Stationary Engines

Fascinating photographic album supplied to Sandstone on Uniporn Diesel engines.

Peter Dyer in the UK sent the Sandstone Heritage Trust a fascinating album covering the manufacturing of the original production lines etc. of the manufacturer. Peter goes on to comment as follows:

"Briefly, I worked for Porn & Dunwoody from 1980 to 1988 selling their range of Diesel Injection Spares to suit many makes of engine. At that time the Uniporn Diesel was a forgotten animal, although I was involved in the last two large spares orders that went out to Aden for the engine. During the mid 80's Porn and Dunwoody decided to scrap all the old stock of spares for the H10 to make way for a stockholding of Lift spares which was becoming a major part of their business. As such all the old photo albums and manuals etc were either given away to interested parties or dumped. This is how I became the owner.

As you may know the H10 was a copy of a Deutz which Porn & Dunwoody used to market in the UK until the outbreak of the Second World War. At this time all ties were broken with Deutz and aerial photographs that Porn & Dunwoody had of the factory in Colgne were commandeered by Bomber Command to raze the facility to the ground."






General view of the UNIPORN H-10, Horizontal, Single Cylinder, Four-stroke, Diesel Engines, 10 B.H.P. at 1,000 R.P.M.




Sectional view of the UNIPORN H-10



UNIPORN H-10 Pumping Set complete. 30,000 G.P.H. against a total head of 30 feet. H-10 engine driving directly a cast iron centrifugal water pump through a flexible coupling. Mounted on a common fabricated bedplate. Supplied complete with exhaust silencer, footvalve and strainer.


Machine Shop. Machining main frames for the UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 engines.


Machine Shop. Machining crankshafts for the UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 engines.


Foundry. Moulding cylinder heads for the UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 engines.


Foundry. Moulding main frames of the UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 engines.


Foundry for UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 engines.


Milling end face of UNIPORN H-10 engine frame.


Milling both side faces of UNIPORN H-10 engine frame simultaneously.


Checking crankshaft bearing bore in UNIPORN H-10 engine frame after machining.


Machining cylinder liner bore in UNIPORN H-10 engine frame.


Machining camshaft and governor bores in UNIPORN H-10 engine frame.


Machining cylinder liner bores.


Rough turning both ends of crankshaft simultaneously.


Rough turning crankpin.


Drilling rocker levers.


Machining face of flywheel of UNIPORN H-10.


UNIPORN H-10. Reaming push rod tappet guide holes.


Hobbing crankshaft worm wheel.


Drilling big-end bolt holes in connecting rod.


UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 assembly line.


UNIPORN H-10 on test.


UNIPORN H-10 engines on test.


UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 engines on test.


UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 engines on test.



Section of the UNIPORN H-10 and H-12 spare parts stores.



Views of the UNIPORN H-10 engine at Daimler Works, Coventry being packed for export.



Views of the UNIPORN H-10 engine at Daimler Works, Coventry being packed ready for shipment.


The UNIPORN 60 k.v.a. Generating Set consisting of: A Daimler 6-cylinder 8.6 litre diesel engine developing 90 B.H.P. at 1,500 R.P.M., driving directly through a flexible coupling, a 400/230 volt A.C. Alternator mounted on a common fabricated bedplate, complete with switchboard including 3 ammeters, voltmeter, frequency meter, switches, automatic and hand voltage regulators, fuses, panel lights etc. The set is supplied complete with radiator and oil cooler, fuel and oil tanks, engine starter batteries, exhaust pipe and silencer, hand pumps for fuel, oil and water, etc.


Daimler Engine, 90 B.H.P., used in UNIPORN Generating Set 60 K.V.A.


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Members of the Villiersdorp branch of the West Cape Tractor & Engine society are busy with an interesting project, and they're working to a deadline! Just on 13 months ago we decided to make the recovery and restoration of a 1932 40 HP single cylinder horizontal Crossley diesel engine a team effort, and we have advertised that it will be ready and running on 21st June 2008!


