Dual Engines

By Carl S.

Problem: I own a 2002 Ford E350 Van for my Business, Fully loaded, I am at 8400 GVW.
Getting about 10 miles to the gallon on a V8 Gas.
Solution Idea : My Idea is to have "Dual Engines", One main Power Plant and a smaller power Source for Highway cruising and down hill driving. This could be seamless transition between Main engine and smaller cruising engine, but I could really boost my over-all fuel economy. I will be in the market soon for a new van and would love to be a part of something new and cutting edge.
i am available for any type of focus group or Product testing or "real-world" testing. Thanks
Fred Golden 09/22/2011
I think that the overall weight of the vehicle will substantially increase with a dual engine set-up, requiring the larger egine to run more often than otherwise might have been needed when the overall weight is kept 1,000 pounds lower. And fuel savings will be negated by the extra weight.

Yet a 3.5L Ecoboost in the large E-250 van would be a great idea! Even the 2L Ecoboost is more powerful than the 1974 E-100 I drove for my company with three on the tree manual transmission back in the mid-80's. It had a 125 HP 300 cubic inch straight 6. Got terrific mileage though.

The problem wiht shutting off the cylinders is you still have all that friction of the piston rigs sliding up and down the cylinders. It is much more efficient to run the engine at 1,400 RPM, in 6th gear at 60 MPH than to shut down 2 cylinders and keep the RPM at 2,600 RPM.
Kyle Young 09/20/2011
Diesel provides plenty of power and more efficient.
I think GM had this idea on the failed Northstar engine?
I thought possibly of having an RV kohler generator running some HD Electric motors, but that just another version of a hybrid..? Could get expensive and hard to re-coup fuel savings.
Few more thoughts to ponder.
Michael Pfaff 09/19/2011
Instead of the complexity of 2 engines on 1 drivetrain, perhaps just the ability to shutoff a couple cylinders when you're going downhill or highway cruising. Similar to the Dodge/Chrysler offerings.