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It has been quite slow finding parts for the Thornycroft with the three major missing components being the steering box, engine and gearbox.

I spotted this generating set online and we have been out today to collect it.

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At first I thought it was one of the Thornycroft T4 generators. The engine is very similar but in fact this one was made by Coventry Simplex.

IMG_5717.thumb.JPG.3307f2906f54fb45d5508b868f2d71f5.JPG

 

Looking at the engine numbers used in cars I think this dates it to around 1914 and makes it the 18.5hp model. I believe these generators were used to power searchlights, it ended up on a farm but from some of the lining on the paintwork I suspect it also found a fairground use at some point.

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The inlet over exhaust configuration is the same as the Thornycroft T4.

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Like the T4 it has only two main bearings and the crank has to be extracted through the hole at the back of the crankcase.

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The spark plugs stick out the side too so it may be the closest match I can find.

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Worth the 250 mile round trip! I will keep oiling it over the next few months before attempting to free anything off.

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It has been quite slow finding parts for the Thornycroft with the three major missing components being the steering box, engine and gearbox. I spotted this generating set online and we have been

Wow, it has been a year since the chassis arrived and I have only really managed to do research! I decided to have a scrub at the side of the chassis to see if I could find the chassis number in

Thanks Andy, Perhaps I am better off not knowing the hammer price but I am quite happy with my purchase. Although it is obvious the engine has spent some time outside and there were two spark plu

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Ben,

Pleased to see you've bought the Coventry Simplex generating set. I was under bidder on it at the Crawford reduction sale last year. Part of me wishes I had persevered, but you can't have everything. Good to know it's gone to a good home.

Andy

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3 hours ago, BenHawkins said:

It has been quite slow finding parts for the Thornycroft with the three major missing components being the steering box, engine and gearbox.

I spotted this generating set online and we have been out today to collect it.

IMG_5718.thumb.JPG.4cb744917f679aea0ed42fa44f9580db.JPG

At first I thought it was one of the Thornycroft T4 generators. The engine is very similar but in fact this one was made by Coventry Simplex.

IMG_5717.thumb.JPG.3307f2906f54fb45d5508b868f2d71f5.JPG

 

Looking at the engine numbers used in cars I think this dates it to around 1914 and makes it the 18.5hp model. I believe these generators were used to power searchlights, it ended up on a farm but from some of the lining on the paintwork I suspect it also found a fairground use at some point.

IMG_5719.thumb.JPG.149d1b1028e27563427868f8a96e7ee2.JPG

The inlet over exhaust configuration is the same as the Thornycroft T4.

IMG_5723.thumb.JPG.945c9ac85a96d86dd6fb84d1dca6cfd7.JPG

 

Like the T4 it has only two main bearings and the crank has to be extracted through the hole at the back of the crankcase.

IMG_5722.thumb.JPG.23eba255e178543d1dcd34c02d8aa171.JPG

 

The spark plugs stick out the side too so it may be the closest match I can find.

IMG_5721.thumb.JPG.ef38121ad98427491b1724be63311f94.JPG

Worth the 250 mile round trip! I will keep oiling it over the next few months before attempting to free anything off.

What a rare piece of kit. Go very careful freeing parts off. I like your plan of oiling it over a period of time.

Kevin.

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19 hours ago, Doc said:

Ben,

Pleased to see you've bought the Coventry Simplex generating set. I was under bidder on it at the Crawford reduction sale last year. Part of me wishes I had persevered, but you can't have everything. Good to know it's gone to a good home.

Andy

Thanks Andy,

Perhaps I am better off not knowing the hammer price but I am quite happy with my purchase. Although it is obvious the engine has spent some time outside and there were two spark plugs missing when we picked it up I did take some modern technology with me.

The first tool was a welding rod, I poked it into the sump and to my amazement all that came out on the rod was clean, clear engine oil. No black burnt sludge, water, emulsion or rust. That might still be in the bottom of the sump but decided it was a positive sign.

The second tool was a £20 boroscope. I poked this into the two open spark plug holes; it does not give fantastic images (partly due to poor illumination) but I could not see anything to worry about. The threads for the spark plugs only had light surface rust and being horizontal did not appear to have let any rain in.

I have not take the engine out of the trailer yet, it is too tall for the engine crane so we need to rig up the chain block and scaffold tower. Last night I put some oil in the bores and on most of the fasteners before covering it over with a tarpaulin.

