The Detroit Diesel Series 110, with 110 cubic inches displacement per cylinder, was introduced in 1945 as more-powerful alternative to the existing Series 71 engines. It was used in a variety of applications, including construction equipment and power generation. The most popular use was in the Budd RDC
The Budd Rail Diesel Car, RDC or Buddliner is a self-propelled diesel multiple unit railcar. In the period 1949–62, 398 RDCs were built by the Budd Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States...
self-powered rail car. It was also heavily used in Euclid
The Euclid Company of Ohio was a company specialized in heavy equipment for earthmoving, namely dump trucks and wheel tractor-scrapers, that operated from the United States of America from the 1920s to the 1950s, then it was purchased and converted into a section of General Motors and later on by...
construction machinery. In 1951 a marine version was also introduced.
The Detroit Diesel Series 110
is a two-stroke cycle
A two-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that completes the process cycle in one revolution of the crankshaft...
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses the heat of compression to initiate ignition to burn the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber...
series, available in six cylinder inline
Usually found in four- and six-cylinder configurations, the straight engine, or inline engine is an internal-combustion engine with all cylinders aligned in one row, with no offset...
configuration (in keeping with the standard Detroit Diesel practice at the time, engines were referred to using a concatenation of the number of cylinders and the displacement, so this was a model 6-110). It was introduced as the second mass-market product of the Detroit Diesel Engine Division
As a corporation, Daimler Trucks North America has decided to rename the company "DETROIT".Detroit Diesel Corporation is an American-based diesel engine producer headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, USA...
of General Motors in 1945.
The 6-110 series engines utilize uniflow scavenging, where a blower mounted to the exterior of the engine provides intake air through cored passages in the engine block and ports in the cylinder walls at slightly greater than atmospheric pressure. The engine exhausts through push-rod operated poppet valves in the cylinder head, with either two or four valves per cylinder. Unit fuel injection is employed, one injector per cylinder, with no high fuel pressure outside of the injector body. The injectors are cycled from the same camshaft responsible for opening the exhaust valves.
As a two stroke cycle Diesel engine cannot naturally aspirate, or draw in its own intake air, the blower is necessary to provide air in an amount sufficient both for scavenging of exhaust gasses from the cylinder and to support combustion. Initial versions of the 6-110 engine used a centrifugal-type supercharger
The centrifugal-type supercharger is an engine-driven compressor used to increase the power output of an internal-combustion engine by increasing the amount of available oxygen by compressing air that is entering the engine...
. This was very practical for fixed-speed applications such as marine or generator service, but proved a failure in automotive applications. "The engine was developed on the dyno and was never operated above rated RPM. The first application was in Euclid mining trucks, where the driver's income depends on how fast he drives the empty truck back down into the pit. The centrifugal blower ran about 10 times engine speed. Exceeding that RPM was fatal, and in a truck a single missed downshift could mean a failed engine." For that reason a Roots type blower
The Roots type supercharger or Roots blower is a positive displacement lobe pump which operates by pumping fluids with a pair of meshing lobes not unlike a set of stretched gears. Fluid is trapped in pockets surrounding the lobes and carried from the intake side to the exhaust...
was made available as an option after about 1952. Later high performance versions were available with turbochargers.
The initial Series 71 engines from Detroit Diesel were produced in 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 6- cylinder versions. The most powerful version, the 6-71, displaced 426 cubic inches and produced 170 hp at 1800 rpm. While these engines with their low cost and relatively light were highly successful, there was also great demand for higher horsepower, especially for non-highway applications such as power generation and construction equipment.
Since inline engines of more than 6 cylinders tend to have substantial technical problems, and since GM was not to perfect V-block engine technology for another decade, they took two divergent approaches to achieving higher horsepower. One was to couple together multiple 6-71 engines in twin (side-by-side), tandem (fore-and-aft) and the incredible Quad (four 6-71s all driving a single shaft). While these did produce high horsepower and even added some redundancy, they were mechanically complex and relatively expensive.
The alternative approach was to design a new engine and increase the displacement from the existing 71 cubic inches to 110 cubic inches, or roughly a 50% increase. This resulted in the model 6-110 or 660 cubic inches total displacement. While the basic engine components (block, crankshaft, pistons, etc.) were all new, many of the additional components (injectors, governors, accessories, marine gears) were simply shared with the Series 71 engines. Since the 6-110 was designed from the outset for heavy-duty high-horsepower applications, it was never produced in a four cylinder version (that would have displaced 440 cubic inches, very close to the 426 ci displaced by the 6-71).
The introduction of the V-71 series in 1957 effectively doomed the 6-110, as both the 8-71 (568 cubic inch displacement) and 12-71 (852 cubic inch displacement) offered higher horsepower in a more compact form factor. However the high torque and great reliability of the 6-110 was still valued for heavy-duty applications.
The Series 110 was last produced in 1965, after which the manufacturing rights were purchased by the W. W. Williams Distribution Company
, which continues to provide parts for these engines.
The 6-110 was a remarkably flexible engine. The same basic block was available in both clockwise and counterclockwise rotation, and the exhaust manifold was also available on either the left or right side. A turbocharged model was on the market by 1958, boosting the power to 349 HP at 2000 RPM.
All 6-110 engines were designated a Unit Model Number 62200, with 62200 RA designating starboard rotation and 62200 LA designating port rotation.
Other specifications include:
|| 5.00 inches
|| 5.60 inches
|Piston Speed @ 1800 RPM
|| 1680 feet/min
|Piston Speed @ 1600 RPM
|| 1490 feet/min
|| Forced feed
|Heat absorbed by engine cooling water
|| 35 BTU/HP/Min
|Air required for scavenging and combustion at 1800 RPM
|| 1100 CFM
|Maximum angle of installation
|| 16 degrees
|Maximum exhaust backpressure
|| 4 inches Hg
|Capacity antifreeze cooling system
|| 12 gallons
|Engine lube oil capacity (including filters)
|| 8 gallons
|Marine reduction gear oil capacity
|| 8½ quarts
|Approximate weight including reduction gear
|| 4000 lbs
Quoting from an introductory ad (Yachting Magazine, January 1951):
"Here's the newest member of the General Motors Diesel family - the brawny 6-110 engine that develops 275 horsepower. It is 50% more powerful thn the famous 6-cylinder GM "71" engine that powers so many of America's fine yachts, tugs and fishing vessels -- yet it weighs less than 15 pounds per horsepower, including the famous GM hydraulic reverse gear."