Our first deadline was to strip and remove it from its original place of work, Standard Roller Mills in Caledon, as the building had been sold and there was a danger that it would be cut up for scrap. Once the Villiersdorpers get stuck into something, there's no holding them back! Large teams of helpers turned up to push and lift! and in the space of two Saturdays, there was nothing left in the engine room!


And in the space of two Saturdays, there was nothing left in the engine room! 


A while later a team assembled and with donated steel, we made a rigid steel framework: 


Most of our members are fruit farmers, so the project was put on hold for the season. As soon as the last apple was off the trees, we got stuck in and did the last welds and strengthening on the framework and started cleaning, painting and repairing the parts. The next weekend, we put the block onto the frame and then refitted the flywheel to the crank, and put the whole lot together:  


 Then we loaded it and took it to its new home, the Villiersdorp Tractor & Engine museum:


Once again a large team assembled to move it into position:


Once in position with a plastic sheet under it, we arranged for the base to be filled with concrete. This was done early in the week and by the next Saturday we could start assembling the engine.


The concrete adds another ton +, to say nothing about rigidity. Then having cleaned and painted the side shaft and bits at the workshop first, it was sideshaft assembly on:


With attention to the timing marks. From the cam end:


That's the basics, wait till you see what it looks like assembled! But Willem is there painting the flywheel, Josmi was too (taking care not to paint over the shipping details on one of the spokes!):


In the background, the new slab which was done at the same time, so we can get in and out with the forklift. We'll be collecting money for that on the 21st, (we have a plan to auction off a Fergy)....


Nick and Eniel feeding pipes through, the right way past various obstacles, until the sideshaft area looked like this:


Even then there were some pipes to thread through, cleaning, polishing and flushing them:


At the end, we decided to check if we had compression. A bad blow through the inlet valve, which for some reason we hadn't checked, so that came out again. It has just struck me that it might have been between the assembly and the head, so I'll check the seating of the valve in the cage first with a leakage test, but we took that off:


Looking towards the rear of the engine, the cover is on properly, it hinges back nicely against the rests, the shims are in on the big end, and there was a multitude of work involved with the detailed parts of the sideshaft assembly! 

Again a nice, willing team, not as big as last week, but just right! Mrs Nick again brought a huge pile of sandwiches and coffee at lunch time to keep us going. I arrived late at 9am, but we went straight through until 7.30, hardly stopping. It was amusing to get a call from Graham Bowles from Baynesfield Museum in Natal during the morning, comparing notes.... they were busy at the same time up there with their Crossley HD9! 

There is still a lot to do, but I think we're on track for the Big Day on the 21st! 

Andy Selfe

7th June 2008

Pieter Fourie, organiser of this event, summed the history of Engine Collecting in Piketberg in a short speech he gave to open the proceedings.

About 10 years ago, he attended an Annual Show of the Tractor and (then fledgling) Engine Club at the Brandvlei Prison Farm near Worcester. There, he met Philip Gray-Taylor and me, and expressed an interest in buying a collectable engine. In the end he was given an engine from John McGregor, a Wolseley. About then he moved from Greyton to Koringberg near Piketberg and started to instil an interest in Engine Collecting among the Tractor Enthusiasts. It has been an uphill battle, but about two years ago, he invited Philip and me up to give them some encouragement, with a technical talk, followed by Questions and Answers. Several engines were brought out of sheds for the occasion, but all along Pieter had the idea of a dedicated Engine Day.


Pieter can be congratulated for bringing 56 engines together in one place, no small achievement for a country town! Philip and I were asked to judge the engines; a task we intensely dislike, so Philip suggested giving a prize for the Engine We'd Each Like to Take Home! During the day, we thought up some more prize categories, like Best Restored Engines in One Display; Most Enthusiastic Display; Most Impressive Display; Most Interesting Unrestored Display; Best Pair of Interesting Engines; and Most Technically Interesting Engine. In store for next year's show, is a prize for the Best Engine which was not a Runner Last Year; that should encourage them to work on those engines which are untouched since our last visit!

