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#4669034 - 02/17/18 07:19 PM Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank)
Stelth Offline


Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 2030
Loc: California
For some reason, I have a fascination with the gasoline engines used in US tanks, and other heavy duty uses, from roughly WWII into the early 70's. The various Continental air-cooled tank engines are interesting, and used in numerous tanks and other vehicles. Early WWII tanks, such as the M3 Lee/Grant, used the Wright (Continental) R-975 radial engine, which developed 400 hp at 2400 RPM from 972 cubic inches. This engine was also used in early Sherman tanks.

Another interesting Continental engine is the AOS-895 used in the M41 Walker Bulldog. This is an opposed (flat) six cylinder of 895 cubic inches, developing as much as 500 hp. This engine was used in other vehicles as well, including the M49 and M50, which were the vehicles that were used to transport the atomic cannon.

The pinnacle of Continental gasoline tank engines was the AV-1790, which powered the M46 tank and early models of the M47. This was a massive V-12 of approx 1790 cubic inches displacement, and produced 810 horsepower at 2800 RPM, and loads of torque.

I think many here are familiar with the Ford GAA, which was the definitive Sherman engine. Shermans were also powered by radials, and the Chrysler 30-cylinder multibank engine, but the Ford engine is probably the most famous. It was an 1100 ci, aluminum SOHC V-8 that made around 500 horsepower at 2600 RPM. It also put out over 1000 ft. lbs. or torque from idle to 2200 rpm. It was also used in the T-26 (GAF version), a late war and post war heavy tank.

In the civilian world, there have been some monsters as well. GMC made a 702 CI V-12 known as the Twin-Six. This machine was good for 250+ horsepower at 2400 RPM. International made the 549, one of the last gasoline engines used in semi trucks. I've read on various discussion boards that 2 mpg is common for vehicles with a 549.

I just think it's fascinating that the USA held on to these big gasoline engines for so long before diesel really took over. Any comments or clarifications you have would be appreciated.
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#4669043 - 02/17/18 07:31 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
jhellwig Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1540
Loc: Ottumwa, Iowa
I do find some of those old monster gas engines interesting. I kinda like the gas tractors from the late sixths early 70s that were pushing 100hp or better. I want to get one and make it fuel injected.
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#4669044 - 02/17/18 07:32 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
02SE Offline


Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 2727
Loc: The Canyons
GMC had their 637 CI V8, and their big V6 engines 478,423,401,379,351,305

GMC had some big gas I6's too.

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#4669046 - 02/17/18 07:38 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
gotnogunk Offline


Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 87
Loc: Florida
Thanks for a little education, Continental of course is big in the aviation engine business, but nothing as big as these. I flew continental turbojet engines T-37. I guess the cheap gasoline made this possible. Gasoline is not the best thing to set on in a tank.

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#4669067 - 02/17/18 07:58 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
PimTac Offline


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4258
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
Wasnít it Rommelís victories in North Africa during WW2 and the urging of General Patton to start switching tanks to diesel power?
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#4669078 - 02/17/18 08:10 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Stelth
International made the 549, one of the last gasoline engines used in semi trucks. I've read on various discussion boards that 2 mpg is common for vehicles with a 549.


Yes, running fully loaded. They would do 3-4 MPG when lightly loaded or empty.

A LOT of International 549 engines ended up on irrigation pump duty (usually on natural gas)...
so much so, that the ONLY ones I have seen in person were irrigation. Never saw one in a running truck.

I have had a my 454 get 4 mpg.... pulling 20,000+ pounds (in addition to an already heavy 8,000 lb truck)

Ford also made a huge gas V8, the Ford Super Duty 534. We had one in a 1979 or 1980(?) F800.
It had really decent torque, but nowhere near as good as the turbo diesels in the same truck class.
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#4669104 - 02/17/18 08:36 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
02SE Offline


Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 2727
Loc: The Canyons
Can't forget the old Hall-Scott engines.

1090 CI I-6
V12's,
V8's

etc.

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#4669108 - 02/17/18 08:40 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: PimTac]
umungus1122 Offline


Registered: 02/12/08
Posts: 1058
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: PimTac
Wasnít it Rommelís victories in North Africa during WW2 and the urging of General Patton to start switching tanks to diesel power?

Not really. All German tanks had gas engines during ww2, as did tanks in US units. The M4A2 and M4A6 diesel engined Shermans, (as well as the multi-banked Chrysler engine version) were for Lend Lease to allies only, or for use in the continental US only.
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#4669161 - 02/17/18 09:57 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7146
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
Please post pics!!!
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#4669165 - 02/17/18 10:07 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Linctex]
clinebarger Offline


Registered: 12/19/13
Posts: 1907
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Linctex
[quote=Stelth]
A LOT of International 549 engines ended up on irrigation pump duty (usually on natural gas)...
so much so, that the ONLY ones I have seen in person were irrigation. Never saw one in a running truck.


