Reading engine schematics is essential for engineers of all calibers to understand how the engine functions. Schematics give important information on the signal flow and connections between each of the engine components.
Engine schematics usually come in two types: block diagrams and wiring schematics. Both types are required to fully understand how an engine operates. Block diagrams reduce each section of the engine into individuals blocks, with lines drawn to demonstrate how each block connects. Examples of engine components might be each cylinder or the exhaust port. Block diagrams are best suited for showing how each piece of the engine works together, and amateur engineers can utilize them to generate a big-picture understanding of how the engine works.
In contrast, wiring diagrams display the signal flow in an engine down to its smallest detail. Rather than lumping together components into blocks, wiring diagrams show the flow of electricity through each individual piece of the circuit. These diagrams can be quite extensive and provide lots of information on how the engine functions and remains stable.
Amateur engineers should study a block diagram of the engine first, then examine the wiring schematic for specific sections. Using both types of diagrams is critical for amateur engineers to develop a thorough understanding of the engine.