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  1. #1
    earlwb's Avatar
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    Zenoa Diesel Engine Conversion

    I ran across this engine by accident. But it is fascinating in that apparently a business in Utah converted a Zenoa gas engine into a diesel engine.
    There is a heater plug unit that appears to be mounted on top of the engine and I assume it runs pump diesel fuel instead of model engine diesel fuel. Or maybe it is setup for biodiesel instead.
    It doesn't need the ignition parts etiher but the spark plug is just being used to plug the hole now.
    I assume the Walbro carb probably adjusts Ok for diesel fuel without too much effort.
    The plate is used to reduce the cooling effect on the fins so the engine stays hot to keep the diesel cycle working.
    Does anyone know anything more about it?
    Sorry only one pic so far.


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  2. #2

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    RE: Zenoa Diesel Engine Conversion

    That is indeed very intriguing. If it is a diesel than I suppose it is fixed compression which makes me wonder how it works, unless - they have increased the compression ratio. Where did you find it? Such experiments are typical of small companies who are in the drone engine business.

  3. #3
    earlwb's Avatar
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    RE: Zenoa Diesel Engine Conversion

    It is on Ebay, http://www.ebay.com/itm/180862221783...84.m1423.l2649
    I figured it was probably for a drone project as the military want engines that burn something other than gasoline.
    With a these types of engines, you can usually shave a little off the base of the cylinder-head and or crankcase top as well to boost the compression ratio. The diesel glow plug setup is interesting to me. I was trying to decide it there was a thick metal section on top of the engine head or not. Did they have to machine a flat spot to bolt it on or whether they simply had to drill and tap a hole for the glow plug or not. With the big spark plug hole, it would be interesting to replace it with a Lanova Cell and see if it would work or not. If one finds the right diesel heater glow plug they might be able to replace the spark plug and not have to put on a metal block for it too.


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  4. #4

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    RE: Zenoa Diesel Engine Conversion

    The rectangular horizontal piece that is mounted on top of the cylinder is not part of the original engine. The top fin may have had to have a flat machined into it to accomodate that block. I have no idea what function the round part that is screwed into that block fulfils. The engine appears to be rather small, looks like the 26 cc. The seller stated that the intended airplane outgrew this engine so my guess would be that it was intended for a military drone.

  5. #5
    earlwb's Avatar
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    RE: Zenoa Diesel Engine Conversion

    That round spark plug like thing is a glow plug for diesel engines. It has a more thick heavy duty wound coil element that when you apply 12v to it, it glows up red just like a glow plug. it is used to help start diesel engines on cold days. On a hot day or if the engine is hot, it isn't needed.

    There are several ways they do use the glow plug, one way is like we do with glow engines, another way is to ignite or heat the fuel in a prechamber just under the fuel injector.

    It sometimes has me wondering it a extra cold glow engine glow plug would work Ok in a model diesel engine to help it get started and hold up to the combustion process too.




    Some examples, the heater coil inside can be enclosed too:









    Here is a really neat miniature diesel glow plug:




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  6. #6

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    RE: Zenoa Diesel Engine Conversion

    Thanks for the description of the diesel glow plug. Your idea is intriguing. A possible way to try it may be to machine a standard glow head to increase compression and than try it as fixed CR diesel with diesel fuel of course. This can be done without sacrificing an expensive diesel head. From my experience, once a diesel engine is set properly, one seldom have to change the compression setting - you may only need to open the NV intially for the engine to start. If this is a shared experience, than having an optimized fixed CR diesel will still offer the substantial benefit of higher torque and reduced fuel consumption, espec ially on large engines for which diesel conversion heads are not readily available. I am thinking here of my MDS 2.18 and OPS Maxi 30 and 60 engines. This may work on some engines possibly with as little as no head shims.

  7. #7
    earlwb's Avatar
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    RE: Zenoa Diesel Engine Conversion

    They did it with a few model diesel engines already, The Drone diesel was one example of a fixed compression engine. Micron was another. Enya makes a cute 41 diesel four stroke too.  A number of guys converted 4 stroke model glow engines over to diesel too using model diesel fuel.
    A larger engine like the Zenoa may work Ok using pump diesel or kerosene too. So it is food for thought. Especially since someone did it already.
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