1997 Acura SLX - Powertrain


The SLX is powered by a 3.2 liter, all-aluminum, single-overhead-camshaft V-6 engine which produces 190 horsepower at 5600 rpm, and 188 lbs-ft of torque at a low 4000 rpm. Four-valve-per-cylinder combustion chambers help to provide both high torque at low rpm and excellent breathing at higher engine speeds. Electronic fuel injection compensates for varying driving and atmospheric conditions, and provides enhanced driveability in both on- and off-highway operation.

The engine is located longitudinally, moving weight to the rear for optimum handling. The standard 4-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission is bolted as a unit to the shift-on-the-fly 2-speed transfer case, increasing rigidity while reducing noise and vibration. For improved response and efficiency, the transmission features converter lockup in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears.

The Acura SLX is rated with a 5000-lb (Class III) towing capacity, assuming the use of approved load-compensating trailer hitch and trailer brakes.

Engine Block

Like all other Acura engines, the block of the SLX engine is an aluminum casting with cast-in iron liners, a design known for its light weight, excellent rigidity and good long-term durability. The crankcase is designed with a deep skirt and extensive webbing for added rigidity, reduced noise and reduced vibration. The cylinder banks are set 75 degrees apart; bore centers are 102mm apart. The SLX engine is an oversquare design, with a bore of 93.4 mm and a stroke of 77.0 mm.

Cylinder Head/Valvetrain

The SLX engine features a 4-valve-per-cylinder valvetrain with pent-roof combustion chambers. The overs quare bore/stroke ratio allows for larger intake and exhaust valves which improve engine breathing and power output. A single camshaft for each cast-aluminum cylinder head is driven by a flexible toothed belt. Hydraulic lash adjusters are used for reduced maintenance.

Electronic Engine Management

A sophisticated Powertrain Control Module (PCM) controls and coordinates all engine and transmission functions, resulting in increased performance, enhanced reliability, smoother shifting and reduced emissions. For improved acceleration under full throttle, the PCM automatically disengages the air conditioning compressor. Under moderate acceleration, the PCM also eliminates alternator drag by interrupting battery charging; if the headlights are on, the PCM lets charging continue uninterrupted.

Electronic Fuel Injection

Fuel is metered by the PCM, based on data received from sensors that measure intake vacuum, air mass, throttle valve position, coolant temperature and engine rpm. Fuel is maintained at a constant pressure in the fuel rails above each cylinder bank; the PCM regulates fuel delivery by varying the opening time of each cylinder's individual injector.

Stainless Steel Exhaust System

A highly efficient stainless steel exhaust system is used for excellent performance and enhanced durability in difficult driving conditions. The system uses 2 pre-catalytic converters and 2 main catalytic converters, giving quicker light-off, better flow characteristics, improved component protection and better packaging efficiency than a more conventional single-converter design.

Ignition System

The PCM precisely controls ignition timing by monitoring a crankshaft angle sensor mounted in the engine block. A direct ignition system with six individual ignition coils is used, each providing a 33,000 volt spark to help ensure complete combustion.

4-Speed Automatic Transmission

Every Acura SLX is equipped with an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission. The solid-state PCM uses information on manifold pressure, throttle position, drive-wheel speed and engine rpm to determine upshift and downshift points. A "power mode" button allows the driver to extend the allowable engine rpm before an upshift, letting the engine rev higher for better acceleration. A "winter mode" button holds the transmission in third gear only when starting, for reduced wheelspin on ice or other slippery surfaces. A "torque control" feature in the PCM reduces torque output during shifts for smoother driving and enhanced durability of transmission components, and precludes the necessity of changing the transmission fluid for the life of the vehicle.

Limited Slip Differental

A longitudinal driveshaft transfers torque to both the front and the rear differentials. The optional Premium Package includes a rear differential with a clutch-type limited slip feature, automatically transferring power to the rear wheel with the most traction.

Shift-On-The-Fly 4-Wheel Drive

By simply moving a lever, the driver can switch between 2-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive while still moving at any speed under 60 miles per hour. Three drive modes are provided: 2-wheel-drive high, for normal on-road driving; 4-wheel-drive high, for higher speed driving in challenging driving conditions; and four-wheel-drive low for serious low-speed off-highway use. The three modes are selected using a single lever.

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