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Up to this time Villiers two-stroke engines were made primarily for motor-cycles, although used in their standard form for invalid carriages, lawn mowers and small runabouts, whatever the ingenuity of other manufacturers called for. All of these uses seem to have started in when a standard cc engine was adapted to drive a lawn mower. This proved technically and commercially successful and lead to the production of a range of two stroke engines designed for such purposes. One of their most famous uses was for Seagull outboard engines.
Dating a Villiers engine - SmokStak
But Villiers would also modify their engine to meet the particular requirements of customers. Villiers also designed a range of fan-cooled two-stroke stationary industrial engines which also met with success. As an advert left claims, their engines were used in "motorcycles, cultivators, motor lawn-mowers, pumping equipment, milling machines and other farming and industrial installations". Villiers had always claimed that they made engines which made it possible for the working class man to buy his own transport.
Dating a Villiers engine
Just before the Second World War the company produced a 98 c. The autocycle found a very big market, with its reliable engine, and up to overVilliers-engined auto-cycles had been sold. An advert fromclaimed as the 50th anniversary of the company. It includes a motor cycle engine, stationary engine and a freewheel.
An article from The Engineer, 9th November, The works have been newly built and planned, and are complete with the latest specialised machinery for their work, and some account, therefore, of their history, their technical equipment, and the engines manufactured will, we feel, be of interest to many of our readers.
Plan of the Marston Road Works. Its first products, were pedals for bicycles, but the making of these was later discontinued, and in the manufacture of Villiers free wheels was begun.SEO For Beginners: 3 Powerful SEO Tips to Rank #1 on Google in 2019
That side of the firm's activities has continued to increase steadily, and today the company is, we are given to understand, one of the largest manufacturers of free wheels in the world. That the firm has not stood still in this side of its work is shown by the fact that there is being exhibited at the nineteenth International Bicycle and Motor Cycle Show at Olympia this week a new type of Villiers two-speed gear.
It consists of two sprockets mounted on the rear hub of a cycle, and connected by a free wheel, so that one sprocket can overrun the other. The drive from the main sprocket is transmitted through two further sprockets mounted on a countershaft, and by means of three driving pins the hub sprockets can be run independently or connected, this action representing a change of gear, giving an increase of speed of about 25 per cent.
It is, however, rather with the engine side of the firm's work that we propose to deal. The first Villiers internal combustion engine using petrol was produced inand was a small single-cylinder, four-stroke unit with an overhead inlet valve which worked in conjunction with a two-speed gearbox.
That design was, at that date, the directors felt, somewhat ahead of its time, and it was immediately decided to produce a very simple two-stroke engine, which was built shortly afterwards in the same year.
The Villiers Engineering Company
Since that time the firm has concentrated on the production of two-stroke engines alone, and from small beginnings, when a good deal of prejudice had to be overcome, the demand for such engines has steadily increased, and now requires a works capacity of 1, engines per week.
We shall describe later some of the principal engine types, and enumerate some of the varied uses to which they are put. Before doing so, however, reference may be appropriately made to the firm's patented flywheel magneto, which forms an integral part of Villiers engines, and is fitted to many engines, both industrial and marine, of other makes. The early Villiers engines were all equipped with horseshoe pattern flywheel magnetos, which at that time were principally produced in Germany.
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During the war period, however, the firm started to manufacture its own magnetos, and after careful consideration it was decided to adopt a flywheel type, which, as the engine was already fitted with a flywheel which would house it, saved a projecting bracket, a chain, and two driving sprockets. After extensive experiments, the Villiers flywheel-type magneto was adopted in as standard equipment on all engines, and is now supplied for all British outboard-type marine engines, and for several Continental makers of similar motors.
The drawing of this device above, shows the general robust construction adopted, with the large coils and magnets, and the absence of all delicate parts.
The magnetos, which we inspected in course of assembly and testing, gave an intense hot spark, which, in these small engines, ensures easy starting with reliable running under varying loads. The Works The foundry, which is specially equipped to deal with repetition aluminium alloy and bronze work, is accommodated in the old Villiers Street works. We noted the general high standard of the castings produced and the good finish secured. The engine and freewheel works is complete with its own stamp shop, which accommodates ten drop hammers fed by oil-fired furnaces.
