Combustion Engine

Combustion Engine
Name Combustion Engine
Type Engine
Tool Grid Wood Pickaxe.png30px
Stackable Yes (64)
Data Value 161:2
Mod Included BuildCraft
The Combustion Engine is the third tier of Engines. They use Iron instead of Wood or Cobblestone, making them the most expensive and powerful engine. It runs the fastest and does the most per stroke. It draws full stacks when used on a Wooden Pipe. It moves a Quarry without delays between each action.

Combustion Engines no longer waste Oil or Fuel if it is added when the engine is already full, so add-on-demand systems are not necessary, but you can still use them if you wish. Their downside is that you need to keep a close eye on the engines as they use the oil fairly quickly. It may also be possible to set up a Timer to send out oil at the same rate the engine uses it.

NOTE: When using with conductive pipes you need to have a Wooden Conductive Pipe connected to the output side (front) of the engine for the pipe to accept energy. After the first wooden conductive pipe, you can use any other Conductive Pipe to continue.

Tanks can store up to 16 buckets of a single type of liquid (water, lava, oil, fuel).

The Approximate EMC value of a Combustion Engine is 3,205 EMC, a Diamond would make 2 Combustion Engines, with 1,782 EMC left over.


EU/t Output table.

Using an Engine Generator:

Fueled By EU/t output EU per bucket Buckets used per hour Buckets of water used per hour
Lava 2.5 EU/t 52500 3.4 buckets / hour 7.3 water buckets / hour
Oil 5 EU/t 55000 6.54 buckets / hour 150 water buckets / hour
Fuel 10 EU/t 572000 1.26 buckets / hour 360 water buckets / hour

Remember that a Combustion engine will still explode if it is not water cooled.

Effects of Temperature

A Combustion Engine, like its Redstone and Steam counterparts, will pump faster the hotter it gets. Unlike a steam engine, blue is not its optimal temperature, and it will consume no water when blue. Instead, with a steady supply of water, it will stabilize at Green, which pumps approx. 5 times for every 4 that a blue combustion engine pumps - only slightly faster. A yellow combustion engines pumps approx. twice as fast as a blue one and a red engine pumps approx 2.5 times faster than a blue engine, or approx. twice that of a green engine. Be warned, if you allow your engine to run red, you will have no warning when it's close to blowing up. If you wish to maximise output, keeping it at yellow is recommended. That way, if the cooling system fails, you'll notice when it turns red, hopefully.

This table shows how long you can leave a combustion engine unsupervised with no water, either in the machine or the surroundings. Lava and Oil times are accurate to within 5 seconds. Fuel times are exact. Times are total time from when it begins running, completely cold, to the temperature listed; i.e. Placing a combustion engine, brand new, and powering it with fuel but not giving it any water will explode after 16 minutes 40 seconds.

Temperature Lava Oil Fuel
Green 20:50 10:38 4:10
Yellow 41:40 20:55 8:20
Red 1:02:30 31:25 12:30
Explosion 1:23:20 41:42 16:40

Note that one bucket of lava lasts ~17:30 and one bucket of oil lasts ~9:12, so you can safely put 3 of either in the engine. However, one bucket of fuel lasts longer than 16 minutes, so you can not leave an engine running unsupervised with one bucket of fuel unless you install a timer system that shuts it off at the right time.


Combustion Engines can be powered for a long time without overheating, provided you keep them cooled with water. A Combustion Engine will overheat very quickly if not cooled. A Combustion Engine that has become yellow/red for even a few minutes will require two buckets of water to regain "green" status. Water can be Pumped into them to fill this need. Alternatively, buckets of water can be placed into the engine to keep it filled up. While active, the engine will consume the water stored inside it, after a period in the green status. The current water level can be seen in the engine's GUI. Pumping water into an Engine is much preferable to manually filling it with buckets because it is guaranteed that the engines will not overheat. 1 pump can handle up to 3 Combustion Engines running Fuel provided the water is distributed evenly amongst the engines. If your engine blows up while powering a Quarry it will destroy it and possibly cause a chain reaction with it, so be careful and take the correct precautions to ensure your posessions are protected.

Often you will find that the nearest sizeable water source is far from where you want to place your combustion engines, so there is an additional danger to consider. When adventuring, it could happen that you journey far enough from the chunk where your water pump is located that it is unloaded, but not far enough away from your engines which stay loaded, run out of water, and then explode. For this reason it is recommended to place a Teleport Tether or a World Anchor near your water pump to ensure you don't return to a nice big hole. Teleport Pipes should also be used rather than a long length of pipe which might travel through an unloaded chunk.

To almost guarantee that the engines will not explode, attach a logic gate to an adjacent pipe, and set it to turn off the redstone signal if the engine becomes unsafe.

Combustion Engines build up heat per stroke. If the engine is forced to rest after two strokes its heat will drop to zero. By connecting the engine(s) to a Redstone repeater 4/5 clock, a continous cycle of running/resting can be created, eliminating the need for the expensive pumping systems and space-consuming piping that goes with it. This technique will also eliminate the explosion hazards that buggy pipes often cause.

It should be noted that on slower machines this may produce lag with each switching cycle, which will increase as more engines are added. Siting your engine array at the bedrock level will allow the game to run smoothly.

Power Source

The Combustion Engine runs on Oil, Fuel, or Lava, or possibly Biofuel Cells which can not be pumped , which can be either deposited into the machine via Waterproof Pipes, or through putting a bucket of your fuel of choice in the fuel slot one at a time. It is recommended to refine the Oil into Fuel using an Oil Refinery, as it is more efficient.

A Combustion Engine also produces power at different rates based on the type of Fuel. For example, an Oil Refinery can be fully powered (green) by 3 Combustion Engines powered by Oil or 2 Combustion Engines powered by Fuel. An oil refinery can only take 3 combustion engines runing on oil at one time.This may be the cause of some explosions as people power their refineries with 4 Combustion Engines only to eventually power them with fuel later, causing problems.

Applying power from an Energy Link either does not heat up the engine or does so extremely slowly. When supplied with power directly from an MFSU, the engine ran for approx. 20 minutes without turning green.


Combustion Engines need to be cooled by water, which can be pumped in with Waterproof Pipes, or added in with buckets. For this reason they are normally used in generation plants connected to machinery via Conductive Pipes, these generation plants can use space efficent designs that allow a Redstone current, water, electrical pipes and fuel to access the engine.

See the Pump page for information on tapping water sources.

The Engine can be four colors depending on it's state

Engine States:

Blue: The engine is in it's initial (cold) phase.

Green: The engine temperature is stable.

Yellow: The engine is working hard and could use more cooling.

Red: The engine is overheating and will explode if not quickly shut down or cooled.

Explosion: The Engine will blow up and make a big explosion!


A Wooden Conductive Pipe can be used to transfer the power of the engine to various things like a Quarry. Making a loop with the Conductive Pipes will make a giant square of power. If you accidently placed too much fuel in a Combustion Engine, Conductive Pipes can be used to transfer the power over instead of wasting the fuel. Using Stone Conductive Pipes decreases the efficiency 1% per pipe. Gold pipes reduce that mechanical energy loss to 0.01%/meter.

Additional Engines

Additional Engines using renewable Liquid Biomass and Biofuel are no longer available through the Forestry Mod assets, due to the removal of the Forestry Mod. However, you can still use IC2's EU to power a BuildCraft mechanism, as you could with the Electrical Engine, by using an Energy Link. Likewise, you can use Engine Generators to power IC2's electrical items with a BuildCraft engine.

Video Tutorials

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