This is a pretty cool vantage point.
Over the course of last year, we covered a number of stories from a little workshop in Russia called Garage 54. Unlike many YouTube sensations that focus on building cars with the highest horsepower or the most extreme body kits, this channel takes a budget-friendly look at engineering and comes up with weird experiments and builds just to see what happens. We've witnessed a diesel engine converted to run on gasoline, an insane 14-wheel Lada, and even an engine roaring to life with plastic pistons. The latest experiment is just as intriguing, showing what the combustion process looks like from above thanks to a plexiglass cylinder head.
The engine you see here isn't anything that the western world is very familiar with as it's a Moskvitch engine. It was recently rebuilt, at which point the team decided to use it for the above experiment. Using increasing grits of sandpaper, the plastic head is smoothed and includes holes for the spark plugs and head bolts, as well as recesses for combustion chambers. As you can imagine, the reliability factor of such a component is not very high, but while it's working, the view is pretty impressive, allowing us to see the pistons rising and falling, and the slow-motion shots are particularly entertaining.
Eventually, the plastic begins to deform slightly and we can see some blowby. At the same time, it appears that a loss of compression is preventing one last opportunity to see the engine run, and even with gasoline poured directly into the carburetor, the motor refuses to run again. Still, it affords us an otherwise impossible perspective of the combustion process, something that we saw from another vantage point last year when a transparent cylinder was filmed in 4K. This is fascinating and we'd love to see more of this sort of thing, especially on a bigger engine. The V8 from the E9X BMW M3 would be a prime candidate.