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Mite .099 diesel

The Mite 0.099 diesel was a fixed-compression magnesium-case unit which was manufactured by the Mite Mfg. Co. of Brooklyn, New York beginning in mid 1947. The engine was designed by Howard Mandeville, who reached a marketing agreement with Walt Schroeder of the Eagle Mfg. Co. kit company also based in Brooklyn. The Mite Mfg. Co. was formed as a separate entity to focus upon the marketing of the Mite engine as distinct from the kits. 

The Mite was unique among diesels in having an unusually low compression ratio of only 131/2  to 1.  This necesitated the use of  a fuel consisting of equal parts of ether and mineral oil. 

Present-day testing confirms that the engine starts and runs quite well on this fuel, although power output is somewhat marginal. The Mite set an early C/L Class I speed record of 67.6 mph, but was soon outclassed by superior glow-plug designs from other manufacturers. A glow-plug version of the Mite was developed to try to stem the tide, but this effort too fell short.

Around 5,000 Mite diesels were reportedly made before the glow-plug revolution buried the Mite along with other US diesels. The number of glow-plug versions is unreported. All that can be said is that examples of either version in good complete condition are very rare these days.

An article on the Mite diesel by the later David Janson may still be accessed on Ron Chernich's "Model Engine News" (MEN) web-site. For a discussion regarding the operational challenges presented by the Mite diesel, see the final section of my article on fixed compression diesel operation to be found elsewhere on this web-site.  


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