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Technical Paper

The Northstar DOHC V-8 Engine for Cadillac

General Motors Powertrain Division has developed a new V-8 engine for Cadillac vehicles in the 1990s. The Northstar engine incorporates the use of aluminum for both the cylinder block and head and other lightweight materials throughout. The valve train incorporates direct acting hydraulic lifters actuating the four valves per cylinder through dual overhead camshafts. The primary focus of the project has been to produce an engine of unquestioned reliability and exceptional value which is pleasing to the customer throughout the range of loads and speeds. The engine was designed with a light weight valve train, low valve overlap and moderate lift, resulting in a very pleasing combination of smooth idle and a broad range of power. The use of analytical methods early in the design stage enabled systems to be engineered to optimize reliability, pleaseability and value by reducing frictional losses, noise, and potential leak paths, while increasing efficiency and ease of manufacture.
Technical Paper

Oil Transport Analysis of a Cylinder Deactivation Engine

Engine cylinder deactivation is used to save engine pumping loss but raises oil consumption concerns for the deactivated cylinders. In this paper, general mechanisms of oil transport via piston rings are reviewed. The characteristic of oil transport and oil accumulation in a cylinder deactivation mode through the piston ring path are analyzed. Suggestions to reduce the oil transport to the combustion chamber in a deactivated cylinder are discussed. In a deactivated cylinder, the amount of oil brought into the combustion chamber by the top ring up-scraping due to the ring/bore conformability difference between intake stroke and compression stroke is much less compared to a firing cylinder. However, compared to a firing cylinder, a deactivated cylinder has more oil entering the combustion chamber through the top ring end gap and ring groove as a result of the lower cylinder gas pressure, lower ring temperature and more frequent top ring axial movements.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Cylinder-to-Cylinder Variation Using a Cylinder Balancing Control Strategy in Gasoline HCCI Engines

Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion offers significant efficiency improvements compared to conventional gasoline engines. However, due to the nature of HCCI combustion, traditional HCCI engines show some degree of sensitivity to in-cylinder thermal conditions; thus higher cylinder-to-cylinder variation was observed especially at low load and high load operating conditions due to different injector characteristics, different amount of reforming as well as non-uniform EGR distribution. To address these issues, a cylinder balancing control strategy was developed for a multi-cylinder engine. In particular, the cylinder balancing control strategy balances CA50 and AF ratio at high load and low load conditions, respectively. Combustion noise was significantly reduced at high load while combustion stability was improved at low load with the cylinder balancing control.
Technical Paper

General Motors High Performance 4.3L V6 Engine

FIGURE 1 The 200 HP high performance 4.3L Vortec V6 engine has been developed to satisfy the need for a fuel efficient performance powerplant in the General Motors small truck platforms. Marketing requirements included strong low and mid range torque, relatively high specific power, smoothness and noise comparable to the best competitive six cylinder engines, excellent driveability, and a new technology image. Maintaining the 4.3L engine record of high reliability and customer satisfaction was an absolute requirement. Fuel economy and exhaust emission performance had to meet expected customer and legislated requirements in the mid 1990's.
Technical Paper

Engine Crankcase Pumping Flow Model

A transient, one-dimensional, two-phase (crankcase gases and liquids) flow network model was developed (and coded in FORTRAN) to calculate the crankcase pressures versus crank angle during engine operation and the consequent crankcase pumping mean effective pressure (CPMEP). The two-phase flow was represented by an empirical expression. Note, CPMEP is one of the components of engine FMEP (friction mean effective pressure) and is being introduced here as a new term. The model was calibrated with engine crankcase pressure measurements. The motivation for the present work was the fact that no commercial (or public domain) software is available to adequately address this subject in sufficient detail. The model also predicts that closing (i.e. sealing) the individual bays of an engine can result in (nearly) zero CPMEP. This was confirmed by motored single cylinder engine measurements.
Technical Paper

Chemiluminescence Measurements of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) Combustion

A spectroscopic diagnostic system was designed to study the effects of different engine parameters on the chemiluminescence characteristic of HCCI combustion. The engine parameters studied in this work were intake temperature, fuel delivery method, fueling rate (load), air-fuel ratio, and the effect of partial fuel reforming due to intake charge preheating. At each data point, a set of time-resolved spectra were obtained along with the cylinder pressure and exhaust emissions data. It was determined that different engine parameters affect the ignition timing of HCCI combustion without altering the reaction pathways of the fuel after the combustion has started. The chemiluminescence spectra of HCCI combustion appear as several distinct peaks corresponding to emission from CHO, HCHO, CH, and OH superimposed on top of a CO-O continuum. A strong correlation was found between the chemiluminescence light intensity and the rate of heat release.
Technical Paper


USING a high-speed motion picture camera, flame photographs were taken of the combustion process associated with the starting of hot gasoline engines. Compression ignition at isolated points followed by normal combustion caused peak cylinder pressures to occur prior to top dead-center under some low-speed engine conditions. In addition, an abnormal combustion phenomenon was observed in the last part of the charge to burn. The reaction rate was appreciably faster than normal for the engine speed and much slower than is usually observed in knocking combustion at normal engine speeds.