2 stroke 4 stroke Comparison

How the Engines Work

"Stroke" refers to the movement of the piston in the engine. 2 Stroke means one stroke in each direction. A 2 stoke engine will have a compression stroke followed by an explosion of the compressed fuel. On the return stroke new fuel mixture is inserted into the cylinder.

A 4 stroke engine has 1 compression stroke and 1 exhaust stoke. Each is followed by a return stroke. The compression stroke compresses the fuel air mixture prior to the gas explosion. The exhaust stroke simply pushes the burnt gases out the exhaust.

A 4 stroke engine usually has a distributor that supplies a spark to the cylinder only when its piston is near TDC (top dead center) on the fuel compression stroke, ie. one spark every two turns of the crank shaft. Some 4 stroke engines do away with the distributor and make sparks every turn of the crank. This means a spark happens in a cylinder that just has burnt gasses in it which just means the sparkplug wears out faster.

Animated picture goodness showing examples of these engines can be found at carbibles.com.

A Common List of Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages of 2 Stroke Engines:
- Two-stroke engines do not have valves, simplifying their construction.
- Two-stroke engines fire once every revolution (four-stroke engines fire once every other revolution). This gives two-stroke engines a significant power boost.
- Two-stroke engines are lighter, and cost less to manufacture.
- Two-stroke engines have the potential for about twice the power in the same size because there are twice as many power strokes per revolution.

Disadvantages of 2 Stroke Engines:
- Two-stroke engines don't live as long as four-stroke engines. The lack of a dedicated lubrication system means that the parts of a two-stroke engine wear-out faster. Two-stroke engines require a mix of oil in with the gas to lubricate the crankshaft, connecting rod and cylinder walls.
- Two-stroke oil can be expensive. Mixing ratio is about 4 ounces per gallon of gas: burning about a gallon of oil every 1,000 miles.
- Two-stroke engines do not use fuel efficiently, yielding fewer miles per gallon.
- Two-stroke engines produce more pollution.
From:
-- The combustion of the oil in the gas. The oil makes all two-stroke engines smoky to some extent, and a badly worn two-stroke engine can emit more oily smoke.
-- Each time a new mix of air/fuel is loaded into the combustion chamber, part of it leaks out through the exhaust port.

 

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