The crankshaft is what converts the up and down motion of the pistons into a rotational motion that allows the car to move. The crankshaft typically fits lengthwise in the engine block near the bottom. It extends from one end of the engine block to the other. At the front of the end of the engine, the crankshaft connects to rubber belts which connect to the camshaft and delivers power to other parts of the car; at the back end of the engine, the camshaft connects to the drive train, which transfers power to the wheels. At each end of the crankshaft, you’ll find oil seals, or “O-rings,” which prevent oil from leaking out of the engine.
Most camshafts extend through the top part of the engine block, directly above the crankshaft. On inline engines, a single camshaft controls both the intake and outtake valves. On V-shaped engines, two separate camshafts are used. One controls the valves on one side of the V and the other controls the valves on the opposite side. Some V-shaped engines (like the one in our illustration) will even have two camshafts per cylinder bank. One camshaft controls one side of valves, and the other camshaft controls the other side.
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