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Thornycroft (Thorneycroft) Handy Bill...

Old Marine Engine » Multi Cylinder Gas Inboards » Thornycroft (Thorneycroft) Handy Billy two cylinder gas engine. « Previous Next »

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robert
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Username: robert

Post Number: 4
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 12:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Would like to hear from anyone with one of these are parts or literature for same. Have just got one in restorable condition. Thanks.
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solarrog
Senior Member
Username: solarrog

Post Number: 131
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

pictures???????
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keith
Senior Member
Username: keith

Post Number: 162
Registered: 02-2002


Posted on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 08:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Robert
I have a Thornycroft manual from around 1927 on the "Type RA". It is over 100 pages. Does the picture look like yours?
Keith
Thornycroft
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robert
Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 6
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 01:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Keith, thanks for that. The general arrangement with hand starter etc. is the same. The Handy Billy has an open flywheel, but enclosed valve gear etc. The pattern makers and molders who made it really knew their trades; to my eye it is a tour de force. Unfortunately it is crammed into my garage which is full to the brim at the moment so no photos are possible, but will get some up later. The engine has a built in reduction gear and the clutch was designed by Heath, Robinson & Goldburg, Consulting Engineers ;-) Cast iron elipses are asked to flex in and out by eccentric studs inserted at their narrowest points. Naturally they flex under protest and not indefinitely as mine have fractured, most definitely. Will post some photos of that later too, for mutual enjoyment!
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 134
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 01:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thought I'd posted this already.

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neville
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Username: neville

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 04:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Robert
I have 2 Handybillys, a petrol and a petrol/paraffin. I have some manuals etc that could be copied and one or two spares. Please feel free to email me and I will help you if I can.
regards
Neville
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 168
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 03:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Neville, thank you very much, I've emailed you. I might add that I've obtained very nice scans of the operating and service manuals for the Handy Billy from a gentleman in the UK. If anyone needs copies I would be happy to make a CD and forward the same.
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 169
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Thursday, June 09, 2005 - 12:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a photo of Neville's petrol/parafin (gas/kerosene) Handy Billy. Very nice work.

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John Burgess
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Posted on Monday, May 01, 2006 - 09:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was told that the "Handy Billy" was named after my Grandfather William Hemingway AMICE (1863-1943) who lived in Fulham. I am interested in anyone's comments on this.
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 108
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 02, 2006 - 01:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"A handy billy is a small tackle for general purposes."

The term seems to be in wide use and does not seem to have originated with the engine. Therefore I would guess that it does not refer to your granfather. Can you tell us the source of this attribution?
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John Burgess
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Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 03:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

IN ANSWER TO ROBERT'}S MESSAGE OF MAY 2
My cousin Phillip Hemingway who worked for British Thompson Houston Company until he joined the Thames Water Police told me that our Grandfather William Hemingway" had the nick name “Handy Billy” which became the name for the police boat engines, which he designed for Mr Morris of Morris Motors" Phillip died some two years ago.
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 109
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Friday, May 05, 2006 - 01:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is there a connection between Thornycroft and Morris Motors?
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mashu
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Username: mashu

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 12:44 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello I´am from Argentina and I have a db2 "handy billy" in my boat,(full running). But I´am not anything for this engine: technical specifications, building year, etc, The serial nº is:1638.-Can you help me? Thankshandy billy in board
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Philip Gadd
Visitor
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 - 05:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have an exhaust manifold (new) for a Thornycroft Handy Billy. I also have the patterns to cast more. These were found in my late Fathers garage. Any interest to anyone?
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 515
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 - 07:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Interesting Philip. Are these original patters from the factory or some your father made or had made. Is the manifold water-cooled or not, and are you in North America? Thanks for posting.
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Philip Gadd
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Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013 - 06:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Robert, My father had the patterns made as he had two handy billy's in a boat and could not get new exhaust manifolds. I believe that it is water cooled. I live in Hampshire, UK.
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 518
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 01:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Philip, Neville who posted earlier in this thread might be the best man to talk to then. I would be interested in the manifold you have, but not easy to send half way round the world. You might try the Stationary Engine Forum in the UK as well. Do you know where your father's engines ended up?
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Philip Gadd
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Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 07:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Robert, The boat was sold in the early 90's and I don't know what happened to it, which is a pity.
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 519
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 11:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Philip, does the pattern replicate the original exactly or is it a simplified version of original manifold?
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THORNYCROFT SOC
Visitor
Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 - 07:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