My uncle that lived in the Panhandle worked on irrigation pump engines a lot as a mobile mechanic. Saw many IH 549's & 702 GMC's as a youth helping him out in the summer. Industrial Chrysler 225 Slant 6 & 413 were popular on smaller pumps.
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#4669183 - 02/17/18 10:33 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
zrxkawboy Offline


Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 1761
Loc: SD
Here's a good article (and a few pics) on the Chrysler A57 tank engine, which was 5 flatheads joined together.

https://oldmachinepress.com/2012/10/05/chrysler-a57-multibank-tank-engine/
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#4669190 - 02/17/18 10:38 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
OVERKILL Offline


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36431
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Most of my knowledge of old gassers is from the antique boat world. The big Liberty V12's were pretty common swaps into race boats for example. 1,649ci and 449HP.



My grandfather's best friend had a 19-teens or 1920's vintage Minette launch that belonged to the Eaton family. It was a very large boat as far as woodies went and was powered by a massive Van Blerck i4, which looked a heck of a lot like this one:


It was something like 500ci with dual ignition with manual advance. It made something like 50HP IIRC.

It had an open sump with a brass drip tray. I thought I was told the dry-sump system it leveraged was gravity fed, but some of the information I'm reading indicated it may have had a pump if it was the "high speed" variant.

Just found this on YouTube looking for it actually, this is the actual engine, out of the boat. Looks like the oiling system was eventually upgraded (to the high speed one unless I'm getting old and it already had that) from back in the late 90's when I last saw it run. It was constantly coming out of the boat for repair, and so this video is somewhat representative of that:



Going by this: https://www.gasenginemagazine.com/gas-engines/the-career-of-joseph-van-blerck

The engine had a 5" bore and a 6" stroke, which puts it at 471ci.

I don't think we owned anything other than a dispro that was that vintage, but I saw a ton of old stuff including steam engines at the antique and classic boat show in Port Carling, which we generally tried to attend every year.
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#4669198 - 02/17/18 10:44 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
andyd Offline


Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 7139
Loc: Marshfield , MA
quote=umungus1122]
Originally Posted By: PimTac
Wasnít it Rommelís victories in North Africa during WW2 and the urging of General Patton to start switching tanks to diesel power?

Not really. All German tanks had gas engines during ww2, as did tanks in US units. The M4A2 and M4A6 diesel engined Shermans, (as well as the multi-banked Chrysler engine version) were for Lend Lease to allies only, or for use in the continental US only. [/quote] That doesn't fit with what I learned reading about WWII and talking to men who drove tanks

. Many German tanks used diesel fuel, which gave their crews an excellent chance of surviving battle damage, in contrast to the American Sherman, with its gasoline-powered engine.

https://www.historyonthenet.com/ww2-tanks/ In N Africa, the Germans called the gas powered US tanks "Ronsons: after the cigarette lighters.


Edited by andyd (02/17/18 10:48 PM)
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#4669220 - 02/17/18 11:29 PM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: Stelth]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5512
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
I have driven trucks with the I-H 549. It is the sweetest of the big gas V-8's. Absolutely a joy to drive. Just romp and go. Although it could twist up some driveline parts.

Years ago I saw a gal drive an older I-H pick-up at the Cow Palace during a tractor pull. She was in the modified class. No on was making full pulls. the announcer said she had a 549 under the hood. We made bets on if she'd make a full pull. I took all comers for the 549. She pulled the sled out the end and had to brake to stop from hitting the wall. Obviously a well sorted truck, but man that thing ran laugh
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#4669369 - 02/18/18 08:12 AM Re: Big, old, gasoline engines (mostly tank) [Re: umungus1122]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4336
Loc: Taiwan
Originally Posted By: umungus1122
Originally Posted By: PimTac
Wasnít it Rommelís victories in North Africa during WW2 and the urging of General Patton to start switching tanks to diesel power?

Not really. All German tanks had gas engines during ww2, as did tanks in US units. The M4A2 and M4A6 diesel engined Shermans, (as well as the multi-banked Chrysler engine version) were for Lend Lease to allies only, or for use in the continental US only.


Think I read somewhere the USMC used them in the Pacific too. Something to do with shipboard fuel storage.

Think the main reason petrol was retained as the standard fuel for so long (as it was by the British Army) is the same main reason they now use diesel as the standard fuel.

Its a standard fuel, so it gives you logistical advantages.

Multi-fuel engines perhaps helped with the transition

I like this one, perhaps partly cos I've driven it.

(Technically the Abbot isn't a tank, its an SP gun)






Edited by Ducked (02/18/18 08:15 AM)

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