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SimonBrown

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Everything posted by SimonBrown

  1. Jon - this is one of the finest threads running here. Nothing short of remarkable. Keep at it and don't let the obstacles grind you down!
  2. Progress has stalled a bit as I have been busy on other things Scapa Flow related. A week of frustrating-at-times diving proved useful with a few new finds, plus documenting stuff like the Anti Torpedo Close Protection Pontoons at Flotta: 3D model of a pontoon. But I shall be back on the torpedo engine tomorrow - fingers crossed. I have also taken a close look at an 18" example recovered from the sea. Its in a bit of a state but could be worth preserving. The steel has gone but lots of bronze parts remain. On the 18" engine the cylinder heads were steel and have rotted but it did mean I got one of the set-circular gudgeon pins out of the bore without so much as touching a spanner... The rust is all that remains of the con rod. It crumbled like dust so not sure this one will be a runner again soon...of note was the piston ring. They are made of bronze and have survived well, if a little caked in rust.
  3. Last call for brown envelope style offers before we put the torpedo engine on Fleabay...anyone mad enough to want one? Now is the time... And we also have a Mk23 21" dummy warhead available: We have no idea what is inside it, but its heavy. Open to offers before its disposed of. Just PM me.
  4. Having seen how popular the 8-cylinder torpedo engine restoration has proved, I thought I would offer a 4-cylinder example for sale here. We think its a Mk VIII engine, a four cylinder two-stroke diesel example that appears to be complete. It has not been raised from the seabed and is in pretty good condition. Its possible its never been tested, let alone used. I would add this to my collection, but a) SWMBI would start to question the sanity and b) its being sold to raise funds for an ongoing project. The project we are working on is the story of the stolen Hercules C-130 that crashed in the English Channel in 1969. Last year we found the crash site, so now its time to dive it and investigate...all proceeds go in the pot to cover boat diesel costs. Its bronze and heavy thus attractive to the scrap man, but we would rather it go to a deserving home. We are open to offers on this example of superb engineering. Collection will be from either Weymouth or NE Hampshire. Go on...you know you want it...
  5. Not much progress of late, but things are cleaning up nicely and the gummy preserving oil is coming off a treat. On the right, pot No 3 cleaned and lightly lubed and on the left pot No 4 waiting its turn. Most of the pistons have some light scoring on the skirt but nothing to worry about. A scrub with degreaser is shifting the muck and the rings are now free to move in the groove. Barrels have been given a dunk too: And the bores are pristine: Note the two oil grooves halfway up the bore. Only one is pressure fed via the external pipes, with the other not aligning to any oil way I can see. Thinking about the big end...if it ain't broke don't fix it springs to mind. Its clean, rust free and rotates smoothly. Plus another special spanner is needed to get to the large nyloc holding the big end together. So I'm inclined to leave it and clean/reassemble from this point. Its still a work of art though. Heres a side view: I think the 'F' stamp stands for 'Front' but I will know when I turn it over and see if the rear set of con rods are stamped. Here's a view looking down: You can just see the big end nut above the main bearing. Here's a closer view: Access is tight and I think a standard socket and extension is going to clash with the square section next to the main bearing. Its such a compact unit. Quite remarkable the power output crammed into a 21" diameter tube. The pan head screws are treated to a dunk in the ultrasonic degreaser before having a die nut run down to clean the threads and the inlet valves are coming up brand new. Takes about an hour per pot to fully degrease, with 3 down and 5 to go.
  6. I can only echo that. Keep up the good work!
  7. Isn't it just? A real joy to work on, if a little fiddly at times. A puller has occurred to me. There might be risk of the caps being pressed in so tight the threads strip, but a puller could work. For now, and unless I can find a good reason, the pistons will stay on their con rods. The true purpose of oil feed into the cylinder is not something I had considered, but the idea its spraying over the little end bearing sounds perfectly logical and given the power output absolutely necessary. I will have a look at it again when next in the garage.
