Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Firing Order: 1-4-3-2

Ah, the quest for a smooth-running, efficient boxer engine.

Ever since I rebuilt the top end of my engine in 2005, I have been trying to understand how the magic of electrical sparks, fuel/air mixtures, valve adjustments and timing all come together to create this mythical purity in a four stroke engine.

Dealing with these engines are so much fun for me.  There is an engineering component that I have absolutely no training on save for internet board conversations & factory manuals - although I love physics and wish I had studied it more.  But there is a design component that I love because of the artful consistency between this motor and the car that it propells - all very purely related to the science of movement and beauty of well-crafted metals and glass.

The VW engine shares heritage with my 616 4-cylinder Porsche engine - namely the same engineer developed both.  It was fun to run across a whole series of these factory training films - they are both a good overview of the issues and a reminder of what an elementary science class was like in the late 1970s.

...so there I'll be, in that dark, spider-filled garage working by headlamp:  adjusting idle jets, accelerator pumps and distributor timing - checking it all twice - then going around Lakeview on test runs.  On Saturday afternoon it was nearly there - and coming over the 35th street bridge it all started to harmonize around 65 mph...

1 comment:

Chris R said...

Howdy! Just found your link to my blog and wanted to say thanks! I like your wording/description of the Porsche motor.

As a wise-man in the car next to me at a stoplight put it, "You'll never go wrong with a 912".

Happy Motoring~