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Old 07-27-2008, 06:53 PM
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cribbj cribbj is offline
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Default X16 Engine

No this isn't a rocket ship or a spy plane we're talking about, but a "normal" gasoline powered reciprocating engine configured in an "X", or some might say 2 Vee motors on top of each other, sharing a crankshaft. Others might say it's 2 180 degree opposed motors joined at a 90 degree angle.

I was reading the Bosch Gasoline-Engine Management book today and ran across the pic below of this DB 604, a 24 cylinder engine that Daimler Benz developed for a Junkers bomber in WWII. Pretty impressive, and it even had direct injection! Not bad for a nearly 70 year old design, eh? Unfortunately I can't find any evidence that it ever made it into production.....

Anyway, this got me thinking (a very dangerous thing)...... What if someone were to take 4 sets of Suzuki GS 1000 cylinders and heads and build a custom block and crankshaft for them. Shoot, you could have a 4.0 litre X16 motor that would turn 10,500 RPM and make 650 BHP naturally aspirated! And it would only require about the same amount of space as a normal V8. You could line up the cylinders so you'd have the induction on top & bottom, and the exhausts on the sides. Slick, eh?

But I'm not the first one since WWII to think of this..... Honda supposedly investigated it for their F1 engines in the 60's, and decided it was too complicated.

Why too complicated? Perhaps oil control would be one of the major issues? It goes without saying that it would have to be dry sumped, and there would have to be some way to keep the oil from pooling in the lower banks. Cooling would probably be an issue too. Balance? No, an X16 would have nearly perfect balance. Crankshaft stiffness and/or torsional problems? Wouldn't think so, it's a short crank, comparatively speaking.

There must be something pretty complicated to overcome, to keep Germany's and Japan's finest minds from building this thing.

Why have 4 cams when you can have 8!

Photo credits to Daimler Corporate Archives
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High mileage, low compression, and sometimes not firing on all cylinders, just like my cars.....

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Old 07-27-2008, 07:17 PM
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Jake Breyck Jake Breyck is offline
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I love the odd engine designs, the Napier Deltic is a cool one too. use in trains and ships its like 3 2 stroke V engines put togather to make a triangle, no heads or head plates each cyl shares a combustion chamber with its brother cyl.

Wiki article.

-Jake Breyck
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:31 PM
Tacoma_Kyle Tacoma_Kyle is offline
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It's probably just straight up difficult to build, err manufacture. In conjunction with it probably being difficult to justify it in whatever application. Just guesses...
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:32 PM
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rwdfreak rwdfreak is offline
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There's something that come really close to what you are looking for. It was built by BRM in the mid 60's for GP formula. There's a short description on this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Racing_Motors. I guess a smal reasearchon google could porbably give you better result.

The most powerfull one, type 75, was pushing 600bhp at 13 500rpm with a small 3 litre displacement.

I got my info from a 1972 Sports car of the world by Petersen. In the book there's 12 other exemple of 16cylinders using different configuration, even parallel and radial.

I could scan the related pages (obviously not all 12 article though)
"It's not what you drive. It's what drives you"

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:02 PM
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Wild fellas.... I didn't know those types of adjoining engines existed as one functioning unit... Better yet designed in the WW2 era at that...

Amagine trying to advance the timing on that, or finding out the firing order.. 16 cylinder X engines, ... I would assume with that many moving parts something like that would experience frequent failures when comparing them to todays smaller generic designed motors... I would assume this is probably the reason why these types of motors weren't put into mass production...

Good stuff regardless....
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:19 AM
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Zuffen Zuffen is offline
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Rolls Royce had an inverted V12 Merlin engine they used in aircraft before WWII.

It worked well enough to help win the war!

That BRM took 100hp just to rotate the camshafts. I always found that a staggering figure.


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