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One of the featured cars in the latest issue of Hot Rod included a custom built round chrome moly tube frame with two 350 Chevy engines up front (inline with each other).

I tried a search for how this setup works but my terminology must not be right. I know I can get the answer here. How do the two engines combine their power and transfer it through the rest of the drivetrain? What are the advantages of two engines verses one engine with comparable power? Did twin engine setups (for automobiles) originate in dragsters? Why would a dragster run two engines? Isn't that adding unnecessary weight?
 

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Don't look at it as 2 engines. Once they are connected, it's one 16 cylinder engine. If you read the article, it says they are connected 45 crank degrees apart, therefore only firing one cylinder at a time, no different than any single engine. So what you have is a 700 cubic inch V16, probably making around 900 horsepower.
 

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They are connected at the crankshafts. Look on page 37 at picture #1. You can see the coupler that connects the front engine's flywheel to the rear engine's crank pulley/harmonic balancer. With the cranks connected, consider it one crankshaft, hence one engine. All the 45 degree apart means is that before they were coupled, one engine's crank was rotated to be 45 degrees behind the others, otherwise you'd have 2 cylinders firing at once. This allows that not to happen.
 

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Not sure if this would be the same theory or not but you might search on some boating sites. Many of the boats have dual engines. I've seen some boats with factory dual Chevy 454s in the hull.
 

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If you google dual engine dragsters you may find all you need to know.
 

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On the other hand, could be great for reliability issues. Imagine a water pump goes, or a valve drops on the way to the strip. No probs- uncouple the crank and drive home on the good remaining engine! :p
 

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jfstang said:
On the other hand, could be great for reliability issues. Imagine a water pump goes, or a valve drops on the way to the strip. No probs- uncouple the crank and drive home on the good remaining engine! :p
As long as the rear engine is the functioning one.
 

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For very high speeds a dual inline engine setup can reduce the frontal area and total drag. See: http://www.standard.net/live/sports/144488/ for an example of a very fast "car" (streamliner) using this setup.

John Harvey
 
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