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Here's my model engine modified to run like a real one, even though is electric. It has a starter solenoid, speed sensor, temperature sensor and a DC motor to move the pulleys and the flywheel.


The idea of this project is to simulate a real engine but with electrical parts, instead of fuel, so is safe to run indoors and is easier to build. It's controlled by an Arduino with some basic electronic components.


I took the engine model "Revell 1/6 Dodge 426 Hemi Street Engine" and did a lot of modifications:

  • Make holes to fit the DC motor to reach the water pump pulley.

  • Put ball bearings on every single spinning part, except the water pump since it uses the motor’s bush bearings.

  • Fit a solenoid on the starter so the small gear can go in contact with the flywheel teeth when the solenoid is powered. Originally was always engaged to the flywheel.

  • Put several cables for decoration and to connect all electrical components.

  • The exhaust manifold originally was half-open so I fill it with epoxy putty.

  • Paint and did some detailing to a few parts to look more realistic.

  • Re-position the distributor to be in the correct place and to avoid interfering with the fuel lines.


There were a lot of challenges to complete these modifications. For example, some pulleys are not center correctly so they wobble and were hard to try to compensate. The major wobbling part is the fan, but is like this originally. Not much I can do about it. Also, some plastic parts are very brittle.

Buy Revell 1/6 Dodge 426 Hemi:
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  • Starter solenoid push an small gear to the big gear on the flywheel to simulate the starter.

  • Engine stalls at slow speed.

  • Warning lights for: battery, oil pressure, check engine, temperature and fuel tank.

  • Gauge indicator for the temperature, half of it simulate a warm engine with increasing depending on the speed, and the other half showing real temperature of the motor after it gets warm enough.

  • Gauge indicator for the fuel tank with complete simulation of a real tank. Fuel level gets stored on the internal EEPROM memory. When level gets so low that the warning light turns on, it will reset to the full level after you turn main switch off.

  • The speed of the motor is control externally by a buck converter, enabled by an relay.

  • The tachometer gauge is external using the same RPM sensor used for arduino.

  • The engine can be turn ON by spinning the crankshaft fast enough.

Right now I am working on a design base on this project, but in a way that anyone could build as cheap as possible. For now I can only share what I got:

[Download] Arduino Sketch.ino


(Coming soon)


Here are my two videos I made showing my model so you can use as reference:

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