Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers
May not get a deflector that is any better so had a go at making this one live a little longer. Welding pretty much out for me, its too thin and rusty, so cut some copper sheet I had and pop riveted, filled the holes on the opposite side with JB weld and its nice and sturdy now so will die another day :-)
The chain case cover is very deformed from numerous biffs and knocks and does not fit on the edge of the case, it goes over it :-) so also the sprocket has been rubbing on the cover. I have watched a few youtube "tutorials" on panel beating and have bought myself the cheapest set of hammers and dollies, wish me luck...
Still waiting for the valve spring compressor.....
Picked up cylinder and bottom blade, £30 very happy with that.
I got the valve compressor and time at last, there is nothing like having the right tool for the job, and this was nothing like the right tool for the space given. Needed a valve chest more on the Windsor Davies dimensions. Lower jaws being too wide and fouling a lot, soldiered on and got them out. Perversely I think they might be ok at putting it all back. I thought the retainers were going to be split collets… I have cleaned up, should have taken some before pics. I am no Villiers engine expert, how do these faces and seats look? No dinks, scratches, lot of raised carbon on exhaust face before clean for sure. Guides seem solid.
Many thanks – Marquis de Sade :-)
All look pretty good, a quick spin with fine paste should do the trick.
You are fortunate that as so often happens, prior to your ownership, it has not been left in a damp atmosphere with the valves open, resulting in corroded valves, seats and more.
Thanks Wristpin, I'm looking forward to giving them a wee lap as I have never done that before and will post the magnetic contraption if I get it to work :-)
The clutch cable was snapped at the handle end, and thanks to large dollops of off forum advice I have dismantled the clutch, although I have done clutches on motorbikes I found this just weird and would not have guessed it. Just in my humble... having to go to that much effort to replace a control cable is poor design, sorry Ransomes. On inspection things look good on the clutch and I have not lost anything yet. Jon at the mower centre has sorted me out the new cables and a few other bits which will arrive next week I hope.
I'm doing this without a service manual so although the parts manual is good, still have a few dumbo questions..
I'm getting 8mm + pretty much everywhere on the friction / cog and they look pretty good - I guess this is well in service limit if there is one?
I'm going to give the pressure plate surfaces and frictions a bit of a clean, do I give give a wipe over with the same grade engine oil when done?
When re-assembling, is there a torque figure or just evening it up by feel across the 3 springs?
Your 8mm should be fine. A wipe over the plates with engine oil won't go amiss, I don't bother as by the time it is all reassembled and the chains liberally lubricated there's usually plenty of lube floating around.
As far as I know, there is no published torque figure for the pressure springs and as their pressure is preset by them butting up to the spacers they just need to be pinched up hard enough to stay done up.
The clutch that I've used to illustrate this and other clutch issues came out of machine retrieved from someone else's scrap pile and has thrown up a couple of other issues that may be encountered by anyone else working on a Marquis or Auto Certes or even a Matador. The most obvious is that the tophat bush in the clutch carrier is fractured near the "brim" through the line of the oil hole. This is not that unusual doesn't particularly adversely affect the operation of the clutch - the broken rim continues to provide thrust and the cylindrical part of the bush continues to support the clutch.
However, the second fault, one of the incorrect assembly,may have contributed to the bush failure and certainly contributed to the partial seizure of the disengagement pushrods.
The steel bush that runs inside the oilite tophat bush has been installed upside down so that the oil passage does not line up with the feed from the nipple in the hub, so starving all the rotating parts and the push rods of oil.
Should be like this
Thank you for that information, will go as advised.
Doubtless getting ahead of myself and did some, prep, painting and polishing while the weather is good for working outside.
Signature crap paint job with a bling Villiers decal :-) Offered tank, cowl etc up for motivation
Been working away a lot (hooray I here :-)) Just managed to get the clutch back together after replacing the cable.
When I dismantled it, one of the spring retaining nuts was barely done up, didn't pay it much attention until reassembly, the nut had been helicoiled M6 and not badly but the bolt post had been left to whatever it was so it would only do up about one thread! Ran an M6 dye down to abut 15mm and all is well.
Any tips on clutch adjustment while on the bench?