  8. I did promise a while back some photos of the gudgeon pin-less design. Its not easy to get your camera in - even a slim one like an iPhone - but here goes... Two bronze or brass caps are pressed into the piston and retained via a split pin. The brass caps extend deeper than the piston skirt and into the area under the piston crown. The caps are fixed and do not rotate, but are machined with a large flat on the side facing into the crankcase: Under the crown of the piston and fixed to the top of the con rod sits a solid bronze semicircular shaft that extends beyond the con rod and over the brass caps. The semicircular shaft is machined so that the piston can rotate about this shaft on the brass caps. The internal Admiralty threads may be there for no purpose other than to help in a manufacturing process? The load from the piston appears to be transferred to the con rod directly to the semicircular shaft and the brass caps are then to keep the con rod in place, but transfer no load whatsoever on either the induction, compression or power stroke. Is like nothing I have ever seen before and the conclusion is space was at such a premium they dreamed this up to reduce the overall diameter of the engine. I would imagine it might clatter a bit when running...which seems odd as sound travels well underwater and it might alert a hydrophone operator something was starting up...thats guesswork at the moment though. How it comes apart - if it ever can - is today's conundrum. Right now I'm fairly relaxed as underneath the crowns looks clean and lubed, and no corrosion.
  9. Isn't it just? Its going to get better...read on... Been thinking about what to do with it once the job is done? Inclined to mount it under a thick piece of glass and turn it into a coffee table...or just leave it on its stand in the living room and marvel at it every day...chances are that idea will be vetoed quickly by SWMBI. Starting to clean things up and No 1 cylinder & parts have been degreased. The good news is the gummy preserving oil holding the piston rings in cleared up and the rings are now free: Still not turned my full attention to removing the pistons - One of the bronze bushes was pressed/tapped to see if it would move and the short answer is "Not without more force than available right now" so they have remained in-situ. The thread, in case anyone is wondering, is another Admiralty pattern (The thread chart here has been used many times - thanks MatchFuzee) 5/8" with a 20 TPI pitch. I am now thinking the bronze bushes are pressed into place as a one way trip and may prove difficult to press out again, as its likely there would never be a requirement to strip and service. The degreaser has worked its wonders. The barrel was left to soak while all the nuts and pan head screws went into the ultrasonic cleaner with a 30% degreaser/water solution: Now its cleaned off its pretty clear the barrels are plated on the outside, and its probably a nickel finish. I suspected this as when the inlet manifold unions unscrewed some of what looked like plating peeled off and galled in the threads. The plating is peeling as 70 or so years have taken its toll: Now, a nickel plated set of barrels is going to look simply jaw droopingly beautiful, 8 of them gleaming like new. But should they be replated? Or do we leave the patina? For now, an issue to set aside as there is still plenty to do elsewhere.
  10. Next up we have a pair of 4.5in naval shell cases. They have been recovered from the sea and do have a nice patina (I was thinking garden ornament...but the missis objected...). Not sure of dates or base markings but can check tomorrow if anyone is interested.
  11. A friend of mine is having a garage tidy up, to make space for some 1970s classic two-stroke bikes and to raise some funds towards an ongoing project. The project has been to find and investigate the crash site of the C-130 Hercules that was stolen by Sgt Paul Meyer in 1969. BBC Radio have been following progress last year and right at the end of the season we found the remains of the aircraft. This year we will be diving and mapping the crash site and to help defer some of the boat costs the torpedo collection is being disposed of...and all monies raised will go on the project. First up we have a rather unique piece, a practice warhead for a 21" Mk 23 torpedo. As far as we know its intact - less the bang - and we can only guess what is inside the nose cone...typical torpedo fashion it needs a special tool...Its heavy: Obviously one for the collector of such things. We really have no idea the value, but are open to serious offers and would prefer to see it go to a good home - hence offering it here first. Collection from NE Hampshire or Weymouth please - just drop me a PM if interested.
  12. Direct acting cams - basically turning at same speed as the crankshaft - will only work (I think) with a two-stroke engine. A four-stroke radial engine would still need a 2:1 reduction on the camshaft, so it rotates at half crankshaft speed and makes sure the inlet and exhaust valves open once every four strokes. If that makes sense? Thank you! More to follow as and when.