The starting handle had been broken at some point; I suspected the drive dog was in mesh and the shaft was stuck in the carrier so I unbolted it this morning so at least I will not bend it any more when unloading the trailer.

I found a piece of bar that could be bolted to the flange on the crankshaft. This piece of bar has quite a few holes in it from some of the dismantling on the Dennis projects.

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To my amazement the crank moved with light finger force at about 2' away from the axis. I don't intend to turn it any more than that but it is certainly a positive sign for disassembly.

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On 6/20/2020 at 6:51 PM, BenHawkins said:

From the same location as the Coventry Simplex I picked up this photo taken in Cologne, 1919239000577_Cologne1919.thumb.jpg.ee5e2e97238cba583350065b4cee4626.jpg

I'm guessing that 'EFC' on both sign and boxes stands for 'Expeditionary Force Canteen' and the fleet of J type Thornycrofts are at the loading bay of the wholesale dept. No markings are visible on the lorries unfortunately.

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Before the rain set in today we were able to unload the generating set from the trailer. Whilst applying plusgas everywhere I came across these stampings of the broad arrow with WO. Obviously I have seen this with WD on many occasions but I am sure someone on HMVF can explain the why this was stamped WO instead.

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The rocker cover has four Rotherhams of Coventry flip top oilers but only one has the lid so I was concerned the rocker chamber might be full of rust. To my surprise the oil I applied last week seems to have done the job and I was able to loosen the thumb knob that secures the rocker cover. 

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Although it is obvious that some water has made it in through the three faulty oilers there is still only light corrosion so I am sure the rockers will free off

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40 minutes ago, BenHawkins said:

Before the rain set in today we were able to unload the generating set from the trailer. Whilst applying plusgas everywhere I came across these stampings of the broad arrow with WO. Obviously I have seen this with WD on many occasions but I am sure someone on HMVF can explain the why this was stamped WO instead.

IMG_5726.thumb.JPG.02fd3fdc21cc4f6c10450441ebd8416e.JPG

The rocker cover has four Rotherhams of Coventry flip top oilers but only one has the lid so I was concerned the rocker chamber might be full of rust. To my surprise the oil I applied last week seems to have done the job and I was able to loosen the thumb knob that secures the rocker cover. 

IMG_5727.thumb.JPG.39b33241a75ff53fa53fce616c483fd6.JPG

Although it is obvious that some water has made it in through the three faulty oilers there is still only light corrosion so I am sure the rockers will free off

Very little corrosion by the looks of it, hope they free off easily.

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58 minutes ago, Gordon_M said:

WO = War Office maybe?

The War Department was the United Kingdom government department responsible for the supply of equipment to the armed forces of the United Kingdom and the pursuance of military activity. In 1857 it became the War Office. Within the War Office, the name 'War Department' remained in use to describe the military transport services of the War Department Fleet and the War Department Railways.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Department_(United_Kingdom)

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Thanks for all the help with the WO stamping.

Looking through the parts book it would appear the Thornycroft T4 was fitted with a Solex carburettor (there is no text to say that but I don't think there were any carburettors that looked similar). After a little bit of research it would appear that one from 1914 should have a barrel throttle rather than a butterfly. There was one on eBay last week the right size for the Coventry Simplex engine so I bid on it.

It does not seem anyone else is really looking for one as it cost me a little over 10 pounds which seems cheap for an Edwardian bronze carburettor.

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The tickler button and spring is missing, and it does not have the optional choke but does have the float, jets etc. If only everything was that easy to find.

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Hi Ben, that was a good bargain, these are very nice carburettors, my Citroen 5HP has a similar one. Also with barrel throttle. The venturis are just bolted in so you change them to the right size.

This belgian collector has a lot of old parts for sale as he is selling the lot of his collection. He only speaks french but Google translate is a good help.

http://levidegarage.wifeo.com/

Regards Fer

 

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1 hour ago, Citroman said:

Hi Ben, that was a good bargain, these are very nice carburettors, my Citroen 5HP has a similar one. Also with barrel throttle. The venturis are just bolted in so you change them to the right size.

This belgian collector has a lot of old parts for sale as he is selling the lot of his collection. He only speaks french but Google translate is a good help.

http://levidegarage.wifeo.com/

Regards Fer

 

Thanks,

I seem to remember more of my schoolboy french than I thought as I can understand a quite a bit of that without google translate. The Solex is really well documented so once I have confirmed the bore and stroke it should be quite easy to set the carburettor up correctly.

