The most exotic clinton engine


Clinton actually produced a two-cylinder two-stroke engine.  A former Clinton employee has provided the following background to this very interesting design.  (Special thanks to Grey Ghost.)

“Clinton bid and won its share of government contracts for two and four cycle models powering various types of military applications. Every vendor and component part had to be certified by the government.  During the life of the contract material substitutions or vendor changes were not permitted without government approval. Any proposed changes to the engine were not approved until a recertification test of approximately 120 hours was successfully completed and signed off by the appropriate government inspection team.

A naval request came to Clinton sales in the early 1960s seeking a bid to produce a two-cycle twin-cylinder engine.  In application, the engine would be attached to a special generator to be used as a power source to operate equipment energizing and aligning the navigational system on the North American A3J Vigilante all weather jet being prepped on the carrier flight deck prior to takeoff.

Final established design specs were: Bore 2.1875, Stroke 1.6875, Cubic Inches 12.68, HP was 8.6 @ 6,000 RPM, with loop scavenging. Other features were the Woodward governor, special carb, recoil starter, radio ignition shielding system, fiberglass blower housing, magnesium one piece cylinder casting with chromed bores and a total engine weight of 23-pounds.  The flywheel was located on the PTO side of the engine.  The air flow intake was on that side and exited on the right side of the blower housing right above the recoil starter.  As to the lash up of the generator and engine, I was told Uncle Sam wanted a quick disconnect of the two component assemblies in case one of the units failed.

Clinton was awarded the contract, which ran for approximately two years.  Component parts were so different that a special assembly line and engine test were required.  Naval Engineering assessment of the engine stated it had proven to be very dependable, flawless in performance and without mechanical problems.

At the end of the contract Clinton toyed with the concept of adding the unit into its lineup.  Marketing did a cost review which indicated low sales volumes and unit cost would be too expensive for Lawn and Garden applications.”

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