An experimental investigation of the ignition and combustion characteristics of two low cetane fuels in a spark assisted Diesel engine is described. A three cylinder Diesel engine was modified for single cylinder operation and fitted with a spark plug located in the periphery of the spray plume. Optical observations of ignition and combustion were obtained with high speed photography. Optical access was provided by a quartz piston crown and extended head arrangement. The low cetane fuels, a light end, low viscosity fuel and a heavy end, high viscosity fuel which were blended to bracket No. 2 Diesel fuel on the distillation curve, demonstrated extended operation in the modified Diesel engine. Qualitative and quantitative experimental observations of ignition delay, pressure rise, heat release, spray penetration and geometery were compared and evaluated against theoretical predictions. Results indicate that controlled combustion of extended fuel blends in a Diesel engine may be possible without inlet air preconditioning and that engine knock may be avoided when heat release is optimized with proper spark and injection timing.