Offloading was slick; we'd hardly stopped before the engines we'd brought were whisked off and put down gently with a Michigan front loader!


But first, the Show had to be started.... with a Bang! Ryk de Wit, member of both the West Cape Tractor & Engine Club and the Cannon Association of South Africa obliged, our host Gerick Vercuiel has the taper:


One is advised not to be rude to him in traffic.

Leaving the 'Take Home Engines' to last, Gordon Riley walked away with the Best Restored Engines in One Display:


International LA, driving a Marmonnier Wine Pump. Behind is an immaculate Air-Cooled Wolseley.


Fairbanks Morse ZD 'Saltblock' engine and generator.


And Lister A driving a Fairbanks Morse Centrifugal Pump. Any objections so far?

Most Enthusiastic Display. Bertie Smit with his Caterpillar D311


He's partly visible below, putting load onto the pulley with a tar pole!


Most Impressive Display had to go to the Machine Moving & Engineering lads with their pair of Blackstone P engines, a 22 and a 50 HP:


Yes, Leon was watching the overhead power lines very carefully! Unfortunately there was a technical hitch and after running faultlessly at the Annual Show a few weeks before, the Big One wouldn't run.

Most Interesting Unrestored Display was easy to decide on, Johnny van Wyk from Citrusdal brought a collection of mostly John Deere engines; two Es and the whole range of LU 2-cylinder (of course!) engines, the LUC (combine), LUW (Wire-tie) and LUS (Stationary), all in various stages of disrepair, the LUC is almost a runner.


This shows the take-off ends of the engines, there's a double vee-pulley, a paper-disc flat-belt pulley and a 6-spline PTO shaft.

One of the JD Es was very badly rusty as though it had been under water for a long time.


Best Pair of Interesting Engines went to the pair of Bamford 'suitcase' engines:


These aren't popular in the Cape; the only other I have seen was owned by Yuri in Graafwater, not far away. Perhaps there was a good distributor in these parts.

Most Technically Interesting Engine we gave to Pieter Fourie's ILO 3-cylinder, 2-stroke, complete with Scintilla combined magneto and distributor, and kick-start:


Candidates for Best Engine which was not a Runner Last Year; for next year, could be, at the easy end of the scale, a Slavia Diesel simply needing an injector pipe, and at the other end, a Sachs air-cooled diesel of Pieter Fourie missing a lot of parts, including complete fuel injection pump. During the Show, he was offered another similar engine by a visitor, so maybe there's a chance! This engine was interesting in that elsewhere on the Show was the water-cooled version of the same engine, looking as if it was removed from a walk-behind rotavator.

For Engines we'd like to Take Home, I chose Horst Lau's Deutz MAH diesel:


And Philip chose Johnny Verreynne's Southern Cross Farm Pumper, here photographed at another show:


We left with the feeling that the Engine Collectors of the Piket Veteraan Trekkerklub are now firmly established and we hope that their Antique Engine Show will become a regular Annual Event! There was no charge at the gate, but contact details were taken of every exhibitor and visitor.

Andy Selfe
22nd August 09


Most engine enthusiasts in the Cape know that there were generator engines outside the mouth of the world-famous Cango Caves at the Ostrich Capital, Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo. In fact, many actually remember hearing them running! But until recently, nobody knew what had happened to them. Even well known Cango Caves historian Dr Steven Craven, who I have known for many years, couldn't help. He has written much from his detailed research on the Caves' history, on which he has done a second Doctorate. A paper he delivered goes back in history to 1899 when electrification of the huge caverns was first mooted, and covers all the deliberations until the purchase, from Mangold Brothers of Oudtshoorn, of two engine-driven generators in 1928. We knew that two unspecified engines were delivered to the Cave on the 5th or 6th March 1928 and that in April of that year, the Municipality advertised for an 'Electrician Driver' who would be required to operate 'two 20kW Crossley crude oil engine (sic) 220V DC sets'. Then, after the Caves were connected to the Escom grid on 24th October 1963, we have a reference dated 19th December 1964 which says that 'the two generating sets, both DC, will be sold'. There is no reference to the amount of money received.




