Awesome Engines

Making a See-through Jet Engine

Making a See-through Jet Engine

Warped Perception has made several project vehicles that incorporate small turbojet engines. For this video, he built a custom transparent housing for one of the jets so we can see exactly how it works to create thrust. Along the way, he offers a great layperson’s explanation of jet propulsion systems.

Forging a Crankshaft

Forging a Crankshaft

Charged with moving the pistons in and out, a crankshaft is like the beating heart of an engine. While crankshafts need to be finished by machining, they start by forging and stamping steel, then twisting the molten metal to form the journals and counterweights that comprise this critical car part.

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World’s Smallest Production V8 Nitro Engine

World’s Smallest Production V8 Nitro Engine

Typical V8 car engines start around a 4-liter displacement and go up from there. On the other hand, this minuscule engine from Toyan has a 0.028-liter displacement. JohnnyQ90 shows of this amazing fully-functional miniature power plant that runs on nitromethane, the same stuff used to power top fuel dragsters.

Liquid Nitrogen Hero’s Engine

Liquid Nitrogen Hero’s Engine

A hero’s engine is a spherical device that spins using steam pushed through a pair of opposing jets. Jimmy Kimmel Live regular “Science Bob”​ Pflugfelder created this unique version of the hero’s engine that spins up rapidly as liquid nitrogen vapors create the necessary pressure to get it spinning fast.

How Steam Engines Are Made

How Steam Engines Are Made

The way that steam engines can propel things using boiling water is pretty amazing. This video from How It’s Made takes us inside a factory that makes radial steam engines and shows not only how they come together, but how they work.

V8 Engine Barstool

V8 Engine Barstool

This insane vehicle is basically a ride-on V8 engine. Created by the guys behind Boss Hoss Motorcycles, the Hoss Fly Barstool is powered by a 9.37-liter Chevy big-block V8 that makes 621 horsepower. You can build your own from a kit, or you can buy this one at Mecum’s 2022 Houston auction, which runs from 3.31 to 4.2.2022.

V8 Engine Block Pen Holder

V8 Engine Block Pen Holder

Mechanical engineer Grant Takara created the perfect desk accessory for gearheads. This CNC-machined aluminum V8 engine block looks just like the real deal, except it’s designed to hold pens or pencils instead of pistons.

Making an Electric Jet Engine

Making an Electric Jet Engine

A normal turbo-jet engine runs entirely on ignited fuel. Integza built something a little different – a jet engine that uses an electric motor to spin its compressor. He made its main chambers out of empty butane cans, while its fuel source is a mix of butane and propane. Along the way, he built a low-budget spot welder.

Gas Powering Things That Shouldn’t Be

Gas Powering Things That Shouldn’t Be

After playing around with a gasoline-powered pogo stick you could buy in the 1970s, The Backyard Scientist wanted to see what other kinds of things you could add a gas engine to that don’t need one. So he took a tiny nitromethane-powered engine and revved up a desk fan, a USB charger, and a toothbrush.

Rolls-Royce Jet Engine Time-Lapse

Rolls-Royce Jet Engine Time-Lapse

Rolls-Royce shared this brief, but fascinating look at the process of building one of its Pearl 15 jet engines at their factory in Germany. Each engine is assembled by hand by a team of skilled mechanics out of thousands of individual components. This particular engine was later attached to a Bombardier Global 6500 business jet.

Teensy V8 Engine

Teensy V8 Engine

Simas1014 of Generic Woodworking likes to make working models of car engines from wood. Here, he shows off an impossibly tiny model of a V8 engine, complete with a working crankshaft, rods, and pistons that move. You’d need to measure this engine’s displacement in milliliters.

LEGO Pneumatic V8 Engine

LEGO Pneumatic V8 Engine

Green Gecko shows off an impressive LEGO Technic build which replicates the functionality of a V8 engine. Running on compressed air, it even sounds like a real engine as it starts to pick up speed towards its 1500 RPM redline. Like what you see? Buy the complete kit on the Green Gecko Workshop website.

LEGO V12 Engine @40,000 RPM

LEGO V12 Engine @40,000 RPM

LEGO builder Mad Brick created a working replica of the block, crankshaft, and pistons of a V12 engine. Then he lubed it up and connected the engine to a powerful motor, which spun up to as much as 40,000 RPM. It worked great until the pistons started flying.

