What is an opposed engine, its advantages and disadvantages

Opposite engine pros and cons

If this type of engine had only advantages, it would be installed in all cars.

Unfortunately, there are a number of disadvantages that add a “spoon of tar”:

  1. The main disadvantage is the complexity of repair work. Because of the horizontal location, it is simply unreal to get under to the engine. Often it is necessary to remove the whole unit to conduct small repairs.
  2. The practice of operation has shown that due to the horizontal position of the engine, the cylinder liners are unevenly abraded. Because of this already after some time of operation the engine starts “eating oil”.
  3. It was planned to save space under the hood when releasing this engine, but it is vice versa – it takes much more space. Simply because it is placed a little lower.
  4. Because of the difficulty of design is very difficult to find a specialist who is ready to undertake a severe repair. If it also comes out to do it, you need to be prepared for the significant costs.

Opposite Engine

The first development of such a power plant dates back to the mid-thirties of the last century. At that time, the engineers of the German concern Volkswagen conducted their own research, alternately upgrading the inline and V-shaped engines. As a result, the result of one of these modernizations was the development of the world’s first opposition motor.

The engineers simply managed to position the cylinders of the V-shaped power unit at a 180 degree angle to each other. The pistons of this motor move towards each other, that is oppositely. And they are located in the horizontal plane. The timing mechanisms of this motor are placed in the vertical plane. Another interesting feature of such an engine is two camshafts on each side. The main problem this engine solved was the unbalanced nature of the V-shaped power unit. The opposed engine is very well-balanced, with the pistons acting as counterweights to one another. Only the six-cylinder inline engine can strike a better balance, according to experts.But there are other “advantages” to this type of engine:1

Low location of the center of gravity, which is especially important for sports cars. In fact, there is an opportunity to pass curves at a much higher speed due to the reduced rolls.2

High resource. Many similar engines “survive” several hundred thousand kilometers before overhaul.Of course, the overdrive engine has some disadvantages:1. The complexity of maintenance due to the special arrangement of the cylinders. For example, even the trivial change of spark plugs should be performed at a service station with special equipment. High cost of the unit itself due to special technologies used in its production.It is worth noting that the opposition engine has been sufficiently widespread and has occupied its niche in the market. Thus, the first mass car with such an engine was the cult Volkswagen Beetle, which has gained considerable popularity in Europe and across the ocean. In addition, since the 60’s, a significant contribution to the development of this type of engine has made the Japanese company Subaru. Many of its models are equipped with an opposition power unit.Opposite engine

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How to avoid a costly repair of an opposed engine

Any opposition engine has pros and cons, which is quite natural. In order to avoid problems, the correction of which may require very serious material costs, it makes sense to listen to the advice of experts, and operate the car with the installed opposed engine correctly

The first thing you should pay close attention to is the exact observance of terms of passing of maintenance, which should be carried out at specialized stations and only by qualified personnel

Great care should be exercised when choosing engine oil. It is necessary to give preference only to famous brands, purchase it either at specialized stores with an impeccable reputation, or at the branded service centers. The use of low-quality product can cause a lot of troubles to an excessively frugal driver. The same can be said about the quality of fuel. Fuel containing a large amount of “unapproved” additives seriously reduces engine life, resulting in the need for costly repairs.

Many car owners, who buy vehicles with an opposed engine, have heard about its high-quality and efficient cooling system, so they don’t dwell on this point. You should not race the engine mercilessly, especially in the warm season – the most perfect cooling system may fail to cope with its task. In no small measure contributes to hampered cooling and lack of periodic engine washing – the accumulated dirt on the motor significantly hampers heat dissipation, contributing to excessive heating.

Despite some complications, the opposition engine has proven to be an excellent choice, significantly improving driving comfort and safety. It should be noted that the popular opinion about the extreme costliness of owning a car with such an engine is clearly exaggerated. For example, consider the brand “Subaru”, which has long produced cars with exactly this type of engine – they have never been among the cars with excessively expensive maintenance, and many cars with standard engines cost their owners much more. This is due to significant savings on fuel, which is required much less – depending on a specific car model, fuel economy can reach 50%.

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Is there any advantage of oppositional engine

Like any other type, the opposition engine has advantages and disadvantages, which are due to the design features. Despite some negative aspects, the advantages of this type of engine are quite numerous.

  1. What the opposition engine is good at is its low location, which automatically lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity. This significantly improves the overall handling at high speeds, and increases the stability of the vehicle on the road.
  2. Because the engine is positioned low, it is virtually level with the transmission, which allows for minimal torque loss and minimal power loss.
  3. A huge advantage of the opposition engine is its extremely low vibration level, even at high speeds. This is achieved by turning the piston groups 180 degrees in relation to each other, which provides an excellent engine balancing and quick dampening of unnecessary energy. Consequently the operation of the engine becomes surprisingly smooth and there are no jerks.
  4. Due to the excellent balance of the opposition engine, the crankshaft is normally supported by only three bearings rather than the five bearings on a standard engine. This makes it shorter and also reduces its weight.
  5. It is the opposition engine that has absolutely no competitors in the field of passive safety – even in case of a strong frontal collision it will never “penetrate” into the cabin, but simply fall down, without causing harm to the driver and passengers. According to the statistics, this feature has saved more than one hundred human lives.
  6. Any oppositional diesel/gasoline engine has a great service life, which may be up to a million kilometers, if operated correctly. All the car owner will have to do is not neglect oil change within the terms established by the manufacturer, as well as timely change other consumables.

Subaru Opposite Engine.

These engines are the most popular on cars of such a brand as Subaru. The composition engine today has become practically the embodiment of this brand, although in addition to Subaru it is used (although much less frequently) in cars of other brands, such as Porsche. By the way, connoisseurs of the Soviet motorcycle classics, probably remember such motorcycles with the opposition engine as “Dnepr” and “Ural”, with their characteristic sound of the working engine. By the way, the sound of the opposition engine is another of its features and a marketing advantage for car manufacturers. Thus, Subaru presents this sound and its racing achievements as a kind of “highlight” of their cars and their distinction from all others, which in turn has a positive effect on the sales of this brand.

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What is an opposition engine? The principle of operation, the pros and cons of the engine!

Table of contents: 1) What is an opposed engine? 2) The principle of operation of an opposed engine and its structure 3) Types of opposed engines 4) Pros of an opposed engine 5) Cons of an opposed engine 6) Difficulties in repair and maintenance of an opposed engine

1) What is an opposed engine? An opposed engine is a special type of power plant, reminiscent of a traditional internal combustion engine, in which the cylinders have a special arrangement – horizontal. In the people such units are known as “boxers”. This is the nickname the engine got due to the fact that the pistons move either away from each other, or towards each other. At the same time, a pair of pistons is in the same position, for example, at the bottom. The very first example appeared in 1938, thanks to the efforts of the Volkswagen Motor Company. At that time, the unit was a 4-cylinder opposition engine with a capacity of 2 liters. The maximum power of the power plant reached 150 horsepower. The Oppo motor was very widespread. Today, the production and installation of the unit are engaged in such eminent automobile concerns as Subaru and Porsche. Earlier it was possible to find the engine and on models from Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, Ferrari. Similar units are used in motorcycles, Ikarus buses and some military vehicles (e.g. tanks).

2) The principle of operation of an opposition engine and its structure To fully understand what an opposition engine is, it is necessary to get acquainted with its structure. As noted above, it is an internal combustion engine, which has a special structure – a pair of pistons moves in a horizontal plane (not up and down, but from left to right). The second, adjacent one is in the same position. The number of such cylinders varies from 2 to 12 (their number is always a multiple of two). The most common examples have 4 and 6 cylinders. 8- and 12-cylinder engines have been developed for sports cars. Professionals note that the principle of operation of 2 and 4-cylinder opposites does not differ from traditional digators. Those that have six cylinders have their own peculiarities.

