Community Shop Talk

Torque Troubles...

| March/April 2004

Blow Smoke

Online Engine Conversations from SmokStak and the Stationary Engine List


The following thread comes from a recent topic on SmokStak. ( smokstak.cgi). SmokStak is an online bulletin board discussion group where old-iron collectors converge in cyberspace to discuss all things related to stationary engines. Various individuals from around the world started, commented and concluded the following remarks.

I'm curious to see if anyone knows the foot-pounds of torque an old engine puts out compared to modern-day engines. What would a 225 HP Fairbanks-Morse Y put out compared to a modern-day 225 HP V8 or any two engines of the same horsepower? Has anyone ever hooked up an old engine to a dynamometer? - Tanner

Power equals torque times the rpm. For engines with the same horsepower at the same rpm, torque must equal the same. Advertised horsepower means nothing unless you specify the rpm. - Brent

I'm guessing, but I think the torque equals the same amount as any other engine of the same horsepower. Then again, those heavy flywheels will carry a lot of torque once they get spinning.

The thing to remember is the old engine produced horsepower at a low rpm. If they could stay together at 2,000 rpm, they would produce a lot more horsepower. - Vernon

I don't see how that can be possible. Look at the rpm a modern-day 6 HP engine has to run to equal the same horsepower as my 6 HP 1925 Fairbanks-Morse. If you turn the rpm down to match my FM, I don't think you're going to get the same torque.