Author Topic: Manufacture of FT35 Engines  (Read 7524 times)

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Offline REME245

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Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« on: 02 Mar 2012 at 21:11 »
Does anyone have any information on the manufacture of Douglas FT35 engines by BSA?


Offline Alan Cun

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Re: Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« Reply #1 on: 03 Mar 2012 at 08:55 »
Not sure if we are talking about the same engines but I have some FT engines as used in the scissor lift 3 wheel trucks. The engine usually is a 600 side valve having the valves cast in the head castings. Now I have another strange motor of the same configuration same accessories but with alloy plate heads and the valves cast as part of the barrels. I have often heard of BSA making Doug motors and have wondered if this was one.

Somewhere back some years on the forum are some pics of my stationary engines.

Alan

Offline REME245

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Re: Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« Reply #2 on: 03 Mar 2012 at 13:19 »
If you can read this thread without being a member the writer records that he has a FT35 Generator with a plate on saying it was manufactured by BSA.

He notes further that if the wording Douglas on the rocker cover is all in capitols it is made by BSA.

http://www.stationary-engine.net/forum/showthread.php?t=26452&highlight=douglas







Offline Reg

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Re: Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« Reply #3 on: 04 Mar 2012 at 10:49 »
As was common throughout the second world war in Britain, factories manufacturing components for the war effort that were possible targets for German bombing raids, had items made by others in 'shadow factories' throughout the UK. This would ensure continued supplies if the original factory was put out of action for any length of time by bomb damage. The BSA concern did indeed produce the generator sets with the 350cc ohv engine and I was under the impression that only a plate on the set revealed the manufacturer at the time. I have not heard of the 'Douglas' name on the rocker covers being cast in upper case letters only. It may well be true but I have never seen any. As Jeff Clew states in his book 'The Best Twin' Douglas themselves were also employed in the 'shadow' manufacture of aircraft components under sub-contract through the Ministry of Aircraft Production making components for the Defiant, Spitfire and Firefly aircraft. Employees at this time reached a total of 2.500 at Kingswood.

Reg

Offline REME245

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Re: Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« Reply #4 on: 12 Mar 2012 at 20:49 »
Here are pictures showing the two different fonts.





« Last Edit: 18 Mar 2012 at 19:04 by Dave »

Offline David Lawrence

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Re: Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« Reply #5 on: 14 Mar 2012 at 15:23 »
An item of interest that came into my possession many years ago is a small 4 BA spanner clearly marked with the Douglas trade mark yet on the reverse is punched Vincent, I know this is not a recent addition as the spanner was in the possesion of a friend who had owned the spanner since his mark 3 days whilst serving in the RAF in the early fifties, sadly I the spaner did not come into possession until clearing his belongings and I came across it. As so often the case, too late to ask!
( I did not even know he had a Douglas in his youth!!)
Does anyone have any suggestions,, I did hear a rumour that Vincent were also involved in the manufacture of the generators but have never found any evidence.
Should this item be of interest perhaps Dave could start a fresh thread in a more appropriate heading.
Dave

« Last Edit: 18 Mar 2012 at 19:09 by Dave »

Offline REME245

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Re: Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« Reply #6 on: 15 Mar 2012 at 18:01 »
I have not heard of Vincent working on Douglas Generators but the manufacturer of the engine was not always the company which assembled the complete unit.

I have a 1940 Onan Generator which has a BMB (British Motor Boat Company) plate on it.  I also have a 1945 Manual for a Villiers 1260 Watt military generator which states manufactured by BMB.

Offline Reg

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Re: Manufacture of FT35 Engines
« Reply #7 on: 07 Aug 2012 at 14:54 »
Further to the discussion on stationary engine assembly/manufacturing and use of upper case letters for Douglas on rocker covers I came across two letters from members now deceased that were printed in the NCR during 1976. The first from P.Maidment writing - 'Recently I had the good fortune to purchase four Generating engines, these were complete with tubular carriers and covered in oil, grit and grime. Imagine my surprise when cleaning one of them off to find a very handsome brass plate which read - manufactured by BSA Birmingham. On further inspection I found that these machines were as manufactured and had not been subjected to the spanner or hammer - completely original from 7/7/1944. How about that, a reliable Douglas engine built by BSA'
In the next issue of NCR of Aug/Sep 1976 a letter from Eric Brockway, Club Vice President and former Works Director of Douglas Sales and Service Ltd replied ' I was interested in Mr. Maidment's letter appearing in the June/July pages of NCR and I am sure the writer will not mind my correcting an impression that may have been made that all of the Douglas Generating engines were not pure Douglas. It is estimated that about three out of every four generating engines produced were in fact made at the Kingswood plant. A great number were produced to a Ministry of Supply contract and it was one of the decisions taken by the Government at the time, that due to war risks and to ensure that continuity of supply was maintained, production should be spread and this is why quite a number of engines were made at the Redditch plant of BSA Tools and this is a reason why on the engines that Mr. Maidment has there is a brass plate reading 'Manufactured by BSA Birmingham'
I think I should explain that all the castings of the engines made by BSA were in fact cast in the Kingswood foundry and all the cams produced were made there. There would in fact have been a great number more of these generating engines around now had not a considerable number of these units been dumped in the North Sea. I say dumped and I believe this is true as the Government insisted on the Ministry contract being fulfilled and there were a number of surplus engines which were not required and consequently dumped in this way'

I wonder if the rocker covers that have survived and have the upper case letters for Douglas on them may have been produced for that contract or a similar one. I did say that I had not seen such rocker covers but now remember coming across a pair found on an early T35 or Mark One model. As for Dave's spanner, possibly a job lot made in the Kingswood foundry for Vincent?

Reg