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Why No Aircooled Cars? #5186763 08/14/19 09:21 AM
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Passport1 Offline OP
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Why Not Aircooled Engines?


Aircooled cars have some inherent advantages over watercooled engines.

The have no radiators, water pumps or coolant hoses. This means there are no opportunities for leaks and possible overheating issues.
The engines are lighter and cheaper to manufacture.
Beacause there are no ancillary plumbing strutures they are easier to work on.

Possible disadvantages are less efficient heating for harsh winter climates although aircooled engines warm up faster.
They are noiser because of the lack of the sound damping effect of a water jacket.

I have experience with several VWs, older Porsches and even owned a Corvair. They never gave me any engine troubles and even kept me adequately warm during many awful Chicago winters.

With modern metallurgical and manufacturing advances the reliability of aircooled engines could be as good as watercooled ones. There is no reason why cars can't be made FWD or even AWD aircooled. While the boxer engine has the most common configuation it is possible any number of V type engines could be designed.

In the current automobile culture where gratuitious complexity seems to be the only profitable direction could it be time to return to the old fashioned idea of K.I.S.S?


1992 940 Volvo turbo 320K
2006 Saab 9-3 86k
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2012 Suzuki Kizashi
Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186771 08/14/19 09:27 AM
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Bailes1992 Offline
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I wouldn't be surprised if this is something that we see more in the future in hybrids for weight saving and packaging.

However, I think the biggest disadvantage is temperature control. A watercooled engine stays at a stable temperature regardless of load conditions. I'm sure for fuel economy and emissions, stable temperature control is ideal.


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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186773 08/14/19 09:28 AM
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Trav Offline
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With modern oil cooling systems on some air cooled engines that use fans and radiators almost as large as water cooled engines wear and tear is not longer the issue it once was. IMO its the inherent mechanical loudness (while not as loud as they used to be) of the engines themselves, with no water jacket to dampen the noise they too many people may find them obnoxious.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186777 08/14/19 09:28 AM
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Donald Offline
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you want a Corvair?


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186778 08/14/19 09:29 AM
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Performance and reliability would not meet today's standards for a daily driver, I don't think.

Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186785 08/14/19 09:33 AM
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Because a liquid-cooled engine can be properly designed to be MUCH more efficient, as the coolant can be routed to "hot spots", etc.

Air-cooled motors are an exercise in over-building with no return except simplicity, and water pumps etc. last many many many miles in a quality vehicle today, so the added efficiency and power is worth "putting up" with them.


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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186787 08/14/19 09:34 AM
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Fawteen Offline
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Air cooled engine in a car or truck with a large displacement engine? No thanks.

They're fine for smaller engines, even some of the older cars with limited displacement. But most people don't want a lawnmower engine in their pickup.


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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186796 08/14/19 09:40 AM
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As a 3-5 yr old my father took me from California to Dallas,tx in a VW bug. We went in the summer, across the deserts with no problems at all.He used PZ 10w40 in the bugs he had,


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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186800 08/14/19 09:49 AM
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A modern emissions control system requires a consistent engine temperature to properly dial in all the parameters. A varying temperature in an air cooled engine is bad news for that.

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 08/14/19 09:50 AM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Fawteen] #5186803 08/14/19 09:51 AM
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Dave Sherman Offline
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Originally Posted by Fawteen
Air cooled engine in a car or truck with a large displacement engine? No thanks.

They're fine for smaller engines, even some of the older cars with limited displacement. But most people don't want a lawnmower engine in their pickup.


Oddly enough, Jay Leno's tank engine car uses a large air-cooled V-12, so large displacement air-cooled engines for land vehicles do exist. Seems to me Franklins from the 1920s had air-cooled V-8s and V-12s.


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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Snagglefoot] #5186804 08/14/19 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Snagglefoot
A modern emissions control system requires a consistent engine temperature to properly dial in all the parameters. A varying temperature in an air cooled engine is bad news for that.


^^^^^ This

Last edited by BMWTurboDzl; 08/14/19 09:53 AM.

“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Donald] #5186808 08/14/19 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Donald
you want a Corvair?



VW Beetle ?


Wyr
God bless
Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186809 08/14/19 09:55 AM
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THE EPA! That's why. Also the air cooled motorcycles they make typically overheat too, so I don't see how it would work better in a car.


2007.5 dodge cummins 6.7 liter. Chevron Delo400 15w40. 7000 mile or 250-300hr intervals.

Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Dave Sherman] #5186811 08/14/19 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Sherman
Oddly enough, Jay Leno's tank engine car uses a large air-cooled V-12, so large displacement air-cooled engines for land vehicles do exist. Seems to me Franklins from the 1920s had air-cooled V-8s and V-12s.

WWII M-4 Sherman tanks used a variety of engines . Some used air cooled rotary engines , similar to those used in some airplanes . Think some of the tank destroyers did too .


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Re: Why No Aircooled Cars? [Re: Passport1] #5186837 08/14/19 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Passport1

Why Not Aircooled Engines?

Snip


I have experience with several VWs, older Porsches and even owned a Corvair. They never gave me any engine troubles and even kept me adequately warm during many awful Chicago winters.

Snip


VW aircooled kept you warm in Chicago winter. What color is the sky in your world? Had to have ice scraper for inside at the ready in mild kansas winters, yes, had the heater boxes on the head pipes too.

How about cylinder 3 failures from overheating from oil cooler.

Rod

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