Stroke Ratio

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PAGE CONTENTS:
^ Overview.
^ Bore/Stroke Ratio.
^ ^ Square Engines:
^ ^ ^ Examples:
^ ^ Oversquare or short-stroke engines:
^ ^ ^ Examples:
^ ^ Undersquare or long-stroke engines:
^ ^ ^ Examples:
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Overview

In a reciprocating piston engine, the stroke ratio, defined by either bore/stroke ratio or stroke/bore ratio, is a term to describe the ratio between cylinder bore diameter and piston stroke. This can be used for either an internal combustion engine, where the fuel is burned within the cylinders of the engine, or external combustion engine, such as a steam engine, where the combustion of the fuel takes place outside the working cylinders of the engine.

In a piston engine, there are two different ways of describing the stroke ratio of its cylinders, namely: bore/stroke ratio, and stroke/bore ratio.

Bore/Stroke Ratio

Bore/stroke is the more commonly used term, with usage in North America, Europe, United Kingdom, Asia, and Australia.

The diameter of the cylinder bore is divided by the length of the piston stroke to give the ratio.

Square, Oversquare and Undersquare Engines:

The following terms describe the naming conventions for the configurations of the various bore/stroke ratio:

Square Engines:

 A square engine has equal bore and stroke dimensions, giving a bore/stroke value of exactly 1:1.

Square engine examples:

1970 – Ford 400 had a 101.6 mm × 101.6 mm (4.00 in × 4.00 in) bore and stroke.

1983 – Mazda FE 2.0L inline four-cylinder engine with a perfectly squared 86.0 mm × 86.0 mm (3.4 in × 3.4 in) bore and stroke. This engine also features the ideal 1.75:1 rod/stroke ratio.

1989 – Nissan’s SR20DE is a square engine, with an 86.0 mm × 86.0 mm (3.39 in × 3.39 in) bore and stroke.

1991 – Ford’s 4.6 V8 OHC engine has a 90.2 mm × 90.0 mm (3.552 in × 3.543 in) bore and stroke. It has been the backbone of Ford V8-powered cars and trucks in different power levels and head designs for two decades.

2000 – Mercedes-Benz 4.0-litre (3996 cc; 243.9 cu in) OM628 V8 diesel engine is an example of a square engine – with an 86.0 mm × 86.0 mm (3.39 in × 3.39 in) bore and stroke.

The Volkswagen Group’s 2005 W16 engine as used in the Bugatti Veyron also using a 86.0 mm × 86.0 mm (3.39 in × 3.39 in) bore and stroke.

Oversquare or short-stroke engines:

An engine is described as oversquare or short-stroke if its cylinders have a greater bore diameter than its stroke length, giving a bore/stroke ratio greater than 1:1.

An oversquare engine allows for more and larger valves in the head of the cylinder, higher possible rpm by lowering maximum piston ring speed and lower crank stress due to the lower peak piston acceleration for the same engine speed. Due to the increased piston and head surface area, the heat loss increases as the bore/stroke ratio is increased. Thus an excessively high ratio can lead to a decreased thermal efficiency compared to other engine geometries. Because these characteristics favor higher engine speeds, oversquare engines are often tuned to develop peak torque at a relatively high speed. The large size/width of the combustion chamber at ignition can cause increased inhomogeneity in the air/fuel mixture during combustion, resulting in higher emissions.

The reduced stroke length allows for a shorter cylinder and sometimes a shorter connecting rod, generally making oversquare engines less tall but wider than undersquare engines of similar engine displacement.

Oversquare engines (a.k.a. “short stroke engines”) are very common, as they allow higher rpm (and thus more power), without excessive piston speed.

Oversquare engine examples:

Examples include both Chevrolet and Ford small-block V8s. The BMW N45 gasoline engine has a bore/stroke ratio of 1.167.

Horizontally opposed, also known as “Boxer” or “flat”, engines typically feature oversquare designs since any increase in stroke length would result in twice the increase in overall engine width. This is particularly so in Subaru’s front-engine layout, where the steering angle of the front wheels is constrained by the width of the engine. Although oversquare engines have a reputation for being high-strung, low-torque machines, the Subaru EJ181 engine develops peak torque at speeds as low as 3200 rpm.

Nissan’s SR16VE engine found in Nissan Pulsar VZ-R and VZ-R N1 is an oversquare engine with 86 millimetres (3.39 in) bore and 68.7 millimetres (2.70 in) stroke, giving it an impressive 175–200 horsepower (130–150 kW) but relatively small torque of 119–134 pound-feet (161–182 N⋅m; 16.5–18.5 kg⋅m)

Extreme oversquare engines are found in Formula One racing cars, where strict rules limit displacement, thereby necessitating that power be achieved through high engine speeds. Stroke ratios approaching 2.5:1 are allowed, enabling engine speeds of 18,000 rpm while remaining reliable for multiple races.

