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Vaughan

Old Broads Engines

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Yesterday on the "double standards" thread, we had a brief diversion about the engine in Royal Tudor and I thought members might be interested in a little history of the types of engines that were used, as I remember them:

In the 40s the almost universal hire boat engine was the Morris Navigator. A large, solid, 4 cylinder side valve petrol engine. They were very reliable and very quiet. All you could hear was the small clicking of the magneto. I think they must have been fitted in large Morris vans of the time. In those days there was no electricity on the boat, except the spark plugs. Cooking was gas, lighting by paraffin lamps and a free standing paraffin heater could be hired as an extra.

The next series of petrol engines which appeared in the 50s were by Morris, and Ford.

The 1000cc Vedette was overhead valve and came from the Morris Minor car. Later slightly adapted for the Mini Minor. I would think almost half the hire boats on the Broads had these, almost always on a Parsons mechanical gearbox.

And the other half had a Ford! The first was the E93A, a small side valve engine which came from the early Ford Prefect. Then came the 100E which was overhead valve, from the early Ford Angia. This later became the 105E, in the Mk 1 Cortina. These latter were known in boats, as the Ford Watermota. Again, they almost always had a Parsons gearbox. The E93A was the one I remember in most day launches and some still had an automotive clutch, with a pedal on the floor under the dashboard!

In the late 60s the Hillman Imp engine, and the slightly larger Hillman Minx, were used with big success in production speedboats, by Sabena Marine and others.

Diesels took a long time to catch on, although the first one on the Broads was installed by Hearts Cruisers in the Knave of Hearts, in 1949. This was a Turner V2, which had been designed as a ship's fire pump, or tractor engine. The vibration was quite something! There is no doubt that the two diesels  which revolutionised the Broads were by Austin - later BMC and later Leyland - and by Perkins.

The BMC 1.5 was marinised originally by Newage or Tempest and was called the Captain. Later cooling systems were by Bowman. The 2.5 litre engine was called the Commander. The Austin 1.5 diesel was fitted to half of all the London black taxi - cabs.

And the other half were fitted with the Perkins 4.99. This was a wet liner engine which was then re-lined, to become the Perkins 4.107.

At the same time, hydro - mechanical gearboxes were introduced, such as TMP, PRM and Borg Warner. This meant you could finally do away with the 4 foot iron lever stuck up out of the wheelhouse floor, and fit a Morse single lever control! The engines also had indirect cooling, by heat exchanger, which allowed hot water from a calorifier tank. You could  now use antifreeze, and fit a thermostat.

Ford also had marine diesels, the best being the 4D, which came from the Thames Trader lorries. The marine version was called the Parsons Pike. There was a 6 cylinder, which I think was called the Barracuda. There was also the Perkins Prima, which was used a lot by Volvo.

BMC also did a 1.8 diesel which was a conversion from a petrol engine, which I think came from the Austin Princess. These were not a success as they couldn't stand the greater compression, and kept blowing head gaskets.

You may have noticed that all these engines originally came from vehicles? This is always a problem in marine use, as they are designed to be worked on from underneath, with the vehicle up on a ramp. You can't do that with a boat! There are very few genuine marine engines but Petter and Lister were two good ones.

Hope that this has been interesting and anyone who can remember any more, please join in!

 

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Interesting reading - Thanks for sharing.  We inherited a Perkins 4108 when we purchased R641 back in 2002 with a Borg Warner 2:1 reduction gearbox.  We are lead to believe that gearbox was the original one fitted in 1966 or sometime later but may not be if you see what I mean.  However that same gearbox is still in use inboard 'B.A' today

Griff

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I must disagree with regards to the 100E Anglia. I had one in my early teens to drive around the farm and it was side valve. My mother had a 105E the one with the funny back window it was overhead valve. Looking back I can't believe the places I got to in my 100E with it's 3 speed gearbox with no syncro on 1st. Used to rabbit on the stubble at night with it. The Mk1 Cortina had a 1.2 Kent engine which was also fitted to Anglia 1200 supers.

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You are not the only one to mention the 100E, I have just had a PM about it!

I am not the oracle though - just writing what I remember from a long time ago. Very glad to be corrected!

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The 100E was indeed side valve. The confusion is from later in the production run when the 105E was introduced. Ford continued to produce the 100E shell alongside the 105E for their more 'traditional' customers. That car was designated the 107E and had the ohv engine fitted. I believe it continued till 1962 whereas the 105E ran till 1967 and was replaced by the crossflow engined Escort.

Yes, I do need to get out more. 

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Very interesting Vaughan thank you for sharing ?

John

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I think my confusion comes from when I used to sell Freeman cruisers for Percivals. They had what was described as a 105E Watermota engine and we were told it was based on the Cortina.

It's all a long time ago!

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If it helps the 105E came in 997cc and 1200cc. The Cortina used the 1200 and a 1500cc version. I think it was the larger capacity block that was preferred for marinisation.

So it would have been a Cortina engine based on the 105E.

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The original 40's Morris engine would have very likely been, the TK3 1547 cc 11.97 hp, as used in the series Y 10cwt van.

Mk 1 Cortina came in Four guises 1200, 1500  Side valve later OHV 1500 GT OHV pre crossflow and Lotus 1557c

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I seem to recall that the 105E Anglia with the 1200 engine was actually known as a 123E. This is based on magazine reading rather than first hand knowledge though.

Also am I correct in thinking that the Perkins 4.107 has wet liners and the 4.108 has dry?

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4 minutes ago, WherryNice said:

Also am I correct in thinking that the Perkins 4.107 has wet liners and the 4.108 has dry?

Yes. So rather than re-bore them, you just changed the liners. The 4107 did sterling work on the Broads, but if they got overheated they tended to bend the cylinder head. The 4108 was a re-work of the engine, with dry liners, a strengthened cylinder head and larger head studs.

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8 minutes ago, WherryNice said:

I seem to recall that the 105E Anglia with the 1200 engine was actually known as a 123E. This is based on magazine reading rather than first hand knowledge though.

Also am I correct in thinking that the Perkins 4.107 has wet liners and the 4.108 has dry?

1200 Anglia was known as the deluxe

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The names, 'Ford Watermota', 'Morris Vedette', 'Perkins', 'Thorneycroft', 'Borg Warner' etc. etc... All bring back memories of looking through the "Blakes" brochure, when it arrived. Unfortunately to me, the names mean't nothing. I've always been THAT PERSON who rings a friend, when anything 'under the bonnet' goes awry and pray they can fix it... The only thing that ever mattered to me, when choosing our boat, was 'will it go under Potter Heigham bridge'. Luckily, in the forty odd years, since I first cruised the broads. I can count on one hand, the number of times we've had to call out the boatyard for 'engine related' problems. So, I reckon that the above names (and others) must be pretty reliable at doing their job and that was all that mattered to me...

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We hired Chumley & Hawkes Constellation 2 in 1964 (her first full season) and she had a Perkins 4.99. When we hired her again in 1966 she had a Perkins 4.107.

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3 hours ago, JanetAnne said:

The 100E was indeed side valve. The confusion is from later in the production run when the 105E was introduced. Ford continued to produce the 100E shell alongside the 105E for their more 'traditional' customers. That car was designated the 107E and had the ohv engine fitted. I believe it continued till 1962 whereas the 105E ran till 1967 and was replaced by the crossflow engined Escort.

Yes, I do need to get out more. 

I think the the run on of the 100E/107E also brought about a name change. The 100E was available as an Anglia or higher spec Prefect. These names were dropped and the name Poplar re-introduced.

