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1908 Dennis Truck


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  • 1 month later...

Today we went down to Surrey and picked up an engine:




It is a Kermath marine engine and will require some modification to enable it to fit to this chassis. However it was not expensive and means I have something to fit if no more of the original model turns up.


There is quite serious frost damage to one of the cylinder blocks that will need repair.



But on a positive note it is free to rotate and has compression.

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Kermath were American marine engine manufacturers.


This is the Model 16, introduced in 1915. It developed 16hp at 800rpm, 18hp at 1000rpm and 20hp at 1200rpm.


They were advertised for other applications such as tractors (without the integrated gearbox).


This particular engine was sold through Gaines Gears in Brentwood and marketed as the Gaines Kermath.

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Will you convert the drive from this about, with the flywheel to the rear?

I assume the gear box is solely a forward/ reverse as for marine use.

Have you checked which way the engine rotates, although with a forward / reverse box that would have not been an issue in a boat.


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Will you convert the drive from this about, with the flywheel to the rear?


I think a better plan would be for someone to find a pre-war motor launch for Ben to rescue to give the engine a new home. Preferably hidden under a houseboat :-)

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If I end up using the engine in a lorry the intention would be to replace the current flywheel with a cone clutch version and remove the reversing box (replacing it with a starting handle arrangement). This is easier said than done as the gearbox sump is continuous to the gearbox and that is actually where the oil is stored (due to the inclination of the engine for marine use).


When I turned it over before I bought it I convinced myself it was of the correct rotation but I should probably check that again once I get the manifold off and can be more certain of which valves are which.


As Andy says I will probably get carried away and build a boat around it ;)

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  • 1 month later...

Despite having the Kermath engine to fall back on I am always on the look out for the correct White and Poppe engine or any parts for it. The main parts that are difficult to make are the missing crankcase, sump and crankshaft but also the cylinder block. Those of you that have been following the thread for a while will remember that I purchased three cylinder blocks some years ago at Beaulieu. Well this year there was another one.



I just need to let it grow for a few years before it will be big enough to use in this lorry.



Actually this cylinder block is from the second model of engine designed by W&P, 80mm bore and 90mm stroke but available in 1,2,3,4 or 6 cylinder variations. They then moved on to larger engines of the same type such as the 130mm stroke model used in this 1908 lorry. It was available in 90, 100, 110, 120 and 127mm bores.


The first model of White and Poppe engine was the 80x85mm air cooled engine designed for motorcycle use. It was typically built into motorcycles by motor traders using BSA or Chater-Lea frame lugs. Many hundreds of these were produced and here is the one I am lucky enough to have found recently.



Coventry transport museum hold some information on the 130mm stroke engine but the drawings are limited to fairly minor parts (such as the big end nuts). What this project really needs are further engine parts or drawings so I can get on with making the missing parts. I know it is a long shot but has anyone got anything?

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  • 1 month later...

I have been advertising for White and Poppe parts again. I was contacted by a collector in Surrey saying he had a White and Poppe carburettor. He sent me photos and I was pleased to see it also had some other parts with it. I visited on Saturday and purchased it.




It was certainly off a Dennis version of the W&P engine as it has the air shutter etc. only used by Dennis. In fact the pattern numbers for these parts have a D prefix rather than the A prefix on the W&P parts. The parts book describes an "aluminium case for exhaust" so I assume the inlet pipe connected to that and the shutter could be opened once the engine was warm.


There are still many parts I need for the engine and think it is probably worth advertising in Australia and New Zealand but I am not really sure which publications I should approach.


Whilst in the area I popped in on Seb Marshall who provided me with these silencer brackets:


The top one is from my 1914 model and puts the silencer in the wrong place. When I put these ones in place they appear to line the silencer up perfectly with the other brackets on the chassis. Another unexpected surprise. Thanks Seb!

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I have been putting a little more thought into the original model of engine fitted. Drawings have survived for a number of the parts, these include the timing gears so we know they were 3.25 module, 33 and 66 teeth. The major components I am missing (and have no drawings for) are the crankcase, sump and crankshaft. As I have three cylinder blocks I can be fairly sure of the centre distance of the valves and general arrangement drawings show the distance from the engine mountings to the crankshaft axis. As I have some connecting rods as well it means I can work out position of the camshaft, crankshaft, cylinder blocks and crankcase relative to one another.


Timing View.jpg

There need to be two other gears, another 33 tooth for the magneto and one for the water pump with a lower tooth count.


I can't be quite so certain of the centre distance between cylinders or the dimensions of the tappets but hopefully I can measure one of the surviving models.



There are photos of the crankcase from above and below in the inspection department at White and Poppe but unfortunately I do not have permission to reproduce them here.


I will continue to draw up the components I have and hope more parts turn up before starting to manufacture any missing parts.

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  • 1 month later...


A friend of mine has come across this engine. Looks like a White & Poppe to me. These are old pics, it is currently in pieces. Ex fire pump apparently.


What bore & stroke do you need? Ill get him to measure up




Wow, I really did not think one of these would ever turn up. The wonders of the internet!


That certainly looks like the correct White and Poppe engine. My lorry originally had the 110mm bore, 130mm stroke but to be honest any of the 130mm stroke engines would be ideal.


It even appears to have all of the early clutch release mechanism, so I now know what that was meant to look like!


It would be truly amazing if we could unite this engine with my chassis.

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That put a smile on my face. My mate (another steam man) described it to me and it sounded decidedly White & Poppe. Then he dug out the pics and it was confirmed. Is it the right sort of size?.


It is certainly for sale, we believe it is all there, just in pieces. My friend is to fetch it next week.


I'll e-mail you my contact details. The engine is in Shropshire.


Tony, dad was right, there is loads of stuff still out there. This time last year I found a 1929 Clathorpe motorcycle in a scrap pile on a farm.


Not only have I amazed you guys, but I have amazed my mate by finding him someone who wants it even before he had fetched it back.

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