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Detroit Diesel Trivia

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First: Detriot Diesel engine designation 8V92 and similar (3V53, 6V71, etc) means what?

Second: Why are Detriot Diesel engines known as Detriots, instead of GM or Chevrolet engines as they really are? (this one I honestly don't know an answer to, but I would love to hear answers/theories)

Edited by 76ChevyTrucker

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good question this be... answer I have not. [/yoda]

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8V92 = 8 cylinders in V with 92 cubic inches per cylinder

3V53 - AFAIK does not exist ... V3?

353 = inline 3 cylinder with 53 cu in per cylinder

6V71 = V6 with 71 cu in per cylinder

671 = inline 6 with 71 cu in per cylinder

There are other letters used in the designation

16V92T = V16, 92 cu in per cylinder, Turbocharged

16V92AT = V16, 92 cu in per cylinder, Turbocharged with Aftercooler (Detroit Diesel's name for an intercooler)

The famous Jimmy 671 supercharger that was used on early Drag Cars was the crankcase supercharger (needed for the 2 stroke GMC/Detroit Diesel engines) from a 6 cylinder 71 cu in per cylinder engine.

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yep, what James said.

there was 53, 71, 92 c.i. pistons/sleeves/rods and something huge in the 100's for commercial applications like generators, I just read about one two years ago, I never knew this large series existed. I think the one I read about was a 16V

the 671 James mentioned is a 426 ci engine so the blower was perfect for big blocks.

I dont know Detriots origion but as I knew it it was just a diesel engine division, I dont know what makes you say its "Chevy" ? I dont think its any more Chevy than GMC and they were a pretty busy division at one time, supplying diesels for everything from sawmills, generators, buses, trucks you name it.

For years it was Detriot/Alison

there was a 353 but no 3V53

the 2 stroke diesel died off because they just couldnt clean it up to meet polution standards, including noise and oil seepage. Tuff, simple, inexpensive, rugged and reliable but with less torque per hp than its larger displacement 4 stroke competition it was not a real favorite with drivers. The hp was there but not the hill pullin torque of the 4 strokes.

My 671 has 640,000 miles on it.

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>>"Why are Detriot Diesel engines known as Detriots, instead of GM or Chevrolet engines as they really are?"<<

I am not particularly familiar with DD, but I don't see why you would state the engines are 'really Chevy or GMC'. DD was a separate division of GM, which would mean the engines were no more 'Chevy' than they were 'Cadillac'. Even if they were actually used in Chevy/GMCs only (GMC offered diesels beginning in '38, Chevy didn't offer any until '52)- they were not manufactured by either division. Autonomy, a great thing.

DD was created by GM in 1938. I believe even from the beginning, the engines were used in a wide variety of non-GM marques all over the world. I think that is the root of the reason in it's naming; to 'allow' unrestricted market access, but that's only a guess.

This is not at all to say that a more 'GM' name would cause any problems, but GM had only been the #1 automaker for 7 years at that point and there was a great deal more competition and many more established HD/truck motor manufacturers already in place.

BTW- DD did indeed have a 2-cycle 3-cylinder diesel, tho '3V53' could not have been it's designation; this was in the '30s and it would've been of an inline configuration. Come to think of it, a V-3 has to be pretty much impossible from a balance standpoint. (awaiting contradiction...)

Edited by balthazar

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There were two configurations of the "six seventy ones" as well--the inline 6-71 and of course the 6V-71. We had a 1953 FWD truck with the inline 6-71 hooked to a 5X2 tranny. We converted it to a big feedwagon for use at our cattle operation. You could pull a mansion right off of its foundation in low-low with that thing.

On edit: One interesting application of the 3-71 was Oliver's 99GM tractor from the 1950s:

Posted Image

The Oliver 1900 model, introduced in 1960, used a 4-53:

Posted Image

Edited by NeonLX

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Come to think of it, a V-3 has to be pretty much impossible from a balance standpoint. (awaiting contradiction...)

Contradiction ahead!

Well...not entirely.

I can't name a specific V3 application but I also can't say that one never existed because there have been some weird engines in the past 120 years or so. But Volksagen did have a V5, which allows for the possibility of a V3 engine even with its theoretical balance problems.

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Hudson beat me to it.

Some over-zealous engineer decided to make an engine that was basically 5/6th of a VR6, a V5. About as non-sensical as eatable shoes.

Edited by Sixty8panther

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A balanced V3 is possible ... but to achieve that you need a crankshaft that enables a cylinder to fire every 120 degrees for a 2 stroke (or 240 degrees for a 4 stroke). Easy enough to achieve in an inline with three evenly spaced throws, but in a V engine, you'd need either a block with a 120 degrees angle between the banks (short but wide) or a split throw crank (or one crank journal for each cylinder). Once you have those restrictions, a V3 DD becomes a packaging nightmare. It is far simpler to do a 3 cylinder DD as an inline.

