Smokey Yunick Hot Vapor Cycle Engine - Fuelly Forums

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Old 06-09-2008, 05:37 PM   #1
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Smokey Yunick Hot Vapor Cycle Engine

Does anybody know how Smokey got the fuel so hot without pre-ignition?

I have not been able to find any extra information on his Hot Vapor Cycle Engine, the claims he made where fantastic and I tend to believe him based on his reputation and hands on approach.


http://bankspower.com/tech_coolair.cfm


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Now comes the really interesting part of this article that raises all the questions. Twenty years ago, the late, great racing mechanic and inventor Henry "Smokey" Yunick left the automotive engineers shaking their heads when he invented and patented his hot vapor engine. Based on the familiar four-cycle piston engine concept, instead of cooling the intake air to improve efficiency, he used coolant heat and exhaust waste heat to significantly warm the intake air. The purpose was to fully vaporize the fuel and to make the intake air expand in the intake system to generate positive pressure, like a supercharger. A small turbocharger was used as a "mixer" and as a check valve to prevent the expanding intake air from backflowing out of the intake system. With the heated, pressurized, homogenous mixture, the engine ran at air/fuel ratios considered impossibly lean, such as 22:1, on pump gasoline. The hot vapor engine made incredible power and was highly efficient, responsive, surprisingly emissions clean, and delivered fuel economy of 45-50 MPG in a compact car, and it did it all without computers, smog pumps or catalytic converters. Although initially denounced by the automotive world as a hoax, several prominent SAE engineers later published papers validating Smokey's theories and design. It was no hoax to Smokey. He considered it his greatest achievement. However, the automotive giants had their own designs for increasing fuel economy and controlling emissions, and Smokey's simple and cost-efficient engine package was ignored. Today, Smokey's designs are buried somewhere in the U.S. Patent Office (www.uspto.gov, patent numbers: 4,503,833; 4,592,329; 4,637,365; 4,862,859) awaiting someone to take this technology to the next level. So just when you think you know the rules of how things work, somebody comes along and breaks the rules. It's only fitting that it was Smokey Yunick.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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Smokey used water injection. THAT IS NO LONGER POSTED ON HIS SITE.(at least the the last time I looked)
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:28 PM   #3
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It seems like Smokey took the secrets to his grave, may he rest in peace.

I wanted to try and increase the temperature of my steel fuel rail in hopes of getting better fuel vapour out the injector? sound mad?
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ShadowWorks View Post
It seems like Smokey took the secrets to his grave, may he rest in peace.

I wanted to try and increase the temperature of my steel fuel rail in hopes of getting better fuel vapour out the injector? sound mad?
No not mad. The fuel will still actually cool very well. Isothermal compression. Air conditioning. 200psi fuel it will wook better. I have a 2 stage fuel heater up too 195F. 75psi fuel pressure and other mods to injectors.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:51 PM   #5
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Smokey was a genius.

I have always wanted to (and may still) build a car that uses his ductwork to allow the high pressure air in front to flow through the vehicle to the low pressure area behind the rear end. Even to the point of using a fan to pull the high pressure air from in front of the car to provide a small boost in propulsion behind the car. Kind of the turn a disadvantage into an advantage philosophy.

Remember the Rutan Quickie, an airplane that could fly at 100 MPH and get 80 MPG on 18 HP.

Hot air and fuel given the time to mix homogenously is a real efficiency enhancer as long as you understand it will lower the maximum power output potential of the engine. Not really a big factor when you consider most of the cars we drive produce about 10 times the HP you need to maintain 55-60 MPH, with decent aerodynamics.

The mindset that more power means more efficiency hits a brick wall with this "opposite thinking" technology.

Preignition (spark knock) is a function more of variations in fuel mixture in the incoming air charge, than of the temperature of the charge. As long as the mixture is homogenous, compression ratio and timing can prevent preignition.

I'll bet old Smokey and Mr. Honda are sitting up there laughing at our collective stupidity today.

regards
gary
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:22 PM   #6
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Conversation with Smokey

This is from an dated memory but it is how I recall it.

