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Odd firing orders in inline sixes


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#1 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 14:22

I'm prompted to start this thread because I feel sure that the English Ford Zephyr with the inline six, which was built from about 1951 to 1966 or so, had a 'different' firing order to the usual 1-5-3-6-2-4 of most inline sixes.

So I am asking if someone knows the firing order of that engine, irrespective of whether or not it's an 'odd' firing order.

And what others are there?

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#2 cheapracer

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 16:43

1-4-2-5-3-6 for a recent Benz 6.

#3 PJGD

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 23:13

While Too young, too old, just right is the common firing order, another common one cited in Newton and Steeds (Third Edition) was Too young, just right, too old [142635]

PJGD

#4 Greg Locock

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 23:29

Around 1993 the Landcruiser I6 had 'the other' firing order to Falcon, so we built one of our engines that way. Didn't notice anything special, or for that matter, any real problems.



#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 23:41

So what is the Falcon firing order?

And the Zephyr, please? I've scoured the net and not found a thing on it!

By the way, what about the Ford Flathead six?

#6 Greg Locock

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 23:57

So what is the Falcon firing order?

Some bastids stolen my workshop manual, 153624 from memory. Bosch says 124653 142635 and 145632 are alternatives, I vaguely remember one of those is just a palindrome like Notlob.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 01:42

With the standard crank layout as used with 1-5-3-6-2-4 I figure you can do these:

1-2-4-6-5-3
1-5-4-6-2-3
1-2-3-6-5-4

Are there more?

1-4-2-6-3-5 would require a different crank layout, as would 1-4-2-6-3-5 and 1-4-5-6-3-2. What is the Bosch reference, Greg?

#8 Greg Locock

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 02:26

What is the Bosch reference, Greg?


Bosch Automotive Handbook. It used to be a relaible reference to most useful things on a car, now it is a bloated pig wth adverts in, printed on onionskin.


#9 gruntguru

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:08

1-4-2-5-3-6 for a recent Benz 6.

That would be a wierd crankshaft. Pistons 1&5 travelling together, likewise 4&3, 2&6. Are you sure its not a V6?

#10 gruntguru

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 03:27

Are there more?

- 1 and 6 can't move.
- There are 8 ways you can organise the second two numbers. The 5th and 6th numbers are predetermined by the 2nd and 3rd numbers.
- 4 of the combinations require reverse rotation (or a crank with reversed phasing)
123 654
154 623
153 624
124 653
and reverse
132 645
145 632
135 642
142 635

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:28

Still awaiting some indication of the two Ford engines I mentioned...

Anyone got any clues?

#12 cheapracer

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 08:57

That would be a wierd crankshaft. Pistons 1&5 travelling together, likewise 4&3, 2&6. Are you sure its not a V6?


90's Benz M104 DOHC I6.

#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 20:49

Very strange...

Like two 3-cyl cranks joined end to end.

#14 McGuire

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 21:23

So what is the Falcon firing order?

And the Zephyr, please? I've scoured the net and not found a thing on it!

By the way, what about the Ford Flathead six?


The Ford flathead 6 was conventional firing order. I don't know about the Zephyr.


#15 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 22:50

Having owned Zephyrs in the distant past I cannot remember anything odd about the firing order though I have had a few sleeps in the last 40 years!! Falcon, Holden, Valiant, Toyota Crown, Landcruiser are all 153624. I tried to find my very old Relim book that may go back that far to no avail. I even rang a bloke that use to work for me and he said 153624..... I think. His brother is the Zephyr expert!
I remember the head tension is 60-70 lb!!

Edited by Lee Nicolle, 17 September 2010 - 22:51.


#16 PJGD

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 00:58

According to the excellent Pirault / Flint book on opposed piston engines, the Leyland L60 military engine had a firing order of 1-6-2-4-3-5

PJGD

#17 Grumbles

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 02:36

Early straight 6 Zephyr was 153624, the later V6 was 142536 according to an old BP Service and Tune-Up manual I have. Apparently there was also a V4.

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 11:29

Yes, there was a V4, as used in Transits...

The V6 firing orders aren't really a part of all of this. Anyway, I find it somewhat strange that Henry's firing order was retained on the Consul 4 but not on the Zephyr 6.

#19 Tony Matthews

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 12:34

Yes, there was a V4, as used in Transits...

I seem to remember it was used in something else, too. Was it the Corsair? Now that's a car you rarely see nowadays!

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#20 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 12:53

Yes, the Corsair, as Roger pointed out a couple of days ago...

The Mk 4 Zephyr was sold as a six or a four, there was no more 'Consul' model.

#21 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 13:00

Originally posted by PJGD
According to the excellent Pirault / Flint book on opposed piston engines, the Leyland L60 military engine had a firing order of 1-6-2-4-3-5


Is that an inline six?

If so, it had a very strange crankshaft...

#22 Catalina Park

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 13:02

Is that an inline six?

If so, it had a very strange crankshaft...

Or a 2 stroke. (still strange!)

Edited by Catalina Park, 18 September 2010 - 13:03.


#23 PJGD

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 20:09

Posted Image

Yes, a 6 in-line OPE 2-stroke diesel.

PJGD

#24 Tony Matthews

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 20:36

Posted Image

Yes, a 6 in-line OPE 2-stroke diesel.

PJGD

It would be nice if you could re-post that in the Cutaway Thread of The Nostalgia Forum...

#25 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 02:35

Strange crankshaft?

Strange crankshafts!

#26 gordmac

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 11:49

Did the Ford crosflow (Kent) have a 1243 firing order?

#27 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 02:57

Good question, I'm not sure...

Someone will know.

#28 McGuire

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:51

Did the Ford crosflow (Kent) have a 1243 firing order?


Sure did. It's a Ford thing, sort of. The Model T was 1243. Also, given the distributor and plug locations on the Kent motor, you can easily lay out the plug wires so all four are of identical length (my choice) or all four are of different length and can only go on one way, for the firing-order challenged.


#29 Bloggsworth

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:45

Did the Ford crosflow (Kent) have a 1243 firing order?


As far as I remember, Ford 4 cylinder engines had a different firing order to BMC and others, as did the Twin Cam.

#30 munks

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 00:48

Yes, a 6 in-line OPE 2-stroke diesel.

PJGD


I'm sort of retarded when it comes to engines. What am I looking at here? In what way is this an inline-6, for example?

#31 gruntguru

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 02:44

I'm sort of retarded when it comes to engines. What am I looking at here? In what way is this an inline-6, for example?

To answer your last question first, it has 6 cylinders and they are arranged in-line.
It has two crankshafts and twelve pistons in six opposed pairs - the combustion chamber is formed by a pair of pistons approaching each other. The advantage of this system for two stroke cycle is uni-directional flow from inlet ports at one end of the (long) cylinder to exhaust ports at the other. By fiddling with crankshaft phasing it is also possible to achieve asymmetrical port timing eg ex-open>in-open>ex-close>in-close which is not possible with ported single piston designs.

Edited by gruntguru, 23 September 2010 - 10:14.


#32 munks

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 06:40

To answer your last question first, it has 6 cylinders and they are arranged in-line.
It has two crankshafts and twelve pistons in six opposed pairs - the combustion chamber is formed by a pair of pistons approaching each other. The advantage of this system for two stroke cycle is uni-directional flow from inlet ports at one end of the (long) cylinder to exhaust ports at the other. By fiddling with crankshaft phasing it is also possible to acchieve asymmetrical port timing eg ex-open>in-open>ex-close>in-close which is not possible with ported single piston designs.


Ahhh, thank you. The combination of seeing six pistons and having three of the cylinders hidden from view tricked me into thinking this was some sort of flat 6 (but vertical). Interesting info on the usefulness of this design.

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 21:20

Originally posted by McGuire
Sure did. It's a Ford thing, sort of. The Model T was 1243.....


But it's Ford's reason for having this setup that's interesting... and the reason I started this thread...

As I had cause to post in the Nostalgia forum the other day:

The 1-2-4-3 firing order on Fords goes right back...

