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Editoral Ramblings


The Editor

caption competition

Martin Cartwright suggested having a best caption competition. Here's his picture. Send your suggestions to the forum - I'll create a topic in the Chat section for them.

Drew Slater, the Pembleton builder in Thailand, has a blog giving details of his interesting build. Have a look at Drew's kitchen and see what he has done so far.

vire BVR

I've spent time this winter working on my Vire boat engines. I have a water leak on the engine in my boat and rather than lose valuable sailing time removing it, fixing the problem and putting it back I'd buy another engine. Thanks to ebay I managed to buy two located in Doncaster not that far from Leeds. One looked very sad with no paint and lots of rust. They came with boxes of bits and there's almost nothing missing which rather surprised me. I put the ancillaries on, a bit of petroil mix and after a few turns on the starter it fired up! The other engine seemed to have been used as a display engine and looked OK so I didn't test it. The better engine didn't have a magneto ignition but used a coil. There is only one dynastart unit (a combined starter and dynamo - very expensive to replace) and one home made water cooled silencer. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the silencer worked. The Vire has quite a bark especially run with no silencer at all!

I planned on swapping over the magneto from the sad one to the display unit. I failed to free the flywheel and broke my puller that I've used before on these engines. Closer inspection of this engine revealed a number of problems caused by bodgery. I took the engine to a proper motor engineer who removed the flywheel, helicoiled stripped threads and removed broken seized brass fittings. It puzzles me how much time and effort people expend in bodging to save very little compared to doing it right.

vire BVR

Once back from the engineman both engines were stripped of paint, derusted and painted a bright blue (RAL5015 if you really want to know!). I removed the cylinder barrels from both engines to make painting easier and the bores and pistons were in good contition so hopefully I'll have no problems. The main bearings, big and small ends seemed fine as well. The engines are only run for a few hours a year as they are intended as an auxillary motive power for sailing boats. Most marine engines die from corrosion problems. Vire engines suffer from two main faults; the water pump seals failing permitting the gearbox to fill with water and the crankcase filling with water via the water cooled exhaust system. Given the cooling water can be seawater the long term consequence is usually a ruined engine.

I ordered a new V belt as specified in the manual and of course when I came to use it found it was too long - only a about 10mm but that was enough to stop further progress for the moment. I'll take one engine back to Ireland and the other will stay in Leeds. There are sad old men who take stationary engines to vintage shows - I'll be able to join them!

I don't know if I am unlucky but when I last refuelled the car I found that petrol was pouring out of the flexible filler pipe. The wire reinforcing had torn away from the pipe itself and left holes. The original fuel pipe from Europa lasted about four years before the innner lining swelled up enough to stop fuel going in. The second pipe came from Car Builders Solutions and hasn't lasted a year. I'll contact them and have a moan and see how they react.

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