ONE COMPLETE AND TWO PART DISMANTLED THORNYCROFT HANDY BILLY TWO CYLINDER MARINE ENGINES. DONATION TO A GOOD HOME/ CARITABLE CAUSE .
(BEENHAM. BERKSHIRE. ENGLAND.
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ifmop
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Username: ifmop

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2013
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 04:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The three engines in the previous post arrived at the museum a couple of months ago. Severe corrosion has meant only one could be made from the three but museum volunteer David has now almost finished. Just awaiting the return of the magneto.

Thorneycroft Handybilly

We do now have a number of spares that we would be happy to pass on if anybody is stuck.
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 590
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How is the water jacket on the engine shown being conserved? Nice job on the restoration by the way; good compromise between originality and refinishing.
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poppet
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Username: poppet

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2013
Posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 02:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Very impressive Handybilly restoration Ifmop.
I am looking for a part for my Handybilly, namely the breather pipe from the carb to the valvebox cover. Any chance you have one amongst your spares? Regards, Chris
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Richard Watson
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Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 03:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have the User Handbook for a DB2 Handybilly petrol/paraffin engine and rather than chuck it out would be happy to post it free of charge to anyone interested,. Any takers?
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 609
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Email sent Richard, thank you.
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StephanieHorton
Visitor
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 - 09:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi, Hoping someone might assist.
We have a customer with one of these engines in a narrowboat in the london area, unfortunately the head gasket failed and the pistons need replacing, but we have not been able to locate replacement pistons although we managed to get hold of the gaskets...any one any ideas on where we go next?
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 611
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Friday, October 18, 2013 - 10:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Stephanie, since the cylinder block is easily removed from the bulk of the engine (see photos above) the solution is to remove it and the pistons & rods and have the cylinders bored and sleeved back to slightly more than the original diameter. The original pistons can then be ground or machined down in diameter slightly to match the new cylinder bores. The piston ring grooves may need to be enlarged slightly on a lathe to return them to square, and new piston rings fitted. It should be relatively simple to find rings of a suitable size, or to adapt some that are close. There should be numerous engine rebuilders around London capable of this kind of work. Best to ask around for recommendations in the vintage car groups for example, a long-established shop or one that specializes in working on vintage engines might be best. Of course with an engine of this age, it if has not had new bearings and seals within 20 years or so, this would probably be the time to do a full overhaul, depending on your client's budget and time constraints.
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stephaniehorton
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Posted on Monday, October 21, 2013 - 05:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hello again
I have attached some photos of the engine...don't think that it is the same as the handy billys but wondered if anyone can shead any light on it..and suggest where we can obtain some parts... it was built around 1937 and is a 2cyl diesel.

Thornycroft EngineEngine plate
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stephaniehorton
Visitor
Posted on Monday, October 21, 2013 - 05:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sorry Robert...meant to add that as customer is not cash rich we are looking at cheaper options first, but thanks for the advice...and also thank you to the gentleman that offered the pistons much appreciated!
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 614
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, October 21, 2013 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As I would have expected in a narrow boat, it's a diesel, a RJ2 / RJ-2, and if the engine has been used commercially for years it may need a complete overhaul. In which case if time & money are crucial, and the following doesn't work, perhaps better to sell it to a collector and buy something which is ready to run.

If you have significantly uneven compression then you may well have a mechanical defect of some kind that will require disassembly to correct, but no harm in trying the following, except your labour and time of course.