  13. Well spotted. All the external pipes (that have now been removed) were oil feed. Each inlet valve had a direct feed, and each cylinder is lubricated in the bore via the hole you spotted. As of now I have yet to find any way a pressurised oil feed fed the big ends, but there are four nozzles on the rear crankcase cover that would blow an oil mist over them. The offset slots on the piston crown? Purpose and reason unknown, but they may line up with the blanking plugs - I will check. Either way, purpose unknown.
  14. The cam removal can now be ticked off the list. But more of that later. The rest of the barrels were pulled today: Which gives us a much clearer view of the slightly insane yet compact design of the big end and its four con rods: The bronze big end bearing can be seen with the con rod running under the retaining lip. With the pots pulled it was time to sit the engine vertically on the bench. A 100mm hole saw put a hole in the bench for the drive shaft. With the cam castellated retaining nuts removed an alloy drift knocked said cams off. A snug fit but not a press fit, that one: A few more the pan head "studs" that hold the barrels on came loose and after cleaning up a small pip can be seen under the head of the screw: Which looks like nothing more than a blob of solder. This was intended to stop the pan head screws from turning in the crankcase as the nuts were tightened, but 70 years of crud meant they were not coming undone. The debate I am running in my mind now is do I revert to solder and keep it original? Or do I reach for the Loctite? No reason for this photo. Its just engineering and engine porn and I make no excuse for sharing it: The pistons do not have a traditional gudgeon pin and I will turn my attention to these next. All of the pistons are numbered and some have what appears to be size/tolerance numbers stamped. Its a neat design and will get some more photos of how the pistons are held in place without a gudgeon pin. Its clearly an expensive way to make an engine, but driven by demands of a 21" tube and a buyer willing to pay for it then who can blame them? In the meantime, the engine sits on the bench and looks rather fine indeed.:
  15. Duly noted! Measured over the top of the cylinders, we have a max diameter of 20". Leaving a 1/2" inch for outer casing...tight but not impossible and there would be no need for any space to work around it, once fitted. The UK did experiment with HTP - High Test Peroxide - but this ended when a torpedo loaded onto HMS SIDON blew up and sunk the submarine in Portland Harbour, killing 13 of her crew. Its thought the similar issue caused the loss of the Kursk, I believe. No evidence to suggest this engine was using that, so far at least. Not found any evidence of higher % 02 mixes being used in the UK archives, but there are still some documents to view, so it remains a possibility.
  16. From the archives, the closest but not exact match I have found so far is a similar 8-cylinder engine that kicked out somewhere between 750~800hp. It may well prove to be more powerful, but there's going to be quite a few factors affecting that. As we don't know what the manifold pressure was, or the exact fuel used, then its going to be somewhere between "a fair bit" to "did not expect that much" right now. Right now its believed to be an engine destined for a 21" torpedo. The working assumption is there was so much geared around the size and length of this weapon it had to fit right in. Two ways to increase efficiency of the air cylinders would be to a) use a higher pressure rating and b) used enriched gas or pure O2. Both would give you more bang for your buck (volume) and there are some papers that are dealing with the increased pressure route as quality and strength of steel for the cylinders improved. Right now, no hard data to support any theory. Its all just that - theory. And yes, things could get out of hand and run away before we get a chance to stop it. Not the first time I will have seen a diesel run away with itself, and having seen the somewhat destructive nature of the laws of physics applied am keen to avoid at all costs. Right now, we have nothing upstream of the inlet manifold. Starting and running are unknown, so pre-heating is possible - maybe even necessary thanks to the chilling effect as the incoming gas expands - but we have nothing to go on. The ignition is, I believe, just compression ignition and nothing special...but that remains a best guess based on no evidence to the contrary. Given that everything else has proved 'special' then nothing would surprise me to find it had glow plugs...or some such method. A tame racing engine workshop was not something I had thought of...but do have a contact in just that...good idea! Compressed air only is the first, tentative step planned. We can prove out the lubrication system at the same time. But I think we are some way off that.
