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First thing for the Bentall was a complete strip down and clean up, should all be there but you never know what's lurking under years of muck. Pictures were taken at irregular intervals when it looked like progress, or when a ticklish problem arose or was cured.
According to the plate it was made in 1919 (first two serial numbers) so spares might be a problem. Made 1919

Off the main bearings - nothing special here until I picked these both up, totally different weights, one aluminium the other cast iron; obvious once they were cleaned up. Used the aluminium one as a pattern for a foundry in Bristol, blocked off the holes with filler and sent it off - not bad 40 for a brand new cast iron part. Second picture shows the new part before finishing with its pattern and what I'm aiming for - hope to get it the same as the other side shown far right.

Spot The Difference
Pattern, New Part and Original

In the past frost had damaged the head and there was an old patch, just my luck it peed water out from a leak, so off it came. Welding cast iron ? not me - no chance.

Well Frosted

Did manage to get somebody to pass a MIG welder around without any more cracks appearing or other problems, this picture after I had been 'at it' with an angle grinder. Next was a liberal smothering of chemical metal (Belzona like stuff) and some rubbing down. That drain plug was an absolute bugger to get out, probably why water was left in and it got frosted in the first place ?. May put a drain tap in there.

Welded & Ground Some
Head Tidied Up

Some time later : -> Found a nice big brass tap that screwed straight into the bottom of the head, kept the original drain plug of course. Non original fitting but its hidden away down there; don't want to be struggling in the middle of the night to undo that bloomin' drain plug because the TV has forecast a frosty one.

Replaced Plug With Tap

Some way into putting it all together, copper pipes for the oiling system had to be replaced as did the fuel as it was totally blocked; everything else is original though. Am trying something new (for me), I am aware of the 'no paint' lobby so got some linseed oil and rubbed it well in to see if I liked it; the old paint was a sort of dark landrover green and is still visible but so is the two or three coats/layers under that.

Infamous Oiler
Layers of Paint
Valve Timing Cams
Better Paint This Side

The only way of judging how good that casting is - fit it to the engine, bit more tidying up with a hand file needed but not bad. The second picture shows the other side for comparison. Have got all the oiler 'plumbing' done now and even ran some through from the top to make dead certain it got there.

New Casting
Old Casting to Compare

Oiler done, got some 1/4 wick from an oil lamp company, will have to experiment a bit and make certain oil does get through. Will try with a spare bit of wick to see how fast it drips (and if it does) don't want any moving part drying out or having it all running through in the first ten minutes.

Oil Pipes Completed Bad Case of Worms ?

Set into the casting on top of the water hopper are the words "The Patent" so I looked it up, see what the fuss was about. Found two directly relating to this engine, these refer to governor arrangement and the construction of what would be the crank case/base. The governor is a hit and miss on the inlet valve failing to open it when over speed, two brass shapes slide over each other. The shape of the curved surface is such that as the hinged finger piece passes over it there will be a tendency for the said finger piece to be thrown outwards against the pressure of the spring so that it will escape the stop. The pressure of the spring, however, is such that, up to a predetermined speed of the engine, it holds said finger piece against the curved surface so that the finger piece engages the stop and thereby causes the slide to travel with the frame and operate the inlet valve. Doesn't look like much in real life but certainly does the job. The second describes a base made of two parts (rather than a solid casting) and the spherical bearings for the crank and half speed shaft.

Bentalls Original Drawing
Bentall Patent Governor

Managed to get something for the engine to 'do', in this case grind corn and make flour; had some luck and managed to get one from the same maker. See the 'to do' list things have moved on a bit.

Bentall Corn Mill Bentall Corn Mill


To do : (at the very least)
Fettle that casting a bit more.
Make the trolley.
Slightly strange with the axles mounted on top of the wooden bearers; got a reprint from SE and the article claims that was the original design. 'Scuse the poor drawing (software was free).Underslung Trolley
Mocked this up and didn't like it, seemed to lower the centre of gravity OK but it only had clearance of less than 1 inch under there - abandoned in favour of the conventional. Mock up underslung wheel mount
Time it all up.
With the rather distinctive timing marks cast into the body this should be an easy job at least.
Head Gasket
Job done, made one last week out of copper.Copper Head Gasket
Rattles : now its working
The operation of the governor mechanism sitting on the inlet valve means the stem is struck on a 'hit' stroke, not much you can do there.
The camshaft runs at half speed off the crankshaft, those cast iron gears 'clonk' even when manually turned over and there doesn't seem to be any way of adjusting it. Noisy Gears
Connect up that corn mill.
Works fine if 'hand cranked' and got some flour out of it, but not the same as it was intended and that is engine powered!
Latest corn mill stuff here.
There is a video of it running back on the front/index page, the sun caused a lot of artifacts but you get the idea. Back to front page.