Started a few engines today ...

The kitchen drain was blocked, so I was forced to move the Petters line up this afternoon. A bag full of soda, two kettles of boiling water and a good blast with the pressure washer saw it off quite quickly, so I thought I'd run a few engines in the warm spring sunshine.

First, the PU2, a curious horizontal air cooled single cylinder device that is obviously half of a flat twin. A dash of fresh petrol in the tank to ginger up the year old contents and a it fired on the second compression. It started - as it always does - really slowly, four stroking reliably at about 100 RPM. I poured myself a coffee and sat on the bench regarding it as it slowly picked up speed. When warm, it cycles over about a minute from

4-500 rpm down to 120 (you can count it!) and then starts all over again. Then it stopped. No drama, no noises, just that definite "I'm not going again until someone looks at me" run down from 500 rpm to zero.

No compression - none at all. I fiddled around with it (the inlet valve cap came undone when I put a spanner on it - you could have knocked me down with a feather!) and tapped the inlet valve back onto it's seat and towards the end of the day it did run again - until Mr Compression took more time off and there I left it for another day.

Next, The PU8 twin. It didn't go. Loads of compression, fresh fuel, good spark - but no thank you, it was fine as it was.

On to the A1, dash of petrol and it fired and ran straight away as it always does. See-sawing on the governor at around 350 rpm, it is easily the best running engine I have. It takes three minutes to stop from the moment you turn the petrol off!

Finally, the neat little Barnard motorcycley engine, an anchor winch power plant from a Dutch barge. Again, a spot of petrol and away it went, barking enthusiastically to itself.

I cast a speculative eye at the ST P55 industrial engine, but I've got to have something in hand for tomorrow ..............


Kim Siddorn

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J K Siddorn
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