We usually rely on Garage54 for automotive lightheartedness. Past highlights include driving on square wheels, killing a car with a cocktail of vegetable oil, water and cola, and building an articulated Lada. For the Russian YouTube channel’s latest project, however, the team ended up creating something educational and quite beautiful. All using an old Moskvich engine.
The inline-four is what’s known as a ‘side valve’ or ‘flathead’ engine, which places the camshaft and valves inside the block. This layout, which was largely abandoned by the industry many decades ago, involves a far simpler cylinder head design than an overhead cam engine.
It’s little more than a cover for the block, meaning Garage54 was able to produce a plexiglass replica. All of the necessary holes for the head bolts, spark plugs etc were carefully drilled in, and the combustion chambers were carved out and finished by hand.
The engine runs just fine with the new part attached, giving an incredible, rarely seen look at the four-stroke combustion process. It’s even possible to observe that cylinder four is misfiring. The transparent cylinder head doesn’t last long, soon fouling up, but plenty of action is caught on camera before that happens. Eventually, the engine no longer runs, most likely due to a loss of compression.
The channel is keen to have another try, potentially with the engine running on a different fuel such as propane or acetylene.