Last Call- Smokey Yunick Edition

Smokey Yunick was a legend among racing mechanics, and he took the art out of rule-bending to new heights. One of his greatest mysteries was that of his adiabatic engine. Originally conceived after slipping off the toilet and hitting his head back in the 50s, Smokey claimed the engine achieved unheard of levels of performance and efficiency (up to 60% energy usage!) through the use of super pre-heating the fuel. The methods to prevent pre-detonation and the engine becoming a glowing-red mass of proto-metals was claimed to be Smokey’s secret.

Sadly, despite claims of interest from manufacturers both major and minor, as well as the military, development was shelved back in the early ’90s, and Yunick took that secret of what supposedly made it work along with him when he went to that great pit stop in the sky back in 2001. Find out more here.

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  1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    That sure is an intricate maze of intake and exhaust piping…. I wonder if there's a magic number for the heat and pressure to be at for this to be effective, or if it's a linear scale, where some little amount of heat and pressure give a little extra benefit in energy usage.
    I clicked on the links in the article, it's a shame that most of them are broken. (not your article, but within the article you linked to)
    I think it was the 1980's tech episode of Modern Marvels that stated that many of the things that are part of our daily lives originated during that decade. I guess the same could be said about all decades, but it seems as of late, we are more improving current technologies, and not really creating anything radically different.
    I wonder if this has been examined by anyone as of late. It would seem that someone would be able to find the missing "secret" and either prove it out or debunk it. Mythbusters??

    1. discontinuuity Avatar

      PV=nRT, where P=pressure, V=volume, n=number of moles, R=gas constant, and T=temperature. As long as T remains below the ignition point of the air/fuel mixture, you're good.

  2. P161911 Avatar

    Smokey's autobiography should be mandatory reading for any Hoon. Don't get the "pocket" edition, get the full three volume R-rated set.

    1. scroggzilla Avatar

      Agreed. Here's a sample, where Smokey recalls his experience with Marshall Teague and the Carrera Panamericana.

      1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

        Holy hell, that's going on the read list.

        1. P161911 Avatar

          Here's your best bet on getting the set under $100:

  3. CptSevere Avatar

    Looking at this, it looks like the whole engine is a pressure cooker, recycling heat over and over. I thought that a cool fuel/air mixture was denser, and therefore more powerful. This thing looks like it would explode.

    1. Texan_Idiot25 Avatar

      It maybe denser, but fuel atomizes better with heat. So, it's all insane.

      1. FЯeeMan Avatar

        So what you really need is some super-heated very cold air?
        Man, my head hurts and it isn't even Friday!

  4. Maymar Avatar

    I always wondered what a Mr. Fusion looked like on the inside.

  5. _Tomsk_ Avatar

    Smokey is absolutely, without question Hoon Hall of Fame material. I mean, how can you not revere someone who builds an exact 7/8-scale replica of a '66 Chevelle?
    <img src="; width="613" height="331" />
    Or an Indy car where the driver sits in a sidecar?
    <img src="; width="500" height="332" />

    1. discontinuuity Avatar

      Is that an Offy engine? With huge-ass velocity stacks? Damn!

    2. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      What. The. Hell?

    3. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      and ran fuel through the roll cage of a car to hide the additional gas he was putting into the car…

    4. BGW, Capt (Ret.) Avatar

      The restored Chevelle he wasn't allowed to race in '68 (?, I think) has been for sale for quite some time now. If ever there was a given for the ol' Dream Garage…

    5. P161911 Avatar

      And then "borrowed (and modified)" the NASCAR templates to make sure they matched his car.

  6. ptschett Avatar

    It'd make more sense to me if the water/air intercooler were after the turbochargerhomogenizer. As it is, it's sacrificing charge air density for charge air pressure/heat, and I'm not convinced that's a good tradeoff. Though, it's been years since I had to do any thermodynamics that went past "why don't you put this [heat exchanger] in this [unusually small volume]".
    I'd be fascinated to know this engine's NOx emissions. With temperatures that high I bet the NOx is off the charts.

  7. Alff Avatar

    He wasn't so smart – he didn't even know how to spell "tHermostat"!

    1. _Tomsk_ Avatar

      Keep in mind that the labels in this particular schematic are in Swedish.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        According to the link, it's "Sweedish".

  8. Fernando Holsomback Avatar

    Interesting read.. Would like to see more of this.. Awesome blog btw! Subscribed

  9. LYNN18Katie Avatar

    Different people in the world take the loans in various creditors, because this is easy.

  10. clang Avatar

    31. I do consider all of the ideas you’ve introduced for your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too short for beginners. May just you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

    1. Mr_Biggles Avatar

      Hmmm. Longer is better. Where have I heard that…