  17. Thats part of the unusual design. Here's the best photo I can get showing the arrangement: Above are two con rods connecting (in the loose sense) to a common big end. From the opposite side, two more con rods meet on the same big end. There is running around each end the big end two circular pieces of metal that form an undercut, and the con rods extend into this undercut. This undercut is what holds the con rod onto the big end. Does all that make sense? Thanks to its compact nature its difficult to photograph but I hope you get the idea... As promised, a view down the drive shaft: You can see right into the crankcase, with one of the con rods and one of those retaining metal disks visible. Beyond is - I think - the other bank's big end. There is no centre main bearing, everything runs on the two bearings that are in each end case. If none of this makes sense, just ask! Ah yes, the Meteorite...now that needs to go on the list of 'Next?' I think.
  18. Yes and yes. All the exhaust gases vent through the driveshaft. Will take a photo later. Thanks John. Those special tools are invaluable and very appreciated indeed. Everything can indeed be remanufactured, but prefer not to. It just offends the soul to mangle something without purpose. I did wince when the brass split pins snapped... The Whitehead factory in Wyke used to test fire the torpedoes off the line 3 or 4 times before being fitted with a live warhead and delivery to the end customer apparently, and there is a torpedo range marked on old charts. Dummy warhead was fitted with lead substituting the bang. We have found several of those lost in Weymouth Bay. As to a full strip of the engine every time, I think this unlikely but not impossible. As a complete aside, my Weymouth friend will be disposing of some of the torpedo parts acquired over the years soon, to make space in the garage for classic 70's 2-stroke motorbike restoration. First up will be a 21" Mk 23 torpedo practice warhead - if anyone is interested, please drop me a PM. Running it remains the end goal and aspiration. There are a few technical issues to overcome - somehow - but everything remains possible. Agreed. Best policy and practice I think. I have certainly learned loads just by tinkering with it and that knowledge needs recording somewhere, to travel with the motor in future. Yes, in most "normal" radial engines there is master con rod. However, as we are finding out, nothing much is normal with this beast and there is no master con rod. All con rods are equal, of the same shape & design and sit on a common big end. I have been pondering what the next project should be - getting ahead of myself - but a petrol radial engine needing some TLC would be right up there in the "yes please" list. That or another 2-stoke diesel like a K60 perhaps? I did see an unusual V12 Rolls Royce 'barn find' appear on Ebay a few weeks ago - not a Merlin I think and possibly a civvy variant of a Meteor (did they do such a thing?) - but the listing has gone. That would be right up there on a list of things worthy of overhaul...I digress. You cannot imagine the memories that phrase triggered radiomike. "Centripetal force" took me right back to college!
  19. Today was one step forward and one back. Here goes... First up, pot No 1 was pulled and I was greeted with this: On the face of it, a pile of rust. But a quick wipe of a rag and the piston came up looking like brand new. The rings were gummed up but will free off after a soak and a clean. The cylinder had some very light corrosion in the combustion chamber, but the bore was as good as the day it was made. Inside, we get a peek at the complexity and compact design. Int this shot we can see the inlet cam (bane of my life) at top and not one but two conrods meeting at the same big end. There are another two conrods joined to the opposite side of the big end. A single big end with four conrods... At the bottom of the image above is the lower skirt of one of the pistons. Here's another view looking down past the piston skirt, down the conrod and directly at the big end: This engine is like nothing else I have ever seen. There is no big end cap and four conrods connect to the same big end. Thinking about it, the fact its a 2-stroke - with a power stroke on each downward stroke of the piston - there is no requirement to really suck hard on the way down like its 4-stroke cousin. Its all pure power every time the piston descends...and when going up the bore the piston is always being forced by the big end to compress. The forces trying to hold the piston in the barrel as the crank pulls it downwards are minimal, so why have a big end cap? There is a very neat design that holds the conrod in place, but its too buried to photograph... So I turned my thoughts to the special bolt that had decided to shear its locking pin and not undo. The tub of cunning and guile was smeared over the problem and thus a solution found: The bit you can't see is jamming the special bolt in place. Which undone after a bit of fettling of the tool: And at that point the cam still refused to even budge a thou. It sat there looking at me...and I looked at it, wondering what to do next? I do not want to do any harm to this beast. Its too rare. So do I press on and find a way? If I remove the pistons can the conrods and crankshaft be removed as an assembly from the casing? Or should I realise its all smothered in oil, clean and looking just fine and not go any further? Something to ponder for a few days I think. The principle of do no harm applies to all patients, including torpedo motors.
