Here's What Happens When You Bolt Three Engines Together to Create One 12-Cylinder Monster

Illustration for article titled Heres What Happens When You Bolt Three Engines Together to Create One 12-Cylinder Monsterem/em
Screenshot: Garage 54 ENG (YouTube)

On Tuesday, we wrote about a team of Russians who bolted two inline-four cylinder engines together to create a homebrew straight-eight. But now, these intrepid backyard scientists have hooked another engine to the mechanical monstrosity, and the resulting inline-12 is glorious.

This is all coming from the Garage 54 ENG YouTube channel, which continues its run of superbly answering dumb automotive questions that we never knew we wanted answered:

Like in the straight-eight build, the team welded a pressure plate to the frontmost engine’s crankshaft pulley, and then simply bolted another engine’s flywheel up to that pressure plate. Also like the other build, the team made a support structure out of square tubing, except, instead of cantilevering a second engine over the front of the car, another axle was brought into the mix to help support the load. Amazingly, the steering on that axle appears to work, though I’m not sure how the Garage 54team tied the steering shaft in to function along with the one going from the steering wheel to the second axle.


Also interesting is how the video shows a single starter motor turning all 12 cylinders over, though I wouldn’t quite say “with ease.” The host, Vlad, mentions that he plans to install a second starter, though it’s not clear where or how, since he only has one bellhousing to work with.

The household heater keeping the engine cool from the last video was swapped with what appears to be a conventional, large vehicle radiator. It’s a little hard to tell how the radiator hoses are set up, but it looks like the two engines closest to the firewall have hoses coming out of their thermostat housings and into a big hose that goes to the radiator. Then a radiator outlet hose looks to go into the front engine’s thermostat housing, then a hose appears to go from the front engine’s water pump outlet into the second engine’s water pump outlet, where there’s a “T” which might go into the first engine’s water pump. It’s a disorganized bundle of snakes in that “engine bay,” so it’s hard to know for sure.

In the video, Vlad, wrings the little Lada’s new homemade roughly four-liter, 12-cylinder engine out, and tears up the ice with the custom dually tires with screws poking out to act as studs. He says it “goes like hell,” and guesses that the thing makes about 250 horsepower, which is what helped get the car to 37 mph (60 km/h) in about 5.6 seconds, or over a half second quicker than the straight-eight managed in his other previous video.

It’s all just wacky and out there, but I’m glad someone is doing it, because who hasn’t wanted to see what bolting multiple engines together might yield?

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me. Cars: Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94), Chrysler Voyager Diesel ('94)

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Mark Longoria

How long until a certain former Jeep engineer bolts two Jeep straight sixes together to make an American straight 12?