December 2019 – Coaxing a 100 year old motor into life
We ended last month fitting final controls to the Beardmore Precision engine, and sorting transmission access hatches. The countershaft hatch under the seat was cut, but the cab floor had to be re-cut in its entirety to accommodate moving the gear lever and handbrake further outboard, to give better access to the footbrake pedal. Procuring and fitting the missing AMAL carb parts allowed us to complete the engine controls ready to coax the engine into life.
We decided to attempt the first engine run on two-stroke petrol oil mixture, rather than use the pilgrim oil lift – and to turn the engine over via the flywheel. All ready to go and we lost the spark – eventually traced to the magneto ring cam being in the clockwise position when the Precision engine runs counter-clockwise. Then we lost the timing – eventually traced to the flywheel being loose on the crankshaft. All buttoned up and ready to go, and the old girl fired first time running for 5-6 seconds before she shook off the carburettor - another tighten up and the next spin we got a good run where we could prove all the controls.
Progress on this project is being followed by several Skeoch families and close relatives, and we were pleased to receive a welcome cash donation to the project from Dan Skeoch in California. We also learned that our application for a Foundation Scotland grant to set up a sheet metal shop for Skeoch coachwork has been successful – we await payment.