Just enough to release it and a bit of free play at the lever.
Productive day yesterday while watching tennis, football and GP qualifying in the shed! Great thing internet telly.
Got the valves back in after a wee lapping, getting .006 IN & .007 EX, EX closed up by a thou as best I can measure. New gaskets, head, carb, exhaust, valve chest (please don't leak) etc all back on and torqued up.
Better put some oil in before I forget :-)
Lots more to do but all good fun.
Measured exactly .48 ltr of oil to refill the sump in light of the angle I had it jacked up when I drained it so assuming it was completely empty, as I got down the refill it started to back up and poor back out the filler! reason being although I had it off the rear jack I have no front roller so it was still at a forward tilting angle - annoying..
More fluid woes.. fully expecting the fuel tap to leak given no resistance in the plunger I tested it off mower, it duly poured out the tap with the plunger in the off position. Can these cork seals still be had? and how do you replace them? Many thanks
You can buy the complete plunger from the usual suspects or replacement corks from an internet seller.
To fit the cork grind or file off the steel dimple in the centre of the knurled grip and with a thin parallel punch tap the exposed shaft to separate it from the grip. Pull off the old cork, fit the new one and reassemble the plunger. Then very carefully spread the end of the plunger shaft into the grip with a thin centre punch.
Just to add to Wristpins advice be very careful not to bend the cork retainer as you try to rivet it back in the plunger, it is easily done I know I have done it! Another possibility could be that if the mower has been unused for a while the cork has shrunk as it dried out. Try soaking the plunger in some petrol for a few days and the old cork may swell again.
Thanks both for the good advice.
Went for a replacement cork as seems such a waste to replace the whole unit and the ones I saw on offer were chrome plated, not brass. The head of the shaft did not appear to be too peened over so it tapped out cleanly without having to file. I did try to swell the old cork leaving it in fuel for a few hours only but there were bits worn off it that would never regenerate.. good advice on not bending the cork retaining shaft, I made sure of that! All back assembled, used a tiny bit of red rubber grease to get the new cork into the tap body, head peened over nicely, fuel tight! Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the feedback and pleased to help. In this instance it sounds as though replacement of the cork was the way to go.
With the tank sorted, fresh oil, pulled it over a few times with fuel on and ignition off.
Ignition on, started 1st pull, no smoke, no oil leaks, no fuel leaks, idling lovely and surprisingly crisp throttle response for a mower! What a lovely little motor :-) I had to resist youtubeing a video of the event it went so well!
Stripping & US the carb, decoking and lapping the valves has made a massive difference (as also the proper plug and removing the foam air filter on top of the paper filter!)
Hope to get the clutch bar lever sorted today, which I don't think was assembled right, and also make a side case retaining bolt as the previous one attached to the boss was just a welded blob.
In need of some advice on the clutch control please.
Bit hard to describe but there is a spring wire which the pivot goes through on the toggle lock part of the handle mech, sorry I have no idea what the actual names of these things are. My question is should the ends of the spring wire go as pictured? This is how I got it, but there is no springy resistance this way. Or should the ends of the spring wire go on the inside, I guess then creating plenty of spring resistance?
If you have understood this question you are a genius :-)
In terms of what the spring is trying to do - it should be keeping the trigger in the latched position and you should have to squeeze the trigger to release the lever to engage the clutch. With the clutch engage, when the lever is squeezed up to the handlebar the spring should return the trigger to the lock position without assistance.
Position the spring to achieve that and you have it right!
Crystal! - thank you
Hi, thoroughly enjoyed this thread. Picked a marquis 4a up yesterday and will find this useful.
P.S. Is it just me that gets dirty hands when working on stuff because yours look rather clean.
P.S. Is it just me that gets dirty hands when working on stuff because yours look rather clean.
I've never acquired the art of staying clean but if working on something really bad I do wear gloves but I find them a bit of a pain, but I do always use a barrier cream.
:-) actually this was one of the oiliest / dirtiest machines I have done, and I have done some right boat anchor motorbikes in my time..
