here are more:

    Strut bars - i know it reduces twisting of the frame.. but what does that do?
    Coilovers - im assuming something to do with springs ? lowering, etc?
  16. WFOchris

    WFOchris Guest

    Re: more:

    The strut tower brace is like putting the last side on a square, with the two struts on each side and the lower pieces of the front suspension (the A-arms) being the beginning pieces. You are right, it stiffens the (usually a) unibody for a more rigid chassis. This should be one of the last of your worries, depending on what you want to do with the car. It's not going to help you win drag races. Probably 99.6553493849% of people do them because they say "neuspeed" on them and are only ~ $100.00.

    Coilovers are suspension pieces. It's a coil spring "over" a shock/strut. They are height-adjustable, by moving where the bottom of the spring sits.

    What are you wanting to "do" in the sport compact scene? We can most likely keep you from spending money that won't help you. (i.e. if you want to go fast in a straight line, we're not going to tell you to buy a v-afc right off the bat, even though it may look sweet sitting in your dash, but ain't helping your D16 break into the 17's in the quarter).

    Any more questions?
  17. Anachronism

    Anachronism Guest

    Re: more:

    When you make a hard corner there is a large amount of lateral force on the strut towers. This causes them to move and changes steering geometry which of course is bad for handling. A strut tower bar ties the two strut towers together allowing them to share the load and stiffening the car in general. They are available for the front and rear. Normally the front will see the most improvement because you adding stiffness across what is normally a very open space (IE, the engine bay) where the back is normally already fairly stiff.

    How much the improvement you see from the Strut Tower Brace (STB) will vary from car to car of course. If your car is already very stiff adding a STB will do very little, but for some cars a STB can make a large improvement. For my car a STB does make a large difference (Maxima).
    The no name bars should work just as well as the name brand ones and cost less than $40, check E-bay.

    I disagree with WFOchris here, performance is not just about straight lines - If your car is one that will see a significant improvement from adding a STB than for under $40 you would be crazy not to do it.
  18. re:

    thanks for the help again, i just want to get to know alot of the parts to the car because im just planning to buy my first car right now. Im just basically going for a little bit of power (140 HP range), just an overall nice look to the car, and good handles on turning corners sharply.

    Im looking to buy something like a 240sx, civic si, or talon, somthing like that. Just something to start off with and looks nice.. any suggestions on what to do to the car first?
  19. WFOchris

    WFOchris Guest

    Re: Re: more:

    I agree with you Anachronism, it's just that most people won't be pushing the car enough (when I say most, think of average street racing 16 yr. old who just wants to beat that civic next to him more than anything).

    That $40.00 to him would be better spent filling his Zex bottle for another night ;)

    yello --> I would highly suggest driving a car with 140HP and seeing if that's going to satisfy you. A civic Si (99-00) has around 160 stock (I owned one) and you get tired of that real quick. Two months later I had CAI, header, full exhaust, and was no where near satisfied. Two months later I did what I should have done in the first place and threw a $500.00 zex kit on it.

    The AEM, DC header/exhaust were nearly twice the cost of the N2O kit, and gave a fraction of the horsepower. Of course I'm negating the cost of the clutch, motormounts, and other things you may want/need to do in order to run that type of setup.

    Bottom line. Are you gonna be happy losing to that fool in the '94 5.0 liter mustang that is rusting up sitting at the light next to you? Or are you gonna be happy swinging a car around cones in a parking lot with some older guys who drive better and have more money than you?

    It's gonna boil down to what you ultimately want to do. This is the time to be completely honest with yourself. It will save you tons and tons of money.
  20. MA70

    MA70 Guest

    couple of things that I see come up every now and then
    longitudinal: engine is oriented front to back
    transverse: engine is mounted sideways
    I :inline..the cylinders are all in a line
    H: flat engines..the the two banks of cylinders are 180 degrees apart
    rotary engines have rotors, not pistons, they also don't have cams, valves, crankshafts, or a cylinder head.
  21. arro

    arro Guest

    Yeah, I learned about how rotaries work from, like the other guy said, the site is bomb.

    I compiled a glossary of terms for Club S12, a car club that caters to Nissan's S12 chassis (called 200SX in the US). It has alot of terms that are applicable to other kinds of cars, including a fair amount of turbo related stuff:

    Also I've written a couple articles on tuning forced induction (turbo or supercharged) cars, as well as a couple other things (like what a manual boost controller is/does, etc.). If any of you think it's a good idea, drop me a PM and let me know and I'll post them.
  22. AluH20

    AluH20 Guest

    Before you buy your car (this might help)

    Yellow... if you're looking to get into the "car scene" w/ out the amount of worries and disappointments... then try these steps:

    1. BEFORE buying your car, start searching on the net for info about it. I suggest you go to this site for performance information.

