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Old 03-02-2010, 08:47 PM
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In defence of 4-Bangers

I remember back in the old days when i was between 15 and 18 when I owned a V8 powered car I thought very little of little 4 bangers and did not care for mild 6 cylinders (except for inline 6's which were ****ing awesome)

4 cylinders were puny, annoying and despite the best efforts of any well financed ricer could never equal the output of a large displacement V8

But now that I own a four cylinder car and I've been going to school for mechanical engineering I feel differently four bangers deserve to be taken as seriously as any engine.

Here's why: It was made apparent to me by more knowledgeable people that an engine is like a pump, it pumps in Fuel and air then pumps out Exhaust while making power. So the more air and fuel you can pump the more power you can produce (turbos, and less restrictive intakes and exhausts can increase the amount being pumped)

If we want more power then we have to do more pumping. We can:

1. Pump more by getting a small pump to pump faster (lighter components, parts made for high end power and forced induction).

Or
2. Just get a larger pump that pumps more volume at the same speed.


I'm assuming it is cheaper to build a bigger engine than to make a smaller engine pump faster since all you need are bigger castings and iron is much cheaper than lightweight parts, turbochargers, and all that fancy stuff. But there is penalty in size and weight as a bigger engine is (despite a good design) doomed to be a heavier engine.

Also assuming that big and small engines are consume the same amount of fuel per Horsepower produced (which is almost true?) It would be most efficient to have the smallest and lightest engine possible in a car since it is less weight to carry lighter cars do everything faster and also get better mileage which is important if you were looking for economy.


So finding the most ideal engine size is like finding the point of maximum profit in economics, you gotta see where the two graphs intersect and where you can get the amount of performance you need for the least cost.

Since finding the most efficient engine sizes it is balancing act that has a correct answer it no longer seems logical to think that the engine choices should be a matter of style or preference but the engine choice should be a function of what the car needs to do and calculated using the various costs and benefits of power densities and the expense of an engine's power density on performance.

So If a car has a 4clyinder it was (hopefully) decided by engineers it was the optimum mix of traits that allowed for the power and performance that was needed at the lowest overall cost. And if a Sports car has a huge engine with lower per unit output it was likewise the optimum mix of traits, no engine type is better or worse.



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Last edited by inspiron; 03-02-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:06 PM
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The thing is, there is very little "efficient, ideal, correct, or logical about hotrodding. Those things are what is looked for when building the engine or engineering the vehicle- but the IDEA of rodding has little to do w/those traits, IMHO.

It is about overindulgence, too much power, over the top total performance that grabs you by the throat and shakes your soul.

Graphs have a difficult time conveying that.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
The thing is, there is very little "efficient, ideal, correct, or logical about hotrodding. Those things are what is looked for when building the engine or engineering the vehicle- but the IDEA of rodding has little to do w/those traits, IMHO.

It is about overindulgence, too much power, over the top total performance that grabs you by the throat and shakes your soul.

Graphs have a difficult time conveying that.
humm....I did not think about that, that's a good point!

What do you think about the idea of a four cylinder hot rod? It would be limited but Like Jay Lenno said "its more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car fast" i know Four cylinder hotrods exist but I'm just interested in knowing what you think?

Do you think it would be much cheaper to built a basic hot rod using a plain old naturally aspirated 4 cylinder like a old unmodded GM 4cly as oppose to a basic hot rod using a unmodded naturally aspirated V8 like a 302, 305, 350 or 351

Last edited by inspiron; 03-02-2010 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspiron
humm....I did not think about that, that's a good point!

What do you think about the idea of a four cylinder hot rod? It would be limited but Like Jay Lenno said "its more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car fast" i know Four cylinder hotrods exist but I'm just interested in knowing what you think?

Do you think it would be much cheaper to built a basic hot rod using a plain old naturally aspirated 4 cylinder like a old unmodded GM 4cly as oppose to a basic hot rod using a unmodded naturally aspirated V8 like a 302, 305, 350 or 351
I doubt you will ever build a cheaper automobile engine than a SBC. Of ANY size or number of cylinders.

