Sent to us by Owen W. White 48 Cascades Road Pakuranga Auckland, New Zealand
In the centre of Owen White's floor stood another 'no name' engine that Barry Cardiff brought along for the experts to identify. This engine was thought at first to be of the Villiers family, it is air cooled with the usual cowls etc., quite compact, with an external Wico mag, year about 1950. Finally it was settled, for want of a better name, JAP of about 5 HP.
On looking around Owen's Engine Shed you can see the hours of work that goes into our hobby. Owen is one of our first club members and has been working away at his engines and now has several nicely finished units.
One in particular that took my eye was an Amanco with, according to the book paint job, black, silver and deep red, even finished to the transfer stage. If it runs as good as it looks it will get 10 out of ten.
But, alas, no, it doesn't, or leastways, it didn't. 'You know fellows' said Owen, 'I've done everything to the b...dy engine to try and get it to go. We've checked it over fifty times. We've cranked and cranked, and when I got tired Margaret took the handle, when she wore out her cranking arm the daughter cranked, all to no avail and so there it sat, nice to look at but no-go.'
Well, in our club we have Roger Walton. It is said if Roger cranks it and cranks it the right way he can get any engine to go! Well, I should say, eventually. With 20 experts on the job Owen was confident something would happen. This was a good opportunity for a 'How-to-do-it and What-to-do' in a won't-go situation.
This Amanco was made about 1915. Battery start switch over to generator to run. Perhaps not original but when Owen got this engine it, like a lot of others, had no mag, no this and no that etc. Consequently Owen made the low tension generator out of several other units.
He even, I believe, made the drive gear from a piece of ?' plate, marked it out and got stuck in with a hacksaw and a file. The result is a first class gear. I wonder where some people get the patience to do those sorts of jobs.
Anyway getting back to the starting business. As Roger was checking through the normal things, he was explaining to members as he went along. Remembering, of course, Owen has completely dismantled this engine. So valve timing checked, petrol in tank, in fact all the normal checks were done and explained.
An odd help from the experts such as 'perhaps there are too many coats of paint on the flywheels and they are out of balance.' or 'Is there any spark left in the spark plug or too much water in the hopper?' Owen mentioned what could be done with some of the suggestions.
Meanwhile, Roger was quietly going over Owen's work. Now Roger is a great deducer; when it comes to deducing Roger is the best, so I'm told. Well in this case he scored a bull!
With spanners flying in every direction, he soon had the carburettor on the floor and, in his hot little hand, he held the gasket that fits between the carburettor and cylinder head. You guessed it-no hole! When you make a gasket, Owen was reminded, you are supposed to punch all the holes, especially the one that allows the gas into the cylinder. Owen was a little red but said, 'Margaret made that gasket, she makes all my gaskets. You can't trust the help these days'. Five minutes later the Amanco was running as good as it looked.
Next to be started was a Boothmac, which runs very well. There is a lot more work to do in Owen's shed and if it's anything to go on from what he has done already he should have a nice collection eventually.