See-Through Carburetor Gives A Clear Demonstration

Carburetors have been largely phased out on most automobiles, but for a century they were the standard, and still are on many smaller engines. Armed with a high-speed camera and with the help of his father, [Smarter Every Day] investigates these devices by experimenting with a DIY see-through carburetor connected to a real engine.

The purpose of a carburetor is to mix gasoline and oxygen to the correct ratio for combustion inside the engine. Gasoline flow from the tank to the bowl, from where gets sucked into the venturi. The choke valve adjusts the amount of air entering the carb, while the throttle controls the amount of air-fuel mixture entering the engine. It appears that the carburetor was made from a resin 3D printed body and manifold, with an acrylic cover and PLA throttle and choke valves. It was attached to a single-cylinder engine.

The high-speed footage is incredible, and clearly shows the operation of the carburetor and makes it incredibly easy to understand. If you’re interested, he also uploaded a second video with almost 80 minutes of detailed footage.

[Smarter Every Day]’s infectious curiosity has led to numerous fascinating projects, including a supersonic baseball canon and the backward bicycle.

Continue reading “See-Through Carburetor Gives A Clear Demonstration”

Fridge Compressor Turned Into Capable Little Four-Stroke Engine

Never underestimate the power of a well-stocked junk bin. Along with a TIG welder and mechanical ingenuity bordering on genius-level, all of which come to bear on this fridge compressor to four-stroke engine build.

The video posted by [Let’s Learn Something] is long, but watching it at double speed doesn’t take away much from the enjoyment. By using a piston-type compressor, a lot of the precision machining is already taken care of here. Adding the intake and exhaust valves, camshaft, timing chain, carburetor, and ignition system are still pretty challenging tasks, though. We loved the home-made timing chain sprockets, made with nothing more than a drill and an angle grinder. In a truly inspired moment, flat-head screws are turned into valves, rocker arms are fabricated from bits of scrap, and a bolt becomes a camshaft with built-up TIG filler. Ignition and carburetion are cobbled together from more bits of scrap, resulting in an engine that fired up the first time — and promptly melted the epoxy holding the exhaust header to the cylinder head.

Now, compressor-to-engine conversions aren’t exactly new territory. We’ve seen both fridge compressors and automotive AC compressors turned into engines before. But most of what we’ve seen has been simple two-stroke engines. We’re really impressed with the skill needed to bring off a four-stroke engine like this, and we feel like we picked up quite a few junk-box tips from this one.

Continue reading “Fridge Compressor Turned Into Capable Little Four-Stroke Engine”

Miss Beatrice Shilling Saves The Spitfire

On a bright spring morning in 1940, the Royal Air Force pilot was in the fight of his life. Strapped into his brand new Supermarine Spitfire, he was locked in mortal combat with a Luftwaffe pilot over the English Channel in the opening days of the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire was behind the Messerschmitt and almost within range to unleash a deadly barrage of rounds from the four eight Browning machine guns in the leading edges of the elliptical wings. With the German plane just below the centerline of the gunsight’s crosshairs, the British pilot pushed the Spit’s lollipop stick forward to dive slightly and rake his rounds across the Bf-109. He felt the tug of the harness on his shoulders keeping him in his seat as the nimble fighter pulled a negative-g dive, and he lined up the fatal shot.

But the powerful V-12 Merlin engine sputtered, black smoke trailing along the fuselage as the engine cut out. Without power, the young pilot watched in horror as the three-bladed propeller wound to a stop. With the cold Channel waters looming in his windscreen, there was no time to restart the engine. The pilot bailed out in the nick of time, watching his beautiful plane cartwheel into the water as he floated down to join it, wondering what had just happened.

Continue reading “Miss Beatrice Shilling Saves The Spitfire”