Author Topic: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting  (Read 3645 times)

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Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #50 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 22:50 »
In 1922 Court-Rice was living in Glen Avenue Randwick, probably about 200-300m as the crow flies from Shaw's workshops in the back of 4 Dutruc Street Randwick........

Why does the casting on Ian's "Star" engine say "Sydney" and not "Bondi Junction"? Was it from earlier than 1919 as part of (Edit: Shaw's ) R.A.N works copying operations?

I also just remembered this post by Daren;

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=8042.msg31090#msg31090

I wondered at the time of the post, where in Australia such duplicate parts could have been made if the ones offered were not genuine? Maybe Shaw's works could have provided such a service?

-Hutch
« Last Edit: 02 Oct 2020 at 06:58 by Hutch »

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #51 on: 30 Sep 2020 at 23:05 »
Pics fully show for me.

The Navy records maybe buried pretty deep..... :-)

There is a book on the Royal Commission, no less
"Report of the Royal Commission on Navy and Defence Administration : in regard to (1) the purchase of the Shaw Wireless Works at Randwick 1918 "

Might see if I can borrow it, should be good for imsomnia !
Doubt it will go into motor-generators though.

A precis would seem to be that the newly created Minister for the Navy a Mr Jensen had incurred unapproved expenditure for the purchase of
AJ Shaws wireless operations in Randwick in 1916. And was sacked after the 1918 Royal Commission.
There was also the minor matter that Marconi's were pursuing a patent infringement against Mr Shaw at the time.
Never a dull moment in Oz politics...
« Last Edit: 30 Sep 2020 at 23:25 by EW-Ron »

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #52 on: 01 Oct 2020 at 01:38 »
Hi TCK
I have that problem hen printing. Cuts the sides off.
I can send you images by email or SMS if you let me know which ones you want and your details.
Cheers
Ian P

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #53 on: 01 Oct 2020 at 04:05 »

"Photo of recently acquired generator unit built to the Marconi design at the RAN factory in Sydney in 1916"

Mmmm, that lettering makes me wonder if there is some connection to the STAR SYDNEY crankcases, that is too much of a coincidence ??


You might be onto something there EW-Ron - good observation. You can make "STAR" out of the word "auSTRAlia" and "SYDNEY" out of a combination of the other letters. Hard to say if it is exactly the same font as on the wireless generator part of the R.A.N engine due to the aspect angle. On Ian's crankcase half the "SYDNEY" is a smaller font size to the "STAR" so it appears the "SYDNEY" part is from a different letter set (Edit: - or the other way around...)

Has anyone got end on picture of the wireless generator part (from the Kurrajong Radio Museum) to get a better comparison?

https://vk2bv.org/archive/museum/

cheers

Hutch



« Last Edit: 01 Oct 2020 at 06:31 by Hutch »

Offline Dave

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #54 on: 01 Oct 2020 at 19:30 »
tck

When you say "... Ian Penrose pictures only partially download...", do you mean

1. display as part of the whole web page?
2. or download just the image?     

If it is #1, try a control F5 to refresh the screen. If still not a full display of all images on the page, repeat and note what happens.
If it is #2, what steps are you taking to download the image?

Dave
           

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #55 on: 02 Oct 2020 at 07:49 »
Hi tck, Ian's pictures came out ok for me (and I have been having some big  internet issues lately), hope you have sorted the issue out?

Found this interesting video on the web of the previously noted museum R.A.N. generator - very illuminating and I think puts a bit more of the pieces of the puzzle together? I wonder if the owner worked out the controls and got it running - I hope so.

I didn't go to that particular Toowoomba swap meet (...otherwise my wallet may have been a bit thinner afterwards...) but I did hear about the "Duggie generator engine" through the grapevine from a couple of people who missed out on it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oKggRB7aIo

Would be nice to get a better connection between the STAR proprietors and the R.A.N. Works at Randwick.

Ian, the date of the origins of the R.A.N. generator - the Marconi / Douglas 2 3/4hp portable spark gap generator, of  1913 would appear to fit with the general "veteran" look of your "STAR" flywheel side crankcase half. It does appear possible that it could have been made out of a modified R.A.N. pattern?


