Wolseley Type "R"
@ 400 R.P.M. - Serial No. 8254 - Manufactured 18/8/1928
This is the Wolseley Type
"R" that followed me home in December 2005. He is an extremely
handsome chap with his new "Lister 6_1" spoked flywheels. When found he
was "sans flywheels" but I was lucky enough to get these Lister
flywheels at the same time. These engines are pretty rare (about 4 are
entered into the Wolseley register in
Australia and 2 in South Africa - 6 H.P. Model (Please correct me
if I am wrong) - of course there are
probably quite a few more around and they will probably surface in due
course. I bought this
engine from another collector, Pat Downing, in Hofmeyer which is a
town in the Karoo
region of South Africa. I also got the Lister Flywheels from Pat.
Thanks Pat for allowing this beautiful part of Wolseley history to move
to it's new home - it will be looked after and cherished. I'm very
proud to be the owner of this engine
Modifying and fitting the Lister flywheels was a job best left to my friend Justin Ludewig. He supervised the boring out of the flywheels at my brothers engineering workshop. They showed serious signs of previous wear and neglect. He then machined new bushes to marry them to the Wolseley crankshaft. The Lister flywheels are the same diameter and width as the original Wolseley flywheels (610mm or 24") but I have not been able to establish if the weight is the same.
The Wolseley crankshaft
was bent and I had very bad dreams about the cost of having this
straightened but, once again, my friend Justin came to the rescue.
After "sleeping on the problem" he straightened the crankshaft
on his homemade hydraulic press. He also straightened a bent exhaust
valve and welded the frost crack on the water jacket.
in fact, responsible for the complete resurrection of this engine and I
owe him an eternal debt of gratitude as there were many bits and pieces
to repair or make from scratch and I know that he worked very hard on
this one. He is one of those people who can make anything happen and
usually at minimal expense. Thanks "My Boy".
I also owe a lot to the
members of the S.E.L. and Oldengine mailing lists (mostly the Aussies
as most of these engines
went to Australia or New Zealand) who were a
great help with information and literature on
the engine. Special thanks
to Reg Ingold for making the magneto gear so quickly and well and also
to Peter Lowe (who gave me a lot of help with the muffler), Brad Soward
who sent me a lot of information and copies of the manuals and Patrick
Livingstone (pics and information). I've only mentioned 4 guys but
there were many others - forgive me if I have not mentioned your names.
Update 11 September 2006
started the engine for
the first time yesterday (10 September 2006) just to find out what
still needed to be done. Today Justin made the
control arm / lever for the governer which was
missing and did the last
few tweaks and we started the engine and let it run for about an hour.
It starts very easily with one turn of the crank and, with Justins
tweaks, runs beautifully. In his words - "It's a Happy Chappie".
It was making a rather strange whistling sound on the "intake" stroke -
rather like a guineafowl who had just lost it's mate but a bit of
experimenting showed that I had used a gasket material that was too
soft between the carb and engine body. Once I had replaced this it ran
really nicely. Many of the Australian guys had mentioned that these
engines ran very quietly.
27 November 2006
hard to believe that it has been 2 1/2 months since I last updated
this page but pressure of work has been the main culprit. Not much has
happened to the engine in this time but I have been spending any free
time available on it.
1) I spent a lot of time looking for parts to make the silencer from
and eventually found a small gas bottle at the local scrapyard that had
had the closest to correct diameter domes of the silencer. I never
managed to establish the correct size for the 6 H.P. silencer but after
much research decided that it was probably about 5" (127 mm) diameter.
The domes I found were 114mm diameter (1/2" smaller) and I decided to
use them in the absence of anything closer. I increased the length a
bit to compensate. Read here to see how I
made the silencer.
started making the trolley and have mounted the engine on it
temporarily as I still need to make wheels. Here is a sketch of what
the trolley will look like
3) It made it's show debut at Neville Botha's annual Open Day on Saturday 25th November 2005 and ran without missing a beat all day. I still have not made up my mind about painting it yet but will probably end up doing that after a few shows.
Update 18 August
2010 <Click here>
Here are the pictures
Click on any pic
to see a larger version - use your "back" button to return.
This was the first time I saw this engine in
Pat Downing's store in Hofmeyer in the Karoo region of South Africa on the
21st August 2005. (I was born less than 100Km from here.)
It finally arrived at my home on the
18th December 2005. Those are the Lister flywheels that we were hoping
to modify to work on the engine.
Here is the date of manufacture stamped on the barrel flange.
The serial number on the barrel. It can also be found on the crankcase near
the oil pump
The decal on the barrel has withstood weathering for 78 years in spite of the fact that there is no more of the original paint around it. There is just a little bit of green showing in the "W" and the tail of the "y". The earlier engines in this range had a silver decal (as this one has) - later models had the red and black decal.
This is the cast brass makers plate. The smaller engines had the Horsepower rating on this plate as well but the 6 H.P.
was like this.
This is a pic of the original flywheel
fitted to these engines. I think the spoked
Lister flywheels on mine look much
nicer and give the engine a lot more
My friend Justin Ludewig supervised
the boring out of the Lister
flywheels at my brothers engineering
workshop. The turners were Jeffery (obscured) and Stephen (with the smile).
