In trunk-type piston assemblies, the only connection between the piston and the connecting rod is the pin (sometimes referred to as the wrist pin) and its bearings. These parts must be of especially strong construction because the power developed in the cylinder is transmitted from the piston through the pin to the connecting rod. The pin is the pivot point where the straight-line, or reciprocating, motion of the piston changes to the reciprocating and rotating motion of the connecting rod. Thus, the pin is subjected to two principal forces—the forces created by combustion and the side thrust created by the change in direction of motion. Before discussing the pin further, let us consider the side thrust which occurs in a single-acting engine equipped with trunk-type pistons. (Refer to fig. 4-14.) Side thrust is exerted at all points during a stroke of a trunk-type piston, except at top dead center (TDC) and bottom dead center (BDC). The side thrust is absorbed by the cylinder wall. Thrust occurs first on one side of the cylinder and then on the other, depending on the position of the piston and the connecting rod and the direction of rotation of the crankshaft. In view A of figure 4-14, gas pressure is forcing the piston downward (power). Since the crankshaft is rotating clock-wise, the force of combustion and the resistance of the driven parts tend to push the piston to the left. The resulting side thrust is exerted on the cylinder wall. If the crankshaft were rotating counterclockwise, the situation would be reversed.
In view B of figure 4-14, the piston is being pushed upward (compression) by the crankshaft and connecting rod. This causes the side thrust to be exerted on the opposite side of the cylinder. Thus, the side thrust alternates from side to side as the piston moves up and down. Side thrust in an engine cylinder makes proper lubrication and correct clearance essential. Without an oil
Figure 4-14.—Trunk-type piston in a single-action engine showing side thrust.
film between the piston and the cylinder wall, metal-to-metal contact occurs and results in excessive wear. If the clearance between the piston and cylinder wall is excessive, a pounding noise, called PISTON SLAP, will occur as the thrust alternates from side to side.