Which tiny amazing working engine would you want to build?

I put together one of those plastic scale model engines a few years back. It was a fun exercise, and I’d love to do it again. Especially if I could find a nice version in metal. The one you see in the video below is particularly amazing because it actually runs. There’s coolant, a radiator, and a starter, and it needs air, fuel, and spark to get moving. The builder has to set the timing. This is as close to the full-scale thing as you can get. And I want to build one.

Now, I’m going to assume something like this is extremely expensive for what it is. Anything cool costs money, right? Yup, I looked it up. It’s one thousand dollars. So quite a bit too rich for my blood. But I will most certainly spend the next half of my day searching for alternatives, forgetting what I was looking for eventually, and then turning my attention to other wastes of time.

But if I could pick an engine and make it affordable, what should I build? What would you build? I think a nice Ford 427 would be fun. A rotary would be neat. And then obviously some manner of V12 would be interesting as well.

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3 responses to “Which tiny amazing working engine would you want to build?”

  1. GTXcellent Avatar

    Waaaaaay back in high school machine shop, our “big” project senior year was to machine a Stirling hot air engine. So, I guess I technically have built a tiny working engine.

    Not what you’re asking though – well, since I’m a muscle car guy, and a Mopar fanboi, is there really any other answer than a little baby Elephant?

    1. nanoop Avatar

      I have worked on a 50cc now. Next to a 2.5L four-cylinder that felt tiny already. A 50cc radial engine (5-cyl?) sounds intriguing and nightmarish…

  2. Slow Joe Crow Avatar

    !/10th scale Moto Guzzi V8 since the original was 500cc that’s a 50cc DOHC V8, with 4.4mm pistons. The timing chains will also be a challenge, FWIW a retired marine engineer in the UK built a full size replica in his shed in the late 60s.

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