What Is a Boxer Engine and How Does It Work?
There are a variety of engines available, specifically designed to enhance the performance of different cars. One of the several types is a boxer engine. They are lightweight and are present in a variety of vehicles.
Keep reading to know how they work and the pros and cons of using them.
What Is Boxer Engine in a Car?
The boxer engine has earned its name due to a similarity in movement of its pistons to the way a boxer moves their fists in a horizontal plane. The only difference is that their arms move side-by-side, whereas, in the case of an engine, pistons from opposite cylinders move together. They are also known as "pancake" engines due to their low height.
These are a type of internal combustion engine and produce low vibrations. Also, they do not require balance shafts as they have no unbalanced forces, despite the movement of pistons in opposite directions.
How Do Boxer Engines Work?
Their flat structure offers an added advantage as they allow the engine output to flow directly into the transmission. Due to this linear power flow, the number of components is not much. This reduces the replacement frequency and offers a comparatively efficient usage of fuel. Here, the pistons from opposite cylinders move in the same direction. This also lowers the centre of gravity, greatly improving vehicle handling.
What Are the Types of Boxer Engines?
The types of boxer engines are as follows:
- RUSSIA: In this type, there are two pistons present in a single cylinder. They are generally lighter. The pistons have small strokes to reduce friction and intensify the power unit's endurance.
- Boxer: They evenly distribute the mass of the engine to minimize vibrations during operation. The number of cylinders can range from 6 to 12 cylinders.
- 5 TDF: These are mainly installed in military tanks where each cylinder consists of two pistons.
What Are the Applications of Boxer Engines?
The applications of boxer engines are as follows:
- Lightweight aircrafts extensively use this type of engines.
- These engines are, to date, used on Porsche and Subaru models.
- There are several motorcycles where boxer engines are present, such as BMW R 1250 GS.
What Are the Components of Boxer Engine?
A boxer engine consists of the following parts:
- Cylinder heads: They are mounted on cylinder blocks and play a key role in the combustion chamber by converting heat into energy to provide power to the engine. They are made of aluminium and have an excellent cooling capacity.
- Cylinder block: This mainly contains the crankshaft and the cylinders. Each cylinder connects to a crankshaft and piston at the other end of the rod. The cylinders are placed horizontally.
- Connecting rod: Its main function is to connect the crankshaft to the piston.
- Piston: As already highlighted, pistons from opposite cylinders move together to generate power and transfer the same to the crankshaft.
- Crankshaft: They convert energy of linear motion into rotational energy and aid the wheels in moving forward. Additionally, they maintain the movement of the piston.
- Crankcase: This serves as a reservoir for the oil used in an engine. This oil mainly lubricates the parts of an engine so that they can function efficiently.
What Are the Advantages of Boxer Engine?
The advantages are as follows:
- Offers a good rotational balance to pistons, and hence lower vibrations.
- They have a low centre of gravity which is extremely advantageous for maintaining stability as well as handling the vehicle.
- These engines also offer more safety to the passengers in case of accidents.
- They are extremely reliable.
What Are the Disadvantages of Boxer Engine?
- They are larger in size and hence occupy a lot of space.
- Maintaining boxer engines is difficult and expensive.
- It has a comparatively long production time.
- Purchasing these engines is extremely costly.
Now that you know about a boxer engine, you can easily decide on moving forward with cars equipped with them. However, you must ensure to service these engines at regular intervals to ensure maximum safety and comfort.