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  • 1 month later...

The commercial vehicle projects are on a bit of a back burner as I am working on other projects (including building a blacksmiths shop at the bottom of the garden).

However, I could not resist a trip out yesterday to pick up these ECL lamps.

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Obviously, the glasses and burners are missing but I have a feeling there should also be brass cups in the generators to hold the calcium carbide. Without brass cups I think the alkali solution of calcium hydroxide would eat through the aluminium quite quickly. Does anyone else have the same model of lamp and would be willing to take photographs for me?

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1 hour ago, BenHawkins said:

I have a feeling there should also be brass cups in the generators to hold the calcium carbide. Without brass cups I think the alkali solution of calcium hydroxide would eat through the aluminium quite quickly.

I have an aluminium acetylene generator for caving somewhere. Probably 30 years old. 
 

But maybe ask a chemist? 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Having never seen ECL self generating lamps before I purchased the pair at the end of last month, I found another one this week. It also needs some weld repairs to the generator and some parts making.

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My good friend Mick has found me a lovely Zenith carb to replace the unsightly aluminium downdraft version fitted to the Austin generator. The Zenith does not appear to be missing any parts, unlike most autojumble finds. Mick has been a huge support (enthusiasm and parts) for my projects over the years for which I am deeply grateful.

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  • 2 weeks later...
6 hours ago, 8_10 Brass Cleaner said:

The carb is very like an early Austin 7 one. Is it a 22mm?

Yes, 22mm and almost certainly off an Austin 7. The two cylinder Austin generator probably started life with an Austin branded Claudel Hobson but the Zenith will not look out of place.

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On 10/13/2020 at 4:50 AM, BenHawkins said:

Yes, 22mm and almost certainly off an Austin 7. The two cylinder Austin generator probably started life with an Austin branded Claudel Hobson but the Zenith will not look out of place.

This is the Claudel Hobson on my 2 cylinder Austin engine. No. E181 or E136 take your pick. Does anyone have any info on this engine?

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Shep Rally 007.JPG

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9 hours ago, lynx42 Rick Cove said:

This is the Claudel Hobson on my 2 cylinder Austin engine. No. E181 or E136 take your pick. Does anyone have any info on this engine?

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Thanks Rick, so the stationary engines (and probably the generators) did not have Austin branded carburettors, at least that should make it slightly easier to find.

My makers plate shows "Austin Motor Company (1914) ... Engine number 213" and the dynamo is dated 1914. Austin Motor Company (1914) was formed in February 1914 to replace the existing company so given the slightly earlier number and lack of date in the name, I would guess that your engine dates from slightly before that. No idea why there is an E prefix or dual numbering.

 

 

 

 

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It's dangerous to speculate on this stuff, there are so many pitfalls.

Rick's plate has at least three engine numbers on it, the original, now hidden, then if I'm reading it right E136 then E181.  The plate belongs to an early engine, Austin as opposed to Austin Motors, but note that the plate is simply screwed to the block, so Austin or some other company could just have re-stamped and re-used the plate for some other rebuilt block, or the plate could be original to that block, who knows.

First bit of advice would be to unscrew the plate from the block and look behind it to see if it has only ever been on that one block, or if there are other holes / marks / paint that suggest the plate was from a different block.  Looking at the back of the plate may suggest what the first of the three (?) engine numbers was when it was stamped.

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I was wrong on the "The Austin Motor Company (1914) Ltd" statement. They appear to have reverted back to "The Austin Motor Company Ltd" in 1916 so the plate could be from before or after that period, but I think the font of the brass plate puts it earlier. I have seen a couple of the later brass plates but do not have any photos I can post.

My engine number is also stamped on the two halves of the timing case (where they join at the top over the magneto drive), does yours have a stamping there?

I obtained a copy of the instruction book for the 3.5kW set (four cylinder) from the Vintage Austin Register. It is undated but states it could be provided with Claudel, Zenith or Solex carburettor so the Zenith is perfect for my two cylinder after all.

For ordering spares the book states that engine number or A.S.C should be stated.  I am not certain what A.S.C stands for either but some generators have both ASC and Engine number brass plates. 

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The ASC (Army Service Corps ) No. was an early means of registering military kit, including vehicles. The system did not work in practice and there were many duplicate no's issued. The whole system was scrapped in early 1915 and replaced by WD ' bonnet ' No's.

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