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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Topic: ATCO Rotary Mower 1957
    Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 8:31pm
i have recently bought this machine as my next project.i believe that it was atco s first rotary mower. it runs ,but with a flooding carb so a carb kit may be required.do not have any history with this and will be hoping some one will help from the forum with as much info as posible. it has a villiers engine on but do not know which model at the moment.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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Dorigny
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Quote Dorigny Replybullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 8:58pm
I have only briefly dealt with the later engine version..way back in my YTS days. Seem to think then we knew them as the 18" Roughcut rotary.

What I do recall was the height adjuster on one trapping my fingers...........

Clive.

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charliesfergy
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Quote charliesfergy Replybullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 9:05pm
Was it ATCO's attempt at the hayterette by any chance?
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Quote pmackellow Replybullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 9:10pm
John, I have just looked in my literature collection and I have a brochure for this machine, for the 18" model it lists a Villiers 3G engine, the 21" version has a Mark 7F fitted, I think this brochure dates from 1958.
Collector of Tarpen, Wheelhorse, International Cub Cadet, Landmaster, Cooper Stewart, Farmfitters, Jobber, Jalo, Ro-lo, Sisis and literature
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Charlie
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Quote Charlie Replybullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 9:13pm
An 18" and 21" model are shown in a 1972 list of models available, no details of engine though.
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 15 Jun 2012 at 9:20pm
thanks for this info,but it is only early days,so its bound to appear sooner or later.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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Quote daviddale Replybullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 12:18am
My Brother brought me one of these to repair in the late 70's or early 80's, it had that awful lot of Governor rods and springs on it's Aspera engine I remember that lovely green cigar like petrol tank between the handles with the captive nuts, about the best bit about it I'd say!

PS I've just been thinking that the tank may be same one as used on some of the earlier 24 inch cylinders.
Regards, David.
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daviddale
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Quote daviddale Replybullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 2:49pm
Weren't there some circular metal plates behind the wheels that used to rattle in sympathy with the engine, or am I thinking of a Mountfield?
Regards, David.
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 7:13pm
not sure at the moment but will let you know. the flooding of carb was a matter of the float not floating !! whoever had been repairing or should i say bodging had covered the float with liquid metal and i mean covered it,to such a degree that it would NOT float.so have removed 98 percent and we now got it floating and the flooding has subsided. the serial no is   21 7E 36250 can anyone decipher this for age ? the engine is a 7E VILLIERS  and it has a 21 inch cut. it is also fitted with a B12 carb. i could be wrong with the age but this is where specialist help is needed.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 16 Jun 2012 at 8:18pm
Only ever seen the Aspera engined (later?) version and I have it in my head that the handlebars, or may be the height adj linkage used quite substantial flat steel strip - must have scrapped one because I've still got odd bits of creamy white steel in the might come in useful bin! never did like the vertical shaft Villiers what ever they were on!
Yes the Aspera vertical shaft engines did have a lot of links and springs and a "throttle control plate" on slotted mounts that was lined up with the choke lever and throttle lever by poking a thin pin punch down through holes in each of  them while the slotted bit was locked up.
That design of fuel tank had its problems in that the welds  holding bracket with  the captive nuts used to crack and the tank would leak - as did the later rectangular tank on the Atco 24 and for that matter the kidney shaped one over the engine on the "cast iron" 17" Suffolk  punch!  
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 18 Jun 2012 at 9:13pm
i am posting these pictures of the carb and throttle set up because i do not think it is correct, as someone has copper wired the throtle lever and the fan opperated throttle linkages so that it is only controled by hand throttle lever.can someone explain how it should be as i think this is why it will not start. ALSO i have taken a photo of a tubular control with a screwdriver slot in it. what is this for ?
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 19 Jun 2012 at 8:51pm

this evening i think i have figured out what is going on with the last nights problems. firstly all this wireing up of throtle and the fan flap actuator is just not done. the speed of the engine turns the flap and in turn this works the throtle on the carb. secondly the tube bit sticking out of flywheel casing is a tentioner for the amount of travel of the fan flap,therefore adjusting speed of engine.

      tonights question is......the set up of timing including the measurements of whether its tdc or degrees btc. can anyone advise please. i have found a date on machine backing plate for coil and points etc. this says 1963. hope this helps.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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series1gem
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Quote series1gem Replybullet Posted: 19 Jun 2012 at 9:25pm
Hi i believe the engine is a D16, the manual says the timing is 18degrees B.T.D.C
If it isnt orange it isnt a rotavator
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 19 Jun 2012 at 11:20pm
Originally posted by simar kid

this evening i think i have figured out what is going on with the last nights problems. firstly all this wireing up of throtle and the fan flap actuator is just not done. the speed of the engine turns the flap and in turn this works the throtle on the carb. secondly the tube bit sticking out of flywheel casing is a tentioner for the amount of travel of the fan flap,therefore adjusting speed of engine.

      tonights question is......the set up of timing including the measurements of wether its tdc or degrees btc. can ayone advise please. i have found a date on machine backing plate for coil and points etc. this says 1963. hope this helps.

Throttle . I have no specific knowledge of this engine but I do have a parts list showing the layout and components of the throttle linkage and governor vane.The normal principle of an air vane governor is that the force of the air from the fan acting on the vane tries to shut the throttle while the tension of governor spring (attached to the end of your adjuster) tries to open the throttle . When the two are in equilibrium the engine is running at its governed speed. In most modern engines the throttle cable replaces the screw adjuster and acts on the throttle via the governor spring but on yours it appears that while the principle is the same the action may be reversed. I will pm you with the illustration.
Timing. 18degrees BTDC
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TITCH
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Quote TITCH Replybullet Posted: 20 Jun 2012 at 6:53am
Very well put Wristpin!
 
Yes it's the governor linkage John for when the machine is under load, picks up the engine revs.
Restorations Final Touch!
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 21 Jun 2012 at 9:01pm
i have now sourced a replacement float from george at villiers parts and from what he tells me this engine was not very common here as 98 percent went to austrailia and only very limited models stayed in uk. so i have something rare to uk market which makes this slightly more collectable than i first thought.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 12:21pm
i am waiting at the moment for a replacement float,so i decided to find out where the old one was leaking in petrol.i know that i said earlier that this float was covered in liquid metal but underneath that was covered in solder.  what chance has this of floating ? NIL.  also found two sticking points between inside of flywheel and coil pickups. there is no adjustment on backing plate for air gap so it looks as if i will GENTLY have to file down pickups until i get an air gap which does not foul the inside of flywheel.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 12:32pm
Presume that it is the pole pieces of the coil that are rubbing - I would be asking why? Is it all the way round or is the flywheel distorted and the rubbing is limited to one or two places?  Before you do any filing just check that there is not even a gnat's whatsit of movement if you slacken the coil mounting screws and and push it towards the centre while re-tightening.
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 12:38pm
hi angus. yes just a couple of sticking places with either flywheel or pickups. just done what you have advised and no change to situation.possibly the flywheel but have no access to a lathe.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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Quote Hillsider Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 2:19pm
Originally posted by simar kid

hi angus. yes just a couple of sticking places with either flywheel or pickups. just done what you have advised and no change to situation.possibly the flywheel but have no access to a lathe.

Hi,
Not wishing to be a bringer of doom and gloom but it is worth checking that the crank is not bent at the top end. You can make a wire pointer and fix it to the engine so that it is aimed at the end of the crankshaft (there will possibly be a centre in the end of the crank). Then rotate the engine slowly and watch what happens.
Also check that the crank main bearings are not worn as a small amount of wear here can cause the flywheel to rub.
Good luck
Ray
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 2:55pm
exellent idea ray, will give that a try .
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 4:34pm
ray. quick up date on possible bent crank.  have done what you recomended and PHEW              its as true as an arrow !!!!!!!!  i am now convinced that the coil is going to get adjusted.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 4:53pm
Originally posted by simar kid

ray. quick up date on possible bent crank.  have done what you recomended and PHEW              its as true as an arrow !!!!!!!!  i am now convinced that the coil is going to get adjusted.


Rather than filing the radiused and laminated? pole pieces can you just open up the holes in the mag back plate a gnat's ?

Forget that - Just looked at the pars list!
So if the outside of the flywheel is running true and the crank is not moving about it must be the inside that is out. Are the two places on the inside of the flywheel that are marked/polished opposite one another and are they the full width of the pole pieces or a thinner line? 

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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 23 Jun 2012 at 5:04pm
even a better idea angus will do that as we are only talking thou's  i did not see your last paragraph. will look asap probably tommorow.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 24 Jun 2012 at 12:56pm
have now solved the rubbing problem with the flywheel. when flywheel was removed.  i must have been careless aligning the flywheel previously because one of the pick ups was bent ever so slightly downwards causing a foul on the inside of the flywheel . rebuilt cyclinder head and carb and then gave it some persuasion with my small hand drill, and she fired up after four revolutions of engine.  Thumbs%20Up
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 24 Jun 2012 at 3:53pm
happy that mechanical side is corrected ,have now stripped down for shot blasting
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 24 Jun 2012 at 4:18pm
just remembered to check the creamy white of chassis with the RAL Cards,it appears that an eye match confirms that  LIGHT IVORY   RAL 1015  is the one that i am going with.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 26 Jun 2012 at 8:06pm
tank now rubbed down and filled with the main engine and mount to follow. have recieved the new man made float which you have to drill out to suit your carbs requirements.this is a first for me so i had better make sure that all drilling is spot on. main chassis booked in for a shot blast at the usual time.    when the boss goes home PM .
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 26 Jun 2012 at 8:08pm
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 26 Jun 2012 at 8:09pm
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 26 Jun 2012 at 10:13pm
Originally posted by simar kid

tank now rubbed down and filled with the main engine and mount to follow. have recieved the new man made float which you have to drill out to suit your carbs requirements.this is a first for me so i had better make sure that all drilling is spot on. main chassis booked in for a shot blast at the usual time.    when the boss goes home PM .


An ex-employee and good friend of mine served his apprenticeship at a large UK engineering company that had everything one could possibly need, blacksmiths shop, copper smiths, press shop, pattern makers etc etc and he often relates how on Saturday mornings there were no senior management present and the departmental foremen kept out of the way while the place was a hive of activity doing private jobs!

Back to the subject in hand, the Villiers Vertical shaft engines have never been a favorite of mine but when you look at that two piece cast alloy  recoil starter it is a proper bit of engineering compared with some of the tin and plastic offerings of today  - but equally,  probably one of the reasons that Villiers could not compete with the likes of Briggs.
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 7:40pm
wristpin.talking about competition with engine makers,i was told two days ago that the reason for there being 2 per cent of all sales of this engine only marketed here was villiers decided at the time of this one coming out,to enter the austrailian market to try and take some sales from another maker who had the larger share of this range of engine. he told me who it was and i have forgotten. maybe you can supply this info.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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simar kid
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Quote simar kid Replybullet Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 7:48pm
went down to the paint supplyer who i use fequently to get some ATCO green.now to my surprise they did not have the formula. but this seems to be the same answer wherever i have been. so i took the tank down for a paint match and this is the colour and RAL code which will get you what you need without paying dearly for it.   LEAF GREEN   RAL 6010 .  ATCO' S SECRET IS NO MORE.
Not sure whats wrong. i think we will let it develop
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 11:23pm
Originally posted by simar kid

wristpin.talking about competition with engine makers,i was told two days ago that the reason for there being 2 per cent of all sales of this engine only marketed here was villiers decided at the time of this one coming out,to enter the austrailian market to try and take some sales from another maker who had the larger share of this range of engine. he told me who it was and i have forgotten. maybe you can supply this info.


My guess, and it is only a guess, would be Briggs or perhaps Kirby Lauson who manufactured Tecumseh/Lauson engines under license in Australia.
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wristpin
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Quote wristpin Replybullet Posted: 27 Jun 2012 at 11:43pm
Originally posted by simar kid

went down to the paint supplyer who i use fequently to get some ATCO green.now to my surprise they did not have the formula. but this seems to be the same answer wherever i have been. so i took the tank down for a paint match and this is the colour and RAL code which will get you what you need without paying dearly for it.   LEAF GREEN   RAL 6010 .  ATCO' S SECRET IS NO MORE.


So you've matched your Atco green but am I right in thinking that at some point Atco changed their shade of green slightly? I know Ransomes did because I still have one of out paint supplier's (a family firm sadly no longer in business) catalogues/price lists showing Old and New Ransomes Green - I have a feeling that Atco did the same, nothing radical, just a slight change of shade. Anyway, what does RAL stand for? having been "in the print" for a while I'm more used to talking Pantone numbers, or if it's Lambrettas the Lechler paint codes!
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