When I think of 4-cylinder hot rods (which I admit isn't often), I envision things like the early track cars- Kurtis midgets, Indy-type roadsters w/uncorked Offy's- things like that.

The newer, admittedly more efficient and modern 4-cylinder engines just don't seem to exude the same vibe. Kind of "soul-less" for lack of a better term.

But there's no one who'll say (and be correct) that the new engines aren't efficient.

Offy-
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:10 AM
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Watch this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xzn6k9q3H0

The Capri has a turbo 2.0L, and weighs a little over 2400lbs...
Did I mention it makes over 450hp?? And it's AWD as well??

K
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:45 AM
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Click HERE for the last time the 4-cylinder deal got brought up.

I SERIOUSLY doubt anyone has changed their opinion one way or the other.

Build 'em the way you like 'em.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:04 AM
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Old ME to new ME;

Here is the way to keep it simple...2- 4 cyl motors merged together add 1 pump.

Assemblage: basic motor from about 1955 thanks to Duntov/GM/Chev div. various sizes available up to 454 cu inches.
Pump thanks to GMC 1945 or so. Modified for street use in 2009.

No need to reinvent things.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentwings
Old ME to new ME;

Here is the way to keep it simple...2- 4 cyl motors merged together add 1 pump.

Assemblage: basic motor from about 1955 thanks to Duntov/GM/Chev div. various sizes available up to 454 cu inches.
Pump thanks to GMC 1945 or so. Modified for street use in 2009.

No need to reinvent things.
It would be even simpler...two 8 cylinder motors merged together and no pump, since it can be cheaper to simply have two V8s than to have a supercharged V8, but having a V16 is detrimental to performance, is it worth spending more to make a small pump work faster or to accept the probloms that come with having a massive engine?

A big blown V8 Vs a V16? what is worth more? (see my point of balancing the costs and advantages)
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:19 PM
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Twins have already been done since the mid 50's. 2 big V8's+ 2 pumps=lots of hp. One of NHRA's major mistakes was outlawing these right when they needed spectators most. They were a huge spectator draw. I ran against them many times and never beat them untill they broke a motor. I had everything ready to convert to a twin when they were outlawed. Can't beat them, join them.
http://twotogo.homestead.com/

There actually was a twin unblown car that beat everyone for a while. It's in there somewhere.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:00 PM
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"twins? Ideal enegine?

Actually my dream engine is in limited production right now

It is called the Powertec RPA. It is basically a pair of Suzuki Hyabusa's on a common crank. Naturally aspirated it is 15.5 inches long, 11.8 inches wide, and 14.4 inches tall. It weighs 80 lb and revs to 10,500, making 455 hp and a bunch of torque. There is a turbo version that pumps out over 1,000 hp

It is a 72* V8, with a flat-plane crank, and "stock" Hyabusa heads, pistons & etc.

SO - both schools of thought are right - its a twin, (2 fours) its a V8, its light & small and its stupid fast!

Last edited by Dave57210; 03-03-2010 at 10:01 PM. Reason: afterthots...
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave57210
Actually my dream engine is in limited production right now

It is called the Powertec RPA. It is basically a pair of Suzuki Hyabusa's on a common crank. Naturally aspirated it is 15.5 inches long, 11.8 inches wide, and 14.4 inches tall. It weighs 80 lb and revs to 10,500, making 455 hp and a bunch of torque. There is a turbo version that pumps out over 1,000 hp

It is a 72* V8, with a flat-plane crank, and "stock" Hyabusa heads, pistons & etc.

SO - both schools of thought are right - its a twin, (2 fours) its a V8, its light & small and its stupid fast!
The "Phase III" is about 22" long x 21" wide x 18" tall and weighs 194 lbs.

Warranted for 30 hours between tear downs, the 11:1 CR 2.6L makes 360-380 HP x 215 TQ; the 2.8L has 430-450 HP x 250 TQ w/13:1 CR.

More HERE.

Seems to do well in "autograss" and hillclimb-type racing.

Interesting little mill, though.

How much, you ask? Ever heard the old saw about if you have to ask...? lol
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