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Mack Lanova Engines


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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember working on one of these back in the day. It was in a LJ and had a duplex behind it and a #29,000 rear axle. I kind of remember it looking kind of like a EN707 gas motor but with injecters going strait into the side of the head. I think it had some kind of American Bosch pump but I'm not sure.


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  • 2 months later...

This is a long time coming and is only a memory, not solid information. In the mid-50s as a summer job I drove in a large yard hauling construction materials. The new kid was assigned an Lf 10 wheel dump with a Mack-Lanova diesel. The truck may have been a 1950-52 and was in pretty good shape because it had been rebuilt after a serious accident. It must have had a good, large Lanova in it because it pulled with the new B-63 Thermodyne diesels in that yard. After passing a B-63 on an uphill pull, I was sternly warned never, never pass a senior driver! The Lf also topped out on the flat at about 52 mph, whereas those B-63s were only good for 48 mph. They were all 5-speeds plus a very low 2-speed box we called a "pit stick" used to crawl out of construction holes. The Lf was registered at 54000 lbs, but we weighed out usually at 73000. Anyway, that Lanova smoked a lot and pulled hard.

Please forgive a few more vague mamories: Of course here were no power assists. That was a heavy clutch, so one quickly learned to handle everything after starting without using the clutch. The big Lf cab was an advantage because in tight low speed turns one could crawl in a low gear and stand with both feet planted to inch the wheel around. If I rememer correcly, 1st in the main box was right-forward and 2nd was left forward, so if you started loaded in 1st high you stopped (or rolled backward) before you could get across the gate to 2nd. Low to High in the auxilliary box was a big step, so it took some fancy gear selection to get going on an upgrade.

Anyway, the experience started an interest in big trucks and Macks in particular. Thanks to you all for bringing back memories and updating me.


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....Brings back memories for me, too RRJ. The first 10 wheeler I ever drove was a 49 LJ with 220 Cummins, 5&2 Trans &44k rears. The trans shifting pattern was rev- Right & back. 1st- right & fwd, 2nd-left & fwd, 3rd-left & back, 4th-center&back & 5th- center & fwd. The aux stick was lo- fwd, & hi- back. It had "Armstrong" steering, you had to pre plan your turns & get up off the seat & start yanking on the wheel while still approaching the corner! Putting your thumbs around the steering wheel was a no no as you'd certainly lose em if the front wheels hit a stone or rut & kicked the steering back! That old Cummins had one hell of a lot of power for a 220,& the sound was awesome, not just the exhaust, but the combustion rattle too. With no real sound deadening material in the cab or firewall, the decibel level was amazing. Can't remember the rear end ratio, but the top speed @ 2100 rpm was about 48 mph. That's when Trucks were really Trucks! Herb

"If You Can't Shift It Smoothly, You Shouldn't Be Driving It"

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  • 4 weeks later...


Does anyone out there have any info on the Mack Lanova engines?

Any help would be appreciated!





The Mack Lanova was designed by a Swedish engineer by the name of Lanova, I can't remember his Christian name, but he started by designing a diesel motor for Volvo before the second world war, he then went to Germany where he desingned a diesel motor for Henschel, after which still before the war he went to the U.S. where he designed the Mack Lanova motor, he designed all three of these motors using the same shape explosion chambers, the only difference between them was that the Volvo had 2 heads, the Henschel had three heads, but for the Mack he went back to two heads. Let me have your email address and I'll send you a couple of photos of Mack Lanovas.

Regards Jack Manders

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  • 10 years later...

Vlad on here did a 100% rebuild of his WWII Lanova diesel for his N model. I know he had cylinder sleeves cast and machined for it.  

Here is his rebuild thread.  Paul



Edited by 41chevy


 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’


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Several different manufacturers used the Lanova system. I've got a D19 Allis Chalmers tractor with a Lanova injection system. I don't know a thing about the Lanova Macks but I'm pretty familiar with the ones AC used. They are fairly quiet running and don't have the "diesel knock" other engines do. It's a comparatively  slow combustion process is why you don't get the knock. They run smooth as silk when they are right.

They are hard starting and the energy cells in the head can fill with carbon or get pitted and cause problems. New or good used energy cells, if you need them, are pretty hard to locate.

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  • 3 years later...

My older brother did his apprenticeship at Deakins in Oakleigh Victoria back in the early to mid 1950s.  Deakins bought ten American army surplus Mack NR models with Mack Lanover diesel engines after the war.  He said they all had something wrong with them, so they purchased them for a song, and built them up one at a time.  They were LH drive at the time. Deakins used most of them as tippers, and a couple of them were configured as Low Loaders.   They also had a 6 wheel drive NM Petrol ex Army Mack.  It was a big engine, he said, and once it got hot enough, they would switch it over to power kerosene.   He said it had a "lot of guts".    An old mate of mine owned and ex-Victorian Tramworks petrol heavy duty tow truck which had a petrol engine.   Long gone now, but he still has a spare cylinder head for it, as well as a workshop manual, and the spare parts manual complete with parts prices, if anyone is interested.  

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gudday m8

can rememberin talk of Lionel Deakin ...property @ noth Rd oakleigh nex to rail crossing

rumor haz it he made up a big HD float and welded all the axles to the main frame = no suspension

any pix U can share with us all

Thanx in advance







Edited by Swishy
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