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The prefect with a side valve engine along with the popular were both E93A 's Commonly known at the time as sit up n begs

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I've just got one thing to say on Ford Populars - vacuum wipers. HaHaHaHa. Just when you needed them they slowed to a crawl across the glass, making you take your foot of the throttle, when they'd attempt to throw themselves off the screen. Until you accelerated, which would initiate the whole cycle again!

Sorry to hijack, Vaughan.

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3 hours ago, FairTmiddlin said:

1200 Anglia was known as the deluxe

sorry nigel the deluxe was  997 the 1200  123e  ws known as the super

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Here is the Popular based on the 100E as someone stated very short run from 59 to 62 as the cut back rear window of the new Anglia and Classic were not to everyones taste.Screenshot_20180724-145022.thumb.png.6c2d36db6215ed3a5a0b6fd5d8960dff.png

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25 minutes ago, Regulo said:

I've just got one thing to say on Ford Populars - vacuum wipers. HaHaHaHa. Just when you needed them they slowed to a crawl across the glass, making you take your foot of the throttle, when they'd attempt to throw themselves off the screen. Until you accelerated, which would initiate the whole cycle again!

Sorry to hijack, Vaughan.

Fantastic at traffic lights on red though.

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9 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

Here is the Popular based on the 100E as someone stated very short run from 59 to 62 as the cut back rear window of the new Anglia and Classic were not to everyones taste.Screenshot_20180724-145022.thumb.png.6c2d36db6215ed3a5a0b6fd5d8960dff.png

In the background by the person in a red shirt a E93A sit up n beg popular or maybe anlia popular 2 door anglia and prefect 4 door all E93A's had rod brakes unless converted to hydraulic late 50's early 60's

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37 minutes ago, Regulo said:

I've just got one thing to say on Ford Populars - vacuum wipers. HaHaHaHa. Just when you needed them they slowed to a crawl across the glass, making you take your foot of the throttle, when they'd attempt to throw themselves off the screen. Until you accelerated, which would initiate the whole cycle again!

Sorry to hijack, Vaughan.

100E also had vacuum wipers, some early E93A's has hand turn wipers

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15 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

Here is the Popular based on the 100E as someone stated very short run from 59 to 62 as the cut back rear window of the new Anglia and Classic were not to everyones taste.Screenshot_20180724-145022.thumb.png.6c2d36db6215ed3a5a0b6fd5d8960dff.png

Also the Essex registered in Chelmsford around 1962 in the picture has non standard wheels. But looks to have undergone s serious restoration and well loved again now by the looks of the picture.

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To return to things marine, I remember quite a lot of Ford Watermota engines were mated to Enfield Zdrives and fitted to various grp narrow beam, centre cockpit cruisers of various marques. There were loads of them moored along the tow path at Rickmansworth. I suppose they offered a much cheaper alternative to a traditional steel narrow boat.

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Interesting reading this.  I have always wondered about mechanical engineering, but growing up was more into electrical stuff and later computers and so on but it did not stop me always wanting to look at the boats engines.

It was often the case that on the first night moored up I would be down there looking about, inspecting, wondering what did what and the like. Way back then I had a preference, I preferred the BMC over the Perkins they ran smoother and did not seem so 'smelly'. 

What is really rather amazing is while relativity few vehicles exist with these engines now, there are many many boats not just on the Broads who have these engines still going strong, some have been completed restored to as original condition by specialists and will probably outlive the boats they are installed in rather than die.

One thing I have noticed is the sounds of engines have changed so much. Modern hire boats have modern engines, they run smoother and quieter and often also have more complex waterlocks to further reduce the noise coming out the exhaust. Since a great deal of new boats are run with hydraulic motors run off the engine you get a gentle whine as they pass, but every so often an older boat will come alone with an old Perkins or BMC with their distinct note - they may have passed you by any minutes ago but you will still hear the engine note change as they increase revs - that to me represents the sound of the Broads and boating and I while I may be all for modernity, frankly it would not be the same without those old exhaust notes out on the water.

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