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#1716417 - 12/22/09 04:36 PM Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine
Marukai Offline


Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 236
Loc: Maryland
I would like for some of you to post some opinions about Boxer engines, also known as H engines or horizontally opposed engines. I hear that they are significantly more expensive to produce, but they last over 500k miles. Subaru and Porche are the only 2 companies that incorporate this technology in their cars. VW use to in the old beetle.
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2009 Subaru
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#1716420 - 12/22/09 04:38 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Marukai]
Nick R Offline


Registered: 07/14/09
Posts: 10273
Loc: Saratoga, NY
Pros: Inherently balanced design, like an Inline 6. Fairly durable.

Cons: Poor fuel economy.
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13 Ford Focus SE 2.0L/27,000miles/Valvoline Synpower 0W-20/MC FL-910S
13 Chevy Traverse 3.6L/12,000mi/QSUD 5W-30/FRAM Ultra
11 Chevy Cruze 1.4T/26k

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#1716424 - 12/22/09 04:40 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Nick R]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 9490
Loc: Illinois
Doug Hillary is your man to talk to about Boxers. You ask about oil in your other post. Doug ,I believe , uses M1 5-40 Delvac 1.


Edited by tig1 (12/22/09 04:43 PM)
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#1716429 - 12/22/09 04:50 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Nick R]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 8450
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
They are durable for sure.They also allow for a lower hood profile.When water cooled mileage seems to be on par with other designs.
Ferrari has used flat engines for years.Chevrolet had a turbo flat 6 long before Porsche had even a 6 on the market.
Citroen has also used them on and off for decades.
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#1716433 - 12/22/09 04:54 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Nick R]
ueberooo Offline


Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 662
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Originally Posted By: rudolphna
Pros: Inherently balanced design, like an Inline 6. Fairly durable.

Cons: Poor fuel economy.


Some questions: why do boxers have worse fuel economy/efficiency. Why are they more expensive to produce?

Boxers have less mass (balancers), so you think maybe that would help with both efficiency and cost.

I'll add to pro: 1. Low center of gravity. 2. Engine makes a noise that's music to the ears.

Re durability, there are some good durable boxers out there like the normally aspirated subaru 2.2 liter
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--- 1995 Subie Imp EJ18, MT, with ~ 185K miles.... 10w30. I <3 MoS2 + B + Zn ----

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#1716435 - 12/22/09 04:56 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Trav]
ueberooo Offline


Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 662
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Originally Posted By: Trav
Chevrolet had a turbo flat 6 long before Porsche had even a 6 on the market.


Didn't Chevrolet hire Porsche to design their H6 for the Corvair?


Edited by ueberooo (12/22/09 04:57 PM)
_________________________
--- 1995 Subie Imp EJ18, MT, with ~ 185K miles.... 10w30. I <3 MoS2 + B + Zn ----

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#1716441 - 12/22/09 05:01 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Marukai]
saaber1 Offline


Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 1877
Loc: Pacnw
Originally Posted By: Marukai
I would like for some of you to post some opinions about Boxer engines, also known as H engines or horizontally opposed engines. I hear that they are significantly more expensive to produce, but they last over 500k miles. Subaru and Porche are the only 2 companies that incorporate this technology in their cars. VW use to in the old beetle.


Depends what specific engine you are referring to. Porsche Boxsters and 911's in particular have failure rates sometimes quoted as high in 1 in 5 due to intermediate shaft failure, cracked piston liners, and slipped liners. This is only for about 1997-2003ish water cooled flat sixes. There are tons of them that failed within the first 30k miles even. That is why 911s of this vintage are so cheap. There are a few good articles on these failures online and some aftermarket companies have come up with remanufacture fixes for both problems. Older air cooled ones are pretty bulletproof.

Subi's 2.2 liter is virtually indestructable with many, many running around with over 300k and no issues. The 2.5 is also a great engine but some years, particularly 1997-2000ish that have head gasket failures.

As a rule boxers are more noisy and I can pick out a flat 6 porsche or a subi with some miles on it within a couple blocks because they have a distinctive "clatter". They are smooth and efficient engines, I love em. Would love to look into a subi diesel boxer if they brought to u.s. and no cvt tranny.
_________________________
"when 5W30 is cold, ...the oil is 35 weight (5+30),...20 w 50 starts at 70 and warms up to 50"
- Kyle, auto mechanic & VP Speedline Motorsports, INTL

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#1716455 - 12/22/09 05:13 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: saaber1]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 3338
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: saaber1
Would love to look into a subi diesel boxer if they brought to u.s. and no cvt tranny.


