Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Why Car Companies Still Use Pushrod Engines (and Other Car Questions Answered)

Illustration for article titled Why Car Companies Still Use Pushrod Engines (and Other Car Questions Answered)
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

I was always taught that there’s no shame in asking a question. Sometimes you should Google the answers to simple ones, but other times, it’s actually very helpful to have someone with knowledge walk you through a more complicated concept. It beats making up some crap and then being very, very wrong.

Advertisement

Last week, I asked you guys for the burning questions you’ve always had about cars but were afraid to ask. Maybe “afraid” was a bit of an exaggeration—but at any rate, I wanted to know what you’d always wanted to know but never were able to find out until now.

Advertisement

For example, there’s a great discussion below about pushrod motors and why they are still being used. One of their advantages is packaging—pushrod motors are smaller and easier to tuck into a low-profile engine bay, thus increasing aerodynamics.

Patrick Morgan, the guy who restores modern F1 cars and Indycars, tweeted that a pushrod motor that he’d worked on had a center of gravity that was three millimeters lower. And that it was lighter.

Advertisement

Carburetors? CVTs? Superchargers? Turbochargers? How does any of this stuff work? Together, we and the rest of the Jalopnik community will work to resolve your confusion.

Why Pushrod Engines Are Still Useful in 2018 (marshknute and DeWayneV8)

Why bother with DOHC?

Advertisement

More on Pushrod Engines (rentsdu and Vashvashvashvashvash)

Better aero, sometimes.

Advertisement

Don’t Go Full Lock (EssExTee’s got a hub cap diamond star halo and Justino6969)

Pushing on some tie rods.

Advertisement

Carburetor (mkbruin, Atlas VP and So Shiney. So Chrome! So Frunky)

Think about it like a venturi.

Advertisement

Vacuum Systems (Mexifinn and 2nd gear just exploded)

They are good.

Advertisement

Synchros (sounbwoy and GMart)

Synchros make driving a manual SO MUCH BETTER.

Advertisement

Turbocharger (Mini Guy- Now With Added 4-Runner and Robot Face)

I’m sure there’s witchcraft in there somewhere, too.

Advertisement

Wet-Sump System (LostItsWheel and GMart)

With a picture, too!

Advertisement

Carbon Build-Up (Beercheck and GMart)

It was bad in the beginning.

Advertisement

Wearing (EMF15Q and m)

Not really gravity at work here.

Advertisement

Over- and Understeer (albo and suhproblems)

Useful in drifting.

Advertisement

CTVs (elRobRex and BionicPhil)

Infinite ratios.

Advertisement

Dual Tach Needles (Æggs and GMart)

Interesting!

Advertisement


Clutch (Joe Squirrel and V10omous)

Smoothness is the name of the game.

Advertisement

Loping (TX007, Blockheads and JTSnooks)

I wondered this, too.

Advertisement

Back-Pressure (Aldairion, Blockheads and CobraJoe)

It’s all about balance.

Advertisement


Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

SBA's The Tesla Network Magnate... Real Soon Now

Short answer for me? I own approximately 60 cars (and, yes, like David Tracy, I have real “issues”). And as much as I like those fancy BMW, Audi and Mercedes engines... the reality is that I’ve never broken a pushrod.

And never have been stranded due to a failure in any of the GM LSx motors. I wish I could say the same for the German motors.

When I start breaking pushrods, then I’ll change my tune. Seems unlikely.

Curt