  20. With a borrowed engine hoist the drive side of the engine was now ready for stripping: First off, the centre cover, revealing a thrust bearing. Note the threaded securing ring: When originally tightened someone had used a drift and hammer to tighten it up. I was about to start knocking it loose with an alloy drift when I noticed this: A tiny hex socket grub screw used to lock the ring tight and pretty much guarantee it was not coming undone in a hurry. With the grub screw out of the way the locking ring came undone and the thrust bearing removed. The casing could then be slid off, revealing a second and larger diameter thrust bearing: And the internals of the engine, pretty much a mirror of the aux drive side: The two brass split pins were removed from the castellated nuts. One came undone no problem (its a captive head bolt I think) and the second...well that started to turn then the bolt itself started turning. From investigations on the other side, this bolt is a special - low profile round head with a small machined locking pip. It feels like the pip itself has sheared and nut and bolt rotate together. This is a right PITA. Rather than dwell on it I spent the rest of the morning making sure all of the 80 pan head bolts that hold the cylinders down were undone and ready for cylinder removal and removing the four odd numbered tappet rollers and inlet valves. The cams are proving to be a pain. I think its time to pull a few cylinders off and have a deeper look inside the bowls of the engine, to try and figure out how it went together, and comes apart. I must say its a frustrating beast to work on a times. But thats part of the joy, figuring out how such a compact engine can be stripped and reassembled without so much of a hint of workshop manual. That would be far too easy.
  21. Sharing the knowledge is something very positive indeed, and yes I'm on your side with that. It all helps the world go around and make it a better place. Strictly - and I mean really, really strictly - sharing photos already on the web right now may well be breaching someone's rights, somewhere - for profit or not. In that respect the EU directive changes absolutely nothing. There are some caveats to that but in all honesty all it does is shift the responsibility from the user to the host/aggregator. Its an old cliche, but the EU have 'followed the money' and the social media/tech companies are reaping vast fortunes from content and are now asking them to figure out a way to either restrict what can and cannot be uploaded, or to distribute some of their vast profits back to the creator. This is actually nothing new - Youtube do this now with videos and the creator can choose to block, monetise or track/follow the video uploaded. The directive is making this kind of behaviour something all tech should comply with. Do I like it? Jury is out right now and like you can see risks. But the internet is still a very new place (relatively) and will continue to evolve as laws and legislation alter its behaviour. Its part of evolution I suppose.
  22. Look what arrived in the post this morning: The tool worked a treat. Fitted snugly into the castellated threaded fastener and with a swift tap it unscrewed. A very, very big thank you to John for his generosity making up the tool. The idea of welding an old socket into the end was perfect for the breaker bar. And so the big reveal: Yup, not much I'm afraid. The cam refused to budge. Both castellated nuts were removed and the cam remained fixed and firm on the crankshaft. No amount of gentle persuasion would move it. Bit of a head scratching moment that yielded precisely zero progress I'm afraid, apart from knowing what does not work. So I think its time to pull the drive side casing off and have a look-see from that end. Its possible everything assembles into the engine from the other side, so thats where I'm heading next.
