A Ruston Hornsby Diesel Canadian Engine

Canadian elevator engine

Boris Heshka

Content Tools

53080 Range Road 223 Ardrossan, Alberta, Canada T8E 2M3

This is my 1942 CR Ruston Hornsby diesel Canadian elevator engine rated at 17 HP, which I've restored.

This engine was purchased in May 1996 in northeast Saskatchewan, where it was used to run an elevator. After hauling it home some 600 miles, I didn't work on it until the fall and winter of 1997. In starting to dismantle it, I found the sleeve badly pitted from having water sitting in it. The one main bearing also needed to be replaced. I made a bearing from a three inch oil light bushing. I purchased a sleeve and a new set of rings from Bob Major of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He also sent me the name of Ray Hooley in Lincoln, England, who provided history of the engine.

After cleaning all the pieces, repairing them, or whatever else needed doing, I began to assemble the engine, completing it in April 1997. The engine was loaded onto a tandem trailer and chained down very well, as these engines tend to move a lot when running. I ran a belt off my tractor to turn the engine over slowly to make sure everything was working properly. Everything was getting oil and working well. Now came the time to throw the fuel pump into action. As it turned out, the spill valve was letting the fuel bypass so it wouldn't start. After some adjustments, the engine took off, belching out a lot of black smoke and running too fast. When I phoned Bob again he informed me that the correct speed is around 325 rpm. Setting the governor and fuel pump to proper specs, the engine chugged along quite nicely for the first time in more than thirty years.

The flywheels and other pieces were removed so the engine could be painted. A paint sample and transfers were purchased from Ray Hooley. After the engine was painted, I began building a heavy wagon for it to sit on. I used wheels off a thresher but the center hubs were badly worn so I cut them out and welded 12' pipe in their place. I used hubs from a three ton truck and cut the bolt circle to fit the 12' pipe. The front axle is also from a truck, modified to fit and steer when towed. The pipe was capped with plate and the letters R H were cut out of ' plate and bolted to the caps. The air start tank, fuel tank and filters were mounted, the radiator was fitted in place and exhaust pipe installed. After completion, the engine was lifted off, the wagon painted, then reassembled.

Thanks to Bob Major for parts, information and help, and to Ray Hooley for the transfers and history of my engine.