|The V-8 shown here has a so-called flat crankshaft, in which all the cranks are on one level. This crankshaft is actually only common in racing engines. You can see the more common crankshaft below.|
The eight-cylinder V-engine is the follow-up to the eight-cylinder inline engine (straight-eight), which once originated from two four-cylinder engines mounted one behind the other. The 'straight-eight' in-line engine, at least in any sort of larger series, has no longer been available since the middle of the last century. This is not surprising, because the 'V' engine has indisputable advantages over the in-line unit. At least then when the angle between the cylinder banks is 90°, is the engine, and with it, e.g., the crankshaft substantially shortened.
So, you'll have noticed that all pictures on this page show a relatively simple V-8. Both connecting rods are bolted to one crankshaft journal. To more effectively use the engine space, there are also cylinder bank angles of 72°. In this case, the connecting rod bearings on the crankshaft are slightly offset, this is necessary if one wants to achieve constant ignition angles. By the way, if you are even slightly interested in truck engines, have a look at the really interesting clip showing the assembly of a brand-new engine at the bottom of the page.
|The version at the bottom: The 1st and the 2nd order mass forces are balanced.|
The V8, by the way, contrary to what most people say, was not invented in the USA, but in France. Indeed, they very soon discarded the cranks, which were all on the same level, to practice the solution shown below. Now however, the firing order can no longer continuously change from one bank to the other, and precisely this, is what causes the characteristic growl that so many V-8 fans love … 06/12