Only in the last 12 months or so I've started using gloves, find these types cheap enough to throw away after a while and sensitive enough to use in general situations, I'm a bit OCD when it comes to dirt and tidiness, even clean my sockets from time to time - I know its not healthy, but the antithesis of the rest of the freeloading pig pens who frequent my house - aka kids who should have moved out years ago :-) !
Next weekend hoping to start the final phase, and least looking forward to. The Certes front roller!
The bucket of diesel contains the assorted components & fasteners of which I am sure some are missing or miss matching..
When I do wear gloves I wear these
They last all day and put up with being taken off and back on - unlike the cheapo medical nitrile ones.
Nothing wrong with cleaning sockets, I occasionally go right through my "top box", do a roll call and clean everything!
There's a company that repairs and reconditions vintage Gardner marine diesels and they dismantle and reassemble in different workshops using different sets of tools.
When Chris said he cleaned his sockets for a couple of nano seconds I thought of the electrical sort.
I sometimes start off with the best intentions and wear gloves but once they have to come off that’s it they’re off and not worth putting back on
Took front end bits out of the diesel bucket, best small parts cleaner going if you have a bucket with a lid and a handle, this one used to contain bird fat balls!, you can just swish it around and swap the fluid if needed, parts were unrecognisable in grease and grass before. I have a proper parts washer, biggest waste of space and money unless you are into continuous cleaning.
I am not sure if this Marquis was originally fitted with a Certes front. But I don’t think so.Remiss,,, but I have forgotten how all this goes back together. , Not looked at the parts diagram for either yet.
In current form it will not go back together anyway, that bearing is knackered, might be time to bite the bullet and scan ebay for a complete front end roller assembly
The bearing seems to be holding up and spinning with no noise or binding, will see how that goes, think it will likely be ok.
Just put the cutter unit back in, well twice actually, doofus forgot to put the sole plate bearing carrier springs on
Howdy, I am missing part 22 in diagram which was never fitted to this machine, schematic is from an auto certes front roller which is what I have.
I am guessing it was just shimmed up with nuts I have left over, if anyone has a length measurement of adjusting screw maa 0635 would be appreciated.
Going to have a proper go at making certes roller work in the Marquis 20 - could have been original fit... Late sloper 15, delorto carb, etc..
Front Certes roller is in and working, rolling well and height adjustment working good now. Waiting for some M8 x 4mm spacers to finish that off properly. (wish I had a little lathe and somewhere to work it!)
Whether this front roller was OE for this machine is a question, but it could have been given the very late F15 motor and OE DellOrto carb. It will work well (once spaced out and oiled properly will be even better)
Need to adjust cylinder to bottom blade height, but will wait for some grass to appear before fine tuning that.
Need to tune the clutch adjustment, it’s a bit of a beast and had me jogging around the garden!
The engine is now running sweet as a nut and the DellOrto is working lovely now.
Since I started this my dad has had 3 strokes but continues (insists!) to live at home, although he will never be able to use it unaided he will enjoy the finish and I am determined he will have a go with me behind him.
A big thanks to Clive for getting in touch and offering what is a unique Marquis.
A massive thanks to Angus who’s patience, input and truly altruistic advice on this forum is invaluable.
This is a fine example of what skill and dedication can do for these old mowers. Im sure if kept in dry storage and oiled regularly they would go on for another 50 years
Looking good, had no idea that mower would have such a great future, there's a lot more where that came from if your looking for a further challenge?
Cheers for now.
Clive - please don't tempt me :-)
Probably be in touch before the next rally haha
Be careful of mowers disease, lot of it about. Did you use British racing green from Halfords? FYI my pix sampler give rgb values of 39,91,93 for Ransomes green and 1,66,37 for BRG (goes faster with grand prix colours). Strangely my Matador is much lighter more of an Apple green definitely different from the Marquesa
How many hours do you reckon you spent on your hearts desire, just for the record 100?
you will have to wait for some rain and a few weeks after to get mowing, but do post a pix of a strip
here's what a mowerphile aspires to. Will post pix of mine on the kitchen table
I believe that there have been two and possibly three shades of Ransomes green, the apple green being the latest. My local blaster and powder coater has a green that is near enough for working machines and reasonably priced compared with ordering in a RAL matched batch of powder.
