Gasoline Octane Test Engine:

escued from going to the scrap heap.
This is a "Waukesha", CFR F-1 Research
(ASTM D 2699) Variable Compression
Single Cylinder Engine.
Compression Adjustable 4:1 to 18:1
Cylinder Bore = 3.250"
Stroke = 4.500"
Displacement = 37.33 Cubic inches
RPM = 600
Used at this plant from 1944 to 1990


 The engine in the above pictures was our Main Research Method in the Laboratory. After it blew a crank seal in 1990 and begun to leak nearly a gallon of oil per day, it was time to update it to the modern "48" Crankcase ( available since 1952 ). I watched previous outdated engines get scrapped after 40+ years of continuous use, only to be thrown out like the garbage. Of course, this is a business and not in the routine of saving old junk. I could not bear to see another engine go to "Engine Heaven" so I restored it in hopes of donating it to my favorite old engine museum. But instead, the engine remained at our plant. From 1990 to 2001, this engine participates in our Refinery's open houses. Here it gets the appreciation of hundreds of school kids & Refinery neighbors.
Someday,  I  would like to donate this engine to the year round Old Engine & Tractor Museum in Vista, California, so it can be seen by thousands of engine nuts like me.

Sept. 2005 Update: The old octane engine has been donated by my oil company, to the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California. The engine was picked up by Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum member, Chuck Goebel on Sept 26th, 2005.
See the October 2005 photos here: Museum's Octane Engine
Use the "ad" free LINK at RUNYARD.ORG for Museum Info & Map.



Retired after 35 years in the oil business, my work once involved running and maintaining these interesting engines in a West Coast Oil Refinery.
We have two Research Engines, two Motor Method Engines
and a Cetane Engine for testing Diesel Fuel. And yes, I'm a bit of an engine nut :~)
Click here to see our "Supercharged Aviation Engine" of days passed.

These web pages are for people to get some information on octane,
octane engines, history of the octane engines and is
no way connected to, or endorsed by this oil company. 
These are personal pages and have no reference to oil company
names or contacts. Only octane services have reference.
Thank you very much.
John Runyard

is a FREE service bought to you by
yours truly.


One of the first production engines. Circa 1930

A Little Octane Engine History:
The Cooperative Fuel Research ( CFR ) Committee which formed to respond to the need of refiners and engine builders to develop a means of measuring and defining gasoline combustion characteristics. In 1928 the committee had reached the decision that a standardized single cylinder test engine was needed as a first step in developing a gasoline knock-test method. In December 1928 the decision was made to proceed with a design, and the Fuel Research Engine was designed and built in 45 days to be ready for the January 1928 SAE meeting! This engine is still preserved at Waukesha Engine today. This engine gave the engine and fuel industries the first universally accepted standard test engine which could be produced in sufficient quantity to meet industry needs.


There were other knock test engines in the running but each of these had drawbacks which prevented universal acceptance, so by the early 1930's most of these had gone out of use in favor of the new Waukesha CFR engine. This design has survived and flourished through two upgrades of the crankcase to the present time without any change in combustion chamber shape, compression arrangement, so that a rating made on the earliest engine will still match the octane made on today's engine nearly 70 years later. The means for quickly and accurately varying the compression ratio without affecting valve clearances or basic combustion chamber configuration was probably what caused this design to prevail over all other rivals.

Moving the entire cylinder up and down with respect to the piston was far
better than changing shims, moving a plug in the combustion chamber, or running with fixed compression. These engines were produced on a three-shifts-per-day basis during World War II, making principally the supercharged aviation gasoline test unit which helped in the development of 100 octane and eventually the 115/145 grade fuel which gave the allied air forces an edge over the axis nations which did not have such fuel at the time, thus contributing to the fall of the totalitarian powers.


Most of this history was lifted from an article written by Ivan Baxter,
who was the CFR Engine Program Manager at Waukesha Motor some years back.
I had meet Ivan almost 35 years ago at Waukesha. He invited a small group
of people and myself out to his place to see his "Old Iron" collection, a couple very old
steam driven tractors among other tractors, and 54 odd engines in his garage.
His collection includes a very rare engine that the Smithsonian Institution
was trying  to get hold of. Ivan was a very fascinating person to talk to.


Waukesha manufactured the original low-speed crankcase design from 1930 to 1948.
The high-speed crankcase
was made from 1936 to 1953,
and the 48 crankcase design from 1952 to the present

Today's octane engines cost about $140,000 and you
 need two of them to give you your Road Octane.
Research Method + Motor Method divided by two = Road Octane
listed on your local gas pumps.

More History Pics Here

John's Site Links:


Updated: 05/10/2018

CFR, Around the World:
Octane, Cetane, Supercharge
and CFR Dynometers








BASF Octane Engine

Soviet IT 9-2 Soviet UIT-65  


Homebrew Gasoline Octane Boosters
Homebrew Gasoline Octane Boosters #2
Gasoline FAQ - Part 1 of 4 Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
in Vista, California

( Current Home of this Engine )
Octane Explanation Gasoline FAQ - Part 2 of 4 rent this space...
Octane Blending Chart: 100 + 92 Octane Gasoline FAQ - Part 3 of 4  
Gasoline FAQ - Part 4 of 4 The one and only...



1st CFR Engine

Waukesha Engine Link

Engines & Parts are now purchased through "Compass Instruments" for your Waukesha CFR Engine.
CFR Bulletins
CFR Products

Mark's Knock Engine Service

Overhauls, Repairs &
Certified Installer for the A.E.T. IQT
OCTANE ENGINE Services: Byron Knight
Available to repair, service or install your CFR equipment.
New Build:
New low Cost Digital-Timing-Indicator
by Istvan Antal

Waukesha CFR Engine Servicing
and Training
Advanced Transportation Associates
Octane Engine Services

Knock Engine Services LLC
Website momentary out of service.


CFR Instrumentation Services LLC
Knock Meter, Temperature Controller Repairs

Ted has passed away 2017 :(
StanCo Scientific inc.
CFR Meter and Controller Repair

Refinery Systems ( Core Labs )
ESD Inc. - Laboratory and
On Line Octane Analyzers
"Home of the
Fuels and Lubes Technologies


This Is John's Ad Free Octane Pages at WWW.RUNYARD.ORG

Comments: Drop me a line.
E-mail John Runyard

EMAIL JOHN or Guestbook

You are #    Hit Counter   as of Nov. 19, 1997

Updated: 05/10/2018