- Written by webmin
We’ve seen some unique variations on the Crosley engine before, many of them post-1952, but they’ve all somehow fit into the known Crosley engine family tree. And they’ve all followed the typical Otto cycle four-stroke design. But now Jim Bollman has found evidence of another Crosley-based engine, but one that’s a total misfit: a Bendix-built piston-port two-cycle fuel-injected engine. Jim chose it for the Crosley of the Month on the Crosley Automobile Club’s homepage for April, and it has caused quite a bit of speculation and conversation. Jim wrote:
This may seem like an April Fools Joke but it is for real. I debated about having another engine as CotM so soon but I just couldn’t sit on this any longer. I recently bought these photos plus another pair of another engine I will share in the future, but this is the wild one. You are looking at a 2 cycle Crosley engine built by Bendix Aviation Corp, Scintilla Division in Sidney NY in 1957. Note the distributor with 8 plug wires, going to T connectors so each cylinder fires twice with the same distributor rotation.
I sent copies off to two of our engine experts, Chuck and Barry, for their opinions. Of course they both want the engine. They noted it is a whole new block, not a modified Crosley block. They referred to it as a piston port 2 cycle fuel injected engine. Piston ported engines do not need intake valves. Anyone know why Bendix built this engine? Does it still exist? Was there more than one? Any other info would be appreciated.
According to the family tree, Fageol owned the rights to the Crosley engine from 1955 to 1959, so what Bendix-Scintilla was doing with it at the time is a mystery. Also unusual, from a historic perspective, is that Fageol built the Crosley engine as a boat engine and trumpeted the benefits of a four-cycle engine over its two-cycle competitors, so it would be very odd for Fageol to explore a two-cycle derivative of their heralded four-cycle engine.
Mechanically, everybody seems bewildered about how exactly the engine would function as a two-cycle. Some have pointed out that the crankcase appears more similar to the Aerojet castings rather than the Fageol castings, while others have pointed out the extensive reworking of the block, switching it to a crossflow design using a separate head, and still others believe this might have been a direct-injection setup. The fittings above the exhaust ports are a bit of a mystery, as is the lack of a generator. And if it’s a piston-port design, then what’s the point of retaining the camshaft tower and camshaft cover?
As for Bendix-Scintilla, the latter half is best known for its magnetos, so perhaps this engine was built not for production purposes, but as a test mule to explore two-stroke ignition configurations and theories (if so, then why bolt up a transmission to the block)? Similarly, Bendix was then working on adapting aircraft fuel injection to automobile engines, resulting in the ill-fated Rambler and Chrysler Electrojector systems. Could this have been related at all to that effort?