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T-34 Diesel Engines VS Panthers Gasoline Engine?

Discussions on the vehicles used by the Axis forces.
Long-time forum member Ron Klages (1939 - 2007) generously shared his knowledge and the results of his impressive research with the forum, and this section has therefore been renamed in his honour.
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Postby WotS on 26 Dec 2004 15:19

Gearhead1432 wrote:Okay... so how much torque does the Maybach make? doesn anyone know?

The T34 38.88L V12 is at about 1600 lbs/ft, which sounds realistic for the 500hp rating, but for the displacment it is rather....weak. Of course that is comparing it to modern cat inline 6 diesels... but still.

If only germany had the Caterpiller C15 at that time (15.2L 625hp and 2000+lbs/ft...) owell. lol

Rob


Yeah,it is good to talk what if but lets stay with reality.
The HP per liter of displacement shows many things.And one thing is that less you squeeze out of engine the longer it lasts and more economical it is!Yes this engine weights a lot but for tank it is nothing like i said before.
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Postby Uncle Joe on 27 Dec 2004 01:38

Well, the hard truth is that engine weight is of little importance for tanks. For example, which was the fastest series produced Sherman? It was the M4A2 whose twin diesel weighed some 2 tons, i.e. far more than the more powerful Ford GAA. The difference in top speed is even more marked climbing suggesting excellent orque rise characteristics of the GM diesel. BTW, the report in the Spielberger book mentions that the V-2 diesel was very compact and space saving design.

Gearhead, why compare with CAT diesels since Cat diesels aren´t the most powerful, economic and torquey in the market. Of US diesels, I´d take Cummins over Cat, but best automotive diesels are made and designed in Europe right now.
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Panther Gasoline Engine vs T-34 Diesel

Postby Alter Mann on 27 Dec 2004 04:56

Gearhead, I'm sure someone knows, but I have searched my references and do not find torque ratings for any Maybach engine.
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Re: Panther Gasoline Engine vs T-34 Diesel

Postby Huck on 27 Dec 2004 06:37

Alte Mann wrote:Gearhead, I'm sure someone knows, but I have searched my references and do not find torque ratings for any Maybach engine.


1.850 Nm @ 2.100 rpm
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Postby Gearhead1432 on 27 Dec 2004 07:41

Looks close to me,
T34s 38.8L V12 Diesel, 500hp and 1600lbs/ft

Panthers 23L V12 gasoline, 700hp and 1400lbs/ft

The panther has 200 more horse power and the t34 has 200 more lbs/ft of torque.

hmm.. volumetric efficiency looks like it goes in favor of the German engine... but then again what is the diference in fuel consumption?

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Postby Ome_Joop on 27 Dec 2004 08:15

as you look at it that way the T-34 engine is not that good at all...it should have had much more torque than the Mybach....

BTW i''m not convinced about those vibrations....
When running low RPM's the engine is less balanced than running high RPM's...you can check it when you start your car (it's not very balanced until you give some gas...this is even true when you drive and it does not really matter what type of car or engine).
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Postby cbo on 27 Dec 2004 08:48

Ome_Joop wrote:as you look at it that way the T-34 engine is not that good at all...it should have had much more torque than the Mybach....


I think you also have to look at the RPM:

Panther HL 230:
Max HP: 700 @ 3000 RPM
Max torque: 185 kgm @ 2100 RPM

T34 V2
Max HP: 500 @ 1800 RPM
Max torque: 220 kgm @ 1200 RPM

Seems to me that the extra displacement of the T-34 engine was put to good use - about 20% more torque at much lower RPM than in the Maybach and at the same time using about 30% less fuel, maybe even less.

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Postby Ome_Joop on 27 Dec 2004 11:02

cbo wrote:Seems to me that the extra displacement of the T-34 engine was put to good use - about 20% more torque at much lower RPM than in the Maybach and at the same time using about 30% less fuel, maybe even less.

Claus B


I don't think that is the case...Diesel engines get there max torque at lower RPM's and do not run High RPM at all....Gasoline Engines can run much higher RPM's!
That is just the nature of the engine!
Running a T34 Diesel Engine 5000RPM's will probably destroy it...
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Postby cbo on 27 Dec 2004 12:11

Ome_Joop wrote:
cbo wrote:Seems to me that the extra displacement of the T-34 engine was put to good use - about 20% more torque at much lower RPM than in the Maybach and at the same time using about 30% less fuel, maybe even less.

Claus B


I don't think that is the case...Diesel engines get there max torque at lower RPM's and do not run High RPM at all....Gasoline Engines can run much higher RPM's!
That is just the nature of the engine!
Running a T34 Diesel Engine 5000RPM's will probably destroy it...


What is not the case? Clearly the T-34 engine uses less fuel and has more torque at lower RPMs than the HL 230 ?

Lower RPM translates into less wear and tear and easier driving and needs fewer gears in the transmission, at least in this case (HL 230 vs V2). The HL 230 would need high RPM to perform, a lot of gearchanging etc. Likely a contributor to the less than satisfactory engine life of the HL 210/230 in the Panther, particularily in 1943 - they limited max RPM for a reason :)

Displacement as such does not matter much, what counts is the size of the engine and here the HL 230 comes out at 1.56 m3 while the V2 (actually the very similar W2 used in the KV/IS, producing 550 HP) comes out at 1.3 m3. So despite the much larger displacement, the V2 comes out on top in terms of exterior volume, even if it was longer than the HL230. This has to be considered in the context of the HL 230 being an extremely compact engine where several shortcuts had been made to make it as short as possible, shortcuts which were another contributor to the less than satisfactory engine life of the HL 230.

