Thursday, August 15, 2019
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
1 - ease of servicing: with fewer parts, and some critical componets easier to reach whenever some technical intervention becomes required, it also saves time and thus enables the vehicle to resume its usual operating routine sooner. Even a full engine overhaul, if it ever becomes required during the useful operating life of a vehicle fitted with a sidevalve engine, takes less time and fewer raw materials are needed because of the lower amount of parts in need of a replacement;
2 - lower revving: leading to advantages such as a longer engine longevity, besides being optimized for low-end torque which enables keeping a comfortable cruising speed on a higher gear with fewer RPMs, the peak torque closer to idle may also render it easier for novice drivers to learn how to use a manual transmission (which nowadays with so many automatics might serve as somewhat of a passive anti-theft device). Obviously can't compare so accurately to a more rev-happy modern engine, but the greater lower-end torque renders a larger-displacement sidevalve operating at lower RPMs paired to a higher gear ratio suitable to perform the same tasks with fewer stress;
3 - low manufacturing cost: with fewer parts due to its simpler designs, and some such as the cylinder head being noticeably simpler than what would be found on any other 4-stroke engine, a sidevalve could appeal to some conservative and budget-conscious buyer. For work vehicles such as trucks, which are also usually not so burdened by a displacement-biased tax structure which is prevalent in Europe and South America, this advantage may remain easier to exploit;
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Most often, the aftermarket options catering to those who seek for better-looking wheels are made out of light alloys, and usually either die-cast or forged. Pressed-steel wheels are still usually standard for entry-level models or versions of larger vehicles, but not often so appealing. It did surprise me to see this first-generation Chevrolet Prisma with a pressed-steel wheel that reminded me the Mangels-brand ones which were a popular aftermarket option for trucks and SUVs in my homeland Brazil in the '90s. Sure a small sedan is not the vehicle I would expect to see with a set of those, maybe it was borrowed while a stock wheel was being repaired after getting bent. But anyway, since so many SUVs and small coupé-utility trucklets have high sales volumes, maybe such wheels could've been somewhat appealing to those who either need something more resistent and easier to fix than an alloy wheel or want their brand-new mall-rated SUVs to look tougher...
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Friday, June 21, 2019
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Sometimes a technical approach which had been quite neglected for a while might end up being the best approach to overcome modern challenges, and this happens to apply to 2-cylinder engines. Sure it's not only an objective matter, with more subjective aspects also becoming relevant, but it doesn't justify the absence of such engine layout on most automotive markets nowadays.