In a splash lubrication system
In 2-stroke crankcase scavenged engines, the interior of the crankcase, and therefore the crankshaft, connecting rod and bottom of the pistons are sprayed by the 2-stroke oil in the air-fuel-oil mixture which is then burned along with the fuel. The valve train may be contained in a compartment flooded with lubricant so that no oil pump is required.
In a splash lubrication system no oil pump is used. Instead the crankshaft dips into the oil in the sump and due to its high speed, it splashes the crankshaft, connecting rods and bottom of the pistons. The connecting rod big end caps may have an attached scoop to enhance this effect. The valve train may also be sealed in a flooded compartment, or open to the crankshaft in a way that it receives splashed oil and allows it to drain back to the sump. Splash lubrication is common for small 4-stroke engines.
In a forced (also called pressurized) lubrication system, lubrication is accomplished in a closed loop which carries motor oil to the surfaces serviced by the system and then returns the oil to a reservoir. The auxiliary equipment of an engine is typically not serviced by this loop; for instance, an alternator may use ball bearings sealed with its lubricant. The reservoir for the oil is usually the sump, and when this is the case, it is called a wet sump system. When there is a different oil reservoir the crankcase still catches it, but it is continuously drained by a dedicated pump; this is called a dry sump system.
Big end bearings
Diagram of an engine using pressurized lubrication
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Internal combustion piston engine lubrication systems.
Surfaces in contact and relative motion to other surfaces require lubrication to reduce wear, noise and increase efficiency by reducing the power wasting in overcoming friction, or to make the mechanism work at all. At the very least, an engine requires lubrication in the following parts:
Between pistons and cylinders
Big end bearings
Valve gear (The following elements may not be present):
Timing chain or gears. Toothed belts do not require lubrication.
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