For someone planning to build an entirely new racing engine from scratch, it isn’t until you pick up a book like Taylor’s “The Internal Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice” that you realize just how much you’ve bitten off.  I purchased both volumes about 6 years ago during a fit of boredom while on a road trip out west.  I was actually amazed when I found both volumes in a small Borders (remember them?) in California.  It’s true!   I get bored on vacations and end up in book stores…


Charles Fayette Taylor’s “The Internal Combustion Engine in Design and Practice” Volume-2

The two volumes can be purchased from for about $60 each.  So far, they’re the best value I’ve found for the amount of knowledge and data they contain.  I can say even at this early stage that my volumes will become tattered and broken before this is all over.

Speaking as a visual thinker, I’ve found both volumes follow the same format:  Concepts outlined in the text are almost always followed up with charts, illustrations and photographs.  This makes the information so much easier to digest as I can’t remember a jumble of words, but charts and illustrations become etched into memory.


A page from Charles Taylor’s “The Internal Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice” Volume-2

As an aircraft mechanic and machinist who has been working with internal combustion engines my whole life, I’ve had a number of “ahah!” moments browsing through both volumes.  Once I started to delve into Volume 2 last week, it was like opening a book of answers.  Many things I’ve observed in the design, running and operational qualities of engines and the questions they posed have been answered and I’m not yet a quarter of the way through.

A full report will follow once I’ve had a chance to internalize all 800 pages.  The quest for knowledge is so much fun!


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