Brass plate attached to one engine, showing the supplier.


We all supposed they had been cut up for scrap. That was until Derick Kleynhans went on a hunting expedition to Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape, to the farm 'Waterkloof' of Koos and Suzanne Lategan. Koos has been asking successive hunting parties whether they knew of anybody who could show him how to commission the engine his late father had bought from the Cango Caves, had it set up, and it never ran. Rumour has it that it did in fact run once, that it wouldn't govern and that the project was abandoned as being dangerous. Well, he eventually found the right people!


Looking back, considering all the faults that the small team of Stationary Engine enthusiasts found, it was a good thing that it didn't run! But first, Derick had to organise the team, and that could only be after the close of the hunting season, so that there would be accommodation available for us on the farm.




The accomodation on the farm for hunting parties sleeps 14 people in a restored Homestead


We also had to get our Annual Show behind us, and yet be before our busy seasons on the farms! Aberdeen is 700km from Elgin where I live and even 500 from Heidelberg (Cape) where Derick lives and where third team member Peter spends a lot of time. Andries from Colesberg is closer at 250km. This meant I had to sneak off work on Friday, early enough to ensure arrival in Aberdeen before dark. Why? To avoid running into any Kudu which are known to wander into the road after dark. These horse-sized antelope cause serious accidents! On the way, we stopped in Willomore and were much taken by this pedestrian bridge:




All riveted construction, and the sign in the middle says, No Loitering on the Bridge!





This gives one an idea of the countryside found in those parts:




Getting late, but nearly there! 700 km behind me since mid morning.


We stopped quickly in Aberdeen where we were much taken by the Victorian buildings.




Aberdeen's Victorian Court-house.




Another Victorian house in Aberdeen.


We went on to the farm without delay, it’s just 16 km outside the town. By then the sun was just setting.




Sunset on Waterkloof, Aberdeen, Eastern Cape.


After settling in, we went to the engines and discussed tactics for the following day. Both engines are there, consecutively numbered Crossley OE 117s, one is all set up and the other is in pieces outside and incomplete. The serial numbers are 100943 and 4, and they are rated at 35  39 BHP at 310 RPM. Patrick Knight tells us that these engines left the Openshaw factory on 12th January 1928, going to Blane & Co Ltd, Johnnesburg destined for Mossel Bay. Where Blane & Co come into the story is a mystery, but Mossel Bay is the sea-port closest to Oudtshoorn.




Engine plate from the incomplete engine outside the engine-room.





From left to right, Stationary Engine Magazine subscribers Peter Boast and Derick Kleynhans; Andries Pienaar, Deutz collector, farmer and wind-pump expert, then John and Koos Lategan, our hosts.


We decided that the first and most important job was to check the alignment of the main bearings. Once that was done, we could split up our tasks according to our abilities. By 6.15 next morning, we had my Ruston Crankshaft Alignment Gauge between the weights of the crank and were disappointed to find that there was a total deflection reading of 7 thou.




We had brought shimstock, but by the time we'd worked out which way the tool worked, our worst fears were realised. The outrigger bearing was too high, and there were no shims to remove! In vain hope we slacked it off and washed out underneath the bearing and tightened it down. No difference! So that was the first reason why it is a good thing the engine never ran! The manual Koos has with the engine gives a maximum of 3 thou. We dismantled and removed the lower half of the bearing liner and did some measurements. Then to our dismay we realised that to get the lower bearing housing out, we would have to lift the crankshaft and flywheel high enough to clear the studs! The roof is corrugated iron on a flimsy frame and we reckon there's at least two tonnes in the flywheel and crankshaft. There was nothing for it but to use a combination of jacks and blocks under the flywheel and crankshaft.




Two farm staff members and Koos Lategan look on as Derick removes the outrigger bearing housing, after the crank and flywheel had been jacked out of the engine.


With the housing out, the only method we could think of to remove metal was a belt sander. Derick was away a long time, but came back satisfied that he had taken off about a millimetre from the bottom face of the housing and he checked for flatness with straight-edge in all directions.