The first cut - the bore was damaged
and had worn oval - the original
Lister must have been a
dangerous machine to stand close to -
these flywheels must have had quite
Justin then made these bushes to "marry'
the Lister flywheels to the Wolseley
crankshaft. That Hex bolt is just
temporary. I had new gib keys made by a specialist key manufacturer.
My first sighting of the engine with the Lister flywheels fitted. Justin brought this "sub-assembly" over to my place on the
10 th August 2006. I think that it looks stunning
Previously Reg Ingold in Australia had
made a new magneto drive gear for me.
Thanks Reg - it's an honour to be able to call you "mate".
Reg sent this pic of it in production.
This is what the old phenolic magneto gear looked like.
Here is the engine after assembly by
Justin. Don't those spoked (Lister) flywheels look great? They are the same diameter as the original Wolseley specs. for the 6 H.P. engine but I could not determine the weight of the originals.
Luckily the counterbalance weights
are in the right place and even the
ignition mark lines up. We still had the original BTH mag on in this pic.
(That is a Villiers fuel tank temporarily mounted on the head)
The first time it has run for many years - we estimate about 30 years. Not bad for a 78 year old !
That's Justin again - acting as a temporary governor.
Notice those beautiful blurred spokes. We have replaced the Original BTH mag with a Lucas mag. The BTH was giving a good spark but seemed to be erratic (suggestions welcome) and was just too hard to start. The engine started "first time" with the Lucas
Another pic of it back at my house with temporary water tank.
Well it's been quite a few years since we got this engine running again and he's been to a few shows in that time but I've actually never finished his restoration. That is, he still does not have a trolley and has not been painted or "whatever" and a few more things.
I made wheels for a trolley about 2 1/2 years ago and they went to my brothers factory for him to put polyurethane tyres on them and I got these back a few months ago. Although that took a long time I'm not complaining - my brother does them for me as a favour - I could not afford to pay what this actually costs. See pic below. The blue polyurethane is a bit disappointing, it should have been black but beggars cannot be choosers!. The reason for the polyurethane tyres is that they do not damage my workshop floor (painted with epoxy) as steel rims would do. Black tyres would have been less obvious but "what the heck !"
The main holdup was that I could not decide how to finish this engine "paintwise". All my engines are painstakingly prepared and painted (mostly to original colours) but I could not help feeling that I did NOT want to paint this old chap to look "better than new". I was concerned that I would spoil his "character" and pondered long and hard about this. Bear in mind also that he bore no trace of his original "Lincoln Green" colour. He was just rusty.
About 2 years ago I spent a day giving him a coat of "stove polish". In South Africa this is sold under the trade name of "Zebo". It's the polish that was applied to the old coal stoves we grew up with on our farm. I was happy with the result but stove polish needs to be applied regularly and buffed off again, it also makes your hands black when if you touch (a cold part) of the stove and it is not weather resistant - rust appears.
I experimented with "Boiled Linseed Oil" on a rusty piece of sheet metal that I had polished with "Zebo" and was reasonably happy with the result so a few days ago I cleaned the engine and applied "Zebo" all over. It's terrible stuff to work with - filthy and black but after much buffing to get the loose stuff off I applied a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil/turpentine. This took a little more than 24 hours to dry and the result is "not too bad" but, to be honest,
I'm not too happy with it, it is too shiny and too black.
My questions are:Thanks for looking guys (and gals).
i) Does the "Boiled Linseed Oil" get less shiny with time (and how much time). Ultimately, I would prefer a "not so shiny" finish.
ii) The "Boiled Linseed Oil" takes 24 (or more) hours to dry which also means that every speck of dust and every insect south of the equator gets imbedded into it.
Can I rub this down with a VERY FINE waterpaper (say something like 1000 grit) to break the shine AND flatten the insects and dust AND how long should I wait before doing this. ie. how long does this "Boiled Linseed Oil" actually take to attain full cure an harden enough to be sanded.
I would appreciate any help, comments or info from the members of S.E.L and Oldengine lists. It's a beautiful piece of old iron and also runs beautifully.
When viewing the pics please understand that this engine is still a "Work in Progress". I still have many things to "sort out" like the fuel tank (which is a Villiers tank and mounted in the wrong place). I do have the original fuel tank and, given time, will put the original tank in it's correct place. I'm getting there slowly but I am getting there!
Please look at the pictures below (and above). <Here is a link to a video of the engine running a few years back.>
Click on any pic for a larger view - Use your "Back" button to return.
Wheels with Polyurethane tyres. Unfortunately they are blue and not black but read the text above for an explanation.
(Beggars cannot be choosers) :-)
The Wolseley Type "R" after being polished with "Zebo" cast iron stove polish and given a coat of "Boiled Linseed Oil". Ignore the temp water tank and base - that's the next project.
(I'm not too happy with the result - too dark and shiny).
(Also, ignore the "stand", "base", "cooling water tank" etc. I'm working on those :-))
Click here to return to my front page