Gear Talk

Power & Motor Yacht - - 34 - —Irv Us­ner

I en­joyed read­ing “The Re­fit That Sparked a Rev­o­lu­tion,” but there was one big mis­take in it. The Gray Marine Diesel was not the pre­cur­sor of the Detroit Diesel. GM started putting Detroit 6-71 diesel en­gines in trucks and buses in 1938. When the war came along Gray Marine Marinized the 6-71 and built them un­der li­cense from GM as a way to meet the pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity needed for the war ef­fort. (Much the same way Ford built Jeeps un­der li­cense from Willys, and Chrysler built Rolls-Royce Mer­lin air­craft en­gines.)

The Detroit Se­ries 71 en­gines all used the same unit cylin­der assem­bly and be­came the most pro­lific se­ries of diesel en­gines ever built since they were avail­able as in­line en­gines of 1,2, 3, 4, and 6 cylin­ders as well as V6, V8, V12, V16, and V24 con­fig­u­ra­tions. Since they were a sleeved de­sign you can read­ily re­place ev­ery­thing but the crankshaft with­out re­mov­ing the en­gine.

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