3) Types of opposition engines The principle of operation of an opposition engine also varies depending on the specifics of its construction. Even such a simple unit can have several variations in the operation of pistons. Consequently, the following types of engines are distinguished: – Opposite boxer is often used in the production of Subaru cars. How the opposition engine of the stated type works: the pistons are located at a predetermined distance opposite each other, for example, if the first is fixed at a certain distance from the engine axis, then the second will take a similar position. In this case they are each located in a separate cylinder. The described functioning principle resembles a boxing match, hence the name of the type. – OROS has a completely different principle of construction and order of operation of the pistons. Such units are two-stroke units. One cylinder has two pistons at once, which are attached to one crankshaft. The first is responsible for the intake of mixture, the other for the timely release of combustion products. This design does not have a head, which is often found on the cylinder block. The advantages of the OROS opposition engine are that the pistons function in favor of a single crankshaft. This type of device has a small mass and is smaller in size. Consequently, the scope of application has expanded considerably. In addition, the specified engine can run on different fuels – diesel or gasoline. Let us mention the main advantages: – the pistons pass much less distance, as a result the friction force, which negatively affects the wear resistance, is significantly reduced; – the efficiency increases, because the harmful gases do not affect the combustion chamber, but exert pressure on the pistons; – the engine is 30-50% lighter than usual; – the opposition engine has fewer parts (by 50% in average); – economy, – no valve drive system – The engine takes much less space under the hood. However, it is worth remembering that the OROS is under development, so there may be many unforeseen problems during operation. – Tank engine (5TDF, designed specifically for the T-64 and T-72). The resource of the opposition engine is designed for large-sized military vehicles. Here the pistons share one cylinder and move in the same direction, but each has its own separate crankshaft. The place where the fuel is ignited (combustion chamber) occurs when the gap between the pistons becomes minimal. As with the OROS engines, air is injected into the cylinders, and unnecessary gases are removed by turbocharging. The counter stroke of the pistons has made it possible to design a compact but powerful unit. The powerplant had a rev limit of 2,000 and a power output of 700 horsepower. The volume reached 6 and 13 liters respectively.

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4) Pros of the opposition engine Every element in the automobile body has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of the opposition engine are as follows: – reducing the center of gravity of the vehicle, which positively affects its stability; – the life of the engine necessarily increases (if properly operated, it reaches about 1 million km); – due to the special interaction of the pistons, the level of vibration and noise emissions is reduced.

5) Disadvantages of the opposition engine If the opposition engine has advantages, there are certain disadvantages: – costly self-maintenance – involvement of professionals is required; – expensive and complicated repair, because the components are of high value; – expensive power plant; – complexity of construction; – increased oil consumption during operation. Despite the above disadvantages, many car manufacturers equip their models with such units. The development companies thoroughly weigh the pros and cons before using this type of engine. The main advantage is great opportunities and wide prospects. So, all negative aspects, in fact, are reduced to expensive maintenance, which can affect the choice of most motorists not in favor of the presented units. However large manufacturers (Porsche, Subaru) consider that quality requires big investments into service. For example, the Japanese automobile concern is not going back to traditional internal combustion engines, because they believe that in such case they will make a step back in terms of technology. Since the car models have proved to be only the best, the sales level does not depend in any way on service costs.

It is important to note that often the positive aspects of these engines are noticeable only in power units that have six cylinders, and here 2 and 4-cylinder engines do not differ much from traditional ICE. If you need to perform some kind of manipulation with this type of engine, then you should definitely contact the professionals at the car service. On your own, you can only change the oil. Even the replacement of the candles is better to entrust to professionals, beginners will easily damage the cylinder head. Complete repair is made only at special service stations. Timely and systematic decontamination can prolong the service life. This procedure implies cleaning the surface of the combustion chamber, valves and pistons from carbon deposits. The operation is carried out in the autumn season or in March, when it is also very reasonable to check the engine oil. In the material we have considered what the concept of “opposition engine” means, described the principle of functioning, the possible pros and cons. We hope that it will help to be defined with a choice not only the motor, but also the future automodel on which such power unit can be established.

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