  23. Of all the laws copyright can be very complex (differing rules/territories/legislation) and its very, very difficult to make generalisations, but here goes: Right now, linking almost certainly will not cause problems. Copying is a matter between the rights holder and whoever copies, not the forum itself. The new directive seeks to put a responsibility on the host of the content. It might mean 'links only' or it might mean copying is ok with some other form of checking. Who knows? Complex Here goes...Selling an original photo transfers the ownership of the physical object, but the rights to the image are distinct and separate. The rights are the really valuable bit as that allows you to publish, copy, sell and do as you wish with an image. Historical images may well be out of copyright, or not. It depends on many factors. Just when you think copyright is complex, try understanding historical rights - it will all depend on (for example) the year of creation, the year of death of the creator, if the creator was employed to create, who bought and paid for the film...etc etc etc... So selling an original object is fine. Selling the rights is an altogether different matter. Personally, I'm glad its Ebay's problem not mine. They have lawyers and deep pockets to understand and fund the solution. I think the youth with cope and maintain their supply of memes. Two possible reasons: Firstly, there is (in the UK) a copyright exception that allows parody without causing issues. It may (or may not) apply to images and the subsequent manipulation. I say may as I don't know if there is any case law where a judge has ruled on such an issue and even then it would depend on the circumstances of modification and use/purpose perhaps? Secondly, if there is a filter that stops youth slavishly copying an image then we may just be entering a golden age of creativity and new talent might just flourish. Why? Anything you create from scratch is yours and you can do what you like with it. The youth may well just refrain from copy/paste and start creating more new stuff. Anyone who creates something can choose to not only publish it, but tell the world to fill their boots and not only copy it but modify it too. Personally I do not appreciate it when someone copies my work without asking first (bloody rude) and I always assert something known as moral rights which means modifying the work is not permitted. Some of the stuff I shot over the years (Shipwrecks with loss of life, RN Clearance Divers at work) was intended as a record of the moment in time and thus I would not permit advertising or other uses. But equally, I can see other folk taking delight in seeing what others make from an original idea or creation... Finally, its worth remembering where the profit is. Every website demands new and fresh content - who would go back to a static page every day/hour if nothing changed? The addictive nature of Facebook means FOMO (fear of missing out) users come back to see another image of someones dinner or a dancing cat video. Its all very disposable stuff and the users of FB are churning out new content all for free and if the dross stopped the world would still turn. Except FB is a billion dollar company and derives huge quarterly revenues on the back of targeted advertising thanks to that fire hose of new stuff arriving every second. Not for profit? Not for the user, but the host is doing very nicely thank you. Agreed. Good and bad I suspect in equal measure perhaps. Remember, anything you create yourself will be just fine now and going forward.
  24. Copyright is something I had a pretty deep knowledge of - and still do - up to and including taking those who chose to use my work without payment to the High Court if necessary, so I will add my thoughts here. Infringement of my underwater images drove me to the point of despising the creative process - dealing with rich multinational companies who used my work for nothing was tiresome and tedious, every time getting the same old "we don't pay' answer then threatening the High Court to see them realise things were serious...it would take weeks or months to get paid...I hated creating underwater images only to see them stolen so much I actually stopped creating. Which in part was a good thing as it stopped me doing the same-old-same-old and allowed photogrammetry to be discovered and flourish. I digress. The content aggregators - Google/Facebook etc - have always worked inside a US framework of copyright and something called 'fair dealing' or 'fair use'. If you want to get an idea about how some of these principles can be applied just look up an artist called Richard Prince - he is a controversial fella who will copy an image verbatim, write a few words under it and then sell the print for $$$$$ whilst paying the original photographer nothing. He can do this as he is claiming 'fair use' and to challenge it in a US court is expensive and risky. The european approach to copyright differs in so much that 'fair use' (by way of example) is minimalist and typically restricted to things like critical review. The US-based tech aggregators have had a very easy ride with other people's work. Pinterest is such an example with the business valued in billions, all built on people posting up images they find and like on the internet. I really do object to someone making money from the risk and cost laden world of underwater photography and not sharing so much as a penny...morally, its an uncomfortable place. Its also worth bearing in mind I will object to any of my images being used for racist, political, homophobic or other nasty causes or beliefs and I have been known to refuse permission at any price on this basis. This is an often overlooked principle and its an important one. I digress again. On this EU Directive I would say "don't panic". There is still no idea how it will be implemented and how it will work in practice. US tech won't like it. They can actually afford to fix the problem but not without hurting their bottom line and shareholder value. It also opens up an entire new market for a niche player to find a way to apply the law simply and cheaply. There are opportunities for creators to derive an income or refuse permission outright. At its peak infringement accounted for 80% of my turnover and without that income I would have been out of business, so for some it might work. The internet will continue to function and we can still share our projects, historical images and links elsewhere here for a very long time I think. I will add that I have not fully digested the implications, but right now thats where I am with this.
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