View Full Version : Cylinder Quotient

09-10-2010, 01:32 AM
Hello All,

I have been a bit overwhelmed lately with repairs on a lot of things that I have aquired that interest me.

About 10 years or so ago a friend of mine and I were discussing how a lot of petrol powered things are fun and seem to make life easier but also require time and attention to keep them running.

I suggested to him that there is a CYLINDER QUOTIENT that is a count of all cylinders that you maintain and keep running.

Not the Chevy V-8's like I have sitting on skids because I like them but the stuff that I keep in running order like my and my wifes daily drivers, motorcles, boats, lawn equipment and you name it.

Going back 10 years or so when we discussed the issue of CYLINDER QUOTIENT, I counted over 100 cylinders that I had at my disposal with the pull of a cord or the turn of a key. Which brings up another issue. BATTERIES.

Over 30 lead acid batteries. If I can get 6 years each it is still 5 a year just to break even.

I see a day when downsizing will be necessary but I hope it is after I am gone.

Should be quite an estate sale.

I know that I am not alone with this.


I may even re-count mine. For therapy.


09-10-2010, 01:56 AM
Hmmm. Not counting the motor in a box I never opened, the moped that ignition failed and havent fixed yet... about 10.

09-10-2010, 02:07 AM
Hmmm ... quotient is the result of a division.
So 100 is the result of what divided by what?


09-10-2010, 02:23 AM
Your life divided by the number of cylinders that you maintain.

If you have 1 cylinder you will probably do it more justice than if you are taking care of 100+.


09-10-2010, 02:28 AM
Ok, I thought I had it when I reached 47, then I got up to 81 and I'm stalled. No, wait- there's 8 more (my hydraulic spider has 8). Interesting. I'm at 89 now, things where a piston moves in a cylinder to do something. Wait- there's at least 2 more-

09-10-2010, 02:40 AM
You mean your "working" life - ie the age at which you can reasonably expect to be maintaing thiose cylinders. That will probably be less than your actuarial mean life expectancy.

I would also guess that the ability - or need or want - to maintain a number of cylinders per year will decrease each year until you are not able or willing to maintain any at all.

I have 14 cylinders and I'd guess that at 73 I have about 4>7 "maintenance years" left until I get to 78>80.

For example, in the U.S. White Americans are expected to live until age 78, but black people only until age 71.



I do hope you are firing - and will continue to fire - on all cylinders.

Paul Alciatore
09-10-2010, 04:36 AM
Do less than one cc count?

09-10-2010, 09:53 AM
Do less than one cc count?

I had counted things like string trimmers but forgot my antique RC helicopter.

Oh well, I have never started it so it probably doesn't count.

We decided that if it runs and has a cylinder, it counts.


Paul Alciatore
09-10-2010, 12:02 PM
Well I guess I am at about 12 for two cars. I have a third one that I haven't started in a year or so, but I plan to do so this weekend so that is 18. No gas lawn tools. I use electrics: seems cheaper in the long run. But I have a pile of model engines. That would bring it up to about 24 or 25 if I had run them lately. I am sure they would start.

09-10-2010, 12:11 PM
Interesting. I've been thinking about just this for a while because I don't have a lot of free time and I'm seriously falling behind with maintenance on all this stuff.

I think it's 32. That's spread out over a V8 diesel pickup, two 6-cylinder cars, a 4-cylinder car, couple lawn/garden tractors, a Honda ATV, chainsaw, weed whacker (33 if I count the one that won't start ATM) and push mower.

...and I'm thinking of getting a gas power washer, so up goes the number :-)

09-10-2010, 09:56 PM
My dad used to tell us kids to not ever become a "slave to your possesions".

I always tried to keep that in mind but somewhere I lost it.

It isn't just cylinders.

A lot of those cylinders also require batteries.

I have bought 5 lead acid batteries since the first of the year.

A manlift with 4 golf cart batteries.

A fifth wheel with 6 golf cart batteries.

I think I counted over 30 batteries when I counted cylinders ten years ago or so.

So if I get 5 years on average out of each battery, I still am in for 6 new ones a year.

I know that I made the choice to take on a lot of equipment, but sometimes I think I was fooling myself about how much time would be involved just maintaining everything.

This week I noticed oil on the floor under the drive wheel of my John Deere F935 diesel mower.

I started pulling it apart figuring a seal would be an easy repair. Come to find out, the seal is way inward and requires a lot of teardown.

I put it back together to finish the mowing season. Cut an acre or so and started hearing a funny noise out of the 72" mower deck. One spindle has bad bearings. They can't wait till the end of mowing season.

Keep the hand cleaner handy, got some wrenching coming up.


09-10-2010, 10:40 PM
Just counting the stuff that takes a key to start, 59. It's too late to start counting pull cord tools (we have a farm, it would take forever).

Lew Hartswick
09-10-2010, 10:49 PM
Boy am I underprivledged, I have exactly 8. Two 4 cyl cars the rest
is elctric, lawn mower, string trimmer. Radial arm saw, router, drill
press, beltsander, bandsaw, planner, not a cylnder in the lot. :-)
Plus a few electrics I forgot that I havn't used in a while.

J Tiers
09-10-2010, 11:39 PM
I didn't think mine was very high, but I am up to over 20, and I think there are several more. All 1 cyl devices except for two of the compressors.

09-11-2010, 09:34 AM
One thing that I have noticed is that when I spend time in Arizona, the folks out there tend to have a lot less cylinders.

Out in the desert there is no need for snowblowers, mowers, string trimmers, chainsaws, edgers and a host of other things that we use a lot in Michigan.

Maybe someday that will be part of my solution.


09-11-2010, 09:52 AM
I work on cars for a living so i don't want to think about it lol

A.K. Boomer
09-11-2010, 10:05 AM
5 and that includes a weedeater, 7 if you include my V/twin air compressor.