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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 06:55 #216769

  • Lang
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This is a really good article on the history of GM Diesel engine. Easy reading.

www.dieselduck.info/historical/01%20dies...%20diesel/index.html

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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 08:44 #216771

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Lang, the GM diesel story was very interesting.
I was amazed at the history of Charles Kettering, I cannot believe that General Motors kept him employed after his fiasco as Chief Engineer in 1924 when he was responsible for the ill fated "Copper Cooled" Chevrolet. This was an air cooled engine with a cooling fan that took air from around the engine and blew it out THOUGH THE GRILLE/DUMMY RADIATOR. Only seven cars were delivered to dealers and I think, three sold to customers. Of course Henry Ford got one that was put straight into the Ford museum.
I have my shoulder to the wheel,
my nose to the grindstone,
I've put my best foot forward,
I've put my back into it,
I'm gritting my teeth,

Now I find I can't do any work in this position!

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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 14:32 #216776

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.Yep...........Good stuff ...........
...................Billy.................
I came into this world with nothing & still have most of it..........

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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 17:23 #216780

  • Lang
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Morris

I think the little boys said something like "Those who have never failed have never tried" or some such thing. Kettering was a bloody smart bloke with lots of great inventions prior to the Chevrolet debacle and without him no screamers. No matter how smart or strong willed an engineer may be he can not claim responsibility for a vehicle going into production with a company about to overtake Ford as the world's largest. The path from design to production would have passed through hundreds of expert engineers, draftsmen and production managers quite apart from the marketing people who have the final say on whether it will fly.

His idea was a flop but there are hundreds of accessories before and after the fact. Unfortunately it is remembered as Kettering's car but the company obviously looked upon it as just a black jellybean in the lolly jar of life and wrote it off as a group failure. Their faith was well founded in him not just with the diesel engines but many more of his innovations that made GM the world leader for over 50 years.

Lang

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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 18:39 #216781

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Morris wrote: Lang, the GM diesel story was very interesting.
I was amazed at the history of Charles Kettering, I cannot believe that General Motors kept him employed after his fiasco as Chief Engineer in 1924 when he was responsible for the ill fated "Copper Cooled" Chevrolet. This was an air cooled engine with a cooling fan that took air from around the engine and blew it out THOUGH THE GRILLE/DUMMY RADIATOR. Only seven cars were delivered to dealers and I think, three sold to customers. Of course Henry Ford got one that was put straight into the Ford museum.

To Kettering's dismay, only 759 cars actually made it out of production by May of 1923. Of those 759, only 500 went to sales, the other 259 were destroyed in the factories. Of the 500 that went to sales, 300 made it to sales floors, and of those 300, only 100 made it into the hands of customers.
Chevrolet managed to recall all of the sold vehicles and destroy them, except for 2 that survive to this day. One is in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. and the other is in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. Some engines also survive.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Series_M_Copper-Cooled

And Sir Alexander Issigonis made his name taking the air around the engine and blowing it out through the radiator. :)

Terry

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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 21:08 #216792

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Gryphon,
At least Sir Alex's radiator was at the side, not at the front of the vehicle where the vehicle would run in to it's own hot air.
I have my shoulder to the wheel,
my nose to the grindstone,
I've put my best foot forward,
I've put my back into it,
I'm gritting my teeth,

Now I find I can't do any work in this position!

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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 21:15 #216793

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Charles Kettering was one of the greatest engineers, scientists and inventors of all time. It is a pity much lesser people are recognised yet nobody know his name. They did in the day and he was on the cover of "Time" magazine in 1934. He produced far more inventions in use today than Thomas Edison.

He started DELCO which he sold to GM in 1916 and as a part of the merger he became GM Vice President of Research for the rest of his life.

Some of the things he personally invented or made work using other's failed attempts:

The electric cash register.
An easy credit system (precurser to todays credit card)
The electric starter (First fitted to Cadillac)
The generator starter combining starter and generator in one unit exactly the same as jet engines use today.
Replaced the magneto with coil spark ignition.
Came up with both ethanol and lead additive to petrol without which engines would not have progressed past 1920's technology.
The baby incubator (Humidicrib) for premature babies.
The Kettering "Bug" the first guided missile.
The development of Freon which allowed refrigeration to break free of ammonia and gave the world practical fridges and aircon. He did not know about the Ozone Layer but maybe compensated by inventing some of the earliest solar power converters.
Duco paint.
Magnetism for medical imaging (now called MRI)
Lead engineer on the development of the GM diesel including dozens of world first features.
The first portable engine driven generator unit for farms and industry.
Plus another 186 patents, over half of which are in production today in almost every field of endeavour.


His sayings:
"I didn't hang around much with other inventors and the executive fellows. I lived with the sales gang. They had some real notion of what people wanted."

"I notice the harder I work, the luckier I get."

"People won't ever remember how many failures you've had, but they will remember how well it worked the last time you tried it."

"It doesn't matter if you try and try and try again, and fail. It does matter if you try and fail, and fail to try again.",

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.

"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."

Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.
A problem well stated is a problem half solved.
High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.
The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.
You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.
Problems are the price of progress. Don't bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me.
An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he's in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.
People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.
One fails forward toward success.
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The GM Diesel Story 01 Dec 2020 21:47 #216794

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The Kettering "Copper Chevrolet" drew air from the bottom of the engine through the fins and out the top front. It did not blow air forward against the wind as it had a radial fan blowing the air sideways then back past the engine and out the bottom of the chassis and bonnet slots like a normal car.You can see the pan between the chassis and the engine ensuring the cold air coming up from underneath does not mix with the hot air in the engine bay going out the back.
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The GM Diesel Story 02 Dec 2020 01:51 #216797

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Interesting comments re the "Copper Chevrolet". Fast forward another 30 or 40 years and the Chevy Corvair goes into full production! Old Dr Porche had it sorted well before that, though.

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The GM Diesel Story 02 Dec 2020 06:21 #216799

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Deutz is another very successful aircooled job which I believe is now owned by GM anyway, well if its not them then it is another large scale aircooled diesel

Paul
Your better to die trying than live on your knees begging

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