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What is a Cylinder Head?

October 16, 2012 - A cylinder head is the cover of a cylinder in internal combustions engines. A cylinder head sits on top of your engine’s cylinder block. By enclosing the top of the cylinders it forms combustion chambers. Cylinder heads play a major factor in generating horsepower and torque. The cylinder head is what allows air and fuel into the engine and exhaust out of the engine. Cylinder heads have airways which are referred to as ports or tracts. The passages allow the fuel and air mixture to go from the intake manifold into the inlet valves.

Almost every car with an inline engine has one cylinder head, while a vehicle with a V engine has two cylinder heads. Each cylinder bank on a V engine vehicle has its own cylinder head. For very large industrial vehicles there are cases where each individual cylinder has its very own cylinder head.

Cylinder heads prevent oil overflowing and leaking into combustion chambers. If a cylinder head cracks it will no longer be able to stop this from happening. When a crack occurs it can cause devastating damage to the engine. In a lot of cases the entire engine needs to be replaced.

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