Performance Automotive Engine Math


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All the parts within any engine are designed and engineered using the appropriate mathematics to function efficiently and be durable. When discussing high-performance automotive engines, a specific set of math formulas are used to develop and design powerplants to make more power at higher rpm levels and still survive. The various forms of motorsport and street use all have different requirements, but the math used to design engines to be competitive does not change, regardless of the specific discipline.

Multi-time author and well-regarded performance engine builder/designer John Baechtel has assembled the relevant mathematics and packaged it all together in a book designed for automotive enthusiasts. This book walks readers through the complete engine, showcasing the methodology required to define each specific parameter, and how to translate the engineering math to the hard measurements reflected in various engine parts. Designing the engine to work as a system of related components is no small task, but the ease with which Baechtel escorts the reader through the process makes this book perfect for both the budding engine enthusiast and the professional builder.

Author Baechtel’s experience and writing capabilities shine in Performance Automotive Engine Math, and this book will surely be a strong addition to any high-performance library.

Pages: 160
Size: 8.5 X 11 (inches)
Format: Paperback
Illustrations: 175 Color Photos
Publisher: CarTech
ISBN: 9781934709474
Product Code: SA204


Chapter 1: Basic Math and Science

Core Principles


Chapter 2: Engine Displacement 

Cylinder Bore Diameter

Stroke Length

Calculating Displacement

Calculating Overbore Displacement

Calculating Bore and Stroke Relationships

Bore/Stroke and Rod/Stroke Ratios

Metric Conversions

Equivalent Displacement

What is Bore Spacing?

Sonic Checking

Practie Calculations

Displacement Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 3: Compression Ratio

Factors Affecting Compression Ratio

Finding V2

Displacement Ratio

Cranking Compression

Compression Ratio Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 4: Piston Speed 

Maximum Piston Speed

Piston Acceleration

Calculating RPM Limits

Engine Balancing and Overbalancing

Calculating Piston Position

Piston Speed Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 5: Brake Horsepower and Torque

Calculating Horsepower from Torque

How to Read a Dyno Sheet, Part 1

Horsepower and Torque Ratings

Indicated Horsepower

Indicated Torque

Brake Mean Effective Pressure

Mechanical Efficiency

Torque and HP Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 6: Induction Math

Engine Air Capacity

Volumetric Efficiency

Intake Manifolds

Street Carburetor vs Race Carburetor

Choosing Throttle Body Size

Calculating Turbocharger Carburetor Size

Sizing a Turbocharger

Boost and Supercharger Drive Ratios

Wave Tuning

Ram Effects and Inlet Cooling

How to Calculate Runner Cross Section

Induction Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 7: Cylinder Head Math

Converting Combustion Chamber Sizes

Evaluating Port Volumes

Calculating Valve Curtain Area

Calculating Optimum Port Area from Valve Size

Calculating Minimum Port Area

Calculating Port Velocity

Estimating Peak Engine Speed from Airflow

Predicting Horsepower from Airflow

Looking at Valve-Lift-to-Diameter Ratios

Comparing Flow at Different Test Pressures

Understanding Exhaust-to-Intake Ratio

Cylinder Head Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 8: Exhaust System Math

PipeMax Exhaust System Calculations

Calculating Primary Tube Cross Section

Calculating Primary Tube Length

Calculating Collector Diameter and Length

Food for Thought

Exhaust System Wave Dynamics

Exhaust System Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 9: Fuel System Math 

Understanding BSFC

How to Read a Dyno Sheet, Part 2

Fuel System Calculations

Fuel System Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 10: Atmospherics and Combustion Math 

Atmospheric Effects on Engine Performance

Density Altitude

Performance Weather Stations

Lambda and Air/Fuel Ratios

Dynamometer Correction Factors

Atmospheric/Combustion Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 11: Camshaft Math 

Lobe Centers

Understanding Cam Specs

Calculating Valve Lift

Finding TDC

Degreeing the Cam

Calculating Valve Overlap

Camshaft Formulas at a Glance


Chapter 12: Tools and Equipment 

Measurement Tools, Standards and Accuracy


Chapter 13: How To Build an Engine Math Spreadsheet 

Finding Displacement

Finding Piston Speed

Finding Stroke Length

Other Calculators

Engine Build/Content Sheet

Engine Assembly Sheet


Chapter 14: Engine Simulation and Modeling Software

Performance Trends

Racing Systems Analysis

Comp Cams/ProRacing Sim

Motion Software

Support Programs