If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

Archive for March, 2006

Where are all the cool convertibles?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 30, 2006


So my wife has a good friend coming to visit for a week or so this summer and she casually mentioned to her “maybe Dorri can round us up a convertible”.

No problem.

Except that I can’t find any affordable and attractive convertibles.

Unless it’s a Miata.

I did a quick Autotrader.com search for convertibles in the $4500 to $6500 price range and came up with:

About a zillion Chevy Cavaliers/Pontiac Sunfires
A whole bunch of Chrysler Sebrings
Many Chevy Camaros/Pontiac Firebirds/Ford Mustangs
Quite a few Saabs
One Aflfa Romeo (which I considered)
And too many Miatas to count.

Makes me wish we had a safety inspection program here comparable to the British MoT here.

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Fire!

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 24, 2006


Warning: Not (really) automotive related.

I just got back from a week of firefighting training at Gaston College in North Carolina. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) requires nuclear plants to maintain a fire brigade on-site, and my company fulfills this requirement by training its Nuclear Equipment Operators as fire brigade members.

I learned a lot this week, but most of it can be summed up in a very few short words – I do not want to be a fireman.

I’m not in good enough shape.

I did learn one thing automotive this week. Gasoline gives off flammable vapors anytime it’s above approximately -40 F. Diesel fuel doesn’t give off flammable vapors until it’s heated to 120 F. Our instructors had to use a propane torch to light the pit fires we were fighting, and they had to hold the torch on the diesel fuel for 10-12 seconds to get it to burn.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

My thoughts on Bruce Crower’s six-stroke engine

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 18, 2006


If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this first.

Briefly,
Four Stroke:

  • Piston moves down, drawing air and fuel into cylinder
  • Piston moves up, compressing air and fuel
  • Spark plug fires, causing mixture to explode, pushing piston down
  • Piston moves up, expelling exhaust gasses.
  • Cycle repeats

Six Stroke:

  • Piston moves down, drawing air and fuel into cylinder
  • Piston moves up, compressing air and fuel
  • Spark plug fires, causing mixture to explode, pushing piston down
  • Piston moves up, recompressing exhaust gasses
  • Water is squirted into cylinder, flashing to steam, pushing piston down
  • Piston moves up, expelling exhaust gasses and steam.
  • Cycle repeats

While I haven’t done any calculations as to the amount of energy that can be gained by utilizing exhaust heat in this manner, I am confident that it will result in greater efficiency gains than BMW’s method.

I also know just the engine to use as a test mule for this project. The Honda CVCC engine. The test engine needs (at least) three valves – fuel intake, water intake, and exhaust. Most three-valve engines operate both intake valves from the same camshaft lobe. Not the CVCC. It has three cam lobes for each cylinder – intake, aux intake, and exhaust. All that would be needed to convert this engine to six-stroke is a new camshaft and timing belt pulleys (to slow the cam down to 1/3 engine speed). The carburetor even has a separate section for the aux intake. I haven’t looked closely at it, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to convert it to atomize water in that venturi and fuel in the main venturi.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

More GM woes

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 15, 2006


I know that talk of GM’s financial situation has been all over the internet recently, but I tend to dismiss the vast majority of what I read online.

There are very few bloggers that I feel know enough about large-scale finance to really have any idea just what GM’s financial situation really is.

Joe Sherlock is one. He owned and ran his own business, and is a successful author of business books. Now he blogs over at The View Through The Windshield.

He (along with several of his friends) thinks that GM will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This is a big deal. If you have any interest in American automakers, you should read his latest post.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

One for the road

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 6, 2006


I never really bought into Taurine, Ginsing, and the like, but I still partake of various energy drinks during road trips. I think the caffeine and sugar gives me all the pick-me-up that I need. Red Bull, Full Throttle, Sobe Liz Blizz, I haven’t found any that I don’t like.

While I was driving back to South Carolina from my house in Warm Springs, GA yesterday, I stopped at a gas station and found Tab Energy. Being me, I had to try it.

It was ok.

Later yesterday evening, during the Oscars, I saw a commercial for it. I wonder if I’m the only person on the planet that didn’t know that Tab was marketed to women?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »