how far engines have come.

9 Apr 2004
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United Kingdom
i remember in the 80's most cars had 8 valves,then ford bought out there crappy cvh engines & put them in fiesta's & escorts.then they put mechanical fuel injection on the engine producing 120ish horsepower.vauxhall then did the same with the astra/cavalier engine and also in its day was roughly the same bhp.peugeot got it right with the 205 1.9 gti then about 20yrs later most FAMILY cars nowadays have 20 valves
(vw & audi) or 16v for the rest/they have multipoint fuel injection/twin camshafts/variable valve timing and in the case of the honda v-tech can rev there nuts off & still be ultra reliable?
the only drawback is when they go t1ts up you just have to take it to a garage & remortgage the house. :( when i had my 1100 mini with twin valve lifters + 1275 gt twin carbs it was reguarly stripped down & have even used cardboard as a head gasket :eek:
a bloke at the main renault dealer said the aa won't touch a new laguna as its all computer controlled even the card recognition start system :eek:
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Desmo Duc; now you're talking. Bit of a bummer having to change the cam belts every 12k miles though. I've got a '78 Bonnie in my garage I haven't ridden for 3 years because it just isn't fast enough these days. The sportbike of the '60's just not fast enough, amazing. It's our own fault though, we keep wanting more power. My first car was a Morris Minor and with all the space around the engine you could remove it in half-hour. Look in most modern engine bays and it's full of pipes and wires; it's an absolute nightmare. Not just cars that are more complicated; look at CH boilers and compare a Glow-Worm SpaceSaver with a modern Combi. The Glow-Worm is still going strong after 25 years, perhaps only 70% efficient but it doesn't keep going wrong like a combi; 5 years and they're finished so which is cheaper long-term?
Most things are getting more complicated except women; they've always been very complicated. I'm off to take my dog for a walk; we understand each other.
Bring back the Austin 7 :!: A little engine block with four leads sticking out :D
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Good idea, but let's get out of EU first and give two fingers to the emissions specs.
Would you not agree that the decline of civilisation commenced with the demise of the starting handle? :?: :(
Multivalve heads go back to the 1920's along with superchargers.

Considered troublesome in its day the Triumph Dolomite sprint of the early 1970's was actually very similar to many modern units. They were 16 valve(single cam) 2 litre twin carb, around 130 bhp, 0 to 60 in 8 seconds in standard form. They were let down by ally head problems. Very well respected now though.
My 2001 Astra 1.6 has an 8v engine. It is very torquey, compared to the 16V Focus 1.6's I have driven (the only 16V Astras I have driven have been SRi's, not really a fair comparison!). Overtaking is very easy, even a friend with a modern diesel commented on how strong it feels. It is also incredibly quiet. However, the efficiency of it is rubbish. 33-35mpg, with 40mpg only reached on a 400 mile constant motorway run.

A mechanic I knew was telling me that his friends at the Vauxhall garage told him the 8V engines are a lot better than the 16V: much better reliability and better built.

"Turbosuperchargers", which we now call just plain old turbochargers, were used in WW2 on planes. They were only introduced to cars in the 50s, but the concept was an old one. They even used them alongside superchargers: the superchargers would be geared to produce a mild power increase, the turbochargers would give the real kick and avoided problems with overboosting the engine in the denser air at low altitude.
Looking at the Vauxhall website, fuel economy COULD be worse: the Monaro VXR has an urban MPG of 12.2 and a 16.5 gallon tank.

12.2 x 16.5 = 201 miles out of a tank! :LOL: Great! And that is assuming you aren't hoofing it around. If you buy a car with a big V8, you want to hear it, so you WILL be revving it from time to time.

Mmmm, 387bhp and 510Nm... 510Nm? From a naturally aspirated petrol engine?! D&J, you should get one for next time you fancy towing some HGVs on the North Circular. :LOL: You would certainly get their quickly!
chainsaw_masochist said:
Would you not agree that the decline of civilisation commenced with the demise of the starting handle? :?: :(

Agreed ... one of the better means of promoting order around one's property ... !!
Your endorsement is appreciated Pipme - the starting handle turned cranks and deterred cranks (Jehovah's Witness variety)!
My old escort MK4 had what was essentially the old 'Kent' engine, which is older than me I think!

Volvo Penta are famous for re-hashing old designs aswell, one of the most common engines the KAD32 (170Hp Diesel, Turbo'd/Supercharged) has been around for years (well, the block anyway).


So you think you're getting new technology, but rarely completely new. Ford's CVH was new... :confused:
I suppose on that note, one should mention the Rover V8...

Originally designed as a 215ci engine (3.5 litres) in 1957 by Buick, intended for "small" American cars designed to be more fuel efficient (yes, even in the US they were thinking about that, then, due to Suez). They stopped making them in 1963 because the aluminium design required special coolants, and there were too many cases of service mechanics putting the wrong ones in and knackering the engined.

The blueprints, tooling etc. were bought by British Leyland in the mid 60s. They then put it in loads of different cars (P5, P6, Range Rover, SD1) and other manufacturers also used it (TVR). Also I have seen Bedford vans with them, but I don't know if that was a standard option.

It has been used in capacities of between 3.5 and 4.6 litres in "standard" form, and I believe there are specials up to 5.2 litres, using the original 3.5 litre block!!! :eek: I was also told that the V6 they used in the V6 SD1 was effectively just a cut down V8. The figures I have found on the net vary, but it would appear that the original 3.5l V8 produced about 150bhp, in the SD1 it was 175bhp. Bigger tuned versions can produce 300bhp+, more if they are blown.

Ceased production only a couple of years ago, so it was in production for about 45 years in its different guises, it's demise was greeted with sadness by hotrodders and offroaders across the nation. Now THAT is design longevity!
I thought the 2.3 and 2.6 engines used in the SD1 were straight sixes.

I had forgotten about V8 Bedfords, were they CF's converted to ambulances?

Talking about mmj's marine engines, how long have they been making the BMC 1.5 and laterly 1.8 diesels? I believe they still make them in India or Turkey.
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