Ever wish you could see inside a real, running engine and witness the magic of internal combustion with your own eyes? Thanks to the wizards at Warped Perception, here’s our opportunity. Watch this.
As we never get tired of saying here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, we love good, no-nonsense technical material, and we share it whenever we can. Courtesy of the clever people at Warped Perception, here’s a look inside a four-stoke engine while it’s in operation—and it’s a rare and revealing glimpse indeed. The video was captured at the ultra-high speed of 4,000 frames per second (for super-slow motion) and in extremely high 4K image resolution. The view doesn’t get any better than this.
Visible combustion isn’t at all new to engine research, but usually it requires a bazillion-dollar budget and a lab full of high-tech equipment. Here, they got the job done with a very basic Briggs & Stratton L-head industrial engine with a specially fabricated transparent cylinder head. The camera gear is fairly advanced, though. The entire four-stroke operating cycle—intake, compression, power, exhaust—is visible with crystal clarity, and the combustion event as well, from the start of the flame front to the finish. Just for fun, several different fuels were tried, including gasoline, isopropyl alcohol, and an alcohol-acetylene blend. Watch this and see if your view of the four-stroke combustion process doesn’t become a lot more clear in your mind. Video below.