What I saw instead was a subset of subprocesses in isolation from each other, presented in an admittedly artistic fashion. It's impressive, and maybe the purpose is more to whet one's appetite for more information rather than be informative in itself, but that's not really what I was expecting or hoping for.
Once you understand the basics, the stop-motion video becomes pretty cool as you can try and label every part that's coming off
Those things sound amazing. And oh so dirty!
This was probably posted on HN at some point, but I haven't managed to find the video again.
Suck, squeeze, bang, blow
Four words, four cycles - covers the majority of engines out there (including jet engines). 2-cycle engines are slightly different, but not by much. Steam engine are fairly simple to understand. Sterling engines can be difficult for some to wrap their heads around. Then there are the really esoteric engines (and I am not talking about a Wankel, which is also a 4-cycle engine)...
IC engines are - at a very basic level - very simple in operation. Where the complexity comes in from the theory is doing that cycle efficiently and quickly; the more efficient the engine needs to be, or the faster it needs to turn, the more complex things get (much of the complexity there is in fuel/air ratio delivery, exhaust handling, and oil distribution to bearings and such).
If you really want to know how a 4-cycle engine works, look into going to a "local" (if you have one nearby) antique engines show, and look around for these:
They can be made to run slow enough that you can see all of their operations fairly clearly, plus they aren't all that complex (you could probably build one from hardware parts and a bit of welding). They are, however, extremely inefficient (and very messy - they sling oil/grease everywhere).
Ultimately, though - engines are simple. If your car ain't going, it's because one of a basic set of elements isn't being done - fuel, air, or spark. Now - what is causing one or more of those to be missing, that's where the "fun" is in auto mechanics...
It has videos on pretty much every aspect of engines, organized in handy playlists.
This is the first time I've seen an engine physically taken apart so I can see roughly what goes where. I'm reminded of 'Danny The Champion of the World' who, at the age of seven, could take a small engine to pieces, and put it back together again. Pistons, crankshaft and all.
If you get the chance, go ahead and do it. There are many resources to guide you, unless it's a very rare engine. Even then, the principles are the same.
It's a lot of fun and fascinating to see how they work.
... but remember to get new gaskets. The older they are, the chances get higher that they'll break on dismantling and you don't want to rebuild the engine and have it go boom the first time you turn it on ;)
Agree. I was ready to upvote it  literally based on the title which I didn't do and don't ever do. Then I watched and was let down (contrast principle at work).
 And I wonder if that is why it's the top story on HN when I viewed.
May as well put this here because it popped into my mind while watching your piece.
You know, if we do move as a society from the internal combustion engine to the electric drive train something of great beauty, mechanical logic, and engineering prowess will have been lost. Sort of humbling to think that these may only exist in the museums and enthusiast workshops of tomorrow. Kind of like steam engines today, see here: http://www.isvrally.com/ for a local example – “Innishannon Steam & Vintage Rally”
Can you elaborate on the process for this? I'm curious what software you're using, how many modelers you have, and if you're using 3D scanning equipment.
Modeling everything by hand has to be unimaginably laborious.
Incredible work by the way, you've already sold me as a customer. :)
This was the state of the engine a few days ago - all internals are done. https://twitter.com/howacarworks/status/895417122385481728
In that case, I suppose the most utility 3D scans would have is as references to enable a faster low-poly modeling workflow.
Then again, scanning would likely incur a non-trivial time cost—one that can't outweigh the very benefits the process affords.
BLENDER IS AWESOME.
That's exactly why a making of would be interesting. Here's an idea: shoot all that stuff anyway, with a single fisheye camera so that if you ever decide to do a making of you at least have some raw material to work with. Documenting this work that you are doing would have lasting value.
What inspired this?
I kid, Miata fans.
How did you do the shots where the cassette tape and the engine parts are moving around in the air?
For the heavy stuff I just had to hold it and then photoshop my legs and arms out.
> photoshop my legs and arms out
This reminds me of the first time I saw Forrest Gump. For some reason I didn't know who Gary Sinise was, and all through the movie I thought the actor playing Lt. Dan actually was a double amputee.
