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Simple Gas Engine

I want to learn basic engine auto mechanics. What would be a good engine… say post WWII… to study?

Old VW Bug will give you an easy very basic engine to learn on.

Below I’ve listed some good books to get strated with. I’m sur Barnes & Nobles has other good offerings. You could also stop by a hobby shop and get the “visable V8 Engne” model and its breatheren.

Auto Fundamentals
By Stockel, Stockel and Johanson
Published by Goodheart - Wilcox
ISBN 1-56637-138-4

Automotive Engines
By Crouse and Anglin
Published by MacMillan/McGraw Hill, (800) 338-3987
ISBN 0-02-801099-X

Automotive Chassis Systems
By Thomas W. Birch
Published by Delmar Publishing / Thompson Learning, (800) 477-3682
ISBN 0-7668-0001-6

Fuel Systems and Emission Controls
Published by Chek-Chart Publication, (408) 739-2435
ISBN 9-781579-322496

You might also hang out here while you’re learning.

Any 1960s to early 1970s American straight 6 cylinder would be pretty simple. Rocketman

Actually, any pre-1990 straignt four longituudinally mounted (RWD) like perhaps in an old Toyota pickup would also be a good choice. They’re simple, easy to work on, and repair manuals and replacement parts are still readily available.

Thanks… would you say this engine would be easy to work on from an accessibility standpoint? By this I mean can I work on the engine without taking it out of the car.

Thanks… are either Ford or General Motors better in this regard?

For your purposes wither would be just as good. Chrysler used to make one too, but I’d guess that GM and Ford parts would be easier to find for the oldies.

I would second the Bug recommendation, the only problem being that one that runs is very de$irable because there’s a culture of folks who like to restore them. If you do need to remove the engine, it’s probably the easiest car to do that on. Another suggestion would be a Dodge Dart or Plymouth Valiant.

For the VW there’s a great book published in the 70’s; I think it’s called Fix Your VW… someone will probably correct me on that.

I would stay away from the VW and second the notion of an OHV straight 6. It will give you the basics but won’t teach you anything about overhead cams, fuel injection,coil on plug or computerized engine management and all the sensors they rely on.

If you want to learn about the typical post WWII ICE there could not be a worse example to study than the air cooled bug engine. There are faults and aspects to this engine not found anywhere else (thankfuly).

The 4 cylinder Ford engine in Rangers is evolved from a German Ford design that has seen many variants. The Pinto/Mustang II version was somewhat simple and bullet proof. The 250 c.i. Chevrolet I-6 was very common and simple and bullet proof except the integrated head models which were notorious for cracking. If you don’t need an automobile attached, Lincoln Welders and various pumping systems use the Continental, now Teledyne, flat head 4 cylinder with a semi-updraft carburetor. They were as simple as the Model A engine, reliable and easily repaired and maintained and very user friendly because everything was accessible.

If you want to go on your own instead of attending a community college, for ease of access to let you concentrate on the fundamentals of engine operation and to avoid the repetition of multiple cylinders you might want to begin studying an old one cylinder lawnmower engine. These can often be obtained free of charge, attached to a lawnmower, and found on the street in front of someone’s house, due for trash pickup.

When you move along to an auto engine, you will immediately recognize but will understand most differences in design. Computer control of auto electrical management is an area where you may need assistance from whatever source you can use. Moving along to the remainder of the auto, a repair manual for the particular auto that you have to work on will be very instructive.

Eventually you may want to specialize in some particular area such as body repair, engine overhaul, electronic engine management, automatic transmission repair and overhaul to name several.

For an auto engine to study, you might want something small with individual parts that are easier to lift such as an OHC four cylinder.

At the Pima Air Museum here in Tucson they have a cut-away of a R2800 aircraft engine, you could stare at that for a while and then a while longer,and longer,and longer.

I think it’s called Fix Your VW… someone will probably correct me on that.

I believe you may be talking about the John M.'s series of books going by  [i]  [b] How to Keep Your VW Alive[/b][/i]

The firing order on that R2800 is likely mind boggling, I’m sure. But I wanted to add that there is a Flywheel Festival in a town near me and the old open crankcase engines from 100 years ago make for a better understanding of the origins and evolution of the internal combustion engine. Note that those Fairbanks Morse engines used a cam to open the exhaust but not the intake. I feel sure that there are collectors who enjoy exhibiting those old engines all across the country. If convenient to visit it might be enjoyable to anyone who visits gear head sights like this.

Makes no sense to study an engine you can’t even find in a junk-yard… Do you want to learn auto-mechanics or antique restoration?? learning about “simple engines” is useless knowledge in a complex world…

The GOOD OLE’ BRIGGS AND STRATTON 5HP…It’ll learn you pretty much everything you need to know…then you can graduate up the ladder and extrapolate what you learned on it to more complexity…the Twins, the 4cyl…6cyl…etc…Then its on to ignition system’s and fuel injection.

I’m SHOCKED no one else mentioned this (other than WHA-WHO?) from the Giddy yup… He got it right.

HELL…you can put one on your coffee table and have at at… And you can carry it around with you to learn on it anywhere…Truth be told…This is the engine that ALL OF US probably started with.

Also go online and look at some engine animations you can see it moving slowly and see intake…compression…SPARK…power stroke…on and on…and you can find many many examples of this animation…for multiple cyl designs and such… WHA-WHO is definitely on the same page as me… This is where you need to look first…The Briggs