Jerrys Old Engines in South Africa

1935 Ruston and Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508
Restored by Neville Botha - Owned by Rodney Burnett.
18th March 2006

10 H.P. / 390 R.P.M. - 2HR Ruston and Hornsby single cylinder,single flywheel, horizontal, diesel stationary engine.

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.

Ray Hooley, 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 the 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 started and 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 engine.

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 !

Here are the pics.

Click on any pic to see a larger version - use your "back" button to return

"Crank up" 1935 Ruston & Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508
New Owner, Rod Burnett cranking for the first startup.
Some final adjustments to the Ruston & Hornsby
Neville Botha restored the engine. Thys Jonker, Johan van Vuuren, Gerrie de Jong and Colin Tegner look on.
Adjustments being made to the Ruston and Hornsby
Neville and Thys tinkering while Colin Tegner massages his "cranking" arm
1935 Ruston & Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508
1935 Ruston & Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508
New Owner - Rod Burnett coaxes a few puffs of smoke from the Ruston and Hornsby
Promising puffs of smoke - the first in many years
1935 Ruston & Hornsby HR2 - Serial No. 171508 - first signs of life in many years
More smoke as the engine runs for the first time
The Ruston smokes before settling down.
Even more smoke as Thys fiddles.
Original  Ruston & Hornsby Brass engine specification plate
The original Brass Engine spec plate
Celebrations as the Ruston runs
Celebrations as the engine runs. Note the smile on Rod's face.
Ruston smoking before settling down
Neville and Colin contemplate the smoke as Luann looks on.
1935 Ruston & Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508
1935 Ruston & Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508
1935 Ruston & Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508
1935 Ruston & Hornsby - Size 2 - Class HR - Serial No. 171508

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Since 26 March 2006