The Ducati Panigale motorcycle engine is massively oversquare with a bore/stroke ratio of 1.84:1. It was given the name “SuperQuadro” by Ducati, roughly translated as “super-square” from Italian.

The side-valve Belgian D-Motor LF26 aero-engine has a bore/stroke ratio of 1.4:1.

Early Mercedes-Benz M116 engines had a 92 millimetres (3.62 in) bore and a 65.6 millimetres (2.58 in) stroke for a 3.5 litre V8.

Undersquare or long-stroke engines:

An engine is described as undersquare or long-stroke if its cylinders have a smaller bore (width, diameter) than its stroke (length of piston travel) – giving a ratio value of less than 1:1.

At a given engine speed, a longer stroke increases engine friction and increases stress on the crankshaft due to the higher peak piston acceleration. The smaller bore also reduces the area available for valves in the cylinder head, requiring them to be smaller or fewer in number.

Undersquare engines exhibit peak torque at lower rpm than an oversquare engine due to their longer crank throw and high piston speed.

Undersquare engines have become more common lately, as manufacturers push for more and more efficient engines and higher fuel economy. Undersquare engines have a higher volume/surface area ratio, leading to reduced heat loss and higher BSFC.

Undersquare engine examples:

Many inline engines, particularly those mounted transversely in front-wheel-drive cars, utilize an undersquare design. The smaller bore allows for a shorter engine that increases room available for the front wheels to steer. Examples of this include many Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, and Mazda engines. The 1KR-FE-engine used in the Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107 amongst others is an example of a modern long-stroke engine widely used in FF layout cars. This engine has a 71 mm bore and 84 mm stroke giving it a bore/stroke ratio of 0.845:1. Some rear-wheel-drive cars that borrow engines from front-wheel-drive cars (such as the Mazda MX-5) use an undersquare design. .

BMW’s acclaimed S54B32 engine was undersquare (91 millimetres (3.58 in) stroke vs 87 millimetres (3.43 in) bore), offering a world record torque-per-litre figure (114 N⋅m/L, 320 lb⋅ft/US gal) for normally-aspirated production engines at the time; this record stood until Ferrari unveiled the 458 Italia.

Many British automobile companies used undersquare designs until the 1950s, largely because of a motor tax system that taxed cars by their cylinder bore. This includes the BMC A-Series engine, and many Nissan derivatives. The Trojan Car used an undersquare, split piston, two stroke, two cylinder in line engine; this was partly for this tax advantage and partly because its proportions allowed flexing V-shaped connecting rods for the two pistons of each U-shaped cylinder, which was cheaper and simpler than two connecting rods joined with an additional bearing.

The 225 cu in (3.7 litre) Chrysler Slant-6 engine is undersquare, with a 86 millimetres (3.39 in) bore and a 105 millimetres (4.13 in) stroke (bore/stroke ratio = 0.819:1).

The Ford 5.4L Modular Engine features a cylinder bore of 90.1 mm (3.552 in) and a stroke of 105.8 mm (4.165 in), which makes a bore/stroke ratio of 0.852:1. Since the stroke is significantly longer than the bore, the SOHC 16V (2-valve per cylinder) version of this engine is able to generate a peak torque of 350 lb·ft as low as 2501 rpm.

The Willys Jeep L134 and F134 engines were undersquare, with a 79.4 mm (3.125 in) bore and 111.1 mm (4.375 in) stroke (bore/stroke ratio = 0.714:1).

The Dodge Power Wagon used a straight-six Chrysler Flathead engine of 230 cu in (3.8 l) with a bore of 83 millimetres (3.27 in) and a stroke of 117 millimetres (4.61 in), yielding a substantially undersquare bore/stroke ratio of 0.709:1.

Virtually all piston engines used in military aircraft were long-stroke engines. The PW R-2800, Wright R-3350, Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major, Rolls-Royce Merlin (1650), Allison V-1710, and Hispano-Suiza 12Y-Z are only a few of more than a hundred examples.

While most modern motorcycle engines are square or oversquare, some are undersquare. The Kawasaki Z1300’s straight-six engine was made undersquare to minimise engine width, more recently, a new straight-twin engine for the Honda NC700 series used an undersquare design to achieve better combustion efficiency in order to reduce fuel consumption.

