: Liters or Cubes?



Night Wolf
12-12-04, 08:59 PM
it seems like times are changing.... when real engines were in cars... they were known by their displacement in cubic inches.... 302, 350, 390, 454, 500 etc...

Today, it is all liters.... 1.8, 2.0, 5.7 etc...

It is funny too, when someone asks what kind of engine is in my '79 DeVille, and I reply with "425" they are like "oh" (well, kids... older guys go "woha") so then I am like..... 7.0 liters, and they are like oh man that is huge....

I personally don't like the whole liter thing.... I know that it has been around forever though... as the badge on my fathers '68 GTO says 6.7 litre, and the '70 Eldo had some 8.2 Litre badges...

I think alot of it started witht he '85 Mustang... "5.0" but still... the Ford 5.0 is a 302... and I have always called it a 302.... hell my 4.9 in the Caddy I sometimes reference as a 300....

It just seems like... say.... "three fifty" sounds better then "five point seven"

new engines... especially on the imports are only known by liters... then again, noone else uses the English system, so I guess they have always used liters... and now the American brands are switching to try and get known with the younger crowd? in which case I think we should stick to what we have been....

... hell, in the 50's I don't think anyone has heard of liters...atleast when tlaking about engines... the Cadillac engines... 331 and 390... have never been referenced to with liters... and I don't even know what they come out to be in liters either....

even the 231 Buick V6 was known as the 3.8 in the 80's Regals and such... and today is the 3800.... which is actually from it's 3.800" bore... not the 3.8L displacement...

Has anyone else noticed this? or thought about it... or an I the fluke here that has too much time on their hands?

Jesda
12-12-04, 09:01 PM
Solid observation. Ive often wondered why old engines were seldom referenced by liters of displacement.

illumina
12-12-04, 09:31 PM
i don't care how people classify it, be it liters or cubes. i go by this: if it is less than 4 liters, i don't want it. if it has less than 8 cylinders, again, i don't want it. the classic rule of "there is no replacement for displacement" goes full throttle with me :D.

one v-6 i would own: cadillac CTS 3.6...that's pushin' it too...

RBraczyk
12-12-04, 10:05 PM
It should be pints or something crazy like that.

20 pints of raw power!!!

Ralph
12-12-04, 10:10 PM
I miss the old Bandit style Trans Ams with the 6.6 Olds 403 on the shaker hood scoop from 1979, etc.

It's nothing new and I think that every country in the world uses the metric system except the U.S.

It's probably just easier to remember the litre number than the exact 173 cu. in (2.8 L), etc.

What I hate is brochures giving the stupid wheelbase in millimeters! A Civic is 2,620 mm!!??

illumina
12-12-04, 10:15 PM
what is it, 61 cubes per liter or something like that?

Jesda
12-12-04, 10:31 PM
Pints would encourage drinking and driving. :P

Elvis
12-12-04, 10:45 PM
If you're going by litres, then a 302, 305, and 307 are all very close and would be considered a 5.0. These engines are worlds apart.

Sure, there were two different 425's and I think there may have been two different 429's--but when you're talking cubic inches you know when you hear a number like 289 or 327, historically there's no mistake. 289-Ford, 327-Chevy, 472-Cadillac.

klebrun
12-13-04, 12:22 AM
I noticed litres being used more often after American cars and engines started getting downsized years ago. I wonder if it was some sort of psycological move by the automakers at the time to lead the American people into believing they were getting the same bang for their buck. For example, 4.5 litres sounds like a much bigger engine than 273 cid. I don't know. But I'll take cubic inch displacement over litres any day. Besides, litres is for Coke bottles!

haymaker
12-13-04, 01:11 AM
If I remember correctly the first liter insignia I saw was on a full-bodied Ford (galaxy 500 or something like that). I’m not sure but I think it was late ’60’s maybe 1967-8-9, 428 cubic inch (7 liter). I street raced against them and they weren’t very quick.

I have always thought the odd cubic inch numbers to be the more nostalgic and yes romantic 265, 283, 327, 409, and 427 all Chevrolets in my case.

