Itís been a few years now and have been rallying this engine continuously throughout those years, Iím now completing restoration of the Ruston 3RG and have decided to do some serious improvements that have been building up . The Gardner was one of my early restorations very soon after being introduced to stationary engines let alone building one (in fact until I acquired this engine Iíd not even heard of a hot tube engine), I put new rings in but was not a good thing to do considering bore will have worn oval but has done well for a long time now. Also I fabricated a crank as have been shown in these pages, however it should really have been a temporary measure but as usual temporary became permanent, I was never able to get totally true so went with it so I now intend to do a casting and machine a new one from one piece. As for cylinder and piston Itíll be far cheaper to have a piston cast (already have a pattern from making a new piston for a friends Gardner 1F a year or so ago) and then have cylinder bored till cleaned up and make new piston to suit with new rings. Exhaust valve chest was badly corroded away when got engine which I had to make a phosphor bronze guide for, this was a very thin item and has always been a nightmare to get to seal on cylinder. Iíve had a new one cast from a friends engine albeit a solid lump as having foundry cast with inside detail as well would have cost a fortune, Iím attempting to machine inner detail as best as can on my mill. Crank splash guard from new would have been gun blued, however! mine was corroded and not possible to do this so was painted black, Iíve removed brass edge trim and am in process of making new fro a sheet of steel and then hoping to find either a way to blue it or someone who does this sort of thing (hard to find these days). Over the years Iíve found that this engine once started will run all day faultlessly as long as there is no breeze (would not have been used outside during working life), Iíve tried on more occasions than I can remember to alleviate this problem but although improved a bit, never cured it. I may have another look at this issue during rebuilt in a hope of making it reliable in a wind. Iíve already made a start on this re-rebuild and here are some pictures of progress so far.
Packing crank to 2.5mm over size for machining after casting
Exhaust casting ready for machining
20/03/2019 Just another addition to the story, Iíve now finished the exhaust vale chest having to machine inside as far as could (could have had cast with inner detail but this would have required having a pattern made and price would have been too high (experience some of this)), I finished throat of unit with rotary burring tool.
Also started machining new crank having received casting from foundry, here are some images from commencing machining.
Comparison of two chests showing how degraded old one was
Maching flywheel end
Maching drive end
New one built up
14/04/2019 Having gotten so far with crank I need holders and a special tool for the rest of operation, also being a bit apprehensive about it Iíve left for now and making the new piston.
Small end clearance
Pin machining set up
29/04/2019 Piston is now complete and new rings are gapped and ready to go onto piston, leaving off at this stage as not fitting piston to rod just yet, when crank is machined and fitted I need to set up big end on crank and donít want piston flopping around.
Just oil groove to do
Iíve also faced the gasket faces on cylinder and combustion chamber
Machining cylinder faces
Combustion chamber faces
Small update Iím afraid! Progress is slow as doing other jobs around home at same time, Iíve made jigs to clamp crank to machine next stage of crank and am now ready to produce a tool to machine big end journal.
Jigs on crank
Crank in jig and on lathe
18/07/2019 Finally machining crank, main shafts are mainly done and now machining big end journal
Well been sometime but! Iíve finally completed crank, I had the big end journal completed by being ground by a company in Romford. Next thing is to start making new bearings as old ones are quite worn and may not be able to adjust.
Machining gib key grooves
Complete with oil catcher
30/11/2019 Along side of the engineering/mechanical rebuild Iíve been working on a new steerable hard wood trolley of which the basics of it were made by a close friend. Iíll dedicate this update to the finishing of this trolley, modifications, improvements and sealing with a synthetic wood sealer (usually used on wood floors) called Osmo Poly-X
Finished ready for sealing
Sealed ready for axles
Axle manufacture and wheels
27/01/2020 Iíve gotten a bit behind with updates so order of progress may be a bit out of sequence. Iíve made new crank bearings, big end and fitted to engine.
Bearings in showing oil catcher drip guide
Crank in bearings
Making new big end
Got base onto new trolley and have built up on trolley
On to trolley
Part way through build
Coolant pipe work
New splash guard
I've made a new splash guard and attempted a gun bluing but not as successful as would like
08/02/20 I've made a quick release tug handle for the engine from 25mm steel tube, I've had it powder coated in matt black
I've also made some adjustable wheel chocs, I've constructed them to slide around wheels and adjustable part is fitted in after and can be adjusted to give a degree of height adjustment to aid leveling.
Mounted on marine ply base
All four mounted
Engine is now finished apart from a gear guard, I've never had a guard on this since first building this engine in 2007. I've made one from steel, tried it on and is now at Watton foundry having a cast made from it, when I get it back I'll do machining then fitting should be a few minutes. At that stage this project will be complete!
Making pattern stages
Trying on engine
13/02/2020 I've now received gear guard from foundry and machined to fit, it was a bit of a bad casting job so had to make some improvements which left it smooth. I've taken it to get it blasted to take smooth shine off and is now quite white so have to severely darken it