Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The Ford X-8 Engine
It was a new original idea, but in the end inefficient. Experiments began in 1920 when Henry Ford called in E.J. Farkas, and said: "Gene, you'll laugh at this, but I want you to build a cross-shaped engine with eight cylinders. Let's get to work on it."
It turned out to be a 7 year project and at least 10 engines were built. The engines featured splash rather than pressure lubrication, and gravity feed fuel delivery. the first was an air-cooled design with two camshafts, two timing gears and a better ignition. More advanced engines that were water cooled followed.
The engines simply were impractical, demanding a high floor at a time that cars were starting to get lower. Its lower spark plugs were exposed to the ground, and thus vulnerable. Shelved, other engine designs were studied, including the V-8 that made history with its introduction in 1932.