I’ve got a Ransomes pricing schedule from the 1960/ 70s for three levels of winter service, cutter unit, cutter plus chassis and a full monty including a top end engine overhaul . All of them included the relevant repainting and here lies the catch. Dealers were possibly not totally particular about the exact shade of green used and if it was a spray finish who is to tell that it was not original; so the machine that gives the impression of being in its original colour may well have gone through a change at some time.
It’s disappointing that Ransomes were not helpful with RAL information but it may be worth approaching the Hall Duck Trust .
I used Auto Extreme gloss, ordered from the same supplier 3 times and the shade varied each time, to be honest I am not that bothered, never intended as a factory restoration on finish. Been there too many times on bikes. For info B&Q got an exact match on my Qualcast and near as dammit on the Marquis, but I was not up for ordering 1L min for brush paint at £30ish
I do deflectors in Hammerite silver smooth, this is proven to be the fastest grass repelling colour known as proven by NASA, or is it because I have a ton of the crap…can never remember which is true.
Didn’t spend anywhere like 100 hours on this, actually doing stuff would be more like 20, prevaricating and waiting for stuff more like 200
The spacers for the certes roller I have been waiting for were due Friday/Saturday, called them today and assured they were sent out, not happy! Dog was up for its annual trip to the bath so misses gutted dog basket ahead of the cleanse and found a chewed jiffy bag with my spacers! Ordered more than I needed so went to store remaining in usual place for this sort of thing with other spacers / washers – what do I find….a shed load M8 4mm spacers grrrrrr
My 43L punch let me down yesterday as well with an electrical issue.. In the words of the famous shark film, we’re gonna need a bigger bench!
Good that you retrieved the spacers from the right end of the dog.
Hope that the ignition issue is something external and simple. If it’s an electronic ignition system they have a habit of going down. The clue is that if you look at the back of the coil and the hard outer shell is showing signs of separating from the potting material it is nearly always terminal.
"Good that you retrieved the spacers from the right end of the dog."
Hadn't even considered that outcome :-)
Going for the earth / cut out on the punch in other post - but you may well be right..
Good tip about Hammerite silver
The Certes roller is pretty much spaced out perfectly and working smoothly and adjusting well. Have set the cut height and leveled the front and gave it a good go around my lawn (if you can call it a lawn..) Running really well and getting to grips with clutch and mower speed - good fun.
One snag after I looked over its first proper run, the valve chest cover is weeping so I did not do a good enough job of straitening that, think I will give it a go on the belt sander at 320 grit and smooth down from there, if that does not fix it I will toss it and make one!
Observation... the proximity of the fuel line to the exhaust is very close and did concern me, I know its been hot but it did mend enough in the heat to make contact with the exhaust at some point as I can see its got a bit of a contact from it. I'm going to look at the routing again, but has this been brought up before at all?
Valve chest cover. I suppose that an uneven surface on the cylinder block cannot be ruled out ? You could try a double thickness of gasket to give a bit more compliance .
Fuel pipe routing . Have you got it in the original clips around the lower edge of the blower housing and then through the bracket on the valve chest cover? A lot of people find that routing too fiddly or can’t obtain the right diameter pipe, and take the easier route between the top of the block and the fuel tank.
Good shout on the gasket, they are not thick, might try doubling that after re flattening. Issue is a bit inherent? 1.5mm max shaped steel plate anchored at furthest points with oversized holes and no flat area for washers to apply more reaching pressure. I am pretty positive that the engine side was clean and flat once I had removed the RTV, but I will check again. All sour grapes and my fault either way should have done a better job there. Oil pressure cannot be that high I’m guessing, but if does not mate and crush up nicely I think I will make a completely flat one from 2.5mm ally and braise on a fuel pipe standoff with a tubed entry to direct the fuel line away from the zorst.
On the fuel pipe routing, I had gone the fiddly original route, but again I don’t think I have done a good enough job, needs more slack on the zorst side and less on the front which may angle it better away at the rear, fuel line is good stuff not the floppy rubbish so will unclip all that and try again
Oil leak. Could be the crankcase breather being gummed up and causing some pressurisation . Just remembered that you have that odd ball engