Four-Cylinder Engine With Homemade Crank Sounds Just Like a V-8

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If you’ve never watched the YouTube channel Garage54, you’re missing out. These inventive Russian mechanics never seem to run out of ideas when it comes to modifying cars in extreme ways. Sometimes that just means making a car completely out of logs, but this time it’s a little more technical. Ever seen a four-cylinder engine with a cross-plane crank?
A conventional four-cylinder engine has a flat-plane crank, which means two crank journals face up while the other two face down, 180 degrees apart. This can be expressed as up, down, down, up. A cross-plane flour-cylinder crank is more like up, left, right, down, where all of the journals are 90 degrees apart. It’s very uncommon in four-cylinder engines. The only production vehicle with this engine configuration is the Yamaha R1 motorcycle. 

The madmen at Garage54 decided to make one of these oddities with a Lada engine—not for any particular reason besides the fact that they could. Their method for creating the new crank and running it is actually pretty interesting, too. After cutting it into four pieces, they place the crank back on its bearings in the engine to weld it up. That way, it maintains the proper spacing, and all of the crank journals remain on the same axis. Doing the wrong thing the right way.

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Along with modifying the crank, the camshaft and distributor also require some adjustment. The engine has a new firing order which means the cam has to be cut up and re-welded. They try to do the same thing with the distributor, but in the end, they end up utilizing half of a V-8 distributor. 

 

With everything running as well as it’s going to, the Lada rolls out of the garage after a brief test fire and is taken for a drive. It’s not until the revs get high that you can really hear the difference. It sounds like a skim-milk V-8, but still a V-8. The odd firing order gives the engine a lope, which is unusual coming out of the pencil-thick exhaust pipe of the Russian sedan. Later revving makes some sparks fly out of the back of the engine which, naturally, receive no attention from the cameraman or the narrator. 

The only critique of the engine is that it doesn’t rev as high anymore. Considering the method of its construction I think that’s a pretty acceptable downside. Next thing you know, these guys will try to make an inline-six out of two Lada engines. Oh wait, they already tried that.

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