Valve Timing : Do You Really Know How It Works?!?

When it comes to Valve Timing, do you really know how it works? Valve Timing in a Piston Engine determines the precise time that each valve opens and closes. For internal combustion engines, these valves are usually called Poppet Valves, but in a Steam Engine they are referred to as either “Slide Valves” or “Piston Valves”.

In all 4-Stroke engines and some of the 2-Stroke engines; all of the Valve Timing is controlled within the Cam Shaft. Meanwhile in a steam engine all of the Valve Timing is controlled by the valve gear. The one thing that most people don’t know about Valve Timing in an Internal Combustion Engine is that you can tweak it so that the engine is run by Variable Valve Timing.

Variable Valve Timing is most commonly seen in high powered cars that rely on being able to perform at a high RPM. The vehicles you see on the road every day are required to idle at around 1000 RPM. With this being said, by running a variable setup, you wouldn’t be able to get your idle that low. For Race Cars and many other fast cars; Variable Valve Timing can give you the maximum power at a high RPM!

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