And in the flashback scene that showed him walking, I marveled at how they were able to fit him with artificial legs that let him walk so naturally!
They filmed that scene first then chopped off his legs and filmed the bits that came "before".
SOHC I4 from a "manual everything" economy car with 1st gen EFI would probably be about the lowest part count without getting into flathead territory.
It's good to hear this too, because the text in that box originally said 'Filmed in 4K' and I only changed it to 'Fully subtitled' at the last moment.
But their web site says $7.50/minute for subtitling, $1 for transcriptions.
Still may be quite reasonable to extend video reach that much.
Have captions on your video for everyone, not just the deaf people in your audience (unless you just really love the sound of your own voice so much that you want to force other people to suffer through it).
But it's not free. Either it's worth it or you are a good doer.
And you've shown what the value is long before I asked myself the question "how much" - which I usually ask early in the process - but not here.
At least that is how I found it... great work.
Would be interesting to see conversion figures for something like this.
It was a massive pain to implement Paypal and I hated every moment of it but it produced an uptick in payments.
Also, after watching a couple videos and reading the content, the production value and informational value of this is super high. By the time I learned what the price was, I was fairly surprised how cheap it was. $20 is what I spend on a sandwich and drink for lunch. So it was an automatic no-brainer. You could probably double or triple the price easily.
That's interesting. Do you have a theory about why that is?
I've never integrated Stripe, but it seems it is possible to use iDeal with stripe:
Using the debit card (PayPal) is just a way of tricking myself into buying stuff really :) With credit card I am constantly reminded of how much I have left of my limit (just like seeing how much cash I have left in my wallet) and next month I'm hit with a big bill for stuff I bought "long time ago".
Might have something to do with the fact that I have been considering Unior tools for a long time now but always postpone (because of the price).
And this was Alex's follow-up a year on:
Very well done Alex!
Corollary: No amount of force or increase in cutting speed will substitute for bad planning. (from my metal working guru friend)
Also in meatspace you can't hit 'undo' or 'git reset --hard' .. I hate that :-)
It's kinda like how (in the days of old, at least) when you built a PC, if you didn't cut yourself and spilled a bit of blood (usually on a sharp case edge) - you were doing it wrong.
Instead, you have that one tight bolt you're wrenchin' and pullin' on - then suddenly it breaks free and WHAM, your knuckles get busted on the crossmember (or something else unforgiving).
Which is why, if you have the ability (leverage) and room, it always better to push on the handle of the wrench with an open palm or loose grip - that way if the bolt breaks loose, the inevitable won't occur...
I can only imagine the amount of dust that created.
It's nice to see something that was designed with maintainability in mind. Designed to be disassembled, repaired and re-assembled later. Impressive engineering.
So different from most consumer products sold today which never use screws and are not designed for repairing. If it breaks down you're expected to buy a new one...
Internal combustion engines may be designed for maintainability, but they have a much harder problem to solve to actually achieve successful maintenance.
(This is one reason why I'm running Youtube through my own site - I can upload a new version and anyone hitting this link in the future hopefully won't be forced into a seizure.)
stop motion part was impressive though
The motorcycle equivalent is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkHJuU01-Wk&index=43&list=PL...
I watched about 3/4 of these ^^ videos, really learned a lot about how a combustion engine works.
and your ad is one of the best i've seen since MasterClass ads in my Facebook feed. i felt like the ad was basically free content. i was learning!
Really great video too
I don't mean to underplay the work involved in programming and marketing this project, but just not giving up is perhaps the hardest part of things like this.
I like to take things apart, and it made me a bit nervous, as each piece was separated, that I would never be able to put it back together :)
Where is the Reddit post of this? You're going to front page, for sure.
May I add to the recommendations below:
1) Makeup and Vanity Set (MaVS)
Still my favorite composer, a couple years after discovering the genre, thanks to his richness and variety. Where other composers start to blend into the same 80s synth mush, MaVS manages to keep it interesting for me. Hard to recommend just one title, but maybe Stalker from the album Wavehymnal
2) Bourgeoisie - Space Tapes and Vice album
3) Ogre Sound - 195 album
Features a track titled "Revengeance Overcharge" for that 110% 80s satire.