TDB slobber
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#1716456 - 12/22/09 05:16 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: saaber1]
MrWideTires Offline


Registered: 05/18/09
Posts: 608
Loc: Sarasota, FL
I come from a family that owns mostly all subarus...

I can tell you this:

PROS:
-the sound
-durability (try to use a 5w40 or something like that)
-low center of gravity
-easy to work on.. everything is right on top
-they can rev all day long (subarus)
-Smooth

CONS:
-plugs are difficult to replace (so use platinum)
-Cost a bit more (but it's more durable)

People say they get poor fuel economy, but my 2005 Legacy amazes me all the time, it gets 29mpg and I'm not exactly easy on it.
That is better that my SpecV... and my Spec is 2wd and weights 2600lbs(lightened, and it gets ~25mpg) ...my Subaru is 4wd, about 3200lbs and gets 29mpg! I love this car.
I am not defending subaru because I have a few of them... but I own a few of them because they have proven themselves to be some of the best cars ever made.
IMO the best part is that the B-pillars have 8 layers of steel + a steel bar.
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#1716458 - 12/22/09 05:17 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: gathermewool]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 32535
Loc: New Jersey
+1 to the diesel


Edited by JHZR2 (12/22/09 05:18 PM)

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#1716464 - 12/22/09 05:22 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: saaber1]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 8086
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
There are Mid level maintenance costs on the subaru with the T belt/tensioner water pump required service replacement at the century mark and plug change half way at 50K. unfortunately the 2.5L subaru engine is not the best, in fact it has terrible reliability - partially due to the open deck block. The bore/stroke ratio is silly oversquare and it doent use shared crankpins. The 2.2L was the gem. Ive owned six subarus fom a 1.8L Loyale, a 3 cyl justy, flat 6 SVX, numerous imprezas and a current 09 NA pzev forester. All said though, The Impreza 4 door basemodel priceleader is a steal for the $16700USD out the door that it could be had for NEW around here this past summer. Not an exciting car, more soft and heavy and "legacy: like now.
- I wish you only good luck with yours, Marukai!


Edited by ARCOgraphite (12/22/09 05:24 PM)
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#1716465 - 12/22/09 05:23 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Marukai]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 32535
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Marukai
I would like for some of you to post some opinions about Boxer engines, also known as H engines or horizontally opposed engines. I hear that they are significantly more expensive to produce, but they last over 500k miles.


500k is a tough thing. Though a maintained diamond in the rough from any engine class/type with maintenance can likely do 500k, very few ever do. The only engines I view as true 500k engines for passenger cars/trucks are older mb 616/617 diesels, cummins b series diesels, older Toyota 4 cyl engines, ford i6 truck engines and the older gm 350/262 engines. Most others have too many issues too early to be true 500k engines.

I had heard of older subarus being long-life cars, but never saw proof myself.

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#1716481 - 12/22/09 05:38 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: Nick R]
Marukai Offline


Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 236
Loc: Maryland
I too would like to know why it would have poorer fuel economy over a common Inline 4
_________________________
2009 Subaru
Impreza 2.5i 5MT
Eneos 5w40 For summer
Eneos 5w30 For winter
Eneos MTF 75w90. Smooth as Butter smile

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#1716483 - 12/22/09 05:39 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: JHZR2]
labman Offline


Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 8711
Loc: Nothern USA
Is the durability and fuel economy inherent to the boxer design, or other factors of specific engines? Does it avoid the balance problem in 4's?

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#1716488 - 12/22/09 05:45 PM Re: Pros and Cons of owning a Boxer engine [Re: ueberooo]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 8450
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
The Chevrolet version was built at a time when Porsche was using nothing more than a modified Bug engine.It was far more advanced in materials and design.It seems to be closer to a Lycoming engine design than VW which probably also had its roots in small pre war aviation engines.I dont know but i suspect that Porsche saw the advantages of the Corvair 6 engine possibly leading them to adding 2 more to the VW boxer.

IMHO the Corvair could very well have been one of the best and technically advanced cars ever made in this country if it wasn't for a nut job that IMHO took a payoff to give the car a bad name it didn't deserve.I wish i could see what it would have become with better engineering,aerodynamics and liquid cooling.
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