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Easiest way... (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 3-series (E46) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by skw on November 26, 1999 at 16:43:35:

In Reply to: Re: inline 6 engine? (longish) posted by M on November 26, 1999 at 13:24:19:

The 6 cylinders (and their spark plugs) are all in one bank - arranged in a straight line. So you see all the spark plugs on one side of the engine. A V6 has two banks of cylinders joined at the bottom by the crankshaft in a 'V' configuration. There are three cylinders and spark plugs on each side of the engine...
: Thanks ... and this is an absolute newbie question:

: How do I distinguish an inline 6 from a V6 by looking at the engine?

: : :
: : : so ... what's the difference between an "inline 6" and a V6 engine?

: :
: : Hail the inline 6, but it's an endangered species. There are very few manufacturers still in the game, despite the inherent goodness of the design. Front-wheel drive is the culprit -- the I6 is just not easy to use in a transverse configuration, although the Volvo S80 manages it somehow.

: : It's true that a standard 90-degree V6 will vibrate more due to mass-inbalance issues; a 60-degree configuration alleviates this somewhat, but also makes for a "taller" engine that is hard to cram under the low sloping hoods (bonnets) you see in most cars these days.

: : Some V6's (and I4's) use a counter-rotating balance shaft to alleviate the mass-inbalance issues and provide better NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) characteristics.

: : BMW's strict adherence to RWD (and thus, longitudinal mounting), as well as an enduring design preference for a long hoodline makes the I6 practical, and the inherent smoothness of the I6 configuration makes it an ideal choice for medium-displacement engines.

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