Best, or just sweetest 4 cylinder engines?

Best, or just sweetest 4 cylinder engines?

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Electrics not for me

Original Poster:

37 posts

1 month

Saturday
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biggbn said:
Honda four pots? The old Fiat Twin Cam was a lovely old unit. And I have a massive sof spot for the VAG 1.9 tdi. Most influential engine of the 20th century?
Well yes, that 1.9 diesel made it's way into many a car and was tuned mercilessly and often mapped to oblivion. Taxis to boy racers used them in big numbers.
I'd probably say the most influential engine could also be argued to be the pushrod American V8?

drmike37

337 posts

36 months

Saturday
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I would suggest:

Honda v4 in the RC30/45. I still want one now. Will never be able to afford one.
The cross plane Yamaha R1 engine - not terribly reliable as it turned out, but they sound ace.
Subaru flat 4. I was the right age to be impressed by Colin Mcrae!
VAG TDi 1.9. Just does what it's supposed to do.

Left field - Land Rover 2 1/4 petrol (as in the Series 3). I was surprised how smooth they are when tuned properly, and impressed by their ability to still run with a knackered head gasket and no compression on two cylinders.

htw-bu

9 posts

115 months

Saturday
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Another vote for the 3.0 in a 944. I’ve had one for a few weeks now and it has very similar characteristics to the N52 in the 130i I had a few years back.

Castrol for a knave

3,089 posts

71 months

Saturday
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Alfa's 105 Nord, in 1600cc - revvier than the 1750 and 2000.

Sounds even better with the air box replaced by trumpets on the Weber 45's.


Driveeasy

57 posts

6 months

Saturday
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Honda MC22 with 20,000 rpm redline. A friend owned one years ago and it was the best thing I’ve ever heard.

230TE

2,168 posts

166 months

Saturday
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I had a couple of Golf GTi Mk1s which were an absolute joy at high revs. This was the earlier 1.6 litre solid tappet engine, redline 6,700 and they had this lovely smooth metallic hum over 5,000, never got coarse or thrashy. For a mass-market workhorse engine they were a lot better than they needed to be. Then VW brought out the 1.8 with a longer throw crank and hydraulic tappets, and Golf GTis were never quite so much fun after that.

CanoeSniffer

869 posts

67 months

Saturday
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Honda K20s are used a lot on the racing scene, in fact all Honda four pots including the earlier ones- B16 I want to say, errr, I may be running out of knowledge. Anyway, I had no idea I could be outdragged by the little buzzers in a 300hp Jag until I started racing them, bloody hell they make good power.

I had a ZS120+ with a K series, it was a sub £1000 shed to run with my Cerbera. Couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it, standard intake but the induction noise was awesome and a decent exhaust made it really viscerally satisfying even if it wasn’t very fast. Totally changed my perspective having never enjoyed a 4 pot before. Taken too soon by an engine loom fault which swallowed too much diagnostic time and money to justify for a cheap shed, now I really miss it.

230TE

2,168 posts

166 months

Saturday
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drmike37 said:
Left field - Land Rover 2 1/4 petrol (as in the Series 3). I was surprised how smooth they are when tuned properly, and impressed by their ability to still run with a knackered head gasket and no compression on two cylinders.
It's a shame so many were thrown away and replaced with diesels. A good one is really rather lovely in an almost vintage way. It's a very old fashioned engine, weighing about twice what it needs to and with far too many bolts holding it together. You can see why the old Rover company went bust, but all that metal seems to just absorb a lot of the noise and vibration.

mintmansam

273 posts

21 months

Saturday
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2.0 Duratec HE in my Fiesta is nice, smooth and light feeling, and comes with a nice noise

Used in the a number of motorsport vehciles and the caterhams.

I always liked the noise of the 1.4 Abarth Engines but not sure how they feel.

I have a NC30 with the Droner firing order (like the RC30) that’s very different.

wyson

686 posts

84 months

Saturday
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Seems the theme is Porsche, Honda and Alfa are the best, along with some special ‘non standard’ engines from Mitsubishi, Ford and Vauxhall?

Biggy Stardust

3,888 posts

24 months

Saturday
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Mr Squarekins said:
My s1000rr has quite a nice 4 pot.
My Blackbird is smoother.

