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Potentially A Silly Question About Engines?


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#1 jeebowhite

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:00 AM

Well, this is potentially a silly question, and maybe I will answer it in my actual question, but its something I would like to know for definite :)

So, we all know engines come in "litres" 1.6 etc etc - and I know they are also measured in CC's.

So what is the measurement of Litres? I presume that 1.6 Litres or 1576 CC (or whatever the actual conversion is!) is actually a maximum of 1.6 litres of 'gas' is produced / displaced during the combustion cycle across the four cyclinders? and its nothing to do with the actual fuel usage? - by this I mean its nothing to do with a maximum 1.6 litres of fuel per minute injected into the engine?

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#2 stef123

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:08 PM

Well, this is potentially a silly question, and maybe I will answer it in my actual question, but its something I would like to know for definite :)

So, we all know engines come in "litres" 1.6 etc etc - and I know they are also measured in CC's.

So what is the measurement of Litres? I presume that 1.6 Litres or 1576 CC (or whatever the actual conversion is!) is actually a maximum of 1.6 litres of 'gas' is produced / displaced during the combustion cycle across the four cyclinders? and its nothing to do with the actual fuel usage? - by this I mean its nothing to do with a maximum 1.6 litres of fuel per minute injected into the engine?


simply, its the capacity of all the cylinders where the piston sweeps

#3 btmaldon

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:58 PM

My understanding is that the CC stands for Cubic Capacity, which has over the years been recognized as Cubic Centemetres. Apparently, we used to measure the CC in Cubic Inches.

The measurement (i.e. 1597cc)is the piston displacement.

Thanks for the question. It takes me back to a school project I did back in 1974.

#4 jeebowhite

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:05 AM

So is it measuring the amount of fluid or air that could occupy the space of the pistons?

#5 btmaldon

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 03:15 PM

In essence, it is both. It is the volume moved by the pistons, which could be gas or fluid. The best description I can find is below:


Engine displacement, also referred to by the less common, but more technically accurate term piston displacement, is the measure of the volume moved by the pistons of an internal combustion engine as they move through a single, complete revolution. Piston displacement, which is expressed in volumetric units such as liters, cubic centimeters, or cubic inches, is directly proportional to the overall power generated by an engine. It is calculated according to an equation taking into account various engine characteristics, including the number of cylinders, bore, and stroke.

Bore is the inside diameter of the hollow cylinders that house the pistons. Stroke is the distance a piston moves over the course of a revolution. With this in mind, the mathematical formula for displacement is: the number of cylinders multiplied by bore squared, multiplied by the stroke, multiplied by Pi divided by four.

Generally speaking, the larger the bore and stroke of an engine, the greater its displacement and horsepower. With technological advances, however, this correlation has become less absolute as variable displacement engines, which can turn entire cylinders on and off to provide greater performance or economy, have become more prevalent. Barring variable displacement, piston displacement can generally be used to estimate an engine's power and economy, and is particularly useful in comparative situations.

#6 jeebowhite

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 04:42 PM

Very interesting, so it could be fluid and or gas. cool :) another random useless nugget of information I will probably never even think of again :P lol

Thanks Chaps :)

#7 mountninz

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 02:20 PM

I was wondering the same thign mate !

#8 MRC89

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:15 PM

Also worth mentioning that 1000cc = 1 litre. So a 1.6l should be 1600cc, but it usually isn't, for example; a 1.6 Ti-VCT has 1596cc, and the 1.6 TDCI has 1560cc.
The manufacturers just round up the CC value to next nearest .1 litre for the badge.

http://auto.howstuff...com/engine1.htm
There's a good guide and animated diagram here explaining it all in detail.

#9 jeebowhite

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:42 AM

Cool, thanks! will take a look when am out of work!


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