Internal Combustion Engine Header

Difference Between Two & Four Stroke Cycle Petrol Engines

Internal Combustion Engine
Engine Components
Four-Stroke-Cycle Spark-ignition (Petrol) Engine
Valve Timing Diagrams
Two Stroke Spark Ignition Engine
Difference Between Two & Four Stroke Cycle Petrol Engines
Four Stroke Cycle Compression Ignition (Diesel) Engine
History of Diesel Engine
Two Stroke Cycle Diesel Engine
Comparison of Two and Four Stroke Cycle Diesel Engine
Comparison of S.I. and C.I. Engine
Piston Displacement or Swept Volume
Engine Torque & Engine Power
Compression Ratio

The differences between two- and four-stroke-cycle petrol engines regarding the effectiveness of both engine cycles are given below:

a) The two-stroke engine completes one cycle of events for every revolution of the crankshaft, compared with the two revolutions required for the four-stroke engine cycle.

b) Theoretically, the two-stroke engine should develop twice the power compared to a four-stroke engine of the same cylinder capacity.

c) In practice, the two-stroke engine's expelling of the exhaust gases and filling of the cylinder with fresh mixture brought in through the crankcase is far less effective than having separate exhaust and induction strokes. Thus the mean effective cylinder pressures in two-stroke units are far lower than in equivalent four-stroke engines.

d) With a power stroke every revolution instead of every second revolution, the two-stroke engine will run smoother than the four-stroke power unit for the same size of flywheel.

e) Unlike the four-stroke engine, the two-stroke engine does not have the luxury of separate exhaust and induction strokes to cool both the cylinder and the piston between power strokes. There is therefore a tendency for the piston and small-end to overheat under heavy driving conditions.

f) Due to its inferior scavenging process, the two-stroke engine can suffer from the following:

i) inadequate transfer of fresh mixture into the cylinder,

ii) excessively large amounts of residual exhaust gas remaining in the cylinder,

iii) direct expulsion of fresh charge through the exhaust port. These undesirable conditions may occur under different speed and load situations, which greatly influences both power and fuel consumption.

g) Far less maintenance is expected with the two-stroke engine compared with the four-stroke engine, but there can be a problem with the products of combustion carburizing at the inlet, transfer, and exhaust ports.

h) Lubrication of the two-stroke engine is achieved by mixing small quantities of oil with petrol in proportions anywhere between 1:16 and 1:24 so that, when crankcase induction takes place, the various rotating and reciprocating components will be lubricated by a petrol-mixture mist. Clearly a continuous proportion of oil will be burnt in the cylinder and expelled into the atmosphere to add to unwanted exhaust emission.

i) There are fewer working parts in a two-stroke engine than in a four-stroke engine, so two-stroke engines are generally cheaper to manufacture.