Engine Hacks: Homebuilt Solid State Ignition Module

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[Dan] wanted to learn a bit about solid state ignition in engines; to get started he needed a test subject, so he decided he would upgrade his old 12 horsepower lawnmower.

Originally the lawnmower engine used a magneto coil ignition system, magnetos are simple and very common in lawnmowers. The magneto is designed to produce a high voltage spike when influenced by a magnetic field. A magnet is attached to the engine’s crankshaft to time the voltage spikes, these spikes are fed directly into the spark plugs to cause ignition, this is why you don’t need a battery. [Dan] explains how the solid state ignition works on his site as he goes through the build details. Essentially it uses a hall effect sensor to detect a spinning magnet on the crankshaft for timing, and a transistor and battery to fire the spark plugs for ignition.

Once he got his circuit up and running on a breadboard, he fitted the entire system into a neat plastic box and fixed it to the front of the lawnmower, as if it was meant to be there all along.

Engine Hacks: The Kawaskai Voyager… V-12?

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Although a V-12 engine is always nice, cramming one into a motorcycle definitely qualifies as an engine hack! [Allen Millyard], wasn’t satisfied with the standard number of cylinders (6!) on his already gigantic Kawasaki KZ1300. Like any reasonable person, he decided to graft two of their powerplants together!

In true engine hacker form, inspiration struck at a classic bikes show when someone said “Suppose you’re going to make a V-12 next, then?” [Allen] replied that it would be impossible, but after this conversation, he reportedly had to build one. By the time the show ended he’d figured out how to do it. Lots of work and two six-cylinder engines later, [Allen] had proven this task to be possible.

Although this may seem like a very extreme motorcycle engine hack, [Allen] has done quite a few motorcycle engine mods, making v-twins out of a pair of single-cylinder engines and a V-eight from two four-cylinder engines. Check out the video of his latest beast after the break! [Read more...]

Tailgating this car carries a heavy penalty

This hack seems simple enough:

  1. 1. Open hatchback
  2. 2. Insert jet engine
  3. 3. Profit

Actually, the guy who added a jet engine to a VW Beetle has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. He claims this is street legal, and even has a snapshot of the police trying to figure out what to charge him with after stopping him on the road. There’s plenty of details and we’re not questioning [Ron Patrick's] competence, but having the intake for the turbine inside the cab of the vehicle seems a bit insane. He remarks that “it’s a little windy but not unbearable”… yeah.

One the same page you’ll find his dual-jet modified scooter. The starting cost there is considerably less, especially if you build your own ram jets.

[Thanks Goldscott]

Machining a horizontal Stirling engine

Satisfy your need to view some quality machining by looking through this Stirling engine worklog. We’ve seen these engines used a few other times in creating electricity from solar energy, powering a car, and even built from aluminum cans. [David Morrow] built this rendition to push the limits of his machining skills. We’d say he succeeded. The finished piece should run with the help of a heat source such as a candle. There’s no video of this engine, but we’ve embedded a clip of a similar device after the break in order to give you an idea of how this would work.

[Read more...]

EVIC engine

evic

The EVIC is a computer controlled internal combustion engine, utilizing a cam less solenoid actuated valve system. In addition to intake and exhaust valve control, the processor also handles ignition timing. With dynamic valve timing, it is possible to make an engine more efficient. Where a classic combustion engine would wastefully burn fuel, the EVIC can skip power cycles which are not needed. By increasing the valve duration, the CPU enables easy starting. The latest is the EVIC Mk3 which adds an exhaust valve sensor, and 3:1 solenoid leverage. There is a photo gallery with several EVIC engines. The Mk2 Twin is demonstrated in the video embedded below.

[Read more...]

Motorcycle engine powered cars


Autoblog recently posted about the LusoMotors LM23, a track car powered by a Honda CBR1000 that weighs less than 900 pounds. We knew there have been quite a few other home built cars that have foregone traditional engines for motorcycle power plants, so we asked Google for a few project suggestions. It turned up this excellent round up of motorcycle powered cars by The Kneeslider. The usual Caterham suspects show up, but there are many other unique vehicles: from Mini and Fiat conversions to the unique sidemounted engine in the DP1 pictured above. Definitely check out this excellent collection.

Steven Laurie’s Art of the Motor


We’ve served up dozens if not hundreds of machines with a practical purpose, but we are always interested in machines like those [Steven Laurie] makes, which serve no other purpose than looking impressive, spewing smoke, leaving tire marks, and making a lot of racket. We’ll give you the scoop on Steve’s motor art after the break.

[Read more...]

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