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Stirling engines (formerly referred to as steam engines) are the second tier of engine. They use cobblestone instead of wood or iron so are still cheaper than the Combustion Engine. Previously, it had been stated that Stirling Engines would not blow up and would simply stop operating when heated too much. In recent versions, the Stirling Engine will only explode if energy produced is not being removed from the engine. Stirling engines will explode at 250.0C. Note that the flame gauge on the Steam/Stirling Engine GUI does NOT indicate if it has any energy to run or not, but rather if there is still fuel being added to build up heat. In other words, the stirling engine continues to run quite a while after the instant the flame gauge empties and there is no more fuel in the slot to burn (unlike Vanilla machines). 

Prior to Buildcraft 3.2.0, Stirling Engines were known as Steam Engines.



Cobblestone Gear





Cobblestone Gear

Steam Engine


Produces: 1 x Stirling Engine

See: Crafting Guide

Set Up Demonstration1 x Piston[]


Steam Engine - Tekkit In Less Than 90 Seconds

Power Source[]

Steam engine interface with usable fuels.

Stirling engines output 1MJ/t (20 MJ/s) while on (given a constant redstone signal).

The stirling engine runs on burning items and so needs refuelling to continue operation. Burnable items include lava buckets (which are consumed in 2.2.10), coal, charcoal, wood, planks, sticks, saplings, crafting tables, chests and bookcases--basically it will burn everything a normal furnace will burn, including Cactus and Sugar Cane (Though from 4.1.2 on, cactus and sugar canes will not work within this engine). The stirling engine also needs a redstone signal or pulse to run. Fuel items can be pumped in via a transport pipe for convenience.

Material Burn Time Produced MJ
Lava bucket ~16 minutes 40 seconds ~20,000MJ
Coal/Charcoal ~1 minute 20 seconds ~1,600MJ
Wood and cactus ~15 seconds ~300MJ
Saplings and Sticks ~5 seconds ~100MJ


Stirling engines can be used as a power supply for mining machines. Stirling engines can be connected to each other, or they can transfer power through conductive pipes.

Though it doesn't run much faster than the Redstone Engine, it provides a great deal more power per stroke.

They are your best choice for powering a pump with 3 or 4 stirling engines, while if you are using more, a combustion engine will be needed for the water supply.