Saturday, January 9, 2010

What are the advantages of an OHV engine versus its L-Head counterpart?

Last time we discussed the mechanical difference between OHV and L-Head engines.  Today we will discuss the advantages of the OHV engine when compared to its L-Head counterpart.

So what are the advantages of OHV engines versus L-Head engines? OHV engines are alleged to have the following benefits:
  • Higher quality engine (better grade components),
  • Higher torque,
  • Better fuel effiency,
  • Quieter operation,
  • Cooler operation,
  • Cleaner operation,
  • Longer engine life,
  • With the final result of requiring fewer major repairs than their L-Head counterparts,
  • And allegedly, less expensive to operate.

Disadvantages of OHV versus its L-Head counterpart:
  • Not as compact (bigger external size),
  • More complex,
  • More components (this can also mean there are more components to fail),
  • Due to their complexity, typically are more expensive to purchase,

Summary: The advantages of OHV far outweigh its disadvantages.  When purchasing engines, and given the the option to purchase one with OHV or and L-Head engine, it is easily worth the extra initial cost to purchase the OHV rather than the L-Head engine.

Next: Next time we will discuss what "OHC" means.  Stay tuned while we rev our engines!

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