The instantaneous frictional torque (IFT) of many components of a single cylinder diesel engine was determined by considering the forces acting on each component and the resulting change in the angular velocity. The IFT for the basic system, consisting of the crankshaft with the flywheel and oil pump, was first determined. The effect of adding each of the following to the basic system was determined: balancer shaft, cam shaft, piston with different ring combinations, inlet valve, exhaust valve and fuel injection pump. All the tests were conducted without gas pressure in the cylinder in a coast down mode. The results indicated the contribution of each component in the total frictional torque and its mode of lubrication. The energy absorbed by the valve springs and released back to the system was clearly Identified. The effect of speed on IFT and energy lost in friction was determined.