An unexpected find…

A few month back, I was exploring a new store by my house called Rescued Metals & Equipment. Essentially, this is the “dumpster diving” division of a local scrapyard. They pull out any worthwhile metal, cool stuff, new steel/aluminum stock and anything else they might be able to sell. The ultimate in surplus stores. Browsing the racks, I stumbled on something I immediately recognized, an intake/exhaust valve. Without blinking, I bought it of course!

Yeah, its a big ass valve. Lets try that with something for reference..

On the left is your typical 6V battery, and on the right is a Cleveland 248/278/278A exhaust valve.

After tracking the part number stamped on it, it turns out this is for an Enterprise DSRV-16 engine. These were introduced in the 1950’s, and made up until the early 1980’s (by then it was a DeLaval Enterprise). Its a 17″ x 21″ 4 stroke engine running at 405RPM making 9,000HP with quad turbos. These were pretty common as standby generators at Nuclear plants, as well as ship propulsion engines.

From the 1957 Diesel Engine Catalog

If your ever in Southwest Michigan, be sure to stop by Rescued Metals. Its different every week, and they come up some some really cool stuff! Be sure to check out their Facebook page below.

Oh, and the valve makes a fantastic paper towel holder in my office!

Fairbanks Morse Engine List

Unfortunately due to travel, I have not had nearly the time I would like lately to sit down and type up another article. This week however, I will provide some interesting reading. This is a Fairbanks Morse bulletin from 1958, that details every diesel engine model they ever produced. The one downside, is that it only covers the model, and not the cylinder arrangements offered for each one.

F-M was another one of those companies that seemed to have a new “model of the week” engine. Its impressive that quite a number of these engines survived, both as museum pieces, as well as a fair bit still in service today, unlike Winton and many other early diesels.

Keep in mind, this is a 1958 list, and does not cover the later engines that popped up when Colt took over, such as the 38A20, or any of the Pielstick engines.

Click each photo for a larger version.

Old Advertising III

This week, we have a 1941 classic, featuring the Carl Hussman Company, and a trio of Cleveland 16-567’s.

Click for a larger version

Unfortunately, I can not really say much about Carl Hussman outside of what is in the ad – I cant find anything! Other then they obviously made some spring isolation assembly’s.

What I can add though – is about those engines. The main trio featured, are Cleveland 16-567’s. Yes – They are Electro-Motive Corporation (at the time) designed, and even built in LaGrange – however these engines carried Cleveland Diesel plates. EMC (EMD), Cleveland Diesel and Detroit Diesel all fell under one banner after 1937 – the General Motors Diesel Power line. Locomotives fell under EMC/EMD, Marine and Stationary engines fell under Cleveland Diesel, and small engines up to 250HP under the Detroit line.

These 3 16-567’s were some of the earliest applications of these engines. These engines were shipped 11/1938, as 1000HP/600RPM gen-sets for the Alfred I. duPont building in Miami, Florida. Interestingly enough, 2 of the 3 were listed as being in emergency generator railcars, however as we can see – all 3 are inside the building. It is unknown if the order was changed in the process, of if the plant was reconfigured between 1938 and 1941 when this ad was made.

The 4th engine in the ad, the “225HP 8 Cylinder” is a Cleveland 8-233A engine. This was a small, 200HP/1200RPM engine. As with the early Winton designed engines, this was a 4 stroke, and one of the engines that ultimately would lead to the development of the Detroit 71 series. The 233A line was one of the engines used by Electro-Motive in the early railcars, as well as a yacht propulsion engine, and standby generator used in some early Aircraft Carriers.

The better question is – Are these engines still there?

