Cubic inches ( in3 ) and liters ( L ) are both units of volume. Cubic inches is an imperial unit still used in engineering and a liter is a metric unit adopted into the international SI units. These two example problems show how to convert in3 to L and L to in3.
in3 to L Conversion Factor
1 in3 = 0.16387 L
This is how you get that number. Use the conversion:
1 inch = 2.54 cm
Cube both of these values to get in3 and cm3.
(1 in)3 = (2.54 cm)3
1 in3 = 16.387 cm3
cm3 is the same volume as mL, therefore:
1 in3 = 16.387 mL
There are 1000 mL in one liter.
1 L = 1000 mL
Use this to convert mL to L
1 in3 = 0.016387 L
in3 to L Conversion Example Problem
Question: Many small car engines on the road have an engine displacement of 150 cubic inches. What is this volume in Liters?
Solution: Multiply the 150 in3 by the conversion factor where the undesired in3 unit is in the denominator.
This allows us to cancel out the in3 and leave only the L unit.
150 in3 = 2.46 L
Answer: An engine displacement of 150 in3 is equal to 2.46 Liters.
L to in3 Conversion Example Problem
Question: Many modern V-8 engines are labeled as either 4.5 L or 5.0 L engines. How many cubic inches is a 5.0 L engine?
Solution: Multiply the 5.0 L by the conversion factor. This time, put the L unit in the denominator to cancel it out.
5.0 L = 305.1 in3
Answer: A 5.0 L engine has a 305 in3 engine displacement.
The key to this type of problem is arranging your conversion factor to allow the unwanted unit to cancel out. A further detailed explanation of how this works can be found at How to Convert Between Units – The Ladder Method.