Cheers

Hutch





Offline tck

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #56 on: 02 Oct 2020 at 14:32 »
tck

When you say "... Ian Penrose pictures only partially download...", do you mean

1. display as part of the whole web page?
2. or download just the image?     
Dave
           


If it is #1, try a control F5 to refresh the screen. If still not a full display of all images on the page, repeat and note what happens.
If it is #2, what steps are you taking to download the image?

f5 did it! and it is #1   as shown on my picture around post #48  on first page
How strange! while I have often used f5 to free/refresh a web page I have never seen it complete a picture on a page already completed there must be something strange about those pictures all others in the thread and indeed to forum are OK I did look at them on an android pad they were complete
Thanks Dave


Offline pvn06

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #57 on: 02 Oct 2020 at 21:02 »
A very interesting thread.  I am not knowledgeable enough on the history to offer any more than already put . .. but very interesting to look at the attached photos and see that others were modifying or producing alternatives to the original Douglas engine.
I have a pair of earlyish spare crankcases, where one looks damaged at its base and has a period lead plate beaten into place.  My initial thought would be if ever to use them - to get the hole welded up. . . . but being as they are total loss, it might be nice just to use them as is!

I notice the original two piece timing cover has an (alloy?) separate machined cover over the bigend feed.  I have seen similar on the original 1912/13 TT engines, which I think may have had a second direct oil feed and handpump to the big end (particularly the 13/14 TT bikes?).  The cover of my own project Douglas - although looking like a standard 1919 WD cover also has a hole in that Bigend area.  I am intending to machine up a brass 3 screw cover . .. but would be interested to know why it may originally have been done, and if worth me making a nipple of some sort for additional oil feed?

best wishes
Paul

Offline Dave

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #58 on: 02 Oct 2020 at 21:09 »
tck,

Quote from: tck
... there must be something strange about those pictures...

Failure to load all images on a page can be caused by the browser timing out before all images are received. Page one of this topic has quite a few images and it may be that the half loaded ones are last in the queue to be sent.

Failing to load all images used to happen quite a bit with older DSL Internet connections and large topics displaying lots of photos. This topic was one that sometimes caused trouble - DT/SW5 Engines. It would sometimes not complete loading due to the large number of images.

It can still happen on newer fibre connections for various reasons such as others downloading at the same time, or a temporary 'choke' happening somewhere between your PC and the ISP. It is unlikely to happen on faster (50mbps+) full fibre to the home connections.

Dave

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #59 on: 03 Oct 2020 at 04:16 »


The Navy records maybe buried pretty deep..... :-)

There is a book on the Royal Commission, no less
"Report of the Royal Commission on Navy and Defence Administration : in regard to (1) the purchase of the Shaw Wireless Works at Randwick 1918 "

Might see if I can borrow it, should be good for imsomnia !



Yes you are correct EW-Ron - the report wasn't buried too deeply at all :-) I had assumed incorrectly that it would have been, given the scandal!  Well the Royal inquiry part wasn't buried too deeply......I will have to see if the Navy files on personnel involved in the R.A.N. works at Randwick can be found.

I had a very quick scan through the digital version of the report that can be found online -

https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-52781940/view?partId=nla.obj-90930937#page/n4/mode/1up

yes parts of it could be a cure for insomnia! But I did find this interesting item in part 19......the mention of motorcycles....I wonder if any were ever produced?

I will have a better read of it when I get some spare time...or I need to catch up on some sleep....

Cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 03 Oct 2020 at 04:23 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #60 on: 03 Oct 2020 at 04:34 »
Paul,

I think the hole in your timing cover may have been made by the screw that holds the pinion onto the end of the crank. If they come loose they appear to have the habit of turning into a crude (but potentially effective) end mill. I have a couple of timing covers with the evidence of such action - one is nearly all the way through and the diameter is more or less identical to that of the screw....

I was thinking that if the Star engine was indeed derived from the R.A.N. generator then the turned cap on the timing cover, might have been for covering over the extension of the crank (what ever that looks like?) for the starting handle? Not sure either - along with the lubrication details of the R.A.N. generator compared to the standard Duggie 2 3/4 h.p.

As usual maybe more questions than answers :-)

Cheers

Ian

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #61 on: 03 Oct 2020 at 05:53 »
In the Sun 31 Jul 1918 it is reported that the Wireless Works at Randwick were short of work, most likely due to the end of the war being near? Lord Jellicoe is the person who recommended that the operation be wound up. This was reported in the press around Oct 9-10 1919. It was also reported in the press that he had never visited the establishment during his investigations.

So is the starting up of Star Engineering on 1/4/1919 (April Fool's day!) coincidental with the decline of the R.A.N. Workshop from mid 1918?

Edit: The general decision to stop work at the works and transfer the useful equipment and plant to Melbourne and Garden Island was reported in the press around 14th December 1918.
« Last Edit: 03 Oct 2020 at 06:04 by Hutch »

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #62 on: 03 Oct 2020 at 07:08 »
This is developing into quite a story.

If we can find details of the naval folks who worked there, it will certainly flesh out the details.
It is reported someplace that the Mr Cresswell who came to manage the facility at Randwick when the navy
bought it was from the armaments factory in Lithgow.

I wonder how many of the reported 160 staff under Mr Shaw stayed on to work for the navy ??
Would they have been able to ?

I like your scenario of Star Engineering starting up after the end of hostilities, that certainly sits well with
of all sorts of industries and concerns being generated after WW1, as folks scrambled to find peacetime work.

Offline Alan

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #63 on: 03 Oct 2020 at 23:40 »
If of any help, about 20/25 yrs ago there was an article in the LDMCC mag with pics of a WW1 portable generator and its operating instructions as assembled at RAN Randwick. I remember the unit as was found at a Sydney rubbish dump in very complete condition and then went to Vic...alas I don’t have the mag.

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #64 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 01:32 »
Thanks Alan,

I have a few old NCR mags but certainly not a complete collection - I will dig through them and see if I have the article. Someone else may be able to help?

Finding stuff on the tip is quite often the only way some of this information has survived! (....won't say what I used to do as kid a long time ago when security at tip sites in Oz was non-existent or at best quite slack!!) :-)

Only additional information found so far is that a  Frank R. Pulford was in partnership with Richard Condon in the Standard Electrical Construction Company at 2 Washington St. Sydney from 6th May 1915 - might have been what he did after leaving the Railway workshops assuming it is the same person?

The Douglas blacksmith operation was quite a family affair with John Snr, John Jn, Richard Leslie, Stephen and James Watkin Douglas, plus a Norman Hunter all being at the 121 Oxford Street premise in 1905. Can we assume James was a blacksmith?

I still have failed to locate any WW1 service records for any of the 3 proprietors of Star Engineering at Bondi Junction.

I have found reference to a patent application by Court-Rice;
"Application for Letters Patent for an invention by: Charles Albert Court-Rice - Titled - Improvements in Clutch and accelerator interconnecting mechanism for motor vehicle engines 2742/1926"

So potentially Court-Rice was an engineer of some description? I cannot find anymore information so it could have lapsed or was not granted?

Going by the mission by Jellicoe the R.A.N. works had a team of skilled artisans there in 1918. As EW-Ron points out - were these people mainly from the earlier Shaw radio works or employed as required by the Navy - if so you could assume they would have had service records?


Cheers

Ian

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #65 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 02:28 »
The Electoral Roll for Randwick  (seat of Watson) may list some of the folks at Shaws Wireless Works.
Don't think its online, unless you've bribed Ancestry.com, might see if the library has it.
Might be a bit of a slog. Not sure it would cover Bondi Junction either, be a different seat.

You hear of all sorts of wonderful finds at the tip, I only ever got more junk, bits of junk or just junk  !?

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #66 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 04:04 »
Its also worth mentioning as before that Pulford has been in the compressor and now air and gas business since 1925,
and still going.  As FR Pulford & Son in Maroubra circa 1949, and these days all over Australia.
Not much difference between engines and compressors, when it comes down to tin tacks ?



https://pulford.com.au/about/air-compressors-sydney/air-compressor-sales-sydney/

Wonder how much they know of their founders history ?

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #67 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 05:53 »
Hi EW-Ron,

Yes the timing of Frank R. Pulford leaving Star Engineering to Court-Rice does seem coincidental with the start up of F R Pulford of Air compressor fame. I had a little stab at the connection a way back in this thread but could not establish any links between compressors and the Star.

My sister is much better at genealogical research than I am (...and has an Ancestry account), so I asked her to look into Court-Rice and she may have uncovered an interesting link.

"...... Charles Court Rice senior born 1862 died 1936 in Australia, seems to have been a vet at one stage, and his father too I think,  and one brother were horse dealers. He was married and 'living on his own means' in 1891, which could have been because his mother died (she was living on her own means in 1881).
He had a son Charles Albert Court Rice (no hyphen) in 1884. Can't find them in UK after 1891, but on one obituary he arrived in 1899. ..."

