This is the Ruston & Hornsby Engine we collected between
Christmas and New Year 2005 following our successful engine finding
trip to the Karoo region of South Africa.
the custodian of Ruston and Hornsby records and information dated the
engine for us. This engine was sold to Hubert Davies and Co. Ltd.,
London and shipped to their South African subsidiary in Port Elizabeth,
South Africa on the 29th October, 1935. Thank you Ray.
Visit Ray's comprehensive Ruston and Hornsby website
www.oldengine.org/members/rustonwhich is hosted on Oldengine.org the home of the
best stationary engine sites on the internet.
I was also able to purchase documentation including owner/operators
manual, advertising brochures and original Ruston and Hornsby decals and literature
from Ray via his site.
Neville Botha has spent
most of his free time in the last 3 months restoring the engine. When
found it appeared to be in pretty good condition and looked like an
easy restoration but on stripping the engine down this was found to not
be the case. There was extensive
damage to the internal parts of the engine caused by general neglect as
well as water damage - it
appeared that the engine has previously been flooded or at least left
to the mercy of the elements. Many parts were very badly rusted an
required replacement and there were a a few missing parts. Fortunately
Neville was able to do the necessary repairs as well as remanufacture
missing and damaged parts parts. The end result is a credit to Nevilles
restoration skills - the engine looks beautiful restored to it's
original Ruston and Hornsby colour scheme.
The "startup" ceremony was held on
Saturday 18th March 2006. Neville invited all his friends who had
"strong arms". This engine was going to need some cranking to get it
going. Present were: Neville Botha (restorer), Rodney Burnett (owner
with strong arms),Gerrie de Jong (strong arms), Johan van Vuuren
(strong arms), Thys Jonker (restorer extrodinaire), Justin "McGyver"
Ludewig (advisory capacity), Colin Tegner (beer drinker) and myself,
Jerry Evans (beer drinker/photographer). Delicious snacks were provided
by Neville's wife, Luanne.
The cranking started at about 10:55
am and soon promising puffs of smoke appeared from the exhaust. Neville
and Thys tinkered for a while and within a few minutes the engine
ran for a short while. More tinkering and they had the engine running
again, albeit not perfectly but it was running. All agreed that it was
time for a "Beer Break" and the engine was left to run for about 30
minutes while the "Guys" had a break. Luanne brought out her delicious
snacks at this time.
Neville, Thys and Gerrie tinkered
some more and Johan discovered that there was air in the diesel filter.
The engine ran better but still not perfect. The general consensus was
that air was
getting into the diesel line and that the injector pump and spill valve
needed some attention. The day ended with Thys taking the injector and
pump home with him for some "loving attention".
The engine was running and the
"startup" served it's purpose - the faults were found and will be
sorted out soon. After the others had left Neville, Rod, Johan and I
had a few "Brandy and Cokes" and started up 2 of Nevilles bigger
Rustons (size 7 (air start) and size 3 (crank
start)) - just to show how they should start - crank them over
compression - drop the decompress lever and away they go - what
beautiful music they make!
Update 25th March 2006: A) After
the "start up" Neville phoned the previous owner and discovered that he
had dug the engine out of mud. It had been mounted below a dam which
burst and in the subsequent flood the engine was buried in mud. We do
not know how long it remained covered before being
rescued but it does account for all the internal rust and damage to the
B) Thys Jonker has found the fault
in the fuel system and the engine is now ready for it's 2nd "Start up".
I'm looking forward to Luannes snacks !