Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Clearly this is a metaphor for something.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



pull-start lawnmower engine to start car engine

Adaptation of earlier idea.
(+2, -2)
  [vote for,

I read an idea on this site before to start a car engine with a pull-start lawnmower engine, rather than an electric starter motor because this would improve reliability (by not needing a battery). The idea was shot down quickly because the smaller engine would not have the torque to start a car engine.

Enter the Antonov An-2. It has a 1,000hp radial engine which is started by an electric motor, but uses an "inertial starter". The electric motor spins up a heavy flywheel to thousands of rpm's, and then the clutch engages it to the engine and the inertia from the flywheel turns it over. Replace the electric motor with a small lawnmower engine, and install the whole thing in a car.

Advantages: more reliable starting (in theory), REALLY cool sound on startup, and you could use the small engine to run your AC and radio when the car is stopped, rather than the big engine-saving gas (car batteries can't power the AC usually). I posted a link to a video of the An-2 starting, just listen to it! Now don't you want that in your car?

DIYMatt, Jul 30 2009

Antonov An-2 Engine Start http://www.youtube....watch?v=3bxamfeckIw
Just listen to it! [DIYMatt, Jul 30 2009]


       Sorry, more detail: You get in your car and in the center of the dashboard is a pull starter. You give it a yank, and the lawnmover engine starts. You can now use your car's electrical equipment. To go, you then press the start button next to your steering wheel, which causes the lawnmower engine to increase it's rpm's over the course of 5 seconds, and then engages a clutch to the crankshaft and your (big) engine turns over.
DIYMatt, Jul 30 2009

       //REALLY cool sound on startup//   

       Just retrofit big speakers & a sound effects unit to a normal car. [-]
pocmloc, Jul 30 2009

       Baked on a number of large diesel-powered earthmovers of WW2 vintage; the use of small I.C. "donkey engines" to start bigger engines, either directly, through inertia starters (flywheels) or by compressing air is widely known to exist.
8th of 7, Jul 30 2009

       I hesitate to ask how a lawnmower engine could be more reliable than an electric starter or, heaven forbid, a hand crank and a magneto. It only makes sense if the engine is simply to hard to turn to start consistently.   

       In WW2 era diesel equipment not only did the pony motor crank the engine it also heated the coolant and preheated the intake air, furthermore it had the HP to crank the motor continuously, until the engine started or hell froze over. (That ether jar was there for a reason too.)
WcW, Jul 30 2009

       That Anatov engine sounds absolutely ancient.
WcW, Jul 30 2009

       why would you want to move a lawn? oh perhaps you might...
po, Jul 31 2009

       Really though, a lawnmower engine is a bit too much effort - you really need a succession of smaller and smaller engines, each one starting the next so that only the barest minimum of effort is needed on your part.
hippo, Jul 31 2009

       Taking that to its logical conclusion, the answer is to have a 0.049 glowplug engine with an electric starter, the power source being ambient (environmental) energy - solar, wind, whatever. The glowplug engine drives either a tiny generator or - perhaps better - an air compressor. Then use the compressed air to start the "service" powerplant, which starts the main engine. Then make the whole system voice activated, or, if that's too much effort, have an infrared eye-position sensing system so starting can be triggered by looking in the correct direction and blinking. Touch contact isn't practical because (a) it's too much effort, and (b) it's hard to do from inside the iron lung, because you're too damn idle even to breathe for yourself.
8th of 7, Jul 31 2009

       Exactly - if only there was a way of starting the engine through the power of thought alone...
hippo, Jul 31 2009

       You've got one of those All-In-One remote controls, haven't you, and all your lights on wireless switches ?
8th of 7, Jul 31 2009

       "Klaatu Barada Nikto" ?
8th of 7, Jul 31 2009

       honestly we already have push button starting, and it works 99% of the time on the first try, where is the exact problem?
WcW, Jul 31 2009

       //it works 99% of the time on the first try, where is the exact problem?//   

       Apparently; In the other 1%
MikeD, Aug 01 2009

       failure rate starting my lawnmower on the first hefty pull:50%
WcW, Aug 01 2009

       What's the failure rate of starting your car engine when the battery is dead? 100%?   

       @bigsleep - I get it!!
DIYMatt, Aug 02 2009

       What is the chance of starting your car if the fuel tank is empty? You are twice as much stranded if you cannot start your pony motor because then you can't just get a jump start or take the battery inside to charge it, you have to get that second motor running. Nothing has the flexibility or robustness of the electric starter. Not pneumatics or hydraulics, not pony motors, nothing even comes close, unless your engine is really really hard to start (large diesels, high compression, arctic climate).
WcW, Aug 02 2009

       hmm. i thought it was a firefox joke :)
DIYMatt, Aug 03 2009


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle