If it's not really about tuning or wiring. Then it belongs in here.
I know this may seem like a silly question but Im having a difficult time with it and want to make suer I understand before I move along in the courses.
Is engine load the physics (friction, air resistance, etc) working against the engines ability to output torque? Ive read multiple articles and Im getting quite a few conflicting analogies and I feel like Im chasing my tail.
Could an analogy of a weight lifters ability to physically lift a specific amount of weight be the equivalent of loading an engine?
In short, it's anything that will try and slow down the engine - it may, or may not, require the vehicle to be moving. For example, air conditioning, increased alternator load when drawing on the electrical circuit, or a vehicle in drive being held on the foot brake, etc. As you surmise, when driving there is a load from the vehicle road friction, air drag, a demand for acceleration, etc.
Other loads may be supercharger drives, or water pumps, but some consider they are exempt, as are all theoretical 'loads' required to keep the engine running.
In tuning terms "engine load" is the measure of the effort requested to the engine to overcome all the externals loads like the vehicle moving on aceleration , speed, moving up a hill , also internal engine friction, moving accesories like air condition, alternator, etc, etc. A dyno could also place load on the engine when the dyno put brakes on the flywheel or the car wheels.
if the engine is subjected to a certain external load or and increment of external load, we have to ask the engine for more effort to continue in the same speed or gain speed or aceleration...So the engine have to produce more torque to make more effort . To produce more torque the engine have to burn more combustible , to do that the engine have to ingest more air . So in tuning terms the measure of "engine load" is the measure of air entering to the engine to produce combustion to gain torque and overcome the external loads againts the engine. if you open more the throttle you are asking the engine to make more effort or in tuning terms more "load". The same with vacum or boost, is there is more air pressure or less vacum inside the manifold ,you are asking the engine to make more effort or asking to overcome the external loads . so for tuning porpouses more load is more air inside the cylinders .
I am not sure is that your misconception , hope it helps and hope also can be understood. Maybe some one could continue or better explain the concept.
Thanks guys, I think it clears it up for me. I just wanted to make sure I understood what it meant before I moved along.