A.J.M

7,422 posts

166 months

Saturday
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230TE said:
drmike37 said:
Left field - Land Rover 2 1/4 petrol (as in the Series 3). I was surprised how smooth they are when tuned properly, and impressed by their ability to still run with a knackered head gasket and no compression on two cylinders.
It's a shame so many were thrown away and replaced with diesels. A good one is really rather lovely in an almost vintage way. It's a very old fashioned engine, weighing about twice what it needs to and with far too many bolts holding it together. You can see why the old Rover company went bust, but all that metal seems to just absorb a lot of the noise and vibration.
I’ve a 2.25 in my 80” and it’s a lovely engine, it revs cleanly with no issues, on tick over its smooth and quiet.
It’s a good example which is surprising given it was a trials car and has been thrashed for years in competition use.
Maybe that’s what’s kept it happy all these years…

MB140

3,345 posts

83 months

Saturday
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Had a integra dc5. The K20 engine in that was the best four pot I’ve ever driven. I used to wince ringing it out to the redline and was convinced it would grenade itself every time but it never did.

My mum had an Astra GTE with the Vauxhall red top engine in it. That probably comes a close second.

sawman

4,505 posts

210 months

Saturday
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I loved the 4A-GE engine in my mk1 mr2, smooth as you like and felt like it would run forever

McGee_22

5,294 posts

159 months

Saturday
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M10 BMW engine from the 1970’s?

Started at 80/90bhp? in a 2002, then 130bhp in the 2002tii, 170bhp in the Turbo, and ultimately about 1500bhp in qualifying tune in F1.

2xChevrons

1,877 posts

60 months

Saturday
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A.J.M said:
I’ve a 2.25 in my 80” and it’s a lovely engine, it revs cleanly with no issues, on tick over its smooth and quiet.
It’s a good example which is surprising given it was a trials car and has been thrashed for years in competition use.
Maybe that’s what’s kept it happy all these years…
The LR 2.25 is a good call for 'surprisingly sweet' found pots. I suppose it's because they're from the era when Rover over-engineered everything, but when they're in good internal condition and in proper tune they run incredibly smoothly and quietly - on a really good one you should really only be able to hear the distributor drive, the fan belt and the dynamo bearings at idle. Ridiculously tough, too (comes from sharing a lot of its design and parts with a diesel, I guess). I once saw a SII Landy with a 2.25 petrol get stuck in a mudhole at a crazy angle of lean that was enough to put the oil pressure light on. The engine had to stay running to power the capstan winch and it was like that for nearly an hour by the time we'd jostled it out. No ill effects whatsoever.

Staying with the Rover theme, the original square-stroke 2.0-litre OHC engine in the P6 is another one that's often unappreciated. Again, very smooth and free running and (apart from the thin side plates that rust out...) very well made.

The short-stroke air-cooled flat four in the Citroen GS should also get a mention. Extremely smooth, very low NVH, very free-revving and a nice soundtrack (combination of exhaust note and air-cooling noises). Just the problem of very little torque and quite thirsty for its size.


andyA700

1,313 posts

17 months

Saturday
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Another big shout for the Alfa twin cams. I had a 1.8 Giulietta back in 1990. Twin chain driven cams, two twin choke Dellorto carbs, stainless exhaust. The car revved and sounded great.

Jonstar

744 posts

171 months

Saturday
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Having owned or driven extensively a b18c, k20, f20c 2zz, 2zz supercharged, a couple of tuned ford duratecs, the b18c takes some beating. The feral cry while the speedo whizzes to 8500rpm is insane and makes my supercharged 2zz Exige sound like a toothbrush.

230TE

2,168 posts

166 months

Saturday
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2xChevrons said:
Staying with the Rover theme, the original square-stroke 2.0-litre OHC engine in the P6 is another one that's often unappreciated. Again, very smooth and free running and (apart from the thin side plates that rust out...) very well made.
That's a forgotten engine for sure. I remember back in the 1980s people were putting them in old Land Rovers and claiming to get 30 mpg out of them. I wonder if there are any of those conversions left: I've been fettling old Land Rovers for a "living" (Ha!) for twenty years now and never seen one. Main problem IIRC was the unusually high compression ratio, one of very few engines that actually needed five star petrol.

Glosphil

3,740 posts

214 months

Saturday
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I liked the 2.0L 160hp engine in my 2005 Honda Civic Type-S. Needed revs to give its performance & too low geared in top.

However, the 1.4TSi 150hp in my current Leon FR has more torque over a much greater rev range & 10mpg more. Also pulls a 50% higher top gear.