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2 Cylinder vs 3 Cylinder vs 4 Cylinder

Discussion in 'Engine Compartment' started by Ichimaru, May 21, 2011.

  1. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    375
    Gurgaon, India
    Which configuration is the best and why?
    If 4 cylinder is better than 3 cylinder (which to me is), wouldn't a 3 cylinder engine be better than a 2 Cylinder one?
    If it is so, why is FIAT making 2 Cylinder engines?
    If no, what makes a 2 Cylinder better than a 3 Cylinder?
    Between 2 and 4 Cylinder engine which is better?:confused::hit
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  2. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    I had the same question in my mind when we were bashing Polo and it's high NVH. Maybe it's a FIAT thing when it comes to Twinair. ;)
    Despite being a 2-cylinder engine, the Twin Air is almost as good as a 4 cylinder engine below 2500rpm (as per reports). Read this article:

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/firstdrives/254248/fiat_500_twinair.html

    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  3. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    3,989
    Punjab
    It'll be the 4 cylinder config only. I'm no green warrior. :p

    Since im quite averse to petrol engines, i'll take the 4 banger Multijet anyday.

    Only difference would be to use the 1.3 for City commutes. And the 2.4 Multijet for touring (dreaming....)

    Gurjinder.

    P.S. The Inline six , the greatest configuration of all times (to me) , will most probably be extinct before my children get to drive cars. :(
  4. volkswagen has a w12 config on its tourag. 4.x liters. its the big daddy of em all. lovery note from its exhaust and the monstrous torque.

    had a chance to drive it.
    3 cylinder is considered not good because the 2 make a pair, 4 make a pair.
    3 cannot make a pair. there are 3 cylinders in cycle during combustion...these 3cylinders dont have that balance like that of a four stroke and need extra padding or balancer shafts to negate the uneven vibrations produced dut the 3 cylinders not being in a line.or not being paired
  5. jayadev

    jayadev Esperto

    Messages:
    1,057
    Kannur, India
    Kannur
    Grande Punto 1.3 90 HP
    goodness of even number. (a brief explanation)

    imagine a see-saw with two person sitting on either side.

    the twin cylinders acts accordingly, it helps each other one at a time,the torque imparted to the flywheels would be in 180degree strokes.

    being two cylinder having strokes at 180 degrees or diametrically opposite strokes they tends to cancel each others momentum efficiently creating a balanced action.


    how about adding one more seat on same see-saw. it should be added in such a way only to be benefited. ending up into triangular configuration ( Y) ,the torque imparted to the flywheels would be in 120degree strokes..

    vector representation of forces on Y will show that the resultant force of any of the cylinder will be in straight line so instead of counter balancing, half of the reaction will be imparted to be passed between the opposite two cylinders. this stray momentum will act as unwanted vibration but designers try to suppress it by adding compensations or counter weight to flywheels which is a very critical and complicated task.

    and similarly 4 seats on same see saw would require a cross (+)configuration ,like two see-saw laid one above the other, the angle difference becomes 90 degree

    again as in twin cylinder the the pistons fires harmonically providing much stable results .

    so single cylinders will have worst vibrations .
  6. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    375
    Gurgaon, India
    Sri and Jayadev ... thanks a lot for the insights.
    Its amazing how a puny little 875cc engine can produce 84PS by the use of a turbo and provide refinement, performance, efficiency and emissions equivalent or better than a 4 cylinder unit!!
  7. royj

    royj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,306
    Trivandrum
    Jayadev, that is pretty good explanation.

    For four stroke engines multiples of 4 are the ideal configuration. Two is a compromise, but will be better balanced than three.
  8. varoon9999

    varoon9999 Superiore

    Messages:
    769
    New Delhi,HP 48
    New Delhi,HP 48
    Grande Punto 1.3
    brothers,

    am still hazy among 3 cyl v/s 4 cyl..ford figo,fabia do runs on 4 cyl heart. how come they have got high engine noise and NVH.VW should have mulled over it nicely before they would have come out with 3 cyl engine. is it the out come for cost cutting???

    @jayadev bro..need to explain with more of technicalities.......appreciate your gesture...
  9. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    3,989
    Punjab
    Roy, the only ideal configuration till date has been the legendary Straight - Six. The one configuration i've had the pleasure of driving and would love to have another in the future.

    But seeing the way manufacturers are attaching more importance to compactness,efficiency and achieving more and more ways to eliminate vibes, the straight six is now confined to a few manufacturers, and will pretty soon be history. BMW, FORD Australia are the only ones who still have a major focus on inline-sixes.

    Even the Japanese abandoned them after Toyota's JZ series and Nissan RB series ( both as legendary as engines can be in the performance category).

    I can go on and on about straight sixes , but that won't do this thread any justice. :)

    Gurjinder.
  10. royj

    royj Esperto

    Messages:
    1,306
    Trivandrum
    :confused: Why so?
    My belief was that since the number four (and multiples of that) matches with the combustion cycle they would be better balanced

    May be we can ask the mods to upgrade the thread title to include 6 cylinder as well :smile:

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