The inline 371s we had at work powered mobile generators, and we had a number of 16V92Ts (with 4 turbochargers feeding into a pair of 8V92 type crankcase superchargers) as standby power generators in critical building complexes.

The BIG engines were the 110 series (only available as an inline 6 cylinder 6-110) and the 149 series (only available in V configuration - 8V149, 12V149, 16V149, and 20V149) that were generally found powering generators or as marine propulsion engines.

Detroit Diesels are often referred to as "Detroit 2 Smokes" or "The Green Grenade" and renowned for their ability to go from cold to full-load without a warm-up period, but they are also well known for their noise and smoke (especially when lightly loaded).

"A 2-cycle Detroit Diesel is one of the most efficient devices known to man for turning #2 diesel fuel into noise and smoke." anon

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The 353 was the log skidder engine of choise for decades, you could hear them bellerin two mountains away, still I must say, nothing quite like it. For some reason I have a fond memory of the sound of a Detriot. I believe its because before I88 went through the area I grew up there are two long hills pulls on the two state routes that bordered my home town. About 3 miles away on each side. I would fall asleep to the sounds of Detroits pulling those hills. I imagine not so pleasent for the folks living right on those routes :o Then the trains, in this valley the village was in, the Delaware and Hudson RR rolled through. Now on a still summers night you could hear that rumble comming for half an hour or better as the train pulled a steady grade for over 20 miles. In fact the village Delanson (Del aware and Hud son was obviously a RR town. The old turn tables were ancient ruins by the time I was running around. Coal cinders everywhere.

Something about the rumble of a Diesel in the still summers eve........ah the romance.

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I wanna build a pullin tractor with a

20V149

thats 2980 cubic inch :o

how many turbos could we put on that ? can you imagine the ear drum poping sound ? It would probably be outlawed.

ALSO : 53 series engines turned a faster RPM 2600 as opposed to 1900 - 2100 for 71 series & 92 series. 1900-2100 is typical commercial diesel rpm. The 8V92TTA was the final and most refined 2 stroke Detriot 348 hp @ 1950 and 1200 lb ft @ 1400

earlier 8V92T with 90 mm injectors were tuned up to 445 hp but still only 1250 lb ft

Edited by razoredge

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All our Detroits ran governed at 1500 RPM to generate 3 phase 50Hz power.

The 16V149T ran 4 turbochargers, and I suspect that the 20V149T runs 4 slightly larger turbochargers.

A neat engine combo was the DD Quad pack consisting of four 6-71 engines mated to a 4 into 1 gearbox with a single output shaft.

There are MP3s of DD engines here.

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Thanks on that one y'all, I mistook myself when I said 3V53, just kinda had that V-series engine designation running through my head. I honsetly didn't know when Detriot started its life as a company, although I did know that they were a part of General Motors, as a whole, just didn't understand why when they used in Chevrolet or GMC trucks they weren't called as such, but kept their Detriot name. I understand that Cummins, Ford, Detriot, Mercedes, Cat, and the other HD diesel manufacturers enjoy their rights and priviledges when it comes to their engines, but I was just being curious.

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The basic idea for this design of two-stroke diesel (innovations such as the unit injector, uniflow scavenging and welded-block construction) was developed by the Winton Engine Corporation, in conjunction with General Motors Corporation's research division. They developed the Winton 201A for use in railroad locomotives.

The design of the very successful Detroit Diesel 71 series engine, the Winton 201A and its Cleveland Diesel successors, and the EMD 567, were all developed by a group of engineers who worked with the GM Research Laboratory. This is the primary reason all of these engines share certain "family" design similarities.

Here's a time line.

1930: General Motors Corporation acquired Winton Engine Corporation in June and then purchases Winton's chief customer, Electro-Motive Company of Cleveland on December 31. These two new GM Divisions play a key role in the GM Research and Development efforts of Charles F. Kettering's two-cycle lightweight diesel engine project.

1933: GM Research Lab produces the first two prototype two-cycle diesel engines. These 8-cylinder 201 series engines power the Chevrolet assembly plant exhibit at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago.

1935: Electro-Motive Division is established and a plant is built at La Grange, Illinois, to produce diesel locomotives.

1937: Winton Engine Manufacturing Corporation is renamed GM Cleveland Diesel Engine Division and the Detroit Diesel Engine Division is organized for production of small diesel engines.

1938: Electro-Motive begins production of its own engine, generators and motors at the LaGrange plant. The new series diesel engine -- the 567 2-stroke diesel is specially designed for locomotive service.

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Guest Steve
On 2/9/2006 at 7:15 AM, NeonLX said:

As an aside, anyone remember the "Toro-flow" diesels used in GMC trucks during the 1960s?

Used in transit buses too, right up to 1973. These were the 30 foot buses only, last of the Old Look style and the small New Look models.

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