When Ford was designing his K-model, a 6-cylinder car he didn't want to build, he wanted to keep it light. One of the key individual heavy pieces in the car would be the crankshaft, so in order to keep it light he devised a firing order that would reduce the stresses on the crankshaft.

That was 1-2-3-6-5-4... so the impulses ran along the crank to halfway, then back down the crank to halfway.

The T-model, which was famous for having a 'bent bit of wire' for its crank, followed suit as a four, and I guess the N-model had done too. 1-2-4-3. And you can readily understand why the 105E, with its hollow cast iron 3-bearing crank, would stick to that pattern.



#34 Ray Bell

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 21:22

Originally posted by McGuire
Sure did. It's a Ford thing, sort of. The Model T was 1243.....


But it's Ford's reason for having this setup that's interesting... and the reason I started this thread...

As I had cause to post in the Nostalgia forum the other day:

The 1-2-4-3 firing order on Fords goes right back...

When Ford was designing his K-model, a 6-cylinder car he didn't want to build, he wanted to keep it light. One of the key individual heavy pieces in the car would be the crankshaft, so in order to keep it light he devised a firing order that would reduce the stresses on the crankshaft.

That was 1-2-3-6-5-4... so the impulses ran along the crank to halfway, then back down the crank to halfway.

The T-model, which was famous for having a 'bent bit of wire' for its crank, followed suit as a four, and I guess the N-model had done too. 1-2-4-3. And you can readily understand why the 105E, with its hollow cast iron 3-bearing crank, would stick to that pattern.



#35 McGuire

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 02:25

The 1243 firing order was not unusual when Ford adopted it. Fours were fairly evenly divided at the time. A bit later, in some trade journals of the 'teens and '20s you can find 1243 described as "the American manner" but that is probably colored by the fact that to the American car most non-Americans knew was the Model T. There were plenty of both firing orders in practice at the time, with 1342 more numerous by all appearances by then -- Overland was typically (but not always) 1342 while the Chevrolet 490 was 1243, though Chevrolet also ran 1342 both before and after that.

I don't know that Ford used 1243 as a matter of policy or even out of deliberate habit, though the T, the A, and the classic Ford tractor (8N, 9N, etc) all certainly used it. Might be one of those patterns that is only apparent from the outside looking in or institutional memory. There is no material reason for it other than making things easier to remember for service technicans, but it's not like Ford cared about such things. Many Ford features stayed constant for decades, but on the other hand, he was also known to stop the line and order running changes right on the spot.

It's apparently true that Henry himself had no love for sixes going back to the Ormand Beach episode in 1905, when his six cylinder racer broke its crank in half warming up. As the famous story goes, he had specified a one-piece crankshaft but they shipped him a welded one, which failed. There were apparently several 6-cyl. Model K aka 666 race cars, one of which is in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum but not on display. I honestly don't know what to make of the Model K's reported 123654 firing order... that could have been C. Harold Wills or Ed "Spider" Huff thinking as much as HF I. The car is rather un-Henry like in a number of ways.

I have read as much Henry Ford as the next person and would be keen to know if HF actually vocalized his reasoning for the K's firing order, if indeed it was his reasoning, or if this is just a case of folks trying to read his mind on the matter... obviously, it won't reduce the torque reversals one bit. If there is primary source material with Ford discussing the issue it would be great to read. It can be difficult sometimes to piece together their reasoning back in the day as we don't have their perspective. For one thing, they had a good bit more theory already in hand than we tend to presume, while they were dealing with different issues than we expect. The Model K's operating range was probably <2000 rpm and I can guess they were as concerned about getting the thing to carburete evenly as in torsional vibrations. By 1941, Henry I was apparently over his oft-referenced distaste for the inline six, as the 226 flathead six was introduced -- and with a "standard" 153624 firing order. This is the last production car engine in which HF I had any personal involvement. If this engine is a indicator of HFI's preference, the Zephyr Six firing order is apparently a reversal of it.

#36 Ray Bell

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 21:48

The owner of the K-Model who told me this is very well versed in Ford knowledge...