I had always admired Smokey's hot air engine and saved many articles. It must have been about twenty years ago or so I called up the Best Damn Garage in town and asked if I could speak to Smokey. When he answered the phone I introduced myself as an engineering student. I asked him what happened to the engine. He had tried to license it to GM but they would not do anything with it. He was frustrated and fought in court to regain control of the technology. I think he said he then tried to license it to a company in Japan but that did not work out. He sounded a bit frustrated with the way things worked out. At that time he was working on a rotary valve set up that would of course avoid hot spots in the combustion chamber. He had fairly high hopes for that.

I asked him specifically how he controlled detonation in the engine. I suppose he was a bit vague but said it was not an issue. I asked specifically if he used large amounts of EGR. He said the EGR rate was rather typical. He then went on to explain in some detail that he spent a great deal of effort to eliminate all hot spots and sources of ignition in the combustion chamber. Perhaps he was referring to what is now called edging. He worked with coolant flow to get uniform temperature across the combustion chamber. He said the measured difference from exhaust side to intake said of the head was less than 15 degrees. It may have even been less than that. He claimed that was essential.

In one of the articles when the engineers arrived to test the vehicle they insisted on using pump gas rather than standardized test fuel. He did have to make some adjustments to accommodate that.

I was very surprised he talked to me. He gave me over 20 minutes of his time.

Later I have wondered if there was some pre-reaction of the fuel air mixture at the temperatures he ran that made it more resistant to detonation. I have never really found any articles on that. Darn few have run the intake temperatures that Smokey did. I think it was always assumed it could not be done. He did it and did it pretty darn well. He had superb mileage and never gave up power either.

Ernie
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedgeo View Post
This is from an dated memory but it is how I recall it.

I had always admired Smokey's hot air engine and saved many articles. It must have been about twenty years ago or so I called up the Best Damn Garage in town and asked if I could speak to Smokey. When he answered the phone I introduced myself as an engineering student. I asked him what happened to the engine.

<snip>

I was very surprised he talked to me. He gave me over 20 minutes of his time.
<snip>

Ernie
I'm not.

I used to live in Daytona Beach, Smokey was one of my heroes growing up reading Hot Rod magazines. Whenever I'd run into him he was a great guy to me, but if you were a jerk or trying to pump him for information he'd clean your clock.

I can't say much for the tech here, but it probably worked. Heck of a nice guy and still one of my heroes.

Mike
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:26 AM   #8
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Could vapor cycles be the "mother lode" for fuel economy? I had not heard of Yunick's vapor cycle engine until I read this thread. Several other inventors of vaporizing methods are things of urban legend the most notable (other than Yunick) to my memory was Pogue. Our gas is very different than that used by Pogue (equivalent of white gas, methinks) and would require a more complicated process to completely vaporize, but the basic idea is the same. Water injection along with a vapor cycle to control detonation makes a great deal of sense. Because of Yunick's reputation, I believe his claims. Several other contributors to this forum have worked with vapor cylcle methods with varying degrees of success. Are injected engines a liability for vaporizing and water injection? I would think there are ways to make it work.WAI and heated fuel lines have shown positive results with some of you. I intend to try them once I get my junk yard 95 civic coupe running better (last problem is surging idle w/ no cel showing- any suggestions?). How about a controllable fuel line heater along with higher line pressure and a exhaust manifold heat muff for the intake air? Where would water be injected into the system? Thinking a mist just before cylinder induction -or would water vapor be better? Lots to work on!
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:25 PM   #9
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This is fantastic, some of guys actually spoke to him, you lucky smegs!

I can't imagine how he got an engine to run at these super high temperatures without melting, everything conventional engineers tell us is too much heat is bad.

In the UK we have this stupidly expensive fuel by Shell called Ultimate Unleaded its like 102 RON and when I was looking at the Shell website they only said that it was to do with the evaporation of this super fuel, this was when I was looking into Acetone, how would a conventional injector push out pure vapour? its not possible right? Smokey must have made something totally different.

Is the water injection or HHO gas expanding in the cylinders creating steam power of a sort?
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Old 06-11-2008, 12:21 PM   #10
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It almost went into the DeLorean, but John Z. had a few issues with the law at the same time, so it didn't work out. According to Smokey's BDGIT books.

I think the fact that the HVC engine has to use a carb makes it obsolete for a modern car, as he couldn't get it to meet emisions standards.
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