The cylinder block is one of your engine's central components. It plays a key role in the lubrication, temperature control and stability of the engine and it has to be of the highest quality so there is no room for short cuts. It has to be of the highest possible quality so that it can perform its vital role in the operation of the cylinder heads, timing case, sump and flywheel.
Cylinder blocks are specially designed to withstand a variety of temperatures and loads to maintain the stability and lubrication of each individual engine. Each block has a number of oil galleries to transfer oil throughout the engine, thereby maintaining the lubrication of all the critical components. The block also contains the water galleries needed to provide cooling to the engine to maintain its optimum operating temperature.
A typical cylinder block unit is made up of a number of cylinders, depending on the type and specification of the engine model being built, and it will include cylinder walls, coolant passages and cylinder sleeves.
The ability to cast a robust, single piece iron cylinder block was an important innovation in the early development of the internal combustion engine because it allowed cylinders to be cast in pairs or triples, offering users a much greater degree of reliability. The build process was also quicker than before.
Development has continued, adding ever more levels of sophistication to the engine, with much of the assembly work undertaken by machines. Engine blocks can feature eight or more cylinders in a single cast block.