I dont know if you have Spielbergers book on the Panther, but the documentation in the appendixes are an interesting read, particularily the German engineers praise for the characteristics of the Soviet V2/W2 diesels and the US Ford GAA V8 petrol engine - the so-called "Büffel-karakteristik", the low-rev "grunt" of these engines which the HL 230 simply did not have.

Like everyone else, the Germans went for a diesel once they were allowed to build tanks again after the war - it was simply the better choice!

As for the problems with rough running of a 1940ies V2 diesel, in my limited experience it was really not much worse than a HL 230 of the same era. The HL 230 sounds very good, but it is loud beyond belief and occasional misfires (common, apparently, since they added a device on the exhaust to hide the flames) boom through the countryside followed by high blow-torch like flames out of the exhaust. The T34s I've heard are loud as well and carries with them a perpetual smokescreen, but engine noise are drowned by the cleaking, creaking and squaling of the tracks. I think noise and occasional loud, erratic behaviour was just the way of high performance engines of the day :D

Claus B

PS: Heres the specs of the MB 838 of the Leopard 1 of early 1960ies vintage:

V10 diesel
37 liter
830HP @ 2200 RPM
286kgm @ 1540 RPM
193 g/ps/h
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Postby Ome_Joop on 27 Dec 2004 14:25

cbo wrote:
What is not the case? Clearly the T-34 engine uses less fuel and has more torque at lower RPMs than the HL 230 ?



Yes that is true but i what i mean is that a Diesel engine compared to a gasoline engine always makes lower RPM ,produces less HP but more Torque and that has nothing to do with displacement cos this is true for an engine with the same displacement as well!
Diesel engines are not good at making much RPM's...
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Postby WotS on 27 Dec 2004 18:24

God damn!Are we posting 10X more times that diesel engine has more torque and less fuel cons!??We already know that.Stop this.

I think the comparing is not fair because German had shortage of materials!So they had to use after market stuff and that certanly affect the performance and engine life time. The russia had everything.
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Postby Gearhead1432 on 28 Dec 2004 05:49

Isn't gearing in large deisel trucks very close and highly numorus? An engine with a wider powerband such as the HL210/230 doesn't need such close gear ratios. Also, isn't the Panthers top gear a taller ratio than the t34?

In the case of limiting the speed of the Panther, I see this as an atempt to curve wear on the transmision/driveline and the suspension/tracks, or the Germans were trying to keep the Panther from out running the other slower German AFVs and infantry.

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Postby The Argus on 28 Dec 2004 09:03

Poor vibration at low RPM is a factor of design, your car engine is intended to operate above XXXrpm and that is where it's vibrational 'sweet spot' is placed.

If an engine is intended to operate AT low rpm's then it is ballanced to run at low rpm. Ever seen a Gardner 6LW? they'll purr along quite happliy at 800rpm (IIRC) all day, every day.

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Postby cbo on 28 Dec 2004 13:40

Gearhead1432 wrote: Isn't gearing in large deisel trucks very close and highly numorus? An engine with a wider powerband such as the HL210/230 doesn't need such close gear ratios. Also, isn't the Panthers top gear a taller ratio than the t34?


It had to be to achieve the speed stipulated with engine available. I dont see what trucks have to do with anything?

Gearhead1432 wrote:In the case of limiting the speed of the Panther, I see this as an atempt to curve wear on the transmision/driveline and the suspension/tracks, or the Germans were trying to keep the Panther from out running the other slower German AFVs and infantry


I'm pretty sure that RPM was limited to preserve the engine, not to reduce speed. First of all because the Panther was built for speed which is evident from both the suspension, gear ratios, engine configuration and of course the documents about its conception. Secondly because the Panther did not have speed-related problems with transmission, suspension and tracks that I know of. The transmission problems were mainly in the final drives which selfdestructed due to the forces generated by steering and the only suspension/track problem that comes to mind is the roadwheels which tended to deform when they ran over rocks and bumps, but that was solved by reinforcing them. The engines, on the other hand, was a major problem in their own right all through 1943.

I dont understand the argument about outrunning German infantry; The whole concept of the tank in the German Army was that it should utilize its speed and not be dragged down in tempo by the infantry. It was the other way around; The Panzergrenadiers got their SPWs to keep up with the armour. And wouldn't be rather silly to design the new tank for speed and then reduce speed to make it compatible with older, slower AFVs? Furthermore, the Panthers were usually organized in their own battalion and thus would not necessarily often have to cooperate with the slower Panzer IVs.

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Postby cbo on 28 Dec 2004 13:55

WotS wrote: I think the comparing is not fair because German had shortage of materials!So they had to use after market stuff and that certanly affect the performance and engine life time. The russia had everything.


Huh? There is definately nothing "after market" about German tank engines! The Germans had purpose-built tank engines from the very start of their tank programme, they never used the range of commercial engine/aircraft engines that other armies, like the British and Americans, were forced to for lack of a purpose-built tank engine.

The problems with the Maybach HL230 was not because of "after market stuff" or "shortage of materials", it was because of its design. Because they wanted to make it as small and short as possible, they took some design shortcuts which proved troublesome in the field. But they did achieve what they set out to do: The 700 HP 23 liter HL230 was about the same length and size as the 300 HP 11 liter HL120 used in the Panzer IV! A great piece of engineering, but alas not very durable.

The original question was whether the T34s diesel V2 was any good; I think it is plainly evident that it had all you could ask of a tank engine in the 1940ies. It was small, had lots of torque at low RPMs, was reasonably economical and fitted perfectly in the vehicle it was supposed to drive, the T-34.

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