Thursday, 15 January 2009

Diesel Strokers & Mrs Robinson

My knowledge of two stroke diesels is limited, not withstanding, I have known for years that this was an area of internal combustion engine technology that I would, at some stage have to investigate further. I guess none of us have been able to re-visit Mike Nichols' '67 Graduate without fast forwarding to the elopement - that GM bus hauling up with the unmistakable Detroit 12 litre 32 valve V8 2 stroke roar - this lovely sound is often accentuated by the employment of a sluggish automatic gearbox playing havoc with the revs. (All of this accompanied by a rather startled look from Katherine Ross as she weighs up the pros and cons and a trickle of S&G's "Hello Darkness"). Move on 13 years and around the globe to South Australia, just West of Nundroo on the (then) very empty Eyres Highway. Quietly minding my own business on the XT500 loaded up with gear - it was getting dusk and,to give myself more chance in the kangaroo avoidance game, I had slowed to 60 and was riding straight down the centre of the road - the problem with coaches having engines at the back is you don't get to hear them coming - how I survived the Greyhound streaking past me on the near side at 80 is unknown, the noise however is etched securely in my brain somewhere - glorious two stroke rattle and howl, FANTASTIC smell and heat. Move on again - another 5 years and I found myself driving a Commer CDY (as shown below) tipper, only for a day, but the noise ! Obviously I knew I was in stroker territory but for some reason never looked under the bonnet. I have only just discovered the brilliant opposing piston design of the Rootes TS3 !?%&£$!!? BRILLIANT - 3 cylinders, 6 pistons, 12 con-rods, 6 rockers and 1 crankshaft - all that and a stroker to boot. How this piece of engineering has passed me by for so long is a mystery, I'm just glad I found it now before it's too late. Apparently the little 215 cube (3523cc) motor was producing 335 lbs.ft of torque at 1200 revs ! MORE FROM LESS !
STOP PRESS - if you need to know what a TS3 sounds like - watch this !


Peter Ashley said...

All I can think about diesel engines is the smell. First at Victoria Coach Station in 1960 waiting for an East Kent to take us all to Hythe, and then the transport garage at Freeman Hardy & Willis's Leicester base with lorries painted-up in Hush Puppy livery spilling the stuff over the floor.

Ron Combo said...

Good grief, sounds like a VC-10 on take off.

Jon Dudley said...

And a scrap dealer in Norfolk has built a vintage-style car powered by one of these engines!