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Have you considered modifying a diesel engine? It has a higher compression ratio (longer stroke) and possibly other advantages. I am concerned about the amount of steam that can get through a modified spark plug hole may limit the power and speed. Also, there is inertia in the gas moving in the tubes. May need to design it so the on off steam valves are very close to the spark plug hole.
Yes, although I've concentrated on gasoline engines and in the rough drafts interchanged references to gasoline and diesel, I most definitely have been thinking of diesel. If given the choice, I would choose a large diesel every time over a gasoline engine for lots of reasons. As I talk to more steam experts I am learning that steam should be thought of like one would think of water. The mathematics that is the most applicable is hydraulic related. If you think of the steam generator as a water tank with a pump then you have a better idea of how steam will work. At first I was thinking of something like a half or 3/8th inch pipe for the sparkplug (or injector for diesel) hole. That would be analogous to running electrical current through a thin wire; that is, flow (of electricity or water or steam) is proportional to the diameter of the conductor, or pipe. The larger diameter the pipe, the more steam at a given pressure can flow through it. Now, I'm thinking that to get the most from any engine, I would shoot for about 3/4th inch.