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Morris Models Engine Kits

Morris Models Engine Kits

Morris Models makes mechanical wooden models inspired by engines. They show how crankshafts, pistons, and other parts work in sequence to generate propulsion. They come in 7-cylinder, V-Twin, lawnmower, opposed aircraft, and Wankel rotary variants. They also make a model of a repeating weapon known as a Chu-Ko-Nu.

See-Through V8 Engine

See-Through V8 Engine

While stuck at home with some free time on his hands, car enthusiast Brian King aka AWDcutlass decided to rebuild a full-size GM LS V8 engine inside of a transparent acrylic shell. It’s pretty wild to see all the parts moving inside of it, and it looks especially awesome when he turns on the LED lighting. See Part 1 of the build here.

Radial Engine Drink Coasters

Radial Engine Drink Coasters
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Plane Pieces’ drink coasters are a great gift for aviation enthusiasts. They’re made using authentic Pratt & Whitney gears from WWII radial airplane engines. Each one is encased in clear resin, surrounded with a machined aluminum outer ring, and has a protective bumper underneath. Sold individually, or in sets of four.

LEGO Rotary Engine

LEGO Rotary Engine

Old school Mazda fans will immediately recognize the Dorito-shaped rotor in the image here. For everyone else, what you’re looking at is an approximation of a Wankel rotary engine, built by LEGO machine maker Akiyuki. For a lesson on how the real engine worked, Car Throttle has a nice simple explanation.

Wooden Radial Engine

Wooden Radial Engine

Ian Jimmerson shows off an impressive wooden model he built that demonstrates the inner workings of a 9-cylinder radial engine, like the ones used on some older airplanes. It’s really amazing how stable it is as it gets up to speed. Check out his in-depth explainer videos here and here.

Backyard Steam Train

Backyard Steam Train

You could have a steam train, if you’d just lay down your tracks. Russian railroad enthusiast Pavel Chilin took Peter Gabriel’s advice literally, and built himself a working steam train engine that runs along a set of narrow-gauge tracks in his backyard. Additional footage here.

10 Strange Engines

10 Strange Engines

YouTuber JD Rock’s picks for the strangest engines invented or currently in development. The list includes the hypersonic harbinger SABRE, the highly scalable and versatile camless engine, and the mind-boggling EmDrive.

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Dragster Engine Time-lapse

Dragster Engine Time-lapse

Hagerty and Don Schumacher Racing provide an up close look a the teardown and reassembly of an 11,000 hp V8 HEMI engine from an NHRA top fuel dragster. While this was a complete rebuild, they perform much of the same process each weekend at the dragstrip.

Philcraft Penny Steam Engine

Philcraft Penny Steam Engine

What you’re looking at here is a teensy, tiny, fully-functional steam engine that’s so small that its base is an old copper penny, and some of them have a flywheel made from a shilling coin. The miniature engine can run on steam or compressed air, and was built by Phil Gravett.

Miniature 16-cyl Stirling Engine

Miniature 16-cyl Stirling Engine

JohnnyQ90 shows off a sweet miniature gas-powered stirling engine. It’s powerful enough to spin a propellor to nearly 2,000 RPM, so keep your fingers away. While Johnny made the turbine fan, he’s quick to point out that you can buy the engine itself from Banggood.

Motorcycle Engine Pencil Sharpener

Motorcycle Engine Pencil Sharpener

Did you break the tip on your pencil again? You could go for one of those fancy mechanical pencils, or you could rig up a pencil sharpener like the one Giaco Whatever hacked together – using a 1000cc two-stroke engine to spin the sharpener up to speed.

Rebuilding a Harley Ironhead

Rebuilding a Harley Ironhead

After showing us what it takes to rebuild a couple of V8s, Hagerty Classic Cars captured the restoration of a V-Twin Ironhead engine from a 1957 Harley-Davidson XL sportster motorcycle. The time-lapse condenses what was surely days of work down to just 5 minutes.

Engine Combustion in Slow-motion

Engine Combustion in Slow-motion

Warped Perception built a custom transparent acrylic head for a four-stroke engine so we can see what internal combustion looks like as it happens. He fed the engine with different types of fuel then captured the results in slow-motion. Amazing stuff.

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