The parts are drop forged from strip bar and after machining and finishing pass to the hardening department. The general and automatic machine shops are equipped with power presses, milling machines, and full-automatic and semi-automatic special purpose lathes and machines which nave been specially designed to manufacture commercially all the component parts required down to the smallest pin, nut, or washer.
These parts are subjected to a single high-grade standard of supervision throughout the different processes of manufacture and assembly. The Automatic Machine Shop.
About eight years ago the Villiers Engineering Company, Ltd. The General Machine Shop.
As the machine tools are largely occupied on repetition work, a particularly well-equipped tool department is maintained, and there is a die sinking department to deal with special stamping dies.
Attention has been specially paid to appropriate finishes for the engines and their component parts, and we noted that many of the brass and bronze components were being finished by dull chromium plating, while in certain other instances polishing was resorted to.
This finishing work is carried on in special sections of the factory. An important new section which has recently been put to work and which supersedes the original sand blasting equipment is the shot blasting department, equipped by Tilghman's Patent Sand Blast Company, Ltd. The plant consists essentially of a rotating barrel which is mounted upon four rubber-covered rollers and is belt driven through spur gearing.
The barrel itself is furnished with a removable door, through which the castings, stampings, or other components to be cleaned are introduced.
After it has been loaded and the door fastened the contents are tumbled and at the same time are brought under the action of shot blast jets. As the barrel is formed of perforated steel plates the abrasive material can fall into a hopper arranged below the barrel, from which it is drawn up into a cyclone separating chamber by the suction of the fan.
When the shot has been separated from the dust it falls for re-use into the shot blast machine below, which is controlled by the setting of the operating levers. The abrasive is carried along an interior mixing tube and is delivered by compressed air through the jets into the barrel. Their engines were also used in small motorcycles designed for air drop with paratroopers — the Excelsior Welbike and the James ML paratrooper's machine known as the Clockwork Mouse.
He was impressed by the production system and the labour saving devices he saw there. Similar to the cc engine having a fixed cylinder head with roller type big end, but with twin exhaust ports. Whether many of either model were made before war orders halted production in is unclear.
The production of free wheels reached its peak just after World War II, as the company produced 80, per week or 4 million per year. Post-war production[ edit ] InVilliers produced its two millionth engine and presented it to the Science Museum in London. As the factory was producing more parts than Sunbeam required, Villiers also sold components to other manufacturers.
This engine was designated the Mark I and given the code 'O'. In he dispatched his son Charles to the US on a selling trip, but included in his instructions that Charles must discuss pedal engineering with Pratt and Whitney in Hartford, Connecticut and come back with a high-class pedal and the machinery for making it.
He pointed out that "it was not possible to develop these at Sunbeamland, which had long been working on another plan, but it was possible to start them in a new factory". The outside flywheel was made with a separate centrepiece which could be changed to allow for pulley or sprocket usage Introduced the Mark IV with a change in the driving shaft that enabled the flywheel magneto to be fitted Introduced the Mark IV with flywheel magneto and available with electric lighting They discontinued the cc engine and introduced a range of cc,cc and cc.
These are the engines which power many of Britain's two-stroke motor cycles, scooters and three wheelers, and the great majority of the motor mowers, cultivators, concrete mixers, generating sets, elevators, pumping sets. While the cc relied on petrol-oil mixture for crankshaft lubrication, the two larger engines used a separate oil feed system.
Four transfer ports were built in and roller bearings were used on the big end with the usual bronze sleeves on the main bearings. One particular issue was a generic problem — the fact that before the war most engines relied on German-made magnetos for ignition, which caused a major issue during the war.
H Motors of Oldham announced  two motorcycles, the No. In January Villiers patented their solution to this problem — the flywheel-magneto, which became a standard feature of their engines.
Secondly, it developed and patented the cycle free-wheel, which every cycle manufacturer required. At the end of the s they also started producing engines for stationary use, with the first model being the water-cooled WX11 and in the air-cooled Mar-vil. In the company were claiming that: Villiers engines were also used in lawn mowers, for example the cc engine was used in the Atco mowers of the s and in it was joined by a 98 cc Villiers engine, known as the Midget.
This engine was available with Autolube or Petroil lubrication and had a fixed cylinder head, a variable ignition system and a twin exhaust system, similar to the cc models.