Somewhere along the line our government decided we were in the world market and to compete we all needed to implement the metric system. I am not sure of the year but I know it was a while back. What I do remember most was not so much the need to buy metric tools but the change over period. I would be working on a car and find both English (inch, fractions of an inch ½” 9/16”) and metric 12mm, 13 mm bolts one next to the other. Think about it you’re under your car with the standard wrench set (inch) and the next bolt will not move with any wrench in the set, they just will not fit either too loose or too tight! During the change over period both sets of wrenches, inch and metric were needed at all times.
It was very frustrating.

Ralph
12-13-04, 01:20 AM
Think about it you’re under your car with the standard wrench set (inch) and the next bolt will not move with any wrench in the set, they just will not fit either too loose or too tight! During the change over period both sets of wrenches, inch and metric were needed at all times.
It was very frustrating.

Tell me about it! My Dad was a mechanic and when we adopted the stupid metric system in 1977 all his tools were worthless because they wouldn't fit. He had to spend hundreds of dollars because the cars changed, but I didn't think the bolts, etc. changed on U.S. destined cars, even today?

I still have some of those sockets knocking around in my tool box and when I go to tighten up the tranny pan on the old Pontiac it is frustrating.

evilrussian
12-13-04, 10:21 AM
In Russia they refered to the displacement in "hundreds" 1100, 1300, 1600... :yup:

Stoneage_Caddy
12-13-04, 12:35 PM
Im a big fan of the metric system , thats all i use when im talking imported cars ...

But american cars regardless of vintage i always use cubes ....Im sorry but when were talking good ol fashioned muscle there is nothing else but cubes ....words like "Z28 302", "ZL1 427", "big bad orange 390", 440, 426 hemi ...then the numbers alone....500 460 454 .....That just screams muscle .....Which would you rather ? 5300 or vortec 327 ?

davesdeville
12-13-04, 07:19 PM
I prefer gallons. My engine, for example, displaces around 2.2 gallons.

Behind gallons, I like CI, it's more precise than liters, and it just seems like CCs are too small. Even 8200cc sounds small to me.

DaveSmed
12-13-04, 11:46 PM
.0164 is the conversion from cubic inches to liters.
350ci*.0164= 5.74L known as the 5.7L
472ci*.0164= 7.74L known as the 7.7L

302ci*.0164= 4.95L known as the 5.0L
351ci*.0164= 5.75L known as the 5.8L... Ford likes to round up.

Night Wolf
12-15-04, 09:03 PM
.0164 is the conversion from cubic inches to liters.
350ci*.0164= 5.74L known as the 5.7L
472ci*.0164= 7.74L known as the 7.7L

302ci*.0164= 4.95L known as the 5.0L
351ci*.0164= 5.75L known as the 5.8L... Ford likes to round up.

pssst....when rounding numbers... 5 and above goes to the next higher number..... all the time.... while 4 and lower go down :) :hide:

DaveSmed
12-15-04, 09:11 PM
Granted, but its kinda funny how GM always gets the short end of the stick. (especially that 5.7 and 5.8 stuff.... over 1 cid? c'mon..)

Stoneage_Caddy
12-15-04, 09:57 PM
nissan doesnt play that game , enter the 5.65 litre endurance V8

Night Wolf
12-16-04, 11:58 PM
AFA 300cid enignes.. only 3 I know of...

the "4.9" in the Cads.... the Ford 4.9 I6 (one of my favorite truck engines) and the 4.9 V8 used in some 1980 (?) FireBirds... not sure if that was 300cid though.... then the 302-307 or so was 5.0...

now that I think of it... odd numbered cu. in. does sound better then even numbered... as it is now I have a 231, 300 and 425... no too shabby :)

Ralph
12-17-04, 04:08 AM
AFA 300cid enignes.. only 3 I know of...

the "4.9" in the Cads.... the Ford 4.9 I6 (one of my favorite truck engines) and the 4.9 V8 used in some 1980 (?) FireBirds... not sure if that was 300cid though.... then the 302-307 or so was 5.0...

now that I think of it... odd numbered cu. in. does sound better then even numbered... as it is now I have a 231, 300 and 425... no too shabby :)

I'm sure that the 4.9 in Pontiacs was the 301, and it was Pontiacs LAST engine they made (1981) w/o going to Chev or Olds to borrow theirs for later models. (used to read a lot of High Performance Pontiac mags.) I know the Grand Prix offered the 4.9 301.

The Caddy 4.9 is 300 cu in.