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1882 Crossley Bros. 3 1/2 HP Piano Base Slide Valve Engine Restoration

Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
Currently in the shop is a 3 ½ HP slide valve flame ignition Crossley four stroke piano base engine built in 1882. This is the second oldest Crossley engine in the United States. The earliest history of the engine has it sold to "Easton" at Langholm in the UK where it ran for many years. I an effort to save the investment, a railroad supply Co., Henry Booth of Hull, made significant modifications to the engine allowing it to run without the slide valve. Set up with a hot tube and a new pendulum governor the engine continued service until retirement. At some time John Moffitt in England bought the engine and incorporated it into his collection. It stayed there in the Hunday National Tractor and Farm Museum near Corbridge, in Northumberland, England until being bought by an exporter of engines in the early 1980’s. A deal was reached between the exporter in the UK and a collector in the United States and Crossley piano base made it trip across the pond. It stayed in this collectors hands for a few years and then changed ownership one last time to the current owner. Needing extensive work, it was in storage waiting for the "right" moment to be restored.
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Advancing to Feb of 2015, The engine has been in my shop for some time with Some of the work has already done. With a full plate of projects the past couple years, I have not had a chance to even think of documenting the work. That being said, the first part of the restoration project documentation presented here on the Smokstak already happened. After a bit, the timeline will catch-up to where the project currently stands .
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I will post the details a little bit differently this time – in one continuous thread this time rather than in multiple posts. Although the different posts break it us some, it can be very difficult to locate specific information when scanning back through it.

The following photos are of the Crossley SN 4484 that I believe were taken while the engine was still at Moffitt’s in the UK. Dated late 1970’s early 1980’s. The engine is still set up all with its modified parts as removed from it second installation.


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Although having had a tough life, it still retains a fair bit of its original paint and pin stripping which is rarely seen on Crossley engines, especially for one this old.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
The engine virtually sat in storage from the time it entered this country 25 or so years ago until recently when the decision was made to return the engine to its original design. Here are a couple more photos of the diamond in the rough taken a couple of years ago.
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A close up photo showing the "head end" of the engine with the apparatus morphed onto it by Henry Booth over a hundred years ago. Unfortunately as was done with many other slide valve engine conversions, the slide valve system was complete machined off the end of the cylinder. In this case, the governor was discarded and its mounting boss completely removed. A pendulum governor was integrated in the "upgrade" and a bolt on head attached to the end of the cylinder.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
With the "upgraded" parts removed from the cylinder end the extent of the modifications can be seen. The slide valve guides have been removed, the end of the cylinder machined flat and the opening into the combustion chamber widened with a chisel and file.
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The governor and any trace of it were removed. The large mounting bracket that used to be cast in to the cylinder was removed and filed flat so that any trace was almost gone. In this picture on the left side a faint rectangular patch can be seen where the bracket used to exist.
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The side shaft support bearing shown here was replaced at the time of the upgrade. The original split bearing which also had the boss to accept the governor and fuel valve linkage was discarded.
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The cylinder, piston and rings were quite worn and needed rework also.
 

Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
It was obvious the engine needed a lot of work and considerable thought before doing anything.
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Step one: Receive the engine, here it is in front of the shop, the day it arrived.

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Un-strapping the Crossley and Contemplating the best method of unloading.
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Using two chain falls, a good center of gravity was found the the engine frame lifted: This is a heavy 3 1/2 HP engine !
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Lowering it down to the floor.
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---------- Post added at 06:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:36 AM ----------

Now that the engine was in the shop a full assessment of its condition could be made. This was what was determined it needed:

Scope:
The Following parts are missing or need to be upgraded: (Parts requiring castings identified with an *)

1. * Slide Valve
2. Backing Plate
3. * Slide Valve Cover
4. * Slide Valve Guides
5. Slide valve cover Chimney
6. Dog Bone
7. Dog Bone washers and pins
8. * Gas valve shut off mounting flange
9. Gas shut-off valve
10. Two prong “union” for gas inlet valve
11. * Flame ignition ignition and relight gas supply “Y” pipe
12. 2 prong “Unions” for “Y” pipe
13. * Gas ( governor controlled valve in cover) valve and related parts ( body valve spring, ect )
14. Slide valve studs (2)
15. Slide valve stud Springs (2)
16. Slide Valve stud Spring keepers
17. Slide valve stud hand nuts
18. * Gas valve actuation arm
19. * Gas Valve drive and driven arm
20. * Inlet silencer - multiple casting including cover and internal components
21. * Muffler
22. Side shaft cam shape and angular locations
23. Governor detent roller and pin
24. Exhaust of compression cam, pin and lever
25. Governor “Bell Crank”
26. Governor Shuttle
27. * Governor main mounting boss casting
28. * Governor bearing “1/2” includes gear guard
29. “boomerang” governor release arm
30. Governor Spindle
31. Governor miter gear set
32. Governor spindle bearing
33. Governor Top Hat
34. * Governor weights
35. Governor brass follower
36. * Oil catcher ( hanging below slide valve)
37. Dust caps for main and side shaft bearings
38. Presentation Walnut base that have provisions for mounting the, gas regulator & muffler.
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Repair or reworked parts
1. Rework of crankshaft - loose flywheel
2. Combustion chamber opening in head restored to original shape and size
3. Manufacture of Studs, nuts bolts, washers and other “bar stock” parts as needed
4. Remachining of flywheel (while securely mounted on crankshaft)
5. Rework of crosshead if excessive clearance will cause knocking
6. Existing Paint and water jacket freeze crack will not be tampered with and every effort mad e to maintain original patina on all reproduction components.
7. Crankshaft, & rod bearings adjusted as needed
8. It is understood that a partially built reproduction governor will be included when the engine is delivered. This may or may not be used depending on its visual or mechanical correctness. A determination will be made in the design stage of the restoration effort.

