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Re: 5 bangers galore

Eliot, we've had this conversation before, and once again, with all
due respect, I have to step up and defend the goood ol 5 banger.

> From: Eliot Lim <eliot@u.washington.edu>
> i have sampled the 5 bangers in both the volvo and the honda and
> was not impressed with either.  i am also not a great fan of any
> of the audi 5's except the exceptional 20 valve turbo.

The Audi 5 cylinder is one of my favorite motors, especially the newer ones.

> honda's reason for making a 5 was far more cynical.  recall that there
> was a 6 cylinder acura as well as a 4.. so, to make a model fit in
> between, fit it with a 5 cylinder engine.  there was absolutely no
> engineering reason to do it because the vigor is a complete disaster
> in terms of space efficiency and the inline 5 is rougher than their
> earlier 4 or V6.  i don't know why the latest VTEC 4's have gotten so
> coarse (in the accord EX), but then so has BMW's inline 6's with their
> VANOS variable valve timing.  the vigor is an incredibly poorly
> engineered car and it is an outrage that our good 'ol american press
> rates it so highly.  they did not even see fit to perhaps put in a
> slightly better set of dampers.. just the same old low grade crap that
> they put in their cheapest cars.  cut corners in all areas where
> the average joe blow is too dumb to notice,  mark it up nicely
> and laugh all the way to the bank.

Is the above fact or opinion.  Just curious...

I said this last time.  Don't know about the Honda or Volvo 5's but
packaging of the 5 in the Audi has great advantages to the techician
that has to work on it.  Having space on both sides of the engine bay
allows for easier repairs.  (except for ever popular air cleaner)
The inline 5 is a simpler motor than anything in a V shape.  Tell me
you have fun changing the spark plugs in your V8 Quattro.  :)

> audi built the 5 during the 1970's oil crisis.. the argument at that
> time was that the 5 was smoother than the 4's yet did not have the
> thirst of a 6.. that may have been true then, but today's good 4
> bangers (especially those with balance shafts) are much better than
> most of audi's 5's.  

I think it was brilliant of Audi to use another cylinder to balance
the motor instead of adding a balance shaft.  A balance shaft adds
more mass to spin up, and requires a pulley to keep it timed right.
Just another thing to go wrong.  Ask the 944 owners.  I bet Porsche
would have put a 5 in the 944 if it were not for the Audi stigma
suffered in the failed 924.  That 5th cylinder "out torques" all 4
cylinder using balanced shafts.   Part of the reason why the S4 can
obtain max torque at 1900 RPM?  Now horse power is another matter.
With only 2.2L the 4 valves/cyl and turbo take care of that.  

> the 20 valve turbo, reflects almost 20 years'
> worth of continuous development and it feels it.  i think the
> key to its new found smoothness is the dual mass flywheel.

I agree, but even the naturally aspirated 5s are smoother than
all the 4s I've driven.  Granted the 6s and 8s are smoother.
Also, It seems to me that the 5s last longer than the 4's cause they
don't have to work as hard. 

> i was shown some graphs showing its effect on vibration and it
> seems to make a big difference.  anyway, if one *has* to buy
> a car with 5 cylinder engine, the S4/S6 has by far the best
> one.

ugh hugh, everyone has $50k to spend on an S4.  Know where i can get 
an S4 motor for my 4000Q?

> but one drive in a VW VR6 powered car will convince you how flawed
> having only 5 cylinders is.  i drove the new passat recently and even
> though the engine was really tight and the car heavily loaded with
> people, that engine still delivered absolute ecstacy simply from the
> sounds that it made.

Put the s4 motor in the Passat for a fair comparison.  It would easily haul
a full load of people up Mt Washington.  The engine sound is left to
personal taiste. 

Remember, all the above is just my personal opinion.  

It just amazes me that our 87 5000Q with 130k+ miles still drives like
new, gets 25mpg, and has no problem pulling a full load up to Lake
Tahoe.   Its smooth, safe, reliable, comfortable, good handling, only
cost us $8k 2 years ago, and we don't have car payments!  And I fully 
expect it to do so at least beyond 200k miles.  Thats value....  
But I wouldn't mind having your V8 Quattro either, I guess I'm just
too cheap.  :)

Carl DeSousa