The basic principal of designing an engine is to design it to work in a multitude of vehicles, in one form or another. Simply referring to an engine by reciting all the cars it has powered can be somewhat tedious given how frequently some engines are used; hence, engines have internal codes so we can keep track of what's used, where.
When you know your internal engine codes, you have officially relinquished your basic car enthusiast status, and have entered the state of being a full-on car nerd. To be able to recite what are seemingly random jumbles of letters and numbers in order to identify the beating heart of a car, and trace its ancestry from vehicle to vehicle, is the sign of someone whose car knowledge is truly dizzying, and that they should definitely get out more.
They say that knowledge is power; those who lack it helps those who have it prosper. And that's certainly the case with internal engine codes. As useful as they are, they are also something of a weapon used by the knowledge snobs – of which there are lots, professional and amateur - as a means of looking down on people who aren't familiar with what an S65B44 is.
Having an encyclopaedia of engine codes inside one's brain is incredibly handy in this industry – mostly, just so you have the requisite defence against the titans who enjoy belittling people who have an ounce less knowledge than them. It may sound over-dramatic – but I have seen with my very own eyes some of the biggest names in the business use their knowledge of engine codes to disparage people undeservedly.
The trouble with learning engine codes however is that they're so damn difficult to remember! And if, like me, you're acutely lysdexic, all of a sudden a 2JZ becomes a JLS.
Personally – and this is between you and me – I organise engine codes into a cashbook, as when I write something down, I find I'm more able to recollect that information than if I simply read it.
So that's internal engine codes, for ya. Handy for the job of keeping tabs on engines; weaponised by wankers to persecute people; tremendously difficult to remember. But it's best to try and have them stored away in your brain somewhere, just in case.
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Written by: Angelo Uccello
Tribe: Speed Machines
Facebook: Speed Machines - DriveTribe