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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

THE ENGINE THAT ANSWERED QUESTIONS

A 1940S CATERPILLAR OIL TEST ENGINE

SPECIAL THANKS TO LEE FOSBURGH AT CAT HISTORICAL, BRADEN REDDALL AT CHEVRON, AND JIM RUSH

Jim Rush’s Caterpillar 1D Single Cylinder Oil Test Engine (SCOTE) is so well-trained it can practically disassemble itself. Jim acquired the engine in 1997 from Michael Murphy, an Ohio-based diesel engineer who rescued it from a Pennsylvania farmer’s junk pile in 1991. As far as Jim knows, it came from the Standard Oil lab in New Jersey and was last used for testing in the late 1950s. Its exact age is undetermined, but certain design elements indicate that it’s from around 1940.

It’s easy to forget how much engineering goes into a quart of oil. We all know how much depends on that oil. What many don’t know is how the advancement of diesel engine technology stumbled in the early 1930s and how the development of new lubricants put it back on track. Along the way, special diesel engines were built to develop and test those lubricants.

In the 1920s, the growing diesel engine market faced a major ring-sticking and piston-deposit problem. It was not new, nor was it exclusive to diesels, but diesels had the most severe form. As diesel power density and RPM capability moved higher, the problems grew worse. Behind the scenes, the engine manufacturing and lubricant industries pointed ingers. But two companies rose above the rivalry and set an example of how cooperation can solve wide-ranging issues and produce a compounded result. That was a pun, and you’ll get it in a minute.

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About Diesel World

Diesel World September 2019, When Oils Sucked : Vintage Engines Designed to push Innovation, Cylinder Heads Everything you need to know, And More....