    This site has 0-60 and 1/4 mile times for many of the cars on the market and is a great rescource... The times are not 100% accurate BUT you get a good IDEA of how quick the cars are from going here

    2. Start to look at people's homepages on their cars and see what they did to modify them and if they have any comments on the mods. My site is like that but it's about my Camaro (not the Eclipse... but even though the Camaro's not a Japanese import- I just used it as an example.)

    3. Once you are familiar with the car you're looking to buy and what people can say about them from reading their pages, or even messageboards... then go out and look for them.

    4. When looking for a pre owned car you should either A) get it checked out by a mechanic if it's from a dealership or B) ask about the maintenence done to the car if it's a private owner selling it... if it makes you feel better then you can take it to a mechanic if the owner would let you (some people are cool like that).

    5. After you find your car, make sure you are used to how it drives. If it's a stick shift transmission, I suggest you practice driving it on your own time on dead end streets if you can, because at first, driving stick shift is un-natural... but over time it becomes almost like a reflex.

    6. Drive with in your limits. Just when you think you've "mastered" your car... it will pop a tire or hit ice... or get caught in a nasty understeer (which is when your front tires have lost grip usually from taking a turn wrong/too fast or cutting the wheel too fast and your car is gliding at a tilted angle towards that telephone pole or mailbox)

    7. If you begin to modify your car... I strongly suggest you make sure it's in good working condition before you go heavy on the modifications. Like the accessory belts, fluids/oils, or spark plugs/wires. If your car has over 50,000 miles on it then you MIGHT want to start checking parts out for replacing them. It's better to have STOCK car running in tip top shape than a modded one with a broken oil pump... or water pump... or faulty belts... or a fried electrical system... or... or... and the list goes on and on...

    8. Buy a shop manual, haynes manual, chiltons... or all 3... because A) if you have confidence and time, you can do a decent amount of work to your car and B) some problems that a mechanic can charge you $100+ for labor... you could fix in 20 minutes if you read up on your car. These books are good to read or have as a reference- just in case. (but you don't HAVE to have them. I just get them for the reason I mentioned)

    That will get you started... Basically... just know what you are getting into so you don't buy the wrong car... or make things difficult by not knowing what you're getting into.

    Sorry it's not a "dictionary" type post... but I figured if you're looking to buy a car... it's just some things to think about. :)
  23. irishwhite

    irishwhite Guest

    hey you know, some body kits are wind tunnel tested and do serve a purpose. although maybe for the most part they are there just to enhance the image of the car. it would make the body kits a lot more expensive to wind tunnel test the kit.

    another reason CAI's are usually routed towards the bottom of the car is because the constricted space underneath the car means that the air is traveling at a much higher rate of speed. and the general rule of thumb is the faster you get the air into an engine, and the faster you can get it out, the faster your car can go. of course this ideaology only works to a point. but that is the basics of it.
  24. arro

    arro Guest

    Not quite, the reason why most cold air intakes are routed to the lower fender is because most car manufacturers already use an airdam to route air there, which is typically picked up by a tube that makes a 90-degree bend upwards to an airbox. Having the airbox up into the engine bay was not a prob as far as underhood heat was concerned because the plastic box itself insulated the filter, but when you change to an open element filter and discard the box, you now are contending with the air temps inside the engine bay.

    Routing the filter down in the fender eliminates that. It also pretty much retains the original airpath, it's just that the filter is futher upstream in the airpath (before the 90-degree upward bend).

    It also helps that higher velocity air has better heat removal properties (which is why a wind cools things) because more air passes over an object removing more heat in a span of time. Also, moving through an airdam, it picks up more velocity. So it hits the relocated air filter colder than it did the sealed airbox by virtue of the wind temps at the filter element point, and also by the fact that it is completely removed from the hot engine bay. Some heat is gained in the airpath (intake pipe) that runs through the engine bay to the throttle body, but it's minimal.

    THAT is the point of a cold air intake. It has nothing to do with the outside airspeed in relation to how fast it enters and exits the engine. You are thinking of ram-air, which only works at high speeds and with propely-designed air intakes/filter elements. An example would be a ram-air Trans Am, although it only gains *maybe* a couple points of positive pressure (meaning 1, maybe 2 PSI past ZERO vacuum), and that only happens at very high speeds to urk out a bit more out of the engine. 4 and 6-cyl imports that imploy "ram-air" scoops are really only getting the benefit of a much colder and hence denser air induction, and not really positive pressure. They are still in vacuum even at high speeds, unless they are turbo, in which case they are still in vacuum up to the point of the turbo's inlet. After that,the turbo changes everything. But the cold air benefits still work well withthe turbo, counteracting some of the heat the turbo's compressor generates as part of the pressurizing process.

    All you ever wanted to know about CAI, and then some.
  25. here is more things i dont get:

    air filters
    tie bar
    strut bar
    the advantage of lowering a car

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