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The crankshaft is designed as an integral component of the engine that translates the reciprocating linear piston motion into rotation. It is dubbed as the working arm of the engine. All the force created from combustion and the downward motion of the piston is centered on the crank throws. It is connected to a flywheel, to minimize the pulsation effect of the four-stroke cycle. Sometimes, a torsional or vibrational damper is attached at the opposite end to minimize the torsion vibrations created along the length of the crankshaft. The leverage effect of the force exerted to the crank journals rotates the shaft and transforms the up and down reciprocating motion of the pistons into a useful rotational motion of the crankshaft. This in turn creates torque that the crankshaft employs in order to spin the flywheel and the rest of the drivetrain.
The rotating load of the crankshaft combined with that of the flywheel and the harmonic balancer also generates inertia and momentum that keeps all components spinning. This provides the crankshaft enough energy to push the pistons up to the compression and exhaust strokes and to draw in air and fuel into the cylinders on the intake stroke. As the vehicle rolls down the road and as the miles add up, the crankshaft bears the constant pounding. So it is important to pay close attention to its condition since its takes all the brunt of power produced by the engine.
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