Make your own mini-V8 engine model with this simple guide
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If you've ever wondered how a four-stroke V-8 engine actually works, then you might want to have a go at making a simple model one. Like anything in life, by getting your hands dirty, and your eye in on the detail, you become intimately familiar with how these things actually work.
Let's take it step-by-step.
As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Metal wire
- Hot glue gun
- Plastic syringes
- Basic tools (wrench, screwdrivers, etc)
- Various nuts and bolts
With all your gear in hand, it is time to get on with this great little build.
Step 1: Make the base and crankshaft
The first step is to take your wood and cut it down to size to make the base and main supports. Once this is done, affix them to the base as shown in the video.
With that done, the next step is to take your steel wire and pliers and bend the wire into the shape of the crankshaft. This can take some practice, but watch the video for more details on how to do this.
Step 2: Make the pistons
With that done, take your plastic syringes. These will be used to make the pistons. Remove the plunger, and cut off the bottom end of the syringe using a sharp knife.
Rinse and repeat with seven other syringes, and then glue them all together in groups of four using a hot glue gun. With that done, take the plungers and modify them to make the piston head and arm as shown in the video.
Connect the arms to the heads using a small nut so that they become articulated. Rinse and repeat to make 8 identical piston heads.
Once done, thread the pistons into position on the crankshaft as needed. With that done, glue the main cylinders to the wooden frame using a hot glue gun.
Glue one group of four at an angle to one another to form a V-shape when viewed from the front. Ensure you insert the pistons into the bottom of each cylinder as you go.
Step 3: Make the camshafts
Next, take your popsicle sticks and cut down, shape, and drill holes through them as shown in the video. With that done, cut down your toothpicks and make the springs and camshafts as shown in the video.
This is fairly finicky, so will probably require a little trial and error to master. Once complete, glue them into place above each row of cylinders on the main model as shown below.
The springs should be able to be pushed by the piston heads to rotate the camshafts, so test the model once assembled. If not, adjust as needed.
With that done, make some small toothed wheels and affix them to one end of the crankshaft at the front of the model. Add some larger toothed wheels to the exposed ends of each camshaft as well.
You can make this out of cardboard.
Step 4: Complete the model
Next, make a timing belt out of a strip of corrugated cardboard long enough to fit around the lower wheels and the camshaft wheels. Install them on the model as required.
As a result, the basic model is now complete. All you need to do now is rig up an old DC motor to the other end of the crankshaft. Once you turn on the motor, the entire engine model hum away as planned.
Now, just sit back and watch your hard work do its thing! Well done you.
If you enjoyed this little DIY engine-based project, you might enjoy making another?