March 19, 1998

Hello TDI Volks,

As you probably know from the list I continue to be frustrated by the lack of responsiveness by the custodians of TDI engines and accessories. But I am am persistent and will keep you up to date as promised. I am emailing back and forth with several people in North America and Germany who will help to piece everything together.

This is to inform you about an interesting research site I found from an engineer in Aachen Germany. He does research with combustion engines and uses transparent engines and high speed photography. The site is part English and part German and not all links are complete. However, I found some things very interesting.

For an overview look at:
The top picture shows the combustion chamber of an experimental 1 cyl direct injection engine. The combustion chamber is basically a bowl in the piston. Look at the design of the piston from the top.

If you want to see various views of the test engine and various piston designs look at:

If you want to see the TDI engine in action look at:

You can see the combustion process from the bottom looking at the cylinder head. Note the three flame fronts which correspond with the combustion chamber design (in the piston) in the image above. This will take 2 minutes or so until all images are loaded.

You can compare this with the combustion process in a GTI (gasoline injection engine):
Again it will take two minutes or so until all images are loaded.

It is interesting to note that they are also considering adding water to make the combustion process more environmentally friendly. This research is still in progress.

I hope this contributes to your information and your curiosity.

Björn Ratjen

1987 Syncro Est Alia (self camperized)
1995 Passat TD
(1982 Vanagon Diesel)
1979 VW Bus (self- camperized)

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Tom Carrington