He has Fords from every decade, with more, I think, from before 1910 than any subsequent decade. Moreover, his father most likely had direct contact with Henry at some time as he was one of Australia's first Ford dealers. Incredibly, the father and son management and ownership of the dealership lasted from 1910 to 2008... almost a hundred years!

Are there any theorists among us who could give chapter and verse on the expounded reason?

Where has Marion Anderson gone?

Oh, and didn't we find out that the Zephyr was 1-5-3-6-2-4?

What, out of curiosity, was the firing order of the Lincoln Zephyr engine (and its ramifications)?

#37 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:43

Ray. It is supposed to be 1 4 9 8 5 2 11 10 6 3 7 12. Now all you have to know how Ford numbered the engine. Wether is 1-6 on one side, or like Chev 1-12 down the length of the crank. These engine were reputed to have problems with hotspots and premature wear which does not really surprise me.
I have seen one in bits many years ago. They were a lot like a sidevalve V8, just longer. I forget how the exhaust ports were laid out but I feel it was siamesed a la V8.
I have seen a late 30s car. They look lovely and sound very smooth.

#38 McGuire

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 13:56

Lincoln Zephyr and K V12 firing order: 1L-2R-5L-4R-3L-1R-6L-5R-2L-3R-4L-6R



#39 gruntguru

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 22:59

Lincoln Zephyr and K V12 firing order: 1L-2R-5L-4R-3L-1R-6L-5R-2L-3R-4L-6R

Hmm 153624 (x2) :)

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#40 Greg Locock

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:31

TVs are definitely one reason why I'd steer clear of 123654 for a straight 6, as you are building a very strong forcing function at a low frequency, it would sound terrible. Now, whether it would break cranks is a whole different issue.

#41 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:51

Originally posted by Greg Locock
TVs are definitely one reason why I'd steer clear of 123654 for a straight 6, as you are building a very strong forcing function at a low frequency, it would sound terrible. Now, whether it would break cranks is a whole different issue.


What on earth are 'TVs'?

And what about 1-2-4-6-5-3?

#42 munks

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 04:24

What on earth are 'TVs'?


I believe he's talking about CRTs, no?

#43 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 05:10

Originally posted by munks
I believe he's talking about CRTs, no?


How would I know?

I don't know which particular CRTs you mean. 'Constant radius turns'? 'Coupled retired trams'? 'Cool reading thermometers'?

#44 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 05:55

From the info here it seems the left bank is 13579, 11 and the right is even numbers meaning straight down the crank so yes it is 153624 x3.
I will stick to V8s, too many numbers with 12s, I might have to take my shoes off!!

#45 Greg Locock

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 06:02

I believe he's talking about CRTs, no?

Could be but more likely torsional vibrations, which had already been mentioned.

#46 cheapracer

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 06:25

From the info here it seems the left bank is 13579, 11 and the right is even numbers meaning straight down the crank so yes it is 153624 x3.
I will stick to V8s, too many numbers with 12s, I might have to take my shoes off!!


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#47 gruntguru

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 07:13

How would I know?

I don't know which particular CRTs you mean. 'Constant radius turns'? 'Coupled retired trams'? 'Cool reading thermometers'?

Clinically Renovated Trans-sexuals.

No, the TV refers to channel recommendations. Avoid channels 123654 in that order. (7 and higher must be OK!)

#48 desmo

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 14:22

I wonder how big a concern crank TVs are when considering firing orders for a new design or whether they are just generally done by convention now without too much consideration of alternatives?

#49 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 22:48

I wonder how big a concern crank TVs are when considering firing orders for a new design or whether they are just generally done by convention now without too much consideration of alternatives?

I guess after so long what works is well known. Really there is no new designs, just improvements [sometimes] on old or a fresh mix and match of old ideas.And not many people make 12s these days.
I woder what the firing order was on V10 F1 engines?
And is it the same as the V10 Chrysler engine.

#50 desmo

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 23:25

You might enjoy reading this:

http://scrimshaw-glo...FiringOrder.pdf