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Automotive glossary: What is a Cylinder Head?

Definition of Cylinder Head: The cylinder head closes up the combustion chamber resp. the combustion chambers, i.e. the cylinders to the top side. Depending on the construction type of the engine, the cylinder head also performs other tasks and is constructed more or less complicated accordingly. Two stroke gasoline engines do not require valves, so two stroke cylinder heads are constructed quite simple, as they just represent a metal cover, put on the cylinder with a gasket, with an opening to screw in the spark plug and with radiators in the case of being air cooled. With the typical four stroke engine, the cylinder head also has to take on the valve control. In the case of the nowadays usual OHC-engines (camshaft on the upper side), it also contains one or more camshafts, driven by a cam chain or a timing belt, which again open and close the valves with their cams. For lubrication of these moving parts, the cylinder head is supplied with engine oil, the cylinder head cover (with sealing) closes it up to the outside. The cylinder head of diesel engines and gasoline engines with direct injection also contains the injection jets.

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