Mythbusters stuff

--Remember the time they tried to make an I.C. engine run on
gunpowder? A bunch of us were talking about this the other day and we seemed
to have vague memories of this actually working once, maybe in the 1800s.
Anyone got a reference? Also looking for anything on engines running on
acetylene. Fear not! Not going to put one in my car; just thinking of the
pyrotechnic spinoff for a *very* remote location, heh.
Reply to
steamer
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My dad tells of his remembrance of his grandfather trying to get Model T engines to run on nitroglycerin. This was on a very large ranch back in the 30's, when and where having explosives around was not considered a big deal. He was just a pup and doesn't recall much more than his grandfather got an engine to idle, but any attempt to run above idle would blow the engines. He said there was a pile of engines outside the barn with a variety of failures you would not expect to see in an engine. Would give about anything to have a good picture of that pile...
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
I know there were a variety of tractors that used a 'shotgun' like shell as a starting mechanism. Not sure how common it was.
Pete
Reply to
Pete Snell
> =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 --Remember the time they tried to make an I.C. engine run= on > gunpowder? A bunch of us were talking about this the other day and we see= med > to have vague memories of this actually working once, maybe in the 1800s. > Anyone got a reference? Also looking for anything on engines running on > acetylene. Fear not! Not going to put one in my car; just thinking of the > pyrotechnic spinoff for a *very* remote location, heh. > > -- > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 "Steamboat Ed" Haas =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 : =A0Never thought I'= d live to see > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 Hacking the Trailing Edge! =A0: =A0our "iron curtain" cru= mble... > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0www.nmpproducts.com > =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0---Decks a-wash in a sea of words-=
Reply to
TwoGuns
That's a Kauffmann starter, also used in a lot of aircraft up to the F-4, at least. it was a pretty big shell (at least for an F-4) with a SLOW-burning powder. it would give about 15 seconds of continuous gas production.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Elson
Some piston aircraft engines too IIRC.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
"Jon Anderson" wrote: (clip) his
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ What his grandfather didn't understand is that you don't want the charge in the cylinder to *explode*. You want it to burn as evenly as possible on the power stroke. That is what anti-knock is all about.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Mr. Diesel (Rudolf I think) was killed trying to make an engine run on coal dust if I remember right.
BobH
Reply to
BobH
ISTR an article many years ago in PopSci about a turbine fired with coal dust . A bit more abrasive than steam I'd think ...
Reply to
Terry Coombs
He was injured in the explosion (for the second time in his life; the first time was when a steam engine of his design, which used ammonia for a working medium, blew up on him), but it didn't kill him. He was lost overboard on a steamship -- possibly a suicide.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Diesel's mysterious fate:
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engine, etc:
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motorcycle:
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Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I think the USAF used them. The Marine F4J and F4S I worked on required compressed air to start.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
And how do you -know- he didn't understand that? He got the engines to run, which meant the nitro was burning. He just couldn't control things well enough to do much beyond that. Admittedly, it was shade tree engineering. But I'd bet money if Great-Grandpa were around to be questioned, he would certainly know the difference between burning and exploding with respect to internal combustion engines.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
Yep, The common one many people see is the Field Marshall Diesel with the shotgun start option. It was a brass 12 gauge shell. Primer, powder and a wax seal disc. You opened the starting port, remove the old shell, then install the new one. Screw the top back on the port. Hit the striker with a hammer to fire the shell. Then stand back and watch the engine jump (single BIG piston diesel) the nose of the tractor.
Reply to
Steve W.
Wafting a oxy-act torch (with the act. valve open) in front of a reluctant engine is an old trick however, my experience is that it can result in broken rings as acetylene does not apparently have a very high octane rating.
I have read a reference to R. Diesel's original engine, that ran on coal dust, saying something like "the second model was redesigned to run on coal oil in an effort to produce an engine that did not self destruct". Words to that effect, anyway. Cheers,
Bruce (bruceinbangkokatgmaildotcom)
Reply to
Bruce in Bangkok
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I think it's a fair assumption, since the fuel he chose is highly explosive. Even gasoline can suffer pre-ignition (sometimes incorrectly called "detonation") which will damage the engine if allowed to continue. This is the reason for anti-knock additives, and in modern cars, automatic ignition retard. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing what he did. He was doing this at a time when a lot of people didn't know a lot of the things that we know now. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Admittedly, it was shade tree engineering. But I'd bet money if Great-Grandpa were
It's pointless to argue over a question that can't be settled. It still leaves me pondering about what he hoped to accomplish, since Model T's were running pretty well on gasoline.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
There was also a "shotgun" starter that used a blank shell of some sort. I never saw one but I remember in tech school a reference to one being used by the Navy in some of their early recip engines. Apparenttly it went off with a bang as opposed to the Kaufman. Cheers,
Bruce (bruceinbangkokatgmaildotcom)
Reply to
Bruce in Bangkok
Nope, he died during a cross channel ferry trip. Lost overboard an apparent suicide.
Cheers,
Bruce (bruceinbangkokatgmaildotcom)
Reply to
Bruce in Bangkok
That's one thing Dad never learned. I suspect it was just one of those "I wonder if this might work" things. Would never have been practical for general use. Imagine a collision resulting in both vehicles blown to bits or someone running into a 'nitro pump' and leveling the whole block....
What's funny about it to me is that Great Grandpa never transitioned well into automobiles. His first move in trying to get a car to stop was to yell "Whoa..."
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
"Jon Anderson" wrote: (clip) Great Grandpa never transitioned
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ :-)
Reply to
Leo Lichtman

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