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Mystery engine


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#1 hatrat

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 08:03

Can anyone identify this engine and gearbox. It was used (slightly modified) in a single seater in the early 1950s but its make and other details are a mystery (at least to me).

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 09:26

Can you, perhaps, give us a bit more detail to work with?

For instance, is it air or water-cooled? It does appear to be a horizontally opposed twin, and with overhead valves operated by pushrods that come up through tubes, motorcycle style. Is that right?

One contender that I can think of is a Bradford.

#3 Geoff E

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:03

One contender that I can think of is a Bradford.


Wasn't Bradford the commercial side of Jowett? Here's how to rebuild one of their engines http://keithclements...gineRebuild.htm


#4 hatrat

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 11:06

I don't know much more about the engine as it just came with a series of photographs. I presume it is air cooled as the photo below shows finned cylinders (the photo shows it as fitted in the race car with what appears to be an Amal carb - which I assume was not on the standard engine). If the gearbox and the engine are an original match then I would doubt if it was motorcycle based as it has a driveshaft. In the race car it was mounted in front of the front wheels and drove a live rear axle.
I thought it may be a Bradford but from studying the photos it looks a bit different.
Posted Image

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 11:25

Originally posted by Geoff E
Wasn't Bradford the commercial side of Jowett? Here's how to rebuild one of their engines http://keithclements...gineRebuild.htm


Unfortunately that's the Jowett 4-cylinder engine...

The Bradford was a twin.

hatrat, I've got to say that the engine looks very motorcycle-ish. But the gearbox is way too long to fit any conventional style of bike. All the same, it's not unknown for a motorcycle to have a driveshaft, in that period there was the Douglas and BMW, and probably Moto Guzzi as well, which had that arrangement.

#6 Dutchy

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:05

The standard engine is fitted with an Amal carb albeit of a different type and mounted at the end of a very long inlet tract. Unless my eyes are deceiving me I can count four cylinders.

#7 RTH

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:24

The gearbox & backplate have a strong resemblance to a BMC 'A' series.

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 12:28

Can anyone discount a Dyna Panhard?

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 13:15

David, I guess that's possible, and I'd thought of it...

But there are some items that look purely British. The way the starter mount in the bellhousing has that cap on it looks particularly British.

One thing that looks very French (as in 'oddball' engineering) is the sideways mounting of the generator.

#10 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 15:22

The Jowett Bradford had a flat twin water cooled engine. From the position of the foot pedal, I would assume that this is a clutch pedal and the car had right hand drive. What is the dynamo driven off, as it is at right angles to the line of the drive train

Edited by Robin Fairservice, 05 August 2009 - 15:26.


#11 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 15:25

Not coming from a small van?

#12 Red Socks

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 15:27

Can anyone discount a Dyna Panhard?

I have good recently taken colour pictures of the engines that ran at Le Mans in 1952 and 1957 , which are two cylinder, and the dynamo mounting is the same.

#13 D-Type

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 17:17

Can anyone identify this engine and gearbox. It was used (slightly modified) in a single seater in the early 1950s but its make and other details are a mystery (at least to me).
~

I don't know much more about the engine as it just came with a series of photographs. I presume it is air cooled as the photo below shows finned cylinders (the photo shows it as fitted in the race car with what appears to be an Amal carb - which I assume was not on the standard engine). If the gearbox and the engine are an original match then I would doubt if it was motorcycle based as it has a driveshaft. In the race car it was mounted in front of the front wheels and drove a live rear axle.
I thought it may be a Bradford but from studying the photos it looks a bit different.
~

I'm confused. Have you got the actual engine - or just a set of photos? If you have the engine, surely it is possible to give the type of detail people are asking for.

Edited by D-Type, 28 April 2010 - 14:57.


#14 hatrat

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 20:14

I'm confused. Have got the actual engine - or just a set of photos? If you have the engine, surely it is possible to give the type of detail people are asking for.


Unfortunately it appears that only photos survive of the car and engine.

#15 hatrat

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 20:25

Can anyone discount a Dyna Panhard?



Here is a Dyna Panhard engine - which looks a bit different to "our" engine.

Posted Image

#16 Ray Bell

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 21:34

Originally posted by Red Socks
I have good recently taken colour pictures of the engines that ran at Le Mans in 1952 and 1957 , which are two cylinder, and the dynamo mounting is the same.


Going by the picture above, it's nothing like it...

A small matter of 90° to start with.

#17 Ted Walker

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:24

The chassis members looka bit like a Keift 500 ?????

#18 hatrat

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:59

The chassis members looka bit like a Keift 500 ?????


Afraid not Ted - that photo is of the front of the car - the engine hangs out in front of the front wheels and it drives back through a central driveshaft to a live axle at the rear.

#19 Terry Walker

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:11

They're both flat twins, but the mystery engine has what looks like twin cam - or hemi pushrod - heads, while in the colour shot the Panhard does not.



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#20 hatrat

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:40

Here is another photo of the head.

Posted Image

#21 ianselva

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 09:06

The gearbox & backplate have a strong resemblance to a BMC 'A' series.

It definitely is an Austin A30 type gearbox, but I feel that has no relevance as Lotus etc used them.

#22 maoricar

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 19:07

The generator location might well be a red herring. Look at the adjustment bracket, I'm certain no manufacturer would have had such a long, welded extension. And where did it pick up its drive?
As far as I can see from the close-up of the head with the Amal attached on a short manifold stub....that too appears a tad rough.