So the Court Rice's possibly live by independent means (?) and have a possible connection to horses. The Douglas's run the Blacksmith / Farriers business at 121 Oxford street, that also is connected to horses (and farrier business's very much in decline by the1900-10's) that is  in need of a new direction (i.e. Star Engineering) and Father Shaw was apparently involved in horses as in Horse racing.....and Randwick is well known for its racecourse.......slim lead I know ,but could link Court-Rice (maybe Snr?), Douglas (maybe John rather than James) and Shaw. Not sure where Pulford fits in yet.

I think I might have stretched that as far as I can !...maybe to far? :-)

cheers

Hutch


Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #68 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 06:15 »
Part No 1243 Exhaust Valve Rocker. I have been cleaning up the parts hoping for another “Star “stamping. No Star stamp but this  rocker stands out because of the lack of Douglas stamp. The photo shows the Douglas stamp in various positions and depth on the 3 on theleft “and nothing on the right rocker. This rocker also stands out because of the abnormal wear on the contact lobe. Not visible in the photo but quite pronounced. I have several original Douglas and none show anything like that amount of wear. The second photo shows a crack developing through both sides of the rocker and extends about half way. I wonder if the Star engineers didn’t get the metallurgy quite right and there was a catastrophic failure of the other exhaust rocker. The casing shows damage in the timing gear  cavity and filler used to repair it. Also one of the valve rocker studs is stripped out of the casing but luckily was found amongst the bits. Lucky because it is longer than the standard Douglas stud. There are also two unmarked inlet valve rockers part number 1251  showing  considerable wear. They are solid and do not have the cut out groove on one side that is found on the Douglas marked ones. No sign of the second exhaust  rocker adding to the theory it broke and was discarded.

Offline eddie

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #69 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 06:54 »
I think the cracked cam follower is the result of something else going wrong - maybe a piston or rings breaking up and getting trapped above the valve and preventing it from lifting. The cam follower, being the weak link, cracks - as shown in the photo.

  Regards,
                  Eddie.

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #70 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 07:33 »
Ian,

Your post had me going into the shed to check the 2 3/4hp cam followers I have. I have a few and most are knackered, but all the ones with the groove have the Douglas DK trademark on them.  The ones without the groove have no trademark on them. Two of them have been welded up to repair a crack in the same area as yours so possibly a common issue? One is Douglas the other is a no-brand. Fatigue, or as Eddie says some other issue?  Some of the followers I have appear to be bent - all damaged ones are exhaust followers...... maybe too much lift on that wild "Star Engineering" Camshaft! :-)

EDIT:- ratio of Douglas to No Brand followers is about 50:50.

I have a pair of exhaust followers that appear NOS - no groove or trademark....I was going to use them in an engine and now you have me worried :-).....might check the quality of the material on those!...

Cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 04 Oct 2020 at 07:59 by Hutch »

Offline eddie

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #71 on: 04 Oct 2020 at 08:23 »
Ian,
        I think you will find that the geometry of the followers is the cause of more breakages on exhaust followers. The inlet followers have the tappet almost in line with the contact point with the cam - the exhaust followers are longer, so the tappet exerts a bending force on the follower - probably the reason why later followers were of a deeper section.

   Eddie.

  P.S.   The increased wear rate on the 'pattern' followers may not be down to poor quality material - more a case of the materials for the cams and followers being too similar - in high load situations, it is better to have dis-similar metals in rubbing contact - BSA found this out in the early 50's with the cams and followers on their singles.

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #72 on: 08 Oct 2020 at 21:46 »
Ian, is there any indication whether the cylinders (and pistons) you acquired via ebay are Douglas items,
or copies ?  Occurs to me if the crankcases and crank are Star Engineering, maybe the whole lot was
being replicated ?   Possibly as a follow on from what the RAN Works were doing. ??

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #73 on: 10 Oct 2020 at 12:15 »
I can see no markings on the cylinders but then I can not see any Douglas identity marks on any of my other cylinders. Is there usually  Douglas mark any where on the cylinders. If so where?

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #74 on: 10 Oct 2020 at 14:56 »
Seems the unmarked cam followers are quite common so possibly not Star. How about the piston on the right? Unlike any others I have. No markings but no markings on the others either.

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #75 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 02:01 »
I don't think I know these engines that well either.
I just wondered if something would stand out.
There is nothing (markings) cast up inside the pistons ?

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #76 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 02:19 »
Douglas on the left with Single rib. Unknown on the right with X rib. Does this match anything in anyone’s collection? A common aftermarket piston or  could it be a Star Engineering piston?

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #77 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 03:05 »
Ian,
The "single rib" design looks like one of the  Douglas piston designs to me, but would have to look at some old pistons to confirm. They have two wide rings above the gudgeon pin. Douglas did change the design as time went on so not 100% sure about the one on the right - it does look non-Douglas to me tho'.

