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Engine Repairs


 National engines had a tendency to leak oil but during 2007 Swallow’s engine was beginning to leak copious amounts! 
Enquiries to vintage engine specialists elicited various response ‘it’s a big job’ – ‘the engine will have to come out’ – ‘cost thousands’
– ‘I should keep putting the oil in’! 
However diesel engine specialist Dave Ashford of Napier Transport Ltd came to the rescue with a proposal
which did not involve removal of the engine, a quotation that would not break the bank and an enthusiasm for vintage engines!  
Moreover National Historic Ships once again agreed to assist with part funding, for which we are most grateful. 

An assortment of bits

Hanging around

Front end with cover plates removed

Front end cover plates on tow path

Sump cover removed a rare view of the underside of the engine

Heads removed and push rods lined up for inspection

"Nuff said"

The Work

 It was agreed to strip down the engine as far as needed in order to tighten up all the nuts and fastenings,
and replace all the gaskets that were accessible. 
This involved removing the flywheel, itself a major task due to its weight and size. 
Having removed the cylinder heads we decided to send them to RN Diesel Engine Co at Daventry for examination. 
They recommended stripping, cleaning and refurbishment
(including replacement of valve springs, valves, guides, seats re-cut, rocker springs, studs, bolts and nuts)
which they carried out very efficiently under the direction of Brian Jarrett. 
Within a fortnight the engine was back together and ready to go! 
It ran perfectly on the first and subsequent test runs, and now just  needs a coat of paint.
Many thanks to Dave, Steve, RN Diesels, and of course all of our young volunteers who cleaned up the dirty parts ready for refitting
and all others who helped,
not forgetting National Historic Ships for grant assistance.

Flywheel back in place

Refitting the heads

Fitting air intake tube

Dave Ashford finally gets to test the capability of the National