Automobile

Can a Diesel Engine Run on Gasoline? Let’s Find Out

For spark, the preignition chambers and fuel injection ports are instead machined to accept sparkplugs from above. The team also note that the diesel injection pump runs a drive gear identical the camshaft gear. This allows the pump to be removed and replaced with a distributor from a Lada Samara, which is driven at a 1:1 ratio with the cam. With spark sorted, the team turned their attention to fuel and air. Old Lada intake manifolds were cut up and modified to suit the Toyota engine, and fitted with an old carburetor to supply fuel. Simple enough, and it does the job.

Amazingly, with the engine hanging from a stand and lashed up with an old battery and given a little fuel, it starts up first time. It even responds to throttle and revs up as you’d expect. It’s pretty rough and ready, particularly at low RPM as there’s no flywheel to smooth out the combustion pulses, but it is undeniably a running gasoline engine.

We’d love to see the engine on a dyno to learn what it’s putting out in terms of horsepower and torque. Comparing the output to a contemporary carbureted gasoline engine would be fun. Hopefully the motor is dropped into a body and we can see the formerly-diesel engine ripping some skids soon. 

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