I've been having fun with a trio of Iron Horses - or BSA derivatives - this
last couple of days. I had three rather incomplete engines, one of which was
a dynastart generator, a kickstart engine and A N Other engine.
The generator was my first priority and I converted it from an incomplete,
none going army genny to a "civilian" version by the removal of the cast
iron base tank and direct lift carb and replacing them with the nice little
oval top tank and normal carb from another. As you can imagine, it took a
good deal longer to do than to say and the amount of time one can soak up
cleaning commutators, cutting set screws to length, finding washers and
replacing plug leads to say nothing of matching fan covers to engines and
building/modifying silencers etc is quite amazing.
But it was done in the end and now I have a lightweight electric start
charging plant that starts and runs very easily. This compliments the EX WD
one I have already that is very complete and original - but a good deal
On to the next and I fitted the direct lift carb and base fuel tank to the
kickstart engine which has a flat belt pulley and built up the remainder of
the bits into a simple top tanked engine with a vee belt pulley in place of
They were all obliging enough to start and run without a lot of trouble, but
I am short of a fan cover. Anyone got one spare? Any condition as I'm going
to paint these.
Tut, tut. I'm sure we can't condone all this tampering with history ;-) How
is anyone going to know what the correct build spec was for any given serial
number if you adopt this 'mix and match' approach? (tongue very firmly in
I know, terrible aren't I?;o))
Still, they are well recorded and there are enough of them about for the odd
one not to matter. It did cross my mind to paint different parts different
colours to aid identification in future years, but decided that piebald
engines are not to my taste!
The four variants will make an interesting little display now and I'm
curious to see if anyone comments.
I've got a B&S unit with the same genny, but it has so far resisted all my
efforts in removing the deeply recessed flywheel nut. They are a real swine
when there is no means of holding the flywheel still while you heave away at
the socket with ever increasing lengths of bar extension.
They are about, I've seen a couple at rallies in the past year, but
considering their production numbers and huge range of variations, I'm
surprised we don't see more of them.
I like their design, the oil supply system is especially interesting as oil
picked up by the timing gears is squished out into the hollow crankpin as it
whizzes past instead of relying on a dipper - not such a sensible option in
small high revving engines.
They don't fetch stupid money either, I've not paid more than forty quid for
any of them, the incomplete gen set was a tenner and it took me ten minutes
to get it going, so it's cheap fun!
I'd like a mains genny variant if anyone sees one about for a reasonable
There must have been a half doz. or so at sodbury (and a sprinkling of Tiny
Tims) but one tends to think "oh look another of them" rather than noticing
the differences as one would if they were all together.
I raided my motor factors this afternoon. I normally brush paint engines -
if I paint them at all - but thought I'd treat my hybrid gen set to a coat
of acrylic so that the paint doesn't wash off the first time I spill petrol
I found that Vauxhall Fern Green makes a very acceptable light version of WD
olive drab paint - gloss of course, but it certainly does look the part.
Actually, it is not glaringly shiny as it is intended to be clear lacquered
to complete it on the car.
I was pleased to find it did not attack the paint beneath it and it seems OK
on the exhaust after I ran it for several minutes this evening, not
discolouring or flaking off.
I've not brought an engine to this standard for some time and I must say I'm
quite pleased with it ;o))
I've also restored a 50 + year old (ish) rotary converter to exhibit with
it. I'm sure it isn't an aircraft device, but 24 volts DC in gives 175 volts
AC output - the Lord knows what that was intended to drive in the first
place. Any ideas, anyone?
if it's 400 to 24 Hz output, it could be to drive the gyros and such.
aircraft used a lot of high frequency equipment.
the transformers were smaller and lighter.
175 volts seems a bit high, tho.
maybe it was the plate supply for transmitters. it would be rectified and
filtered to give 250 volts DC which
would be a logical voltage for such.