A Rotary Engine Test to Evaluate Lubricants for Control of Rotor Deposits 740159
During development of the General Motors rotary engine, the lubricant was recognized as important to its success because certain lubricants produced deposits which tended to stick both side and apex seals. Consequently, it was decided to develop a rotary engine-dynamometer test, using a Mazda engine, which could be used for lubricant evaluation. In an investigation using an SE engine oil with which there was rotary engine experience, engine operating variables and engine modifications were studied until the greatest amount of deposits were obtained in 100 h of testing. The most significant engine modifications were: omission of inner side seals, plugging of half the rotor bearing holes, pinning of oil seals, grinding of end and intermediate housings, and using a separate oil reservoir for the metering pump.
Using this 100 h test procedure, three engine oils and five automatic transmission fluids were evaluated. Generally, the automatic transmission fluids controlled deposits better than the engine oils. No definite advantage was noted for apex seal wear. The performance ranking of lubricants in the dynamometer test was the same as that in car tests.