The underside face of the outrigger bearing housing showing how Derick had sanded off about a millimetre of metal.


We cut a shim thinking that he had taken off too much, but when we checked, he'd sanded off just the right amount to give us a nil reading top to bottom. The fore and aft adjustment is done with setscrews, so it wasn't long before we had a total deflection of less than one thou.




Reading top to bottom, front to rear inside a thousandth of an inch. We were happy!


Meanwhile, Andries was busy with the lubrication system. He couldn't get the two-plunger pump to deliver, despite its being fed by drip oilers. After removing and stripping that, he found ball valves assembled wrongly, so that it couldn't pump anyway! This was soon corrected and we had oil at the sleeve and big end oiler banjo. Another reason why the engine would have been damaged if it had run!




Peter making a gasket for the inspection cover of the air receiver.


Peter is our Gasket Man! There was a leak on the air receiver inspection cover needing a thick one to be made. There were several more to make in the course of the day. As usual, I was assigned the fuel system. This is identical to that of the Crossley HD10 which we've just set up at our museum in Villiersdorp. We experienced the same problems: leaking gland packings and stuck valves. The system is very straightforward, change-over valves between distillate and crude, and simple gravity operated mitre valves for in and out with a cam-operated plunger between. Governing is performed by the wedge-controlled unloader valve at the fuel injection pump which also has a gland. From our experience, we had brought some 4mm teflon packing which was perfect for the injector. The injection pump plunger just needed some adjustment. We even found the original C-spanner for that! There was another problem with the fuel system. The fuel tank had been installed and connected with 1" steel pipes, much higher than the 'tundish', the funnel into which the excess fuel is pumped. If the fuel tank had been anything more than nearly empty, it would have overflowed at this funnel! After some measurement, Koos was dispatched to saw off the pipes and cut new threads. The engine could simply not have worked like this!




Fuel tank installed higher than the 'tundish', the funnel into which excess fuel is pumped to return to the fuel system.


We all worked without a break until 2.30 pm, by which time we reckoned that we were ready to turn the engine with a belt from a pulley we'd brought along for the Ford tractor on the farm. We stopped first for a delicious meal brought up by our hosts, cooked over hot coals, boerewors (farm sausage), ‘vetkoek’, stuffed with curried mince, and all the trimmings!




Delicious spread laid on for lunch!


We were feeling well pleased with our efforts so far. However, we were yet to be disappointed!




Setting up the Ford 7600 tractor with the belt pulley attachment we had brought along.


We used a gas torch to heat the glow plug. While cranking, smoke came out of the inlet valve. The sealing of the valves had concerned us all along, so we didn't waste any time removing the inlet valve assembly, then after removing the exhaust rocker and spring, that valve also.




Peter using the spanner which was with the engine. You can't get a ring spanner on.


Once again, Koos was dispatched to the farm workshop to cut a thread on a rod to screw into the head of the exhaust valve so that it could be lapped in.




Derick doing it the easy way! Lapping the exhaust valve in with an electric drill.


Once the two valves were assembled, we thought there was nothing to stop us. We heated the glow-plug again, the tractor was started up and the engine turned.




Gas torch on the glow plug. Somebody had even polished the Mangold Bros plate!


More smoke from the inlet valve! How could this be? There can only be two reasons, the engine turning backwards or the valve timing is out. The first was easy to check, inlet follows exhaust. So it had to be the latter, why didn't we check before? The valves rocked far from TDC! With the cover off we could see the marks on the skew gears, it had been assembled 8 teeth out! Who was this person who installed the engine? The story goes that he was a Ruston mechanic. Maybe to discredit an opposition product?




Derick checking his timing marks after re-engaging the teeth.


From our experience with the HD10, the easiest was to back-off the side shaft on its studs, turn it and re-engage it correctly. It was the work of a few minutes, rather than trying to remove one or other gear. Now we were back in business! After only a few minutes of turning with the belt from the tractor we could declutch the pulley. First the engine died away. The second time, it continued running!