DB's were used and modified extensively for small bore racing, esp in the US. I imagine it could be possible that someone has produced a special set of heads...wouldn't be the first time, but the front of the engine DOES seem quite different to thecolor DB picture posted.
Anyone considered a 2CV?

#23 Geoff E

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 20:12

Going by the picture above, it's nothing like it...

A small matter of 90° to start with.


The same could be said for the Bradford engine Posted Image


#24 D-Type

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 20:44

Posted Image

To my untutored eye, judging by this picture it might be a very wide angle V-twin rather than a flat twin.

#25 flightlessbird

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 20:50

Homemade with ex aircraft heads and barrels?

#26 carlt

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:17

The gearbox is early Morris Minor [ it has the cut out in the bellhousing to clear the steering rack ] the gearbox x-member is also morris minor , as is the clutch pedal .
the engine back plate is also bmc 'A' series

Issigonis originally designed the Morris minor to have a flat four engine [ and front wheel drive ]

He also built a few racing specials

Not one of his ? using the engine that Mr Austin rejected ?

#27 carlt

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 21:34

Having had another look -
it looks like a twin
From the first pic - Is it driving some sort of hydraulic pump off the front

#28 flightlessbird

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 23:23

My money is on something home made utilising cylinder heads from an aero engine

#29 venator

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:48

Those cylinders and heads are from a radial aeroplane engine, by the looks of it.

#30 Wilyman

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:48

For no other reason, could it be Lloyd Alexander [Hartnett in Aus] engine?

#31 hatrat

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:37

Thanks for all the suggestions for the mystery engine - here is another photo of the engine fitted in the car.

Posted Image

#32 ianselva

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 14:05

Thanks for all the suggestions for the mystery engine - here is another photo of the engine fitted in the car.

Posted Image

It has all the suspension from a Morris Minor as well. I'm sure I've seen heads like that on a VSCC special. One of Mark Walkers maybe ?


#33 carlt

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 17:32

It has all the suspension from a Morris Minor as well.

with no dampers or visible means of attaching any
:eek:

#34 ianselva

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 07:36

with no dampers or visible means of attaching any
:eek:

I'm not convinced it was designed to have that suspension or at least not in the position is in the picture.


#35 hatrat

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 11:19

Some more information has surfaced on the car. It was designed and built around 1948 by Les Redmond (who subsequently designed the Moorland FJ and sports car, Gemini Mk1, Mk2 and Mk3, Parnell BRM, Spectre FVC Sports car, etc).
Here is a further photo of the car during construction.

Posted Image

#36 tedwentz

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 13:30

It looks very much like a typical twin plug aero engine head, except for two things. The inlet and exhaust ports are usually on opposite sides on aero heads, although we could be looking at a 4 valve head. Also judging by the base flange the cylinder barrel appears to be water cooled. I can't think of an aero head with this configuration.

#37 Ray Bell

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 21:18

Is anyone here guessing about the car's handling?

I'm betting it was a remarkably good understeerer...

#38 hatrat

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 21:35

A further photo of the engine and gearbox in place.

Posted Image


#39 D-Type

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Posted 09 August 2009 - 21:39

Just a thought: Given the date, could the engine possibly have been "liberated" from an Axis country?

Edited by D-Type, 09 August 2009 - 21:40.


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#40 David Birchall

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 01:56

Was that gearbox available in 1948?

#41 Wilyman

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 02:46

As a subscriber ? to the AussieFrogs Forum I have gone back over the postings by a Panhard [twin] restorer Gerry Freed.
In one of his posts is a picture of his flat twin engine with its identifiable two valve adjustment covers per cylinder as can be seen on our "Mystery Engine".

Ray B. If you access the above forum you will see what I mean.

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#42 Ian G

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 03:25

I'm not sure its(mystery engine) a Panhard but it seems to be a modification of a similar Engine.

Aussie Frogs

Edited by Ian G, 10 August 2009 - 05:55.


#43 Ron B.

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 05:29

The bottom end is a one off as would be the barrels but the heads are from an aircooled staionary engine, very common down here in the antipodes on road rollers etc from the early 50's. I can't begin to think of the name off hand but it's not Lister or petter but one those similar out fits. The mags are probably off a couple of engines which lost their heads ,possibly rods and pistons at the same time.
Actaully i've seen the same style of tappet covers on heads on both Villiers 4 stroke and Wisconsin V4's too.

#44 hatrat

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:20

Another photo of the car:

Posted Image

#45 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:52

Are we going to see the rear suspension?

It looks like it could be interesting...

#46 hatrat

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:04

Are we going to see the rear suspension?

It looks like it could be interesting...



Yes it is interesting for the late 1940s with a rocker arm design - clearly Les Redmond had some special ideas early in his car design career. A photo of the whole car should be available shortly.

Posted Image


#47 Wilyman

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:16

Are we going to see the rear suspension?

It looks like it could be interesting...



Ray,
Never mind the rear suspension. What about the 'bump steer' ? Note the steering rack! :well:

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#48 Wilyman

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:23

A fast response from Gerry Freed via AussieFrogs.
Not a Panhard.
He tells us the Panhard has torsion bar valve springs whereas the Mystery Engine has springs. Oh well!

#49 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:44

You're right there... bump steer aplenty!

How could someone do that? Well, I guess just getting over the mechanicals with the rack was an achievement...

#50 hatrat

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 10:07

A cockpit photo - interesting the the rev counter goes up to 12000 rpm :

Posted Image