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SEMI-DIESEL

1923 FAIRBANKS-MORSE Y-V SEMI-DIESEL

The diesel engine didn’t just appear from thin air—it was an evolution of technology. In the years immediately following Rudolph Diesel’s 1895 patent, much of that evolution was dictated by those patents in Europe and the United States. Back then, engines that ran on heavy fuel oils were called “oil engines,” and it would be a few years until Diesel went from a capitalized proper noun to a lowercase common noun used to describe the compression-ignition engine.

Another category of oil engine coexisted with— but predated—the diesel. Called a “surface ignition” engine, it was a low-compression oil engine that used the heat of compression for ignition. It could only sustain compression ignition when the combustion chamber was really hot and there were hot spots to vaporize the fuel that was injected at very low pressure. The surface ignition engines were also divided into several categories and by names that described their ignition method.

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Diesel World October 2019, Winter Takes All, 2019 : The Year Of Carnage, Vintage Refresh : Turning the Clock back on a 600 HP OBS Ford, And More....