Build the rare and unusual Atkinson Engine from the 1880’s. It had to be an unusual engine. After all, Atkinson was competing in the ex-panding small engine market against Nicolaus Otto’s newly developed four-stroke engine. Otto held numerous patents that virtually eliminated all competition. To avoid infringement, Atkinson was forced to create a completely new approach to internal combustion. When you build his engine, you’ll quickly appreciate how creative Atkinson was.
We have found that wherever we show this engine, people are amazed and fascinated by it. They ask. . . Where are the timing gears? What about a separate cam shaft? How does it run? How can it complete four cycles in a single revolution of the crankshaft? Are you sure it’s not a two cycle engine?
We smile and explain that the secret lies in the unusual design of the crank linkage which, believe it or not, allows the exhaust, intake, compression and power strokes to be completed in one revolution of the crankshaft. The cams are located on the crankshaft, eliminating the need for timing gears and cam shaft. Simplicity adds elegance to innovation.
Inside this plan book you get step-by-step instructions showing how to build an Atkinson "Cycle" engine designed and perfected by Jim Lewis. Castings are suggested for the base, flywheel, cylinder head and crank linkage, but none of these parts are so complex that they could not be made from stock material. Other parts are readily available, and suppliers names and addresses are provided to make it even easier. A lathe, milling machine or milling attachment and other tools one would expect to need in a project of this type are required.
Building the Atkinson "Cycle" engine is well worth the time and trouble. You will discover that nothing quite compares with the satisfaction of machining inert pieces of metal into engine parts, assembling them, and then watching a living, fire-breathing internal combustion engine come to life.
You can be sure that very few people have a running version of an Atkinson engine, let alone one they can claim they built themselves. This engine will be something you can be proud of. You’ll really enjoy showing it off to your friends.