A Ruston Hornsby Diesel Canadian Engine

By Staff
article image
Boris Heshka

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.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines