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Coventry Victor single cylinder diesel


truckcab79

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Two comments:

 

1) Two stroke semi-diesels will happily run in either direction for sure but I'm surprised to hear that four stroke diesels will run backwards. I'd have thought the valve timing would mess this up, and the injection timing. 

 

2) Make sure you get the old starter motor back with the boat, just in case any problems emerge with the new one. At least you'll know its the correct rotation and you can then compare it with the new one. The last thing you want is them handing the boat over to you and you having doubts about whether the engine is being started in the right direction.

 

Although one way this would be obvious if engaging ahead makes the boat go backwards! 

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The hand start will only turn the engine one way- the right way.  If the starter motor is not turning the engine the same way  as the hand start then it's not the correct starter.

 

The chamfer on the pinion teeth is another clue as to the intended direction of rotation.

 

The Kelvin J manual warns that the engine may run backwards if turned over to diesel too soon.  It warns this is not a Good Thing but does not say that the engine will produce useful power whilst going backwards.  I suspect it would stop as soon as a clutch was engaged.

 

N

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3 hours ago, MtB said:

Two comments:

 

1) Two stroke semi-diesels will happily run in either direction for sure but I'm surprised to hear that four stroke diesels will run backwards. I'd have thought the valve timing would mess this up, and the injection timing. 

 

2) Make sure you get the old starter motor back with the boat, just in case any problems emerge with the new one. At least you'll know its the correct rotation and you can then compare it with the new one. The last thing you want is them handing the boat over to you and you having doubts about whether the engine is being started in the right direction.

 

Although one way this would be obvious if engaging ahead makes the boat go backwards! 


 

I will if I can. Obviously if they’ve exchanged it then it won’t be possible.  If nothing else I’d try and rebuild it and worst case looks like they’re worth decent money for someone else to do so if I sell it for parts. 
 

 

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The good news is that there aren't too many people out there who rebuild vintage starter motors, and those who do are generally pretty good, so there is an excellent chance that they will send back what is needed, whether it is the original rebuilt or an exchange unit. If it's the wrong handed starter you will know that pretty much immediately, so it will still sit with the marina to rectify and, given their approach so far as you have described it, I would be very surprised if they didn't continue to work with you to resolve the issue.

 

I am anticipating that you end up with a decent engine, at least good enough to give you time to fettle it and decide what to do. It's pretty small and light, so would be fairly easy to take out one winter and give it a thorough clean and repaint, with the opportunity to measure various things and check for wear while you are at it, but I doubt it will cause too many problems if you don't.

 

Alec

 

p.s. I have not yet managed to get my J2 to run backwards, although I have switched over to diesel pretty early on some occasions!

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I had a truck with a Caterpillar 3306 T ,that would run backwards at the drop of a hat ......one time it ran backwards as I was paying the bridge toll ,let the clutch out,and the truck jumped backwards......very surprised car driver behind me..............the quickest way to tell it was running backward was the oil pressure was zero on the gauge............it could be quite confusing to a new driver if he hadnt been warned .

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9 minutes ago, magnetman said:

I don't think there will be a belt to the alternator yet. 

 

Agree about the solar. 


Could be right but I’m assuming there is just on the basis they’ve put a new alternator on and I can’t see why they would if it wasn’t being driven. 

18 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

 

I think that you have every chance of getting a long term reliable engine - be it a bit idiosyncratic.

I do hope so. I’d love to keep it.   

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One request - when you have taken possession of your boat and have headed off into the sunset so to speak, would you mind naming the marina which has sorted it out for you. It's the kind of recommendation from experience which is really useful to have (assuming it continues to the conclusion in the same vein as their service to date seems to have been from your description). Places which do things well deserve to be well known, for mutual benefit.

 

Alec

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3 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Earlier in the thread he said the boat is at Hemel marina which used to be called Winkwell dock. Its by the swingbridge. 

 

 

Thanks - missed that. Looks like a good place to use. Not very near me, but pretty convenient for a friend based in that area.

 

Alec

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3 hours ago, agg221 said:

One request - when you have taken possession of your boat and have headed off into the sunset so to speak, would you mind naming the marina which has sorted it out for you. It's the kind of recommendation from experience which is really useful to have (assuming it continues to the conclusion in the same vein as their service to date seems to have been from your description). Places which do things well deserve to be well known, for mutual benefit.

 

Alec


No secret. I’ve said previously where it was and it’s in the link to the original ad in another thread of mine.  It’s at Hemel Marina.  I’ll reserve judgment on how well they’ve done until I’ve actually seen it starting and running but they advertised it as a good running engine and they agreed in the price that it would be delivered with engine gearbox and steering all checked and working. Also that anything on survey would be rectified (nothing required).  To date they seem to have done exactly as promised and have acted very fairly. 

2 hours ago, agg221 said:

Thanks - missed that. Looks like a good place to use. Not very near me, but pretty convenient for a friend based in that area.

 

Alec


 

If your friend is looking for a boat they have a few on their website and when we enquired after space at their marina (which is really expensive) they said they had none as they were reducing numbers as and when anyone left, in order to have space for more boats to sell, so worth keeping an eye on it.  

2 hours ago, magnetman said:

Earlier in the thread he said the boat is at Hemel marina which used to be called Winkwell dock. Its by the swingbridge. 

 

 

Cheers. That’s the one. Lovely little pub by the swingbridge too.  Three Horseshoes. 
 

 

 

 

 

Also, based on my near-zero knowledge of boats and the short time we’ve been looking, the boats they have seem to sell quickly so I can only assume that the prices are sensible.  

Edited by truckcab79
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19 hours ago, truckcab79 said:


No secret. I’ve said previously where it was and it’s in the link to the original ad in another thread of mine.  It’s at Hemel Marina.  I’ll reserve judgment on how well they’ve done until I’ve actually seen it starting and running but they advertised it as a good running engine and they agreed in the price that it would be delivered with engine gearbox and steering all checked and working. Also that anything on survey would be rectified (nothing required).  To date they seem to have done exactly as promised and have acted very fairly. 


 

If your friend is looking for a boat they have a few on their website and when we enquired after space at their marina (which is really expensive) they said they had none as they were reducing numbers as and when anyone left, in order to have space for more boats to sell, so worth keeping an eye on it.  

Cheers, I am waiting to see the final outcome but everything so far has sounded very positive, in that this is a decent company to deal with.

 

The friend in question has a boat in the general area and will need to dock it for blacking shortly. There are a few other things which would benefit from being done at the same time, hence the interest.

 

Alec

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Update - went to Hemel marina first thing.  Saw our boat.  New alternator, new starter through apparently they’ve rebuilt the old one with new innards inside the old case. No way of knowing what they’ve done and that might preclude me being able to use it as an exchange unit in future but no matter. 
 

Todays starting procedure was no decompression, no oil in the primer, waving a mappgas torch around the inlet and turning it over.  Few minutes of trying and she caught and burst into life. Sounded fantastic.  Idled beautifully.  Annoyed I didn’t video it.  Engine turning in the right direction.  👍

 

Ran it for ten minutes.  Switch off. Tried it again and instant start with no gas or anything else.  

 

Starter still has a tendency to not engage occasionally but good enough for me at this stage and I suspect may be down to the fact that their booster pack was a bit marginal.  I’m assuming the original batteries are shot anyway so need to order more. I’ll start a separate thread with a question about that.  
 

Did notice a few drips from the stern tube so I’ll need to sort that.  There is a greaser as someone mentioned earlier.  It’s a Sabb unit like a black version of the big spinner nut on an old car wheel.  Couldn’t get the lid off to check contents. May be as simple as it being empty. More investigation required. 
 

Just need to sort cranage and delivery dates and we’re off.  

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A traditional stern tube is meant to drip. About one drip every 10 seconds is fine.  A continuous flow is too much🙂.

 

The water mixes with the grease to leave an oilier substance to lubricate the stern bearing  and it cools the packing.

 

To check,   run for a while.  Then feel the gland follower.  It should be no more than warm.  If it is hot it is too tight and needs adjusting.

 

Many folks find that a 4 litre ice cream tub or a cut down milk bottle are handy for catching the drips.

 

N

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16 minutes ago, BEngo said:

A traditional stern tube is meant to drip. About one drip every 10 seconds is fine.  A continuous flow is too much🙂.

 

The water mixes with the grease to leave an oilier substance to lubricate the stern bearing  and it cools the packing.

 

To check,   run for a while.  Then feel the gland follower.  It should be no more than warm.  If it is hot it is too tight and needs adjusting.

 

Many folks find that a 4 litre ice cream tub or a cut down milk bottle are handy for catching the drips.

 

N

Cheers.  Probably double that but not loads.  Did think that short term I can get a tub under it.  At least while I de-rust the bilge. 

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I had a similar stern gland to this on one of my narrow boats and it was brilliant. Never caused any problems in thousands of hours of running. Slight drip sorted out by the greaser. 

 

This is the OP stern gland. 

 

IMG_20230930_213422.jpg.c27f959eba0a8e6ea11116b4e0694334.jpg

 

Not the usual type but if its good its good. I reckon it might be good. 

 

If course there is the possibility of the shaft having a groove worn in it over time but I'm not all that convinced this is a Bad Thing if the shaft doesn't move back and forth in operation. I think it could actually be an advantage in some ways. 

 

This one doesn't look like it has done a lot of hours so could well be as new. 

 

 

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Well. Not sure which of my threads to post this in.  But it’s mostly engine related so this one seems best. 
 

Boat was delivered to Croxley yesterday and we picked it up this morning to cruise to Harefield.  
 

Thanks to the advice on the forum I’m now the leading expert on starting Coventry Victor single cylinder diesels.   Bit of blowtorch around the inlet and away she goes on the first turn.  Keep waving it around as it’ll want to stall until it warms up, then away it goes.  Couldn’t have been easier.   

Set off slowly.  And LOUDLY!   Lovely old engine but really isn’t conducive to conversation. 
 

Anyhow.  Took it slow, in part to ease ourselves into it but also because much of the route is moored boats and I always thought you were meant to be on ‘dead slow’ past moored boats.  
 

Much longer than we thought but we ran from 10:30 until about 5pm.  Engine never missed a NOISY! beat.  
 

Until about a mile from Harefield and it became unresponsive to the throttle and eventually stalled and we cruised into the towpath.  Classic sign of overheating on engines that I’m more familiar with.  
 

Let it cool.  Starter still a bit hit and miss. Either a half-hearted rebuild by the marina or the ring gear is badly worn. Not great surprise given its age.  But it started.  And we carried on for almost all the remaining distance and then it did it again.  Maybe about a mile.  Getting too late to start getting the tools out as it was getting dark and more importantly we’d left our dogs at home on their own.  
 

Did have a quick look though.  Engine clearly very hot, which it hadn’t been earlier in the day as far as I’d noticed.  Pipes on the cooling system were ‘hot’ but could well have been radiated heat. Header tank however was not hot at all. Could easily stick my fingers in it.  Suggests to me that it’s not circulating though why it took several hours to become apparent I’m not sure. Presumably it had been fine.  On a car my normal workaround would be to take the thermostat out as a failed one would be the obvious issue and I’d just bypass it.  
 

But I have an original manual and can’t see any mention of a thermostat or can see one in the system.   
 

Suggested causes in the manual are water low (it’s fine), blocked passages (need to flush them through, worn pump, or of course head gasket failure.  
 

We’re going back in the morning as I’m pretty sure she’ll make it the remainder of the distance regardless and probably best to just take up the boards to keep it as cool as possible and nurse her down there. 
 

Open to suggestions of stuff I can check if anyone knows, or how I can check if it’s circulating.   
 

It may well be coming out anyway as it’s so bloody loud. I’d certainly be inclined not to run it in the marina for the sake of the neighbours, but I’d like to have it running for a while if I can, if only as it’s such a lovely simple old lump. 


All suggestions welcome.  

 

Oh and definitely not a weed or debris issue. Checked prop and clean as a whistl though we had been through an awful

lot of weed.  

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Maybe a blockage in the cooling pipes. 

 

From the pictures it seems to be skin tank cooled rather than taking water from the canal. 

 

Presumably that is why it is so LOUD as there is no silencer. If you fitted a Burgess silencer or just a normal small car type silencer into the flexible steel exhaust pipe it would make a huge difference. 

 

I think this is meant to be a direct cooled engine taking water from the canal/river/sea and it has been rearranged to use a skin tank welded in to the side of the boat. 

 

Dry exhaust will always be very loud with no silencer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The overheating will be rusty bits in the coolant I think.

 

How far did you get? Must be quite close to Harefield. Black Jacks lock? 

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Oh and definitely not a weed or debris issue. Checked prop and clean as a whistl though we had been through an awful

lot of weed.  

6 minutes ago, magnetman said:

Maybe a blockage in the cooling pipes. 

 

From the pictures it seems to be skin tank cooled rather than taking water from the canal. 

 

Presumably that is why it is so LOUD as there is no silencer. If you fitted a Burgess silencer or just a normal small car type silencer into the flexible steel exhaust pipe it would make a huge difference. 

 

I think this is meant to be a direct cooled engine taking water from the canal/river/sea and it has been rearranged to use a skin tank welded in to the side of the boat. 

 

Dry exhaust will always be very loud with no silencer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The overheating will be rusty bits in the coolant I think.

 

How far did you get? Must be quite close to Harefield. Black Jacks lock? 

We’re literally just before the final lock.  
 

It does have a silencer. Not sure what type but the noise seems to be more ‘engine bay’ noise rather than exhaust.  The actual exhaust is a nice gentle ‘phut’ if you can separate it from the din.  
 

Yep.  Probably just needs a good flush through.  I was surprised we had literally a whole days cruising before we saw any issues.  Ran lovely prior to that.  

Edited by truckcab79
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Thats good. 

 

That engine will be fine. If it is too loud get a silencer box in the exhaust pipe..

 

 

And probably worth disconnecting all the cooling pipes and running everything through with a hose to clear the crud. If it did 10-5 then its not a problematic engine just needs some sorting out. It would have overheated much quicker than that if there was anything badly wrong. 

 

 

IMG_8903.jpeg

 

That's a dry exhaust with no silencer. I think you could fit a small silencer on there with a bit of work and it would make a massive difference to the noise levels. Maybe a scooter silencer could be worth considering. 

 

 

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