Blackstone Oil Engine

Stamford, England

4hp Blackstone tested 15 April 1915 and shipped to Clutterbuck Bros. in South Australia.

Purchased September 2003. The engine is a little sad but will be restored.

Crankshaft is bent between the gear and the flywheel.

Due to the extensive cracking on my hot-bulb (this seems to be a common problem) we have decided to cast some new ones. As my hot-bulb was in the worst condition it has become the donor for the pattern maker.

Here we can see a complete Blackstone hot-bulb and the one off my engine cut in half for use in making a pattern.

Here is a closer view of my hot-bulb showing the hole in the bottom of the casting and the extensive cracking.

On the left is the timing valve and on the right is the vapour valve (these were both removed from the hot-bulb).

April 2006. The all new hot-bulb casting. Now it needs to be machined!

10th June 2006. I was generously given the remains of this 4hp Blackstone. This will give me almost all the parts I need to complete my engine!

18th June 2006. My engine pulled out of storage so a start can be made on it. The wreck is sitting up full or penetrating oil to help free up the very stuck piston.

New big end casting September 2006

November 2006. Piston, sideshaft mounts and gear removed from the parts engine.

December 2006. Pulling the parts head to bits.

The main thing I need is the govenor. The housing and face plate are good but the internals are broken.

You can see how rusted this head is (and this is after it had been sitting in a molasses bath for six weeks)!

January 2007. Another box of parts (these are all off the parts head). The hot-bulb off the head is soaking to get it apart.

 

A little on one of the Blackstone mysteries. Many of the Blackstones in Australia have 'SA' cast on the fywheels. There is a myth that the flywheels were cast in South Australia to save weight on shipping from the UK. This does not explain the many engines that were shipped to NSW and QLD agents and have 'SA' cast on the flywheels. Micheal Key (the Blackstone historian) has this to say on the flywheels:

"I don't know what the 'SA' on the flywheel really means. I don't think anyone does now. I can find no mention of it in the works papers and records. I am sure it does not stand for South Australia. As you say there are Blackstone engines all over Australia, some with the 'SA' on the flywheel, some without.
When the engines were test run before shipping the flywheel was balanced to that particular engine. Each flywheel should have (usually anyway) a serial number stamped on the centre boss to match the engine number to which it belongs. The engines were shipped with flywheels unattached and packed separately to be refitted at the customer's premises. So when the engine arrived at Moffat & Virtue in Sydney or one of Clutterbuck Bros depots the flywheel was reunited with the correct engine.
On occasion the wrong flywheel was married up to the wrong engine. I know of a few such cases. However, I doubt having the wrong flywheel made much difference to the performance of the engine. "

 

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