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When The Engine Fires
Jan 11, 2018

In a standard 4 stroke engine the spark plug only fires once every other revolution in synch with a sophisticated set of mechanisms working to create the four strokes independently. A camshaft must alternately tip a rocker arm attached either to the intake or exhaust valve, for instance, and the rocker arm returns to its closed position via a spring. The valves must be seated properly in the cylinder head to avoid compression leaks, and all of this has to happen simultaneously.

Where the 2 engine is concerned, by contrast, all four events are integrated into one downward stroke followed by one upward stroke; this is where the name “two stroke” comes from. Intake and exhaust are both integrated into the compression and combustion movement of the piston, eliminating the need for valves.

This is accomplished by an inlet and exhaust port in the wall of the combustion chamber itself. As the piston travels downward from combustion, the exhaust port is exposed, allowing the spent gasses to rush out of the chamber. The downward stroke also creates suction that draws in new air and fuel through an inlet located lower in the chamber. As the piston rises again, it blocks off the inlet and port, compressing the gasses at the top of the chamber. The spark plug fires and the process begins again. Significantly, the engine fires on every revolution in these sorts of engines, which gives them a power advantage at least in the short term.

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