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Prototype engine photo from eBay
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JeffL
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great research WD-40 Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JeffL wrote:
Great research WD-40 Very Happy


Thanks. To me, based on the evidence, it's what makes sense.


Christian - I certainly respect your opinion... perhaps you can answer a few questions:
- you mention "it has a vw prototyp number stamped ( you see it at the right side on the pic )". Does this mean that the image is in fact in the correct orientation in the ebay photo?
- Did the number on the engine place it anywhere in the "commonly known" prototype engine series?
- If this engine is in fact the real deal, why is there no fuss about it? The other VW prototypes are quite well known.... pictured in numerous publications...


The features just seem so distinct... and so different from the VW prototypes... Confused



Alternately, there's the Conspiracy Theory option:
- Steyr is from Austria
- Puch is from Austria
- Austro-Daimler is from Austria
- Franz Xaver Reimspiess was Austrian
- Ferdinand Porsche was Austrian
- Both Franz Xaver Reimspiess and Ferdinand Porsche worked for Austro-Daimler prior to the 1930's.
- Steyr, Puch, and Austro-Daimler merged in 1934.
- The VW D-series engines (as pictured on page 62 of "Birth of the Beetle") has bolt-on valve covers, remarkably similar to the Steyr-Puch engines I posted earlier
- The A-series prototype was "a development of an earlier idea used at Steyr" ("Birth of the Beetle, page 32)

Coincidence?? Cool

- David
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

I've just bought these photos, waiting for them to arrive safely. They are guaranteed genuine with Porsche Werk stamps on the back and old German writing identifying the 4 cylinder engine as being Volkswagen. The 2 cylinder engine looks to be an earlier prototype, maybe twin plug as the distributor has 4 locations.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

That twin is an interesting little device, apparently two stroke, are those dual connecting rods I'm seeing?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

busdaddy wrote:
That twin is an interesting little device, apparently two stroke, are those dual connecting rods I'm seeing?


Yes, also interesting sleeve-valve twin-plug design.

BTW. I'm thinking the OP engine from 14 years ago is a EA48 prototype engine (not the one installed on the EA48 in the VW museum, but a development stage of that engine)

edit: just found a pic of what appears to be the exact same engine from another angle identified as an EA48 engine:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


from this post on an unrelated forum: https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/threads/microcars-a...t-12213615
(link for reference only)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:32 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

I love these early motors! They are SOOOO cool!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

Ian wrote:
I've just bought these photos, waiting for them to arrive safely. They are guaranteed genuine with Porsche Werk stamps on the back and old German writing identifying the 4 cylinder engine as being Volkswagen. The 2 cylinder engine looks to be an earlier prototype, maybe twin plug as the distributor has 4 locations.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.




This one is the sleeve valve engine I referenced earlier in this thread. The round cylinder to the left of the piston is part of the sleeve valve assembly. The piston goes inside it and it goes inside the finned cylinder . You can see the slots on the sleeve for the exhaust. They correspond with the exhaust ports on the picture below I believe the round shafts at the bottom are torsion springs for the sleeves.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

You mentioned earlier that you have pics of the engines disassembled. Can you share them with us? Thanks!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

This is an image of the very first chassis design used on the first prototype that was presented in June 1935 bearing the body 1 (mixed construction). The same chassis design was probably used also on the later 2 cars the all steel construction sedan and convertible (later known as the V1 and V2). Note the strange way of affixing the transmission to the upturned frame forks. It hangs rather than sits on them. Also there is some evidence to suggest this type of transmission was a 3-speed. Later types had a fourth (overdrive) gear added to prevent the engine overrevving on the highway. Also note there is no starter motor. The starter was in combination with generator and located on the flywheel inside the bellhousing of the transmission. The engine installed is the overhead valve twin cylinder D type. At this point it has been fitted with twin side draught carburetors.
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This is an image of a later E engine as used in the 1938 VW38 cars. Note it has no wire clips to hold the valve covers in place. They were fastened using two bolts each (not visible in this photo).
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:50 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

So the engine posted at the start of this thread appears to be a prototype developed for an experimental car the VW EA48 from 1955.
I can see some slight detail differences between the engine in the staged photos and the one that's in the car, but overall it seems to be the same engine.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:25 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

Undis wrote:
This is an image of the very first chassis design used on the first prototype that was presented in June 1935 bearing the body 1 (mixed construction). The same chassis design was probably used also on the later 2 cars the all steel construction sedan and convertible (later known as the V1 and V2). Note the strange way of affixing the transmission to the upturned frame forks. It hangs rather than sits on them. Also there is some evidence to suggest this type of transmission was a 3-speed. Later types had a fourth (overdrive) gear added to prevent the engine overrevving on the highway. Also note there is no starter motor. The starter was in combination with generator and located on the flywheel inside the bellhousing of the transmission. The engine installed is the overhead valve twin cylinder D type. At this point it has been fitted with twin side draught carburetors.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



This is an image of a later E engine as used in the 1938 VW38 cars. Note it has no wire clips to hold the valve covers in place. They were fastened using two bolts each (not visible in this photo).
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So are you saying it is this engine? Because the engine on the chassis appears to be a horizontally opposed arrangement.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Given the presence of what appears to be a regulator in the same spot above the fan, I would think it is this engine which has the generator combined with the fan and what appears to be a solid metal flywheel. So maybe the generator also functioned as the starter, it just wasn't part of the flywheel like at least one of the other prototypes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Last edited by splitjunkie on Thu Oct 21, 2021 4:03 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:51 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

Ian wrote:
You mentioned earlier that you have pics of the engines disassembled. Can you share them with us? Thanks!


This is what I have from the How to Hotrod VW Engines.

One of them was the first one you posted of the sleeve valve engine and yours is a much better copy.

I just posted the dismantled horizontally opposed two cylinder in the post above.


This is this engine dismantled.

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This is the other early picture of an extremely early four cylinder engine.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

This is the late Gustav Mayer from Volkswagen's R&D branch. He passed in Sept. 2014 and had a long career with VW, and is probably best known for developing the Bay window bus prototype with the eventual Synchro 4WD in secret. I remember recently reading a biography where it was mentioned that he was involved with the VW small car study in the early to mid 1950's. The car survives in one of the VW museums in Wolfsburg.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

splitjunkie wrote:


So are you saying it is this engine? Because the engine on the chassis appears to be a horizontally opposed arrangement.

Given the presence of what appears to be a regulator in the same spot above the fan, I would think it is this engine which has the generator combined with the fan and what appears to be a solid metal flywheel. So maybe the generator also functioned as the starter, it just wasn't part of the flywheel like at least one of the other prototypes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Hi Chris. You are right. The photo is of the flat-twin and it does include a combined generator/fan (see the photo below of the same chassis from a different angle). However the lack of visible starter motor does suggest that it was still a part of the flywheel somehow (or not?). In his book Chris Barber mentions the fact that at one point it was decided to use a separate starter instead of an integrated one as the cost and weight was virtually identical. Your suggestion that the starter could be a part of the generator on top of the engine is fascinating. It is huge enough. The thought of the engine being started via the fanbelt seems crazy but perhaps there was a period precedent for such approach? BTW looking closer at the exploded view of the D engine you can just see the double pulleys on the crank and the generator so this may as well be the case!

The early engines can be confusing as besides there being 5 different types, there we also several subtypes. For example the A engine (twin cylinder - 4 piston) went to 7 different modifications because Porsche was convinced this was the way forward. The flat twin also had several versions, the first distinctive one of course being the sleeve-valve design (C engine) as seen in this thread and then it was modified with overhead stem valves (D engine). The D engine itself had at least two versions, one with two carburetors and a chunky generator and a later version with single carburetor and a regular looking generator. See below the two types of the D engine, the first one installed in the 1935 style chassis and the second one in the later 1936 V3 chassis. Notice that in 1936 there was already a separate starter on the outside of the transmission bellhousing.

The 1935 chassis with the the earlier type D engine.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And the later 1936 V3 chassis with a later flat twin.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:53 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

Undis wrote:
So the engine posted at the start of this thread appears to be a prototype developed for an experimental car the VW EA48 from 1955.
I can see some slight detail differences between the engine in the staged photos and the one that's in the car, but overall it seems to be the same engine.


I observed most of the same pics before posting, IMHO the differences between the two are limited to the fan housing and cooling tin setup. The staged pictures appear to show a fan housing made from hand formed and welded sheet metal, while the housing in the car has the look of a stamped part and includes a fan guard and different under-cylinder ducting.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:54 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

There is precedence for a belt driven starter/generators, at least in small gasoline engines used in lawnmowers, golf carts, small tractors and other small machines. A lot of new cars have started using them so the car can turn the engine off at a stop light and quickly restart when you press on the accelerator.

That little two cylinder engine probably wasn't that hard to spin over so that all seems to make sense. At first they probably thought one combined device would be cheaper and simpler than a separate starter and generator, but they probably found that not to be the case and went with separate devices. The belts might have also been a problem.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

The crazy thing is as I was typing up my response to you, I had an epiphany. Looking at that huge generator on the early 1935 chassis and noticing there were two fan belts and the solid looking flywheel without teeth, it all kind of came together for me and started to make sense. Previously I had looked at those parts separately and wondered. I'm pretty sure now the generator also acted as a starter for the tiny two cylinder.

I've been researching the early prototypes for years and and one thing I have learned, you never know when the next surprise will strike! There's always something new to learn about them.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:22 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

Ian wrote:
The 2 cylinder engine looks to be an earlier prototype, maybe twin plug as the distributor has 4 locations.


wouldn't you would want the twin plugs to fire at the same time...?

It seems odd to me to mount a dynastart in the flywheel/clutch housing. the ones I've come across on microcars are easily accessible on the front of the engine. the 2cv flat twin uses a 'wasted spark' set up and therefore didn't need a distributor, just points and a double ended coil for more simplicity.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

finster wrote:
Ian wrote:
The 2 cylinder engine looks to be an earlier prototype, maybe twin plug as the distributor has 4 locations.


wouldn't you would want the twin plugs to fire at the same time...?

It seems odd to me to mount a dynastart in the flywheel/clutch housing. the ones I've come across on microcars are easily accessible on the front of the engine. the 2cv flat twin uses a 'wasted spark' set up and therefore didn't need a distributor, just points and a double ended coil for more simplicity.


I believe they were just using an off the shelf distributor and cap. No need to fabricate a new cap when you can just leave the unneeded on blank. There are much bigger fish to fry when fabricating an engine from scratch.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:13 am    Post subject: Re: Prototype engine photo from eBay Reply with quote

My prototype engine pictures finally arrived and they are super cool. Everything appears authentic. I will post clear scans as soon as possible.
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