Army 1 cylinder diesel


Old 09-24-01, 04:57 PM
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Ok...our club has an old compressor built for the US Army sometime in the 1970's/1980's. It's powered by a Briggs & Stratton 1 cylinder diesel. The engine was built for B & S by Farryman Diesel in West Germany (obviously, during the Cold War). Here's the thing. We can run the compressor for 15 minutes or so, and then it starts pouring white smoke out. We took it to a shady guy we know to get it "worked on". He says he took it to a machinist and the machinist said the cylinder was "out of round" which caused oil to be burned. He (shady guy) said that it happened because the oil wasn't changed. I think he's full of it for several reasons.
1. There's no glow plug. You crank it and start it by compression. If the cylinder were out of round to the point where significant amounts of oil were leaking by, we would be having trouble running it at all, as it would have lost compression.

2. If the cylinder were "out of round" then it wouldn't take 15 minutes for it to start smoking.

3. Diesel fuel itself is a pretty decent lubricant in this situation, and would have protected the cylinder lining, even if the oil was old.

THOUGHTS? What could be the problem?

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Old 09-25-01, 04:24 PM
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Hello and Welcome TJ to the Do-It-Yourself Web Site and my Small Engine forum.

A couple of possibilites:

White smoke may be caused by water in the fuel system. Check the water separator system. It may start to smoke white once the engine warms up, which then vaporizes the water into white smoke.

Depending upon the number of hours on the engine, oil may be getting into the combustion chamber from worn valves, defective crankcase breather, defective gaskets and worn rings, etc.

15 minutes of running time is sufficient to generate enough heat to expand a wornout part like a valve, valve seat, piston ring, etc allowing oil to enter the piston area. Also enough heat to vaporize water in the combustion chamber.

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Old 10-10-01, 05:22 AM
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I recall reading a book on B&S history (an excellent and interesting book...lots of pictures of the old stuff ! ) and back in the 70's and 80's, B&S was partnered with a small diesel engine company in Europe..I want to say it was an Italian outfit though.

You might want to look into it with B&S on their website. They should be able to substantiate more about it as well. I have found them to be very helpful.

Old 10-28-01, 01:36 PM
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Well i can assure you one thing, The cylinder is pretty much in shape or it would be the hardest starting thing you ever seen, Diesel's are more of a pain to try to troubelshoot online than a gas engine, Email me at [email protected] if you have any more ??
I tend to agree with above postings on possiable Gaskets leaking, But that cylinder out of specs is horse pucky since a Diesel is a Compression ignition engine it does not take much to notice somethings up lol .


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