Crossley OE 117 Serial No 100944, running for the first time since 24th October 1963 at the Cango Caves!


I don't know who was the most pleased, the repairers or the owners! By this time it was 4pm. We allowed it to run for about two hours, oiling, feeling temperatures, generally enjoying the sound and sight. When we were working on the exhaust valve, I noticed that there was no oil feed to the exhaust guide. There was, however, a nipple for a pipe connector. I remembered from the HD 10 that one of the pressure oil feeds was for this, and that there should be a drip feed oiler for the big end banjo. Andries, the lubrication man, checked in the manual and confirmed it should be the same on this engine. So while it was running in, he changed it over, and he fitted an extra oiler found amongst the spare parts, for the big end. By now, the Party Line was buzzing and the neighbours were turning up to see and hear the old engine running!




Wolseley engine, Crossley compressor and air receiver with control valve.


On Saturday evening over a huge and delicious meal cooked over an open fire, we discussed the way that the Lategans were to start the engine after we'd left.




Entertainment area at the hunting accommodation, built-in ‘braai’ where Peter demonstrated another skill, cooking meat to perfection. Derick is demonstating yet another skill, on his guitar!


We were taking the tractor pulley home; besides, once the engine has started the belt is dangerous to remove. We discussed the dangers of charging the air vessel from the engine, if you don't get all the operations right. They have a Wolseley engine coupled up to one of the original compressors, which can just make 8 bar (120 PSI), which is not really enough according to the manual we were studying. We could but try, so that was our plan for Sunday morning.


But on Sunday, there was first business to attend to!




A two-holer! Ah! But the view from the Throne:




There had been a light dusting of snow on these mountains all day Saturday. Sunday was a lot warmer!


From the manual, I made a simple set of instructions like this: Pump up (the air receiver with the Wolseley); Heat up (the glow-plug); Oil up (the engine, including the small container on the big end); Turn the engine by hand to just past TDC on firing stroke (for this I made them a pair of marks on the side shaft and bearing); Open up (the valve on the air receiver); Prime up (the fuel system: first with bleed valve open till fuel is seen flowing out of the pipes at the tundish, then with the bleed valve closed, two sharp pulls upward, then bleed valve open again); Exhaust roller to the left (for half compression); Air start lever down (into the 'start' position); Close up (the fuel bleed valve); Watch for firing, and move exhaust roller to the right and insert pin; Lever up (air start valve, to middle 'work' position); Close up (the valve on the air receiver); Enjoy!


We tried it and it worked. The air pressure dropped from 8 to 6 bar only for this operation. We made Koos and John do it themselves until they were familiar with the procedure.




Apprentice engine operators, John and Koos Lategan, very happy to be able to start their engine after having it there all these years!


There was still a chore. Derick had previously made a deal for an International U4 in the scrapyard, so that had to be loosened off from the chassis it was fixed to and loaded, a good weight on his bakkie (ute, pick-up). After a look around the surrounding farms, it was time to start the 6-hour ride home, feeling elated that we had not only brought the engine back to life, safely, but also that the owners can start it at will, any time, just to enjoy!




International U4 is a heavy load for the bakkie!



On our trip around the neighbouring farms, we were treated to a demonstration of this Sunshine header, almost in showroom condition:




On the same farm, during World War 2, a group of Italian Prisoners of War worked, one left an interesting memento:




In the gaps below the horizontal line of the swastika are the letters POW.


Back on Waterkloof, there was time to explore an old Mill House, which must have had an overshot, or perhaps breast-shot water wheel:




The hole for the axle-tree to pass through has been bricked up and plastered over, but we know the signs!




The building is kept in good order, but unfortunately in Koos’ lifetime, he has no recollection of any milling equipment inside, the only other evidence is a runner stone at his house, a kilometre or so away:




Runner stone made of some volcanic rock, judging from the bubbles in the matrix.


On the way home we spotted a lorry cab which might just fit my Albion FT37EL




Could this cab fit my Albion? There is little rust, and only a few bullet-holes!