Fairbanks-Morse 31A18

Naturally, as things progress – engines got bigger.  For Fairbanks-Morse, the 31A18/31AD18 was the largest production engine they made…at least until the 1960’s…but we will get to that later.    Fairbanks-Morse introduced their line of 31A engines around 1945 or so, calling them the new “En-bloc” engines, meaning “as a whole” in the dictionary.   While previous FM engines were made of various castings, bases, liners, air box, exhaust belt, etc., the new 31A line used a one-piece cast block, in which the cylinder liners went into (not on top of like earlier models). The cam and main bearing pockets were cast right into the block, ensuring perfect alignment every time (or so they touted), as well as featuring an integral oscillating scavenging blower.   The 31A series was offered in a 6 ¼” and an 8 ½” bore for marine and stationary service, as well as a giant 18” bore engine for stationary power generating service, and thus the 31A18 was born.

Fairbanks Morse 10 Cylinder 31A18

The 31A18 used an 18” bore, with a 27” stroke, rated at 277 RPM.   FM also offered the 31A18 in a dual fuel model, the 31AD18 – which used diesel as a pilot fuel for natural gas operation.   The engines were offered in the following configurations:

– 6 Cylinder, 2100HP, 140,000lb/143,000lb (31AD18)
– 8 Cylinder, 2800HP, 193,000lb/197,000lb (31AD18)
– 10 Cylinder, 3500HP, 247,000lb/251,000lb (31AD18)

End cutaway view of the 31AD18

One of the few options offered was in way of the scavenging blower – The engine could be equipped with an oscillating vane blower, or none at all, with the scavenging air being supplied by a separate motor driven blower in the plant.   It appears most applications went with the separate motor driven unit.     Lubricating oil was supplied by a duplex system with an engine driven gear pump handling piston cooling, main bearings, crankpins, camshaft, injection pumps and blower (if equipped).  A separate pair of Madison-Kipp lubricators driven off the main camshaft supplied oil to each cylinder liner wall by means of 6 lines going to each. The camshaft also chain drives the fuel oil service pump.  Jacket water cooling is handled off a main header (remember, there is no internal water passages in the cast block) on the lower potion of the block, up through the liners and heads, and out through an upper header.   The engine has no water pumps of its own (common in large stationary engines), with separate motor driven pumps for the closed loop soft water in the engine, and a raw water system for the heat exchangers.  

Main casting of the 10 Cylinder model. Note the casting line between the first 4 Cylinders and the last 6. The blocks were cast as 4 Cylinder blower/non blower sections and 6 Cylinder sections.
The 31A18 used a rather unique piston. While it was not a floating piston, it did in essence use a carrier, however it was bolted in place through the skirt. The crown was a separate piece with studs, which held it all together.

The 31A/31AD18 were essentially the same engine except for the dual fuel equipment.   In addition to the standard equipment, the 31AD18 used an additional chain driven upper camshaft to control the gas admission valves, supplied by a separate header on the top end of the engine. 

The rather unorthodox method of driving the upper camshaft and fuel pump.

Around 1955, Fairbanks Morse added to the 31A18 line, by introducing a 12-cylinder option, putting out 4200HP.   Production of the 31A18 lasted until the late 1960’s – well past the production of all of the other FM engines that were not model opposed Piston models.  While FM does not support the 31A18 line anymore, there are still numerous examples of these engines still in service in various municipal power plants.   While the 31A18 family was the largest production Fairbanks Morse engine, it was not the largest. That honor would go to the 38A20 Opposed Piston engine.

A pair of 38AD18 engines in an unknown power plant. For the life of me I can not find the source of this photo. If anyone recognizes it please let me know so I can properly credit it.

Midway Island, part of the Midway Atoll in the Pacific is home to a small power plant with a single FM 38AD18. Check out this link for photos of the Midway power plant. Note that this engine has the attached engine driven blower.

Midway Island Power Plant Photos

FM 31AD18 running at the Rochelle Illinois power plant. Note the large grey pipe coming up from the floor in the front of the engine, this is the air intake, as this engine does not have the attached blower. This plant is home to many old engines including FM’s, Worthingtons and Nordbergs. Video from youtube user dzlrod

As always, I welcome and and all comments, additions, corrections and anything else.