Diesel and petrol engines are vastly different, even if they operate the same at a very foundational level. However, their differences are stark enough that the fuel for one can’t power the other. Or that’s typically been the case. A new video from the Russian YouTube channel Garage 54 has the shop attempting to defy the laws of automotive engineering and get a Toyota diesel engine to run on regular petrol.

But that’s no easy endeavour. Petrol and diesel fuels combust differently in the engine, meaning that Garage 54 has to significantly modify the engine. One issue is the compression ratio inside the combustion chamber, which is far too high in a diesel engine for petrol. The first order of business started with disassembling the engine, cleaning the parts, and measuring the combustion chamber. The crew lowered the compression ratio by shaving down the pistons and performing other modifications.

However, the compression ratio was just one hurdle to convert this engine to run on petrol. Diesel engines don’t have spark plugs, which petrol needs to combust, so the fuel injector holes were modified to fit spark plugs, while the gear for the diesel’s high-pressure fuel pump was repurposed to operate the distributor needed for the plugs. The distributor sits where the fuel pump used to be.

Once the modifications were complete and the engine reassembled, it was time to perform the first test. They attached the battery, added fuel, and turned the ignition. The engine fired up on the first attempt, and while it didn’t run smoothly at low revs, it did rev up without any issues and sounded like it was operating just fine – or as best as you’d expect. However, the endeavour should be considered nothing short of complete success, even if it took extensive modifications to get the whole thing to work.