Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Posts Tagged engines exposed

THF91250

1989 Honda Accord

Inline 4-cylinder engine, overhead camshaft, 119 cubic inches displacement, 98 horsepower

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Using a front-wheel drive layout in a front-engine car allows for a compact design, but it requires some clever packaging under the hood. The Accord’s automatic transmission is combined with a differential into a single unit called a transaxle, mounted on the passenger side of the engine. The transverse-mounted engine has three valves per cylinder – two intake and one exhaust.


Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

turbine-engine

1963 Chrysler Turbine

Regenerative gas turbine engine, 130 horsepower.

turbine

Chrysler experimented with turbine engines for some 25 years. The Turbine could run on almost anything – gasoline, diesel, kerosene, even peanut oil (with exhaust that smelled like baking cookies)! While the fuel flexibility was terrific, the fuel economy was less than stellar. Chrysler ended the Turbine program in 1979. Note the huge air filter housing in front of the engine. The Turbine gulped about four times more air than a piston engine.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

56-chevy-engine

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air

V-8 cylinder engine, overhead valves, 265 cubic inches displacement, 205 horsepower.

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It’s the most enduring 8-cylinder American automobile engine. Chevrolet introduced its “small block” V-8 in 1955 – and kept on building it until 2003. Nearly every General Motors division used some variant, and total production is over 100 million, including later development generations. Not bad for an engine designed in 15 weeks. The compact unit is all but swallowed up by the Chevy’s engine bay. Note the relatively small-sized radiator, too. Efficient cooling was one of the small block’s many advantages.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

omni2

1978 Dodge Omni

Inline 4-cylinder engine, overhead valves, 105 cubic inches displacement, 75 horsepower.

omni

Small cars pack a lot into tight spaces. The Omni makes the most of its engine bay by mounting the unit transversely, with the crankshaft parallel to the front bumper. It’s a layout not widely used in American cars since the early 1900s, but particularly well-suited to compact front-wheel drive vehicles. Power is sent to the Omni’s front wheels via the transaxle, a combination gearbox-differential, on the driver’s side.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

bugatti-2

1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale

Inline 8-cylinder engine, single overhead camshaft, 779 cubic inches displacement, 300 horsepower.

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From its length, one might expect more than 8 cylinders under the Bugatti’s hood. But each of those cylinders displaces more than the whole of a Volkswagen Beetle’s power plant. Four air cleaners stand over the engine, fitted to the four carburetors installed by Charles Chayne after World War II. Two spark plugs protrude from each cylinder. The steering box sits just behind the right fender, in keeping with the car’s right-hand drive layout.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

modelt1919

1919 Ford Model T

Inline 4-cylinder engine, L-head valves, 177 cubic inches displacement, 20 horsepower.

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Mechanical simplicity was one of the secrets behind the Model T’s success. The engine has no fuel pump, relying on gravity to feed the carburetor. There is no water pump either, as a thermosyphon effect was used to circulate cooling water. The cylinder head removes in one piece for easier servicing. Electric start was first available in 1919. The electrical system’s generator is just visible at the front of the engine.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

300-2

1956 Chrysler 300-B Stock Car

V-8 cylinder engine, overhead valves, 354 cubic inches displacement, 355 horsepower.

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They didn’t call the Chrysler 300 letter series luxury cars “bankers’ hot rods” for nothing. The 1956 300-B’s big V-8 achieved that holy grail of one horsepower per cubic inch. The cars dominated NASCAR, where rules still restricted teams to stock power. Note the cutout in the right wheel well and the nearby spotlight. These modifications allowed the driver to check tire wear through a hole in the firewall.

Matt Anderson is the Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford. See this engine and many others during Engines Exposed at Henry Ford Museum.

Engines Exposed

corvair1

1960 Chevrolet Corvair Sedan

Horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine, overhead valves, 140 cubic inches displacement, 80 horsepower.

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The compact Corvair reimagined the American automobile. Not least among its peculiarities was its rear-mounted, air-cooled aluminum engine. The air cleaner is prominent, with two hoses leading to carburetors mounted on each cylinder bank. Much of the engine is hidden by a metal shroud that directed the air flow around the unit. With its light weight and air cooling, the Corvair power plant proved popular with home airplane builders.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed

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From January 10 through March 15, we’re opening the hoods on more than 40 vehicles in Henry Ford Museum. Many will agree that the engine is the heart of an automobile – whether it’s the big V-8 in our 1956 Chrysler 300-B stock car, or the compact four-banger in our 1978 Dodge Omni. Over the next several weeks, I’ll use this space to share my thoughts on a selection of our exposed engines. Some are unconventional efforts, while others are mainstays produced by the millions. Each of them offers some special insight into more than 100 years of experimentation and improvement in how we power our cars.

First up - the 1907 White Model G.

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whitemodelg

1907 White Model G

Inline 2-cylinder compound steam engine with condenser, 30 horsepower

The White’s steam engine was designed for efficiency. Steam first expanded in the smaller high-pressure cylinder at rear, then expanded again in the larger low-pressure cylinder at front. The condenser in front of the engine, resembling a radiator from an internal combustion car, captured exhausted steam and converted it back into water, to be used again. These devices gave the Model G a claimed range of 150 miles on a 17-gallon water tank.

Take a look at the opening of the White's hood over on Instagram.

Matt Anderson is Curator of Transportation at The Henry Ford.

Engines Exposed