When it comes to small engines, the two types available are 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. Both engine types use similar parts and go through similar processes, but there are some key differences.
What Is the Difference Between a 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke Engine?
The main difference between a 4-stroke engine and a 2-stroke engine is that a 4-stroke engine goes through four stages, or two complete revolutions, to complete one power stroke, while a 2-stroke engine goes through 2 stages, or one complete revolution, to complete one power stroke. This means a 2-stroke engine can potentially produce twice as much power as a 4-stroke engine and also weigh less.
Four-stroke engines are fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly. They operate in four steps:
- Intake: The intake valve is open, and fuel is drawn in with a downward stroke.
- Compression: As the piston moves upward, the fuel is compressed.
- Power: After the fuel is compressed, it is ignited to produce the engine’s power.
- Exhaust: The exhaust valve opens, and the exhaust gases exit the cylinder.
A two-stroke engine combines the compression and ignition steps on the upstroke and the power and exhaust steps on the downstroke. This process requires fewer moving parts for easier maintenance, but it does provide less torque.
The two-step process includes:
- Upstroke (ignition/compression): The piston goes up, air and fuel enter the crankcase. The fuel-air mixture is compressed and ignited.
- Downstroke (power/exhaust): Once the fuel is ignited, the piston is pushed down, and the exhaust is expelled.
Both engine types have their pros and cons, and the one that will work best for you depends on the needs of your application. While 4-stroke engines perform well and generally last longer than 2-stroke engines, 2-stroke engines are lighter and faster than 4-stroke engines.
Choose Prime Source Parts and Equipment for Your Small Engine Needs
With the differences between 2-stroke and 4-stroke diesel engines, there is a lot to consider. At Prime Source Parts and Equipment, we can help you determine what will work best for your needs and provide you with exceptional service. Contact us today to learn more about our small engine services.