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Author Topic: Experimental LC Tate Compound 2 Cycle Gas Engine from 1937  (Read 120 times)


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With full permissions from Nick Rowland I am sharing this article he wrote to go with the video.


This video shows an experimental “Tate Compound Engine”, a compound-cylinder, compound-compression 2-stroke engine that was built in January of 1937 in Louisville, KY by Mr. L. C. Tate of the “L. C. Tate Engineering Works”. This engine has a cast crankcase cover plate with the words “Compound Engine” but rather than a compound-expansion engine like some steam engines, this engine is a compound-compression engine. This engine has an intake & compression (charging) cylinder with a 2” bore x 3-1/8” stroke. This cylinder has a crank throw that is 45 degree in advance of another crankshaft that works a larger (power) cylinder with a 2-1/2” bore x 4” stroke that performs a second compression, an expansion/power stroke, & exhaust. This engine has 3 brass rocker arms & 4 valves in its head, (one valve for intake, 2 valves controlling a transfer passage, & one valve for exhaust).  The center two valves in the head are the transfer passage valves & they open & close at the same time. One valve is at each end of a transfer passage that opens into each cylinder. The engine also has an exhaust port on the power cylinder that opens near BDC. When the charging cylinder piston has the intake charge compressed near TDC, & after the larger power cylinder has exhausted its exhaust gases near BDC, the power cylinder piston starts to travel back to TDC & closes the exhaust port, & then a little later its exhaust valve closes. As soon as the exhaust valve of the power cylinder is closed, the transfer passage between the two cylinders briefly opens & dumps the compressed charge from the charging cylinder, into the power cylinder. This acts like a super-charger & raises the pressure in the power cylinder. Since the exhaust port & exhaust valve are closed, no fuel or fresh gases is lost out the exhaust port. At this point, the transfer passage closes & the power cylinder piston then compresses the compressed charge in its cylinder from about mid stroke to TDC at which point the double-compressed (compound-compressed) charge is fired & expanded to near BDC. The engine cycle repeats. Tate found this engine had some problems & in development it was modified with slight mechanical improvements by Tate. This engine runs but doesn’t produce much power the way the engine cycle is setup & carried out in this engine. Originally this engine would probably have been mounted in some sort of motoring cradle that is no longer with this engine. As shown in the video, & because the engine has too much compression to hand crank start, I added a large belt pulley to the outside crankshaft just to belt the engine up to a motor to start it. =Intake & Compression Cylinder: 2” Bore x 3-1/8” Stroke; Effective Compression Ratio = 10.3 to 1 =Compression, Power, & Exhaust Cylinder: 2-1/2” Bore x 4” Stroke; Effective Compression Ratio = 10.5 to 1 =Ignition Duration: Ignition Contact Points “ON” = 349.5 degrees Ignition Contact Points “OFF” = 10.5 degrees

=Time-line of Mr. L. C. Tate=

-The teens thru the 1930’s, Tate’s name is mentioned a few times for real estate transactions in the Louisville, Kentucky area.

-1937 January, makes the Tate Compound engine

-1947 L. C. Tate of Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., helped write a paper for lecture that considered the determination of molten metal temperatures.

-1948 L. C. Tate, Ford Motor Co., Detroit, addressed a chapter on the subject of “Measurement of Temperatures of Molten Metal”

-1951 L. C. Tate, of the Lighting Service Bureau engineering department, has been asked to speak at a lighting convention.

-1952, L. C. Tate, Open Hearth Superintendent, Research Engineer Frazier Simplex Inc., Washington, Pa. -

-1955 January, L. C. Tate, machinist’s foreman, Army Corps of Engineers, an expert model maker, builds a model of a cutter to ease the underwater tree problem on the Green River.

-1956, L. C. Tate, Store Lighting.

-1957, L. C. Tate, Research Engineer Fuel Research Laboratory, Inc., J. G. Pittenger, Superintendent, Coke Ovens

-1958, Coke Ovens L. C. Tate, Research Engineer *N. W. Trepanier, Supervisor, Project Engineering General Electric Co.

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