4) Le Matos - Join Us album
5) There'd be tons more, but really Google Music's "Makeup and Vanity Set" auto-radio is gold.
I just subscribed to the video course and I can see the preorder offer is a no brainer, skimming through the PDF provided I can see there is enough value on it to easily make it worth the $20 by itself.
So as a suggestion: Highlight the PDF and its content on the preorder page, there is only one mention about it but it doesn't specify its contents.
I did have a slight giggle when the promo at the end says you explain everything about 'modern cars', while you are working on a car introduced 27 years ago.
Of course I understand that disassembling a new car does not make financial sense, I'm not trying to be negative here.
Really, it's a pretty great engine, but with 233k miles a little grumpy.
I'm really interested in seeing where you go with the 3D modeling. As a coder/DIY mechanic (one of many I'm sure), I'm pretty psyched by how this tech could be used.
I also want to say that I appreciate your price point. I think it's at a good point where it might be less than the potential value of the product, but attracts those who would otherwise dropout of purchase or seek other means to obtain the media.
I have the 2015 version and there seems to be a new one out now (2018 version) but the reviews warn about the many bugs
How is the course delivered? Downloadable or streaming only? Can I watch it on Linux?
Nice tip of the hat to Luxo Jr. at the end there.
Given how we've seen how lithium-based batteries like to die in catastrophic ways, I am not sure I would like to have a battery with the same energy density as gasoline. So it's a question not just of density, but safety.
On top of all that, the batteries need to be able to be charged quickly; 10 minutes to a full charge is probably the upper limit, 5 minutes would be ideal. But that would take a massive upgrade of electrical infrastructure, and I am also not sure you could make such a charger friendly for use by a consumer (not the safety aspect - more the handling aspect, as the conductors for carrying the current will likely have to be somewhat hefty).
There's also the fact that chargers would also need to be standardized (that's an industry thing, though - and if things work out for electric motors and batteries, I am sure a standard would come about).
But first and foremost is the battery tech, unless we want to say that, to go long distances (4-500 miles per charge), you need to use an IC engine in some manner (even as a hybrid), but shorter "in town" distances (which I agree, most people only do) can be handled by electrics.
That said, until a low-cost, real off-road vehicle becomes available as an electric (and I mean it has to be affordable for a regular person, not some $60-100k fantasy vehicle, which is mainly what is on the drawing board right now), I'm not very interested. But I'm not everyone, of course. I'm just not a "car guy" - I like my vehicles to be trucks or jeeps...
Mazda, whose Z5 engine is being disassembled in the video is introducing a compression ignition gasoline engine in 2019 with claimed 20-30% efficiency benefits! We'll see how that actually holds up in practice.
#1 PayPal returned me to an invalid URL after finishing the payment
#2 I've paid & logged in, nevertheless the website still shows me links to "buy the course".
Something something electric motors are far simpler. ;)
My $5 coke can RC car works on the same idea as a tesla.
How did you make those flying parts? Photoshopping out the holders?
It's going to be really interesting to our purchasing and maintenance patterns for EVs.
It's not really still a fair comparison to EVs, because a typical combustion engine will require significant and regular maintenance plus part replacement to make it to 200k.
> E.g. the automatic transmission failing, timing belt (instead of a chain) failing around 100k, alternator and other electronics, pumps, etc.
Exactly why EVs are such a game changer. They literally don't have any of those parts.
Runs like a top!
FYI Chevy trucks sell all the time in my area for good (high) prices with 200k+ miles on them. People don't seem to doubt they'll keep running.
I think many modern engine styles can achieve that, but lack of maintenance does a lot of damage, and most people aren't very good at maintenance. (Me included!)
I think you misspelled Ford Escort.
Speaking of which, trying to buy a Ford Escort on CList can result in some very ambiguous text messages.
Edit: Thanks for the down-votes. Please read the Wikipedia page on the Escort and Protege. They use the same platform from the 90s onward which was the time when Ford and Mazda collaborated on a lot of stuff. Both flavors of the platform have their pros and cons.