Cycle-to-cycle cylinder pressure variation has been observed in a CFR prechamber diesel engine when low ignition quality (low cetane number) fuels are burned. A statistical analysis of this phenomenon for various fuels and blends with cetane numbers as low as zero has been made. Operating conditions used were those specified by the ASTM Cetane Method for rating diesel fuels, in which the inlet air temperature is 150°F. Additional analysis was made at increased inlet air temperatures of 250°F and 350°F.The cycle-to-cycle variation has been characterized by the variation in the ignition (or pressure rise) delay time. It has been found to increase sharply as fuel cetane number is decreased below 20. The variation in dynamic injection timing was also measured and correlated with that for ignition delay. It has been concluded that the observed injection timing irregularities have no significant effect on ignition delay time, and that the autoignition process becomes unstable due to other factors when fuels of low ignition quality are burned.