Sign In

  Remember Me

Not registered?

1950s Engine Overhauls

Part 2

Wash plant

Stripping and Cleaning

When an engine was received in the stripping annexe, equipment such as the fuel pump and starter motor were removed, and the engine was then passed through a twin-chamber high-pressure detergent spray washing plant for external cleaning (pictured right). The large chamber of the spray booth was 63in. by 75in. by 10ft. long and was capable of taking any completed diesel engine of vertical or horizontal type up to 950hp. Two Girdlestone pumps each delivering 300 gal. per min. at 60ft. head supplied the multi-spray cleaning nozzles. Another pump was provided for emptying the slump. The spray booth had a 1,000-gal. capacity sump and the steam heating of the solution by a steam coil was thermostatically controlled.

Engine stripping

This initial cleaning was followed by dismantling of the engine into its sub-assemblies (pictured left). These were loaded into trays and passed on the roller conveyor through the smaller chamber of the spray booth which measured 51in. by 51in. by 10ft. long. Sub-assemblies were then completely dismantled at benches alongside the conveyor, the components loaded into baskets, and thoroughly washed and cleaned and carbon removed in a steam heated bosh. Three boshes were installed, two measuring 66in. by 72in. and one 42in. by 72in. These were fitted with a Keith Blackman 6in. blower and 36in. fume extraction fans. In the transfer from the stripping section to the main shop, the clean components were divided into eight streams, comprising cylinder blocks, pistons and connecting rods, auxiliaries, oil pumps, crankshafts, cylinder heads, crankcases, water pumps, manifolds and covers.

Crank Exam

All loose studs, bolts, and nuts were dropped into a container, and after sorting into respective sizes returned to stores. The recovery percentage was high and the job was carried out by disabled personnel.

Replacement of Defective Parts

In the main shop inspection of the parts, covering visual, dimensional, and hydraulic pressure testing as required, was the first operation. Paint colour coding was used on each part by inspection to identify parts which may be refitted, rectified, or scrapped. Useable parts passed immediately to the sub-assembly stores, and replacements for scrapped parts were drawn on the inspector's authority from the works main component store. This system ensured that for each engine received a complete set of parts was available in the sub-assembly stores when required for the rebuild.


The next image shows the initial examination of the crankshaft on the sub-assembly line. The final image shows the honing of the 130mm dia. cylinder liners on a Delapena machine. The floating vertical shaft could be swung to any position over the work table.

With the exception of certain partly-worn items, such as cylinder blocks, pistons and connecting rods, which by matching could be used for a further period, no attempt is made to rebuild the engine from the same sub-assemblies originally used. Pictured below is the piston sub-assembly section.

The inspection bay was well equipped with the special tools, gauges, and a water test fixture required for each engine type. All crankshafts were examined on a Fel-Electric magnetic crack detector, and a Hanovia ultra-violet-ray lamp was used for crack detection on smaller components. Valve springs were loaded and measured on a Britool dial-reading spring tester.

Piston assembly

Racks and bins at the end of each inspection bench were used for the storage of parts requiring rectification. If welding, machining, or crank regrinding was required the parts were sent into the main works. Equipment was installed in this works in 1959 to investigate the extent to which electrochemical means could be used in the building up of worn parts. This equipment used the Dalic process of metal depositing.

1950s Engine Overhauls

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

© 1998 - 2018