Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering - Leading Process and Product Improvement

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IME 3240 - Automotive Power Systems

Catalog Description:

The construction, disassembly/reassembly, manufacture, examination of design, simulation, operation, testing of performance and durability serviceability, emissions and recycleability of current and contemporary power plants for automotive and truck use. Emphasis on current designs of SI and CI engines, ASTM tests of fuels, lubricants and coolants as well as evaluation of near-term alternatives such as synthetic diesel and fuel cells. Principles of mechanics, thermodynamics, dynamics and chemical principles as applied to engines and power systems.

Prerequisites & Corequisites: Prerequisite: Recommended IME 1220.

Credits: 3 hours

Lecture Hours - Laboratory Hours: (2 - 3)

Starting Point:

The world is at a point where the fuel of choice is not only gasoline and diesel. The world now views any fuel that can be transported in a vehicle and for which an infrastructure is in place as a potential transportation fuel. This class is going to study methodology of conversion, energy transfer, energy storage starting with conventional fuel and combustion and characteristics. The class will use the first lab session to evaluate cyclic relationships of valves, piston and crankshaft positions. Reports will be due the following week at the Lab session. A digital camera ((camera phone)you provide) will be used to document components and procedures

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Mathematics that include the understanding of algebra, geometry and basic calculus
  2. Physics that include the understanding and measurement of heat, heat transfer, electricity, light, sound, acceleration, speed, flow of fluids and mechanical mechanisms
  3. Materials that include the understand of physical and thermal properties as well as manufacturing techniques used with different materials
  4. Chemistry that includes the understanding of chemical relationships used in production and use of materials, fuels and lubricants
  5. Computers that include the use of software packages for simulations and problem solving
  6. Technical writing that includes the ability to report scientific observations and performance results
  7. Technical illustration that includes the use of computers to report graphical information, manufacturing processes and records
  8. Statistics and metrology for determination of manufacturing tolerances and accuracy of process control
  9. IME-122 Automobile in Society, The sociological technological challenges of the automobile

Course Learning Objectives:

By the end of the semester the student should be able to:

  1. Identify methods of manufacture, assembly, adjustment and tolerance of components and sub assemblies of SI and CI engines
  2. Apply physics and thermodynamics to the operation of SI and CI engines
  3. Test the performance of SI and CI engines using dynamometers and other engineering measurement equipment
  4. Identify and explain the function of SI and CI electronic engine management systems and how they effect emissions and economy
  5. Identify characteristics of modern power plant operation and construction
  6. Identify characteristics of alternative power systems

Performance Criteria (Learning Outcomes):

Based on learning objectives above:

  1. Identify material, manufacturing methods, assembly procedures, measurement and tolerances of SI and CI engines
  2. Calculate and analyze loads on engine bearings and valve train components
  3. Measure and calculate BSFC, Thermal Efficiency, Mechanical Efficiency, Horsepower (KW) of a modern power plant
  4. Use dynamometers, flow meters, thermocouples and other engine test cell equipment to determine and analyze engine performance and efficiency characteristics
  5. Use an electronic engine management development system to establish low emissions, driveability and economy
  6. Explain the operation of contemporary power plants


Robert Bosch GmbH, Automotive Handbook, 6th Ed. ISBN: 0-7680-1513-6 or later (SAE International)

If you have a copy, use the copy you have. If you are purchasing for the first time get the latest edition available!


  • Pulkrabek, Willard W. 2003, Engineering Fundamentals of the Internal Combustion Engine, 2 nd Edition, New Jersey, Prentice Hall
  • Bosch, Robert GmbH, 1999 Automotive Electrics and Electronics , Germany (Distributed by The Society of Automotive Engineers International)
  • Bosch, Robert GmbH, 1999 Gasoline Engine Management , Germany (Distributed by the Society of Automotive Engineers International)
  • Bosch, Robert GmbH, 1999, Diesel Engine Management , Germany (Distributed by the Society of Automotive Engineers)
  • Plint, Michael and Martyr, Anthony, 1999, Engine Testing-Theory and Practice , England, SAE/Butterworth-Heinemann
  • SAE Transactions, 1999, Fuel Cell Power For Transportation , Pennsylvania, Society of Automotive Engineers)
  • Owen, Keith and Coley, Trevor, 1995, Automotive Fuels Reference Book , Pennsylvania, Society of Automotive Engineers)
  • Caines, Arthur J. and Haycock, Roger F. Automotive Lubricants Reference Book, Pennsylvania, Society of Automotive Engineers)
  • 2000, Guide to ASTM Test Methods for the " Analysis of Petroleum Products and Lubricants " . West Conshohocken, PA, Distributed by the American Society of Testing Materials

Course Coordinator:

James VanDePolder
Western Michigan University
F-230 Parkview Campus
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008-5336
Phone: 276-3378

Revision Date: Fall 2010


Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5336 USA
(269) 276-3350 | (269) 276-3353 Fax

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