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Can you identify this engine?

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Brendan Maloney18/04/2017 01:56:47
4 forum posts
4 photos


This engine was found in a rubbish pile on a nature strip, .

I would guess the fellow who built it had passed away and either had no family or they did not value his work. Luckily it was found by someone who could see the work that went into it. He asked if I would have a look at it and see if I could get it to run. I have managed to get some spark., but I don't think I could spin it fast enough to get it to run. I am not sure it has ever run as the piston looks very clean.

Has anyone seen any thing like it before? it appears to be completely hand made.




clogs18/04/2017 06:50:47
476 forum posts
12 photos

Hi Brenden, no idea of what it is but what a SWEETY........

always having to get this sort of thing running, I use a converted starter motor from a Mk1 mini.......

Replace the bendix with a squre drive from a 1/2" socket set.......make up a heavy, 2 handled plate for the front end...

(make sure you drive from the correct side of the engine for rotation)......then get a friend to connect it to the battery and to play with the carb.....

mine has a solenoid fitted with a button switch so I can work it alone......

the motor can be jerked off once the engine runs but it'll prob fall off with the excitement.....

theres' no problems doing this with these small petrol engines other than watch ur fingers, if ur worried make one of the handles long enough to reach the floor or bench.....

good luck .......clogs

Brendan Maloney18/04/2017 07:18:03
4 forum posts
4 photos

Thanks for the reply

I did try spinning it with a battery drill and a socket, worked until it spun the fly wheel nut off, then tried 2 nuts but spun them off again, I may try an old Model airplane starter I have, not sure it will have the grunt but worth a try.


Ady118/04/2017 08:27:44
3463 forum posts
513 photos

A sprag bearing would make things safer

not done it yet18/04/2017 08:53:49
3165 forum posts
11 photos

Not sure what is supporting the fuel tank, but it looks like the head may be too low. Try a spray with easy start or other flam gas.

Neil Wyatt18/04/2017 09:10:44
16277 forum posts
679 photos
74 articles

I guess the problem is that when you fill up with petrol, it all pours out of that hole in the tank

Be patient, ripping it over with a starter motor isn't always the best thing to do. It's very easy to flood an engine this size.

Carb jets could easily be gunged up, valves sticky, air filters clogged etc...

Bradex is a good suggestion, it will show you if you have compression..


JasonB18/04/2017 10:04:25
15775 forum posts
1650 photos
1 articles

The angle of the fins on the head suggest it is meant for a tether car rather than a boat but looking through my usual site for engine ID does not show anything to match.

Usually turn anti clockwise when looking at the flywheel end.

Edited By JasonB on 18/04/2017 10:05:13

stevetee18/04/2017 10:41:54
126 forum posts
13 photos

My advice would be to take the mag off and leave it somwhere warm for a week to dry the insulation out. Old magneto insulation absorbs water from the surroundings and then can go short after a little running . When you have a decent spark . Then try the engine with a whiff of easy start. If you have a spark it will at least go pop.

Edited By stevetee on 18/04/2017 10:42:35

Clive Foster18/04/2017 10:49:43
1779 forum posts
59 photos

If it is completely home built and home designed you can't be sure that no showstopper errors have crept in somewhere in the process. Doesn't take much to stop a basically sound design from running. Hardest part is to make a well behaved carburettor. After you have done all the basic timing, cam lift and duration checks to ensure the basic design and assembly is reasonably sound easy start spray would be best way to confirm that its capable of running.

Looks to me as if the carburettor is Amal style. Probably along the lines of the old "standard" type. If so the float chamber and main jet both look to be too low relative to the venturi so the mixture will be all over the place and almost certainly too lean for it to start. if you can beg or borrow a modern appropriately sized carburettor that might give you abetter chance of getting it going.

Carburettors are hard.

Crude option would be to find a Wal Phillips fuel injector, basically a drip feed jet on a venturi with a throttle plate. Just adjust the gravity feed head until it runs! Brutally crude but they do work quite well and, so long as the jet size is within reason, pretty much anything that can run will run. Look fairly easy to make if you had basic dimensions.

Fair bit of work involved but rewarding once its going.


Edited By Clive Foster on 18/04/2017 10:50:17

Gordon W18/04/2017 11:48:31
2011 forum posts

That head looks familiar but can't place it. Fuel tank looks to be low.

Hopper18/04/2017 12:09:34
3651 forum posts
72 photos

What a beautiful piece of work. I'm so glad it was rescued from the scrap pile. It has a real 1930s-40s look to it. Beautiful and certainly work persevering with. Please let us know if you do find out anything about its origins.

Dave Halford20/04/2017 13:03:32
418 forum posts
4 photos

Unlikely to run with a stub exhaust, about a foot of pipe on the exhaust port might help.

The tank should be above the head.

last years lawn mower fuel might not be any good

You can choke it by partially blocking the carb inlet with your palm.

If it still wont go

remove the plug if it's dripping wet wave it in the blowlamp flame till the secondary 'candle flame' stops and try again. If it gets very wet very quick it might be an alchohol burner.

while the plug is out stick your finger / thumb over the hole and crank it over on your starter. it should blow the digit off with a nice phutt.

if it doesn't check the rockers / pushrods have some rattle in them on the firing stroke.

If they have the rings could be stuck or the valve seats are stuffed

If the plug is dry and it phutts dribble a couple of drops straight down the plug hole and try it again.

not done it yet20/04/2017 13:17:26
3165 forum posts
11 photos

Unlikely to run with a stub exhaust, about a foot of pipe on the exhaust port might help.

It is a four stroke engine, not a two stroke, so no exhaust will not prevent it running. Oil into the plug hole would easily check for rings or valves problem on the compression test.

As previously, 'easy start' is likely the best way to see if it will fire.

Emgee20/04/2017 13:59:11
1149 forum posts
206 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 20/04/2017 13:17:26:

Unlikely to run with a stub exhaust, about a foot of pipe on the exhaust port might help.

It is a four stroke engine, not a two stroke, so no exhaust will not prevent it running.

Not having an exhaust fitted won't prevent a 2 stroke engine running either.


Old School20/04/2017 14:05:14
236 forum posts
7 photos

Jason, It is unlikely to be a tether car engine usually max engine capacity is 10cc and a two stroke. The current rules allow the use of four stroke engines at twice the capacity of the two stroke engines. It would be a challenge to build a car that complied with the weight limits. It is more likely to for a tethered boat they allow engines up to 30cc.

Edited By Old School on 20/04/2017 14:06:18

martin perman20/04/2017 14:19:54
1614 forum posts
67 photos
Looks a lot like a Norman with that overhead valve system. See if there is a serial no stamped anywhere on the crank cases.

Martin P
Gordon W21/04/2017 09:40:25
2011 forum posts

Do we know what size it is ,eg capacity ?

Brendan Maloney30/04/2017 08:52:32
4 forum posts
4 photos

This where I am at.

The timing was way off so I had to open the engine.

I cant see any numbers.

I don't know the capacity be could be 30 CC at a guess.

The mag is faux it hides the points which are a bit sticky I am hoping not to have pull them to bits, with no plans I am treading softly, trying not to break anything.

Discovered the little lever operated cable is a decompressor, I thought it was an oil pump.

Currently cycling the NiCad pack that powers my model aeroplane starter, has not been used for years as all my planes are now electric.



Hopper30/04/2017 09:25:02
3651 forum posts
72 photos

Awesome! That little reciprocating oil pump looks simlar to the way Triumph motorbike engines did it in about the same era.

Chris Evans 630/04/2017 09:41:20
1442 forum posts

Don't give up on it, that will be a very rewarding thing to run when you have it sorted.

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