This is a question that often arises when searching for engine parts. You might then ask, “How can I tell how many I have and what do the cylinders do?” You can check out the inside of the engine to see the cylinders and count how many you have. Outboards are easiest to check – remove the motor cowling and look for them. One spark plug is attached to each cylinder so counting your spark plugs would also give you the answer. Depending on the size of your motor, it may have one to four cylinders or six cylinders. They can be inline or V4 and V6. That may sound obvious, but if you didn’t know what that meant it can also be frustrating. Inline are together in a row looking like they are stacked. V is in a vee-shape with the same number of cylinders on each side of the Vee-shape; so a V6 would have three spark plugs on each side.
Cylinders are metal tubes that are part of your motors internal structure and are part of the fuel system. The cylinder has the piston inside of it and works with the carburetor to mix the gasoline and air. The spark plug works in tandem with the piston process to ignite the gasoline and power is created.
When there are problems with the cylinder, it has to be bored out. This is a process of smoothing out the inside of the cylinder. A motor repair technician usually does this. When finished, the technician will tell you what the bore size is. That is important information for purchasing a new piston or rings. Standard size is what came on your engine originally and the oversized pistons and rings with bore size are what you now need to use once the cylinder has been bored out.