The Briggs & Stratton single cylinder sidevalve engine is one that has been in production in one form or another for over a century, and which remains one of the simplest, most reliable, and easiest to maintain internal combustion engines there is. The little single-cylinder can be found on lawnmowers and other similar machinery everywhere, so it’s rather easy to find yourself in possession of more than one. [Lyckebo Mekaniska] evidently had no shortage of them, because he’s produced a V8 engine for a small lawn tractor using eight of them. A small air-cooled V8 sidevalve is something of a unique engine to be made in the 2020s, and the series of videos is definitely worth a watch from start to finish. We’ve been keeping an eye on this build for a while now, and we’ve embedded it below the break for your entertainment.
For an engine which uses mass-produced engines for its construction, this one still relies heavily on parts machined from first principles. The cylinder blocks, valves, pistons, and crank rods are Briggs & Stratton, the rest is made in the workshop. It’s a design with the valves on the outside — so instead of the single camshaft you might expect from experience with OHV engines nestling in the V above the camshaft it has two camshafts at the bottom of the crankcase.
The crankcase is cast in sections first, followed by the machining of the crankshaft and camshafts, then the preparation of the cylinders.. The engine is assembled with a home made alternator on its flywheel and a conventional distributor from a donor vehicle. The lubrication system is another work of the machinist’s art, and the simple straight-through exhaust system is more at home on a drag racer than a lawnmower. Finally we see it running, and it sounds the business. Most recently he’s had to deal with a seizure and a replacement cylinder, but now it’s back together and he’s working on an improved cooling system.
All in all this is one heck of a build, and we wish we had some of those skills. We’re not sure whether he’ll mow the lawn with this thing, but one thing’s for sure, lawnmower hacking has quite a past.
If you grew up before high gas prices and strict emission control regulations, you probably had — or wanted — a car with a V8 engine. An engineering masterpiece created in France, it would define automotive power for the best part of a century. Of course, you can still get them, but the realities of our day make them a luxury. [Vlad] shows us his latest Christmas list addition: a fully-functioning but tiny V8 — the Toyan FS-V800 that has a displacement of two centiliters.
It runs on R/C nitro fuel and is claimed to be the world’s smallest production V8. You can buy the thing built or as a kit and we suggest to protect your street cred, you claim you bought the kit even if you go for the assembled version. The cylinder bores are 17 mm and 16 tiny valves regulate the flow. There are even tiny mufflers for the manifold exhaust. [Dennis] has a video of his operating that you can see below, and his YouTube channel has a lot of information on building the kit and some modifications, too.
Cooling? Water-cooled, of course. The manufacturer claims the engine can rev to 12,500 RPM and can produce over four horsepower. The total size would allow it to fit easily in a five inch cubical volume. You could build it into something, or just display it as a conversation piece. Be prepared for sticker shock, though. We hear the going price for these is about $1,500.
As a work of art, solenoid engines are an impressive display of electromagnetics in action. There is limited practical use for them though, so usually they are relegated to that realm and remain display pieces. This one from [Emiel] certainly looks like a work of art, too. It has eight solenoids, mimicking the look and internal workings of a traditional V8.
There’s a lot that has to go on to coordinate this many cylinders. Like an internal combustion engine, it takes precise timing in order to make sure that the “pistons” trigger in the correct order without interfering with each other through the shared driveshaft. For that, [Emiel] built two different circuit boards, one to control the firing of each solenoid and another to give positional feedback for the shaft. That’s all put inside a CNC-machined engine block, complete with custom-built connecting rods and shafts.
If you think this looks familiar, it’s because [Emiel] has become somewhat of an expert in the solenoid engine realm. He started off with a how-to for a single piston engine, then stepped it up with a V4 design after that. That leaves us wondering how many pistons the next design will have. Perhaps a solenoid version of the Volkswagen W12?
Normally when you think of a V8 engine you think of pistons driven by exploding fuel, pushing a crankshaft. [Miller’s Planet’s] version doesn’t use pistons, instead it uses solenoids along with a 3D printed crankshaft. The finished product would make a great science project or classroom demonstration of how a crankshaft converts a reciprocal linear motion into a rotary motion.
There are a lot of 3D printed parts and the links are in the post. A lot of the video (see below) is filmed in the wordless-workshop style with just a few text overlays to explain what is happening. But towards the middle, you’ll hear an explanation of how a solenoid produces force. The real payoff though is at the end, when you get to watch the contraption in motion.
On the heels of a small stirling engine we featured, an astute Hackaday reader sent in a few awesome builds from HMEM, the home model engine machinist forum.
First up is a fantastic looking stirling engine made entirely from scratch. The build is modeled on a Moriya Hot Air Fan, but instead of making a fan spin around, [IronHorse] put a flywheel on the engine. It also uses propane instead of an alcohol or other liquid fuel lamp for the heat source.
Next up is a pee-wee sized V8 engine by [stevehuckss396]. Unlike the model engines we’re used to, this one runs on gasoline. The engine started out as a 3 x 3 x 5 inch block of aluminum. This thread goes on an amazing 85 (!) pages and makes for great afternoon reading, but here’s a video of the engine in action.
Last is [keith5700]’s amazing 1/4 scale V8. Not only is this [keith]’s first project, he also completed this entire project on manual mills and lathes. There’s an electric starter thrown in there, and the pictures are simply incredible.
Thanks to [Norberto] for sending this one in, and if you’ve got an example of amazing machining skill, send it on it to the tip line.
Winter’s coming, and you don’t want to be outdone by your neighbor’s new snow blower. We think it’s pretty safe to say you’ll be the envy of gearheads throughout the neighborhood if you can build your own snow blower around a V8 engine. [Kai Grundt] is a metal fabricator by day and a horror movie prop yard implement builder by night. He pulled the engine out of his Chevy truck and then filled in parts around it to make this 412 HP snow blower.
The tank treads that it rides are each have their own dedicated hydraulic pump, making it easy to drive and steer this 800 pound whale. One of the first orders of business for the beast was to throw snow from two houses away, burying his buddy’s car. That’s the price you pay for laughing in a guy’s face when he describes his next project. It sounds like [Kai] was planning on selling kits so you could more easily replicate the build, but we couldn’t find any additional info on that. If you’ve got the details, please let us know by leaving a comment.