If the compression or leak down test shows fairly even compression, and if the engine history indicates the rings might be stuck, (long idle periods, contaminated fuel, poor maintenance etc.) Sea Foam or another carbon solvent would be a good first step. People have run engines on the straight solvent with good results I've read, by connecting the fuel line to a container of solvent or a strong solvent/fuel mix. If that doesn't work, drain the oil, put the engine half way between top dead centres so that the pistons are at the same position in the bores, and put a half cup or so of solvent in each cylinder through the injector or glow plug ports. Then wait a few days and try starting, after draining any solvent from the sump and refilling with the old oil, and preferably running on the fuel/solvent mix. Be ready to block the air intake & crankcase vents if any, with wood/metal in case the engine runs away, a significant risk with low compression diesels, especially with solvent present that is more volatile than diesel.

If the solvent drains past the rings quickly, that of course indicates that at least part of the problem is stuck rings or piston ring/bore wear/damage. Without the head off the only way to tell if the solvent is running past the rings quickly is to monitor what drains into the sump, or to very slowly bar the engine over and see if the solvent gushes out of the ports it was put in through (assuming you still have the injectors or glow plugs removed at that point) Half a cup may not be enough for this to happen, use more if you wish, but no one wants a face full of solvent or it all over the cabin roof, so bar it over very slowly! A clean rag over the ports might not be a bad idea; clean so that you can easily see if the rag is getting soaked with solvent. It can take time for the solvent to do its work, so the longer you can wait the better. If you want to get fancy you can put a bit of air pressure to each cylinder to help force the solvent down around the rings. Use a portable air tank with a reliable adjustable regulator and adaptor for the port threads. Just a few PSI for a few minutes is all you need, so a reliable regulator is critical. Repeat as necessary. Of course youll need to bar the engine over to TDC for each piston so that the valves are closed,when applying air pressure.

If the solvent treatment doesn't bring compression up to an even & acceptable level, (confirmed by a compression test after treatment and a run) then it's off with her head and inspect the bores, valve seats, guides and seals. If those are OK, then out with the pistons and check the rings. Some or all of them may be rusted in place if the engine has sat for a long time or run with contaminated fuel etc., and solvent is not going to fix that. If they're stuck, the pistons will have to go into a hot tank or ultra-sonic cleaner, followed by careful hand work to unstick the rings. I'd avoid trying to remove the rings if possible as there is always the risk of breakage.

If you need a new head gasket you should contact gasketstogo.com if you cant find an original spare. If you cant get a spare in the UK, then there is no point taking the head off until you have it in hand, so you might as well try the solvent method first. And if your client is not up for a bore and sleeve job anyway, then doubly no point in taking the head off until youve tried the solvent treatment.

Bear in mind that I am not a ticketed diesel tech, just an amateur, but I have been working on an engine with exactly this problem recently, so it's fresh in my mind. ;-) My advice here is based on the cheapest-first principle, so I welcome comments or corrections from others!

There seems to be some parts support here: http://www.thornycroftparts.co.uk/

There seem to be quite a few of these engines about in the UK still, so if the one in question is only rebuildable, you might be able to find one already done and swap them over, thus saving lots of work on engine beds, connections, shafting, props etc.
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robert
Senior Member
Username: robert

Post Number: 616
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 01:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Would be a good idea to de-glaze the cylinder bores too, if the pistons are removed. Rags underneath the bores to catch the grit.

Some good info on cylinder bore glazing here: http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pages/Boreglazing.aspx

And related matters here: http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pages/Enginefaults.aspx

And if that's not enough, how about a short course on engine oils and the problems thereof!? http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pages/Oilforyachtengines.aspx
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eagle1703
New member
Username: eagle1703

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2014
Posted on Sunday, June 08, 2014 - 08:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have just aquired my late Grandfathers Thornycroft DB2 which was the 1st one sold in Malta in 1926. The engine has been stored over the last 30 years and was stated on a few occasions. I will be restoring the engine to my late grandfathers unique Maltese Firilla again built in around 1915. The engine appears in reasonable order but I will have it stripped and refurbished and would welcome any advice and would be interested if there are any parts out there I could buy. My engine has the Zennith carburettor. I live in the UK but the project will be undertaken in Malta. I have all the original documentation for the engine.
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Graham Goodhew
Visitor
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 05:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi I have 2 Handy Billy carbs free to anyone who wants them provided they pay the postage.
email g.goodhew@btopenworld.com

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