The folks from Garage 54 are at it again. Last time out, they turned a bunch of office chair struts into an adjustable suspension system and surprisingly succeeded. This time around, they have a more ambitious project, and that's building an engine that runs on gas and diesel. More specifically, half of it is fueled by unleaded and the other bit with diesel.
The idea of a dual-fuel vehicle isn't new. The most common mixtures are LPG and CNG, but no production vehicle has ever combined diesel and gas, and for a good reason. These fuels have a different way of combustion, hence why these two cannot mix. Gasoline relies on spark ignition, while diesel uses compression to make power. But this is Garage 54 we're talking about, and Vlad and his team won't let that hurdle get in the way.
Garage 54 already did a fuel conversion job in the past. The Russian mechanics already made a Toyota diesel engine run on gasoline. But asking this Lada's four-cylinder engine to run on both is a tall order. The solution was to have two carburetors, one for diesel and one for gas.
Surprisingly, the engine fires up, and it was smooth sailing at the start. But once the diesel got into the fuel lines, the car started to run rough. The engine began to knock, and blue smoke started coming out of the tailpipe. Eventually, the engine had enough and no longer wanted to give full power.
The engine wasn't happy, but the strange arrangement still managed to propel the clapped-out Lada a fair distance. Vlad concludes that the difference in compression ratio resulted in the diesel fuel not igniting as much as it should. Fuel contamination is also a likely reason why the car ran rough towards the end. Despite that, the Garage 54 crew called the experiment a success. If the team finds a way to increase compression in two cylinders, the engine might run smoother than it did.