Engines

2012 Jeep Wrangler Gets More Power, Better Fuel Economy

Posted in auto industry, Engines, Jeep, News by Kurt Ernst | August 2nd, 2011 | 7 Responses |

The 2011 Jeep Wrangler. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

Jeep’s marketing department won’t say anything on the 2012 Jeep Wrangler just yet, but the 2012 Jeep order guides have been released. That tells us that the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will make its way under the Wrangler’s hood for 2012, and it also lets us know that both a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic will be available transmission options. Fuel economy is up from 15 mpg city and 19 mpg highway with the current 3.8-liter V-6 to 17 mpg city and 21 mpg highway with the Pentastar V-6. Read More…

BMW i Series: BMW Pushed the Envelope

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Best of, BMW, Educational, Electronics, Engines, European Rides, General, News, Rants & Raves, Rides, Videos by MrAngry | July 31st, 2011 | 2 Responses |

BMW-i

Earlier this year I took part in a documentary series in which BMW asked questions about the Future of Mobility. We talked about existing car technology, profiled electric car technology and discussed why our driving habits as a society needed to change if we wanted to move forward. That series was a small introduction to what BMW is doing now with their new i3 & i8 concept electric vehicles. The concept vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure that BMW has planned is nothing short of visionary, which is good, because right now there is a lot of trepidation in the electric car marketplace. By addressing the issues of range anxiety and conveying that electric cars can in fact be fun to drive as well as environmentally conscious, BMW has seemingly moved how we the looked at the electric car into a different, much brighter light.
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Watch The Birth Of A Ferrari 458’s Engine

Posted in Car Tech, Engines, Ferrari, Videos by Kurt Ernst | July 28th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Many argue that the Ferrari 458 Italia is the sexiest Ferrari ever built, and few dispute that the car is among the highest-performance road-going Ferraris to ever leave the Maranello factory. At the heart of the 458 Italia is its 4.5-liter V-8 engine, which puts out a healthy 562 horsepower and 398 ft-lb of torque. To ensure that you don’t need to drive the 458 like an F1 car, the engine makes 80 percent of its peak torque at just 3,250 RPM. That’s good enough to get the 458 Italia from 0 to 60 in just 3.3 seconds, on the way to a top speed of over 200 miles per hour. Read More…

Ever Wonder What A Drop Of Oil Sees Inside An Engine?

Posted in Educational, Engines, Science, Videos by Kurt Ernst | July 27th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Let’s face it: the inside of an engine is a pretty terrifying place, filled with explosions, violent movement and temperatures hot enough to melt lead. We’ve all seen animated clips of how engines work from the inside, but this one, created by Mobil 1, gives a slightly different perspective. If you’ve ever wondered what a molecule of motor oil sees after it gets sucked from the oil pan and travels through the top end, before returning to the oil pan, this animated short will give you a good idea.

Whether you opt to use a synthetic or petroleum oil, regular oil and filter changes are the key to long engine life. Think of it as inexpensive insurance, with a premium due every 5,000 miles or so.

Brand X Engine in Brand Y: Sacrilege?

Posted in Chevrolet, DIY, Dodge, Domestic Rides, Engines, Rides by MrAngry | June 21st, 2011 | 5 Responses |

1973 plymouth roadrunner
*Photo Credit: Motortopia.com

As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of old school muscle cars. Their looks are timeless, their sound is legendary and their attitudes simply can’t be matched. In short, they’re a way of life if you happen to own one. However living the muscle car lifestyle does not come without its headaches. For example, old school engines, while easy to work on, are simply not as reliable or efficient as anything that’s being produced today. Sure having big cubic inches under the hood sounds great, but in the end it gets tiresome paying $4.50 per gallon whilst only getting about 8-10 mpg on a daily basis. Recently at a car show I saw a gentleman with a 1973 Plymouth Road Runner with a modern day 400 hp Chevrolet LS2 under the hood. Now for some, sticking a brand X engine in a brand Y car is a huge no no, but after talking to the owner for a bit, the swap made perfect sense.
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The V8 Engine: Often Imitated, Never duplicated

Posted in Best of, Dodge, Engines, Featured, Rants & Raves, Rides by MrAngry | May 16th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

HEMI V8

As automotive journalists Kurt and myself have the privilege of getting press cars to drive and review. We’ve driven super cars, economy cars, luxury and family cars and because of this, we’ve obtained a pretty good idea of where this industry is headed. Most of the cars as of late have been well-optioned small SUV’s or mid-sized performance sedans that are good on economy and luxury, but lack somewhat in performance. You see nowadays manufacturers are producing cars with small displacement, more fuel efficient engines equipped with small turbos to increase preformance. Cars like the 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo and 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LTZ are perfect examples of this. Both cars provide occupants with wonderful interiors, exceptional fuel economy and adequate power for a decent price, but to me, they lack the full on drive-ability of the ever fading big V8 sedans that I know and love.
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Would You Buy Used Parts?

Posted in Best of, Car Buying, Car Tech, eBay Motors, Electronics, Engines, General, News, Rants & Raves by MrAngry | March 27th, 2011 | 4 Responses |

Used Auto Parts

I’ve got a buddy of mine who always insists that he does better when he purchases second hand parts. For some reason though, his car never runs properly and thus, he’s never around. Purchasing anything used is a total crap shoot in my opinion as it’s very difficult to find honest sellers. If you’ve ever gone to any type of outdoor swap meet then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re careful and do your due diligence then there are deals a plenty to be had. In order to get these deals though, you’d better know what you’re looking at and be able to tell the good from the bad. I’ve purchased some used parts in my time and more often then not, I just end up reselling them because I simply don’t trust them. I’ve also sold used parts, however when I do I’m VERY careful about putting down an accurate description and setting them at what is considered to be fair-market-value.
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The Himiko: Electric drop-top gets 341 mile range.

Posted in Electric Cars, Electric Vehicles, Engines, General, Import Rides, Rides by MrAngry | February 4th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Mitsuoka Himiko
*Photo Credit: cars-wallpapers.net

Aside from the Tesla Roadster most electric cars are about as exciting as a piece of dry toast. Bland styling is generally overlooked by the fact that the cars are good for the environment and supposedly make you feel good. The environment part I agree with, but the feel good part, well… that’s questionable in my opinion. Sales of new EV’s are off to a slow start this year which is partly due to a lack of usable recharging stations outside of the owners home. Combine that with the fact that range figures are still low and you can see why people are hesitant to buy these cars. Keep in mind that we also have extended range vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt. These are electric cars that use a gas generator to keep the batteries in a constant state of charge. Vehicles like this are a great compromise for those looking to be environmentally friendly, but need the range of a conventional petrol driven engine.
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Ford’s Hero Engine Tear Down: 45 Minutes Of Engine Porn

Posted in Cool Stuff, Engines, Ford, Videos by Kurt Ernst | January 29th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

If you missed Ford’s tear down of the torture-tested EcoBoost V6 “hero engine” at the Detroit Auto Show, we’ve got you covered. Below are all three videos of the event, which translates to nearly forty five minutes of pure motor porn. The first video kicks off with a recap of engine 448AA’s life prior to the live tear down at the Detroit Auto Show. I’ve already covered this in detail, so there’s no need to rehash it here. Ultimately, all of the videos are ads for Ford, but they’re well filmed and relatively informative. Besides, who doesn’t like watching an engine get reduced to its component parts? Grab yourself a beer or a cup of coffee (depending on your time zone) and tell your significant other that you’ll be tied up for a while. Read More…

How Did Ford’s “Hero Engine” Stand Up?

Posted in Detroit Auto Show, Engines, Ford by Kurt Ernst | January 17th, 2011 | 7 Responses |

Ford's Chris Rahill and Chris Brown get dirty in Detroit. Image: Ford Motor Company

As promised, Ford did the tear-down on their EcoBoost “Hero Engine” live at the Detroit Auto Show, and Pickup Trucks has the full run-down and lots of accompanying pictures. To refresh your memory, the “Hero Engine” was a production EcoBoost V6, pulled at random from the assembly line. First, it was strapped to a dyno and run to simulate the equivalent of 150,000 customer miles, with repeated temperature shock testing that took it from -20 F to 235 F as quickly as possible. Next, it was installed in a production F-150 and used to skid 110,000 pounds of logs in the Pacific Northwest. From there, the same truck was used to tow a load of 11,300 pounds around Miami’s Homestead Speedway, for 24 hours, at an average speed of 82 miles per hour. Not done yet, Ford sent the same truck to Davis Dam in Arizona, to go head-to-head against Dodge and Chevy in an uphill towing contest, hauling 9,000 pounds up a 6 percent grade. Finally, the engine was pulled and installed in Mike McCarthy’s Baja 1000 race truck. Following the race, the engine was pulled for a live tear-down at the Detroit Auto Show on Saturday, January 15. Read More…