The next step is to measure an existing engine so that drawing of the original parts could be made. In the United States there is only one other 3 1/2 HP Crossley slide valve engine. Its located at The Coolspring Power Museum and the folks there were generous enough to let me use it for reference. Unfortunately, once I started measuring parts it became apparent that it was an earlier version and built from a different design than the one in my shop. That left only two other surviving 3 1/2 HP engines of the same vintage to copy, one in the Technikum (The Deutz historic engine collection) in Porz/Cologne, Germany and the other at the Anson Engine Museum in Poynton, England
 

Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
Well it was off to England to get measurements from an original.
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Anson has on display a twin to the engine in the shop. Although built a year or so later, it was perfect for taking measurements. Geoff Challinor was kind enough to let this happen.
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First I took advantage of a photo-opp with Geoff and I in front of the very first internal combustion engine Crossley built.
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A couple views of the 3 1/2 HP Crossley SN 6139 from 1883 showing what it should look like,
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
In two days almost 100 pages of sketches are made. Keeping focus that this was my opportunity and any missed measurement would greatly complicate the restoration process. SN 4484 was missing its sideshaft so a magnetic inclineometer was used to establish the relationship between cam lobes, the slide valve drive pin on the crank shaft and the crank shaft.
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Getting my son Alex involved, he solid modeled the existing parts of SN 484 and incorporated all the missing parts that were drawn up from the sketches taken at Anson. From these models, 2-D drawings were made of all parts required to finish the project, including pattern drawings for the brass and iron castings.
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Also 3-D videos of components in the engine were compiled to verify fit and operation of all parts. This whole process sounds simple but the complete design stages took a few months of spare time to get right.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
One of the early challenges in deciding what direction to go with the cylinder repair was how to re-attach the slide valve guides back on. Unlike the Schleicher Schumm & Co restoration, the Crossley is a headless design. Short of recasting the cylinder which was not in an option, the guides were drawn up as accurately as possible and patterns made of each. Both guides are different. The top one fairly simple with a radius cast into it so when attached to the cylinder it will not completely look like a bolted on part. The lower guide has an oil gathering rib attached to the underside that guides excess oil to the hanging oil collector below the slide valve.
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Drawings for the guides:
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Upper guide.
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Lower:
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Pattern for the guides:
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Also needed is the "wear plate" which bolts to the face of the cylinder. This part will be made from cast iron flat stock, machined flat and hand scrapped to fit.
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The drawing for the wear plate.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
I am not going to clutter the thread with lots of images of drawings. Possibly as the restoration process moves along I will show a drawings as I machine the part.

In the meantime here are the balance of the patterns made by an extraordinary pattern maker and friend Jim Hunt in Limestone NY who I have been using for 25 years.

For Iron Castings

Governor mounting bracket:

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Corebox for the governor bracket
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core box disassembled:
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View looking along the board sing both the cope and drag side of the pattern.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
air/gas passageway corebox with loos pieces removed:
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The slide valve cover pattern . This is a semi-lose piece made with a "cover-core".
This is a work of art.!
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The cover core for the Slide valve cover.
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Another view of its two components:
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
The Air inlet silencer.
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Core box for the silencer.
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Bottom cover and inner baffles and spacer rings that go in the silencer ( three pair get put in).
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The castings made from the previous pattern for the silencer.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
Patterns for Brass Parts

Governor control arm ( for the main fuel valve)
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Main fuel inlet pipe ( fuel supply for the slide valve cover)
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Core box for center of fuel pipe.



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Body for main incoming fuel hand throttle valve.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
Union nut to connect the main fuel hand valve to the fuel pipe.
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The next two are the fuel supply "Y" pipe for the ignition flame and relight flame and the union nut pattern that will be used to tighten it to their fuel valves.
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A small arm that "drops out" and cuts off fuel once the engine is started and reached speed.
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---------- Post added at 08:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:40 PM ----------

The indicator for the ignition flame control valve and its pointer.
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Wayne Grenning

Sponsor
Age
55
Last Subscription Date
06/10/2018
Here is a segment of an animation study we did to verify the slide valve port timing corresponded correctly with the crankshaft angle. Basically everything shown with the exception of the piston and cylinder needed to be designed as the engine was missing all of it. Before someone catches it, yes, the governor is spinning the wrong direction. The computer is just fine with it:shrug:
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---------- Post added at 09:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:06 PM ----------

A little info on the Crossley Piano base design. Of the 18 or so that exist today only 7 have the nice curved sides with the name cast into the side under the side shaft. This elegant design appears to have stopped in late 1883. The last known engine of this style is sn 6628. After this point in their production, the base, although still slightly curvy became more utilitarian and boxy. The Crossley Brothers name was moved from the side to the end plate behind the crankshaft.
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Of the early graceful curving base engines as featured in this thread, only two others are in the US: one in the Henry Ford Museum ( The oldest remaining Crossley four-stroke engine), currently in storage and one at the Coolspring Power Museum. Another is at Anson SN 6139 that I took the measurements on and one in the Deutz historic engine collection "Technikum" in Cologne, Germany. The other two of the seven are in private collections.

A little over 50 Crossley Brothers four-stroke slide valve engines exist today including the two style "piano bases" mentioned above , smaller "side crank" horizontals in 1/2 and 1 HP and three different sizes of "verticals"
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