It does appear to have a thicker skirt than the one on the left tho' and the 2 3/4 pistons I have seen with the single rib appear to have quite thin skirts - maybe the one on the right is one casting designed to suit all overbores? (i.e. like the Aluminium JP pistons for the 2 3/4 hp)

I would have to look at the 2 3/4hp parts book but I seem to remember Douglas only offering a smallish range of oversize pistons? I have some 2 3/4 h.p. barrels that have been bored out to over 1mm oversize so my guess is they would have had to use aftermarket pistons? Guess only.

I have some more info. on Cam followers but unfortunately busy with other tasks at the moment - will post when I get a chance. It is in relation to Eddie's post.

Cheers

Hutch


Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #78 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 05:59 »
Hi Ian,

Harold D. kindly sent me this picture of a 1913 2 3/4hp flywheel side crankcase half and I added in a picture of a 1915 version for comparison with the "Star" version. No real disenable difference between the 1915 version and 1913 one, that I can see (apart from the patina that is!). So cannot date the "Star" casting other than to say it is "Veteran" style Douglas ? The split timing cover of the "Star" appears to date the timing side crankcase half casting pattern from 1914 or earlier.

Cheers

Hutch
« Last Edit: 11 Oct 2020 at 08:24 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #79 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 08:31 »
Is it my imagination or does the casting around the drive side main bearing on the Star engine looks more like the R.A.N. engine than the 1913 -1915 Douglas version? i.e. sharper edges and slightly larger - might be just the picture aspect tho'?

-H

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #80 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 10:06 »
Hi Hutch,
Does the R.A.N have a one or two piece timing gear cover?
The lack of the raised “button” on the Star certainly ties it in with the RAN style cover. That raised bit on the 1913 and 1915 covers  is even found on the later 1920’s casings that no longer use it for the chain guard screw. My 1925 TS secures the chain guard using the gearbox bolts and the button is not even tapped with a thread or even a hole.
It would be interesting to compare the internals of an RAN motor with a Douglas. I have a piston and a connecting rod that don’t match my Douglas samples.
Cheers Ian P

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #81 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 11:04 »
Found letters cast into the inside of the unknown piston. Doesn’t look like Star. Do the letters mean anything to anybody?






Image aspect ratios corrected and cropped - Dave, Admin, 12 Oct 2020
« Last Edit: 11 Oct 2020 at 19:54 by Dave »

Offline ianpenrose

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #82 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 11:18 »
Douglas on the left, Star? On the right.

Offline pvn06

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #83 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 18:23 »
Nothing to add on the latest photos . . . other than they are all interesting - but Hutch, I love that video of the stationary engine, it is wonderfully original.  If I owned that and 'had my way' at home (which I don't!) . . . I would have the stationary engine running in one room . . .and powering the TV in the other room - so that my wife and daughter could watch whatever soap they want to watch, and I could just stay in the other room and watch the stationary engine running!

Paul
www.RacingNorton.co.uk

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #84 on: 11 Oct 2020 at 21:53 »
Ah, there might be a bit of a technical problem with powering your TV with that thing.
Quite apart from the exhaust fumes in your 'other room' !
Something I only realised from that video is that that these 'generator' thingies only generate
a massive spark to be able to generate radio signals from a spark gap.
Early radio transmissions were decidedly primitive, and broadcast across a huge chunk of the
radio spectrum - in morse code dots and dashes only.

Such spark transmissions were actually outlawed in 1934, since such signals cause massive interference
across voice transmission signals, which was a 1920s development which made spark transmissions obsolete.

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #85 on: 12 Oct 2020 at 03:50 »
Hi Hutch,
Does the R.A.N have a one or two piece timing gear cover?
The lack of the raised “button” on the Star certainly ties it in with the RAN style cover. That raised bit on the 1913 and 1915 covers  is even found on the later 1920’s casings that no longer use it for the chain guard screw.

Hi Ian,

Yes the R.A.N. generator has (well this one does...) a two piece timing cover as shown in this picture of an incomplete one shown on this forum;

https://www.douglasmotorcycles.net/index.php?topic=2218.0

Two piece timing covers were used by Douglas up to 1914 on the 2 3/4 hp. In 1915 Douglas introduced the single piece timing cover. This doesn't necessarily date the "Star" flywheel side crankcase half to pre 1914 design tho', only the timing side half. Note the bulge in the R.A.N timing cover where the end of the crank shaft would be. I presume this would possibly in relation to the starting handle but without seeing inside it is pure speculation on my part. Might be for an extra support bearing....not sure.

The R.A.N. engine may have a different oiling system to the standard motorcycle engine, something I still have to investigate. looks like an oil filler on the top "half" of the timing cover, or maybe a breather? I will have to hunt down the instruction book on the R.A.N. generator that Alan hinted about earlier in this thread.

I had a quick look at my conrod collection and have one or two similar in design to the big end of your "Star" one, but with a much larger and squarer section around the little end. If you put them in a lathe and machined the little end down they would look just  like your "Star" rod.

I had always assumed these conrods were "early" veteran 2 3/4hp ones as they are heavier in design than the normal conrod you would find in a vintage 2 3/4hp. The pictures from the 1912 -1915 Douglas literature don't appear at first glance to tell us much - except the 1912 ones are different again. So are these heavier ones I have Douglas or not?. Don't know, but one has the marking "T89" stamped into it, I gather that this would have matched the numbers stamped in the crankcase halves of the original engine? If this is Douglas, I don't know over what period they did this. I did find a "vintage" or later "veteran" style rod with the number  N124 stamped into it, so possibly Douglas did stamp the matching crankcase numbers on the rods up to a certain time, say WW1? Don't know, but maybe someone on the forum does?

I will get some pictures of the rods I have when I get a chance and will clean up the rods I have and have a closer look also.

cheers

Hutch

« Last Edit: 12 Oct 2020 at 21:39 by Hutch »

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #86 on: 12 Oct 2020 at 21:45 »
Ian,
Here are a couple of pictures showing the little and big ends of the two conrods I mentioned earlier. Your "Star" one might have originated from the heavier one?

-Hutch

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #87 on: 14 Oct 2020 at 06:27 »
Pictures of Marconi 500W portable generator sets seem to be a bit thin on the web, but I found this one on Grace's Guide;

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/File:Im1917YBWT-Marconi8.jpg

Now the interesting thing is the barrels and inlet manifold are 1912 not 1913.....I wonder if Marconi updated their generator engine as Douglas developed the 2 3/4HP or the Marconi ones stayed at 1912 design? The R.A.N. of 1916 appears to be based on the Douglas engine 1913-1914?

More things to ponder! :-)

Edit: So the funny looking casting on the upper timing cover half is for a tacho drive? (not oil filling as I guessed earlier in the thread) Will have a look through some old NCR's and see if I can find the article that Alan referred to.....

-Hutch
« Last Edit: 14 Oct 2020 at 07:32 by Hutch »

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #88 on: 15 Oct 2020 at 22:01 »
I notice there are a couple of sets of teens/20s duggie piston blanks on aussie ebay.
Lot of turning to do !

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/8vQAAOSwU~9fWHEO/s-l1600.jpg
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/LnUAAOSw3NBfWHEV/s-l1600.jpg

Same seller has some ohv blanks also.
So this stuff is/was around.

Offline Hutch

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #89 on: 08 Dec 2020 at 03:37 »

......Mmmm, that lettering makes me wonder if there is some connection to the STAR SYDNEY crankcases, that is too much of a coincidence ??


I was also thinking along those lines as well, EW-Ron (reply #53). I asked Harold D., who was at the Toowoomba Swap mentioned earlier in this thread, if he took any pictures of the RAN spark generator. With a big thankyou to Harold, we have the attached picture.........which shows the letters are a different font to those used on the "Star" Engine (i.e. look at the "S").

So I think it is back to the drawing board on that one unfortunately!  :( .

cheers

Hutch

« Last Edit: 08 Dec 2020 at 03:44 by Hutch »

Offline EW-Ron

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Re: 2 3/4hp Australian crankcase casting
« Reply #90 on: 08 Dec 2020 at 07:06 »
After seeing these in detail, I don't think there is any connection there either.
And any good foundry can do lettering too, it must be commented.

I enquired of the War Memorial in Canberra, The Royal Australian Navy History Unit, and The Powerhouse Museum if they had any knowledge of the Randwcck operation.
They confessed to knowing of it, with no real additional detail. Nor knowledge of where any actual blueprints of such things might be either.
Or details of who may have worked there, other than what can be read in the press reports of the day.

The Canberra War Memorial did advise though that one of their volunteers had visited the Randwick workshops, in the early 1980s, when by then it was just a storage facility.
I asked if they could record their memories of that, but I'd doubt that much will come of it -AAnd it was largely empty by then.