All diesel-powered ships have massively undersquare marine engines. A Wärtsilä two-stroke marine diesel engine has a cylinder bore of 960 mm (37.8 in) and stroke of 2500 mm (98.4 in), (bore/stroke ratio = 0.384:1).

From Wikipedia

Most slow-speed diesel engines are undersquare allowing them to produce high torque ratings at slow crankshaft speeds. High-speed diesel engines tend to be more square or oversquare requiring them to turn much more quickly in order to produce their power.

A fairly comprehensive yet understandable study of stroke/bore effects was published in Horseless Age, 1916.


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General Comments About the Website

FROM Donald: "This is an awesome website. I found the information that I needed right away from one of the over 20,000 free articles that you provide as a public service. I'm surprised that so much if this site is free. But I still signed up so I could access the thousands of expanded pages, interesting articles, and dozens of valuable programs! The member's library of books, magazines and videos that I can view online is really terrific! I understand that you and your staff are all unpaid volunteers. Please keep up the good work. And I commend you for your plans to add another 10,000 free informative articles over the next year. I'm thrilled to support you in this endeavor with my small membership donation. Thanks again for all your hard work."

FROM Huey: "I agree with my Uncle, I too have found the articles to be very enlightening. They say that it will take about 100,000 articles to cover the full scope that they have envisioned for the website. They have over 20,000 articles so far and that's doing pretty well, but it could take several years to get the rest. I also noticed that many of the Main Topic Pages and some of the article pages are still in the rough draft stage. I guess that they will fill in as they can get volunteers to work on them. But what I can't figure out is why anyone would spend the time writing informative in depth articles just to give away free to this website for publication? What's in it for them?"

FROM Dewey: "Well Huey, to me It looks like most of the articles on this website are written by very informed people, like boating instructors, boat designers, boat builders, riggers, electricians, fitters, marine repair technicians and marine surveyors. Writing such articles helps establish them as knowledgeable professionals. After all, this website was originally created by a school for marine technicians and marine surveyors. The website is growing in content every day. They even had to move to a bigger, more powerful server because the website's traffic has been growing exponentially."

FROM Louie: "I agree with everyone above. This site is quickly becoming the ultimate reference resource about every aspect of boats and ships for everyone from the beginning recreational boater to the seasoned professional mariner. I use the topic pages on the right sidebar to browse around the website. It's like a Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook for Boaters. Their Members' Library of over 300 popular and obscure books and over 200 magazine back issues that can be viewed online is fabulous. The Academy's magazine is especially informative. On top of that, there is the "Ask-An-Expert program for members where you can get an expert's answer to any of your boat questions. And a whole years membership is only $25. What a deal! I really love being part of this "Everything About Boats" community and help provide thousands of helpful articles free to the public. I think that I'll sit down right now and write an article about my experiences boating with my uncle."

FROM Scrooge: "You rave about this website like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Well, I think it stinks. Sure, it has a lot of good information for boaters, and they're adding more every day, but it will probably never be finished. Furthermore, I don't even own a boat. And I wouldn't have a boat even if someone gave me one. Boats are a waste of money and time and energy and money! They're just a hole in the water you pour money into. If you gave me a boat, I'd sell it quicker then you could say Baggywrinkle. Then I'd lock up the cash with all my other money so I could keep my eye on it and count it every day. Bah humbug."

FROM Daisy: "I'm just so glad that Donald got the boat so we and the boys could enjoy boating — together. And of course all of the girls, April, May, and June, love to be on the water too, especially when that is where the boys are. Oh poor Scrooge, boating is more fun then you could possibly imagine."

FROM Scrooge: "After seeing how much fun you all have on the water together, I regret that I didn't have that much fun when I was young. I've had a change of heart, and I'm giving each of you a Lifetime Academy Membership."

FROM Editor: "For those of you that have stayed with us this far, many thanks, and we hope that you found this little narrative informative. Your faithful support inspires us to keep working on this phenomenal website. We know that we have a lot more to do. Ultimately, we hope that we can help you enjoy the wonder filled world of boating as much as we do. We are all waiting to see what you have to say about this webpage article. Submit any comments via email To: Comments♣EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♣" with "@"). Be sure to include this page's title in the subject line. Also, your corrections, updates, additions and suggestions are welcomed. Please submit them via email To: Editor♣EverythingAboutBoats.org (Replace "♣" with "@"). It has been truly amazing to see what we have been able to accomplished when we've worked together. Thanks to all those that have donated their valuable time and energy, and a special THANK YOU to all that have supported this cause with their membership donations."

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