2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4, Page #05[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Revolutionary "Digital" Engine To Launch This YearWhat might be the first of a great new wave of "digital" engines will be introduced this summer in Navistar trucks (formerly International).
The new "camless" engines are fitted with electronic valves rather than mechanical valves, which allows them to be precisely controlled by a computerized engine management system. Key to success of the valves are ultra high-speed solenoids invented by Woodland Park, Colo., inventor Eddie Sturman of Sturman Engine Systems. Sturman originally invented the solenoids for the space program.
Precision control of the valves and fuel injection system provides better power management, fuel efficiency, and emission control. Dan Ustian, president of Navistar's engine group, says, "Our camless engine represents a radical change in the way engines operate. We're proud to be the first company to put a camless diesel in a truck."
Getting rid of the mechanical camshaft and push rod assemblies greatly simplifies the engine, reducing maintenance and potential problems - as long as the computer functions properly, of course. And the commpany's testing has shown up to a 40 percent increase in torque at clutch engagement. The design also makes it easier to build in engine braking technology for better control of deceleration. Some reports have said that because both diesel and gas engines equipped with the electronic valves run so much cleaner, catalytic converters and other environmental controls can be eliminated. In addition, the engines are also much quieter and overall weight of the engine is reduced.
Navistar reportedly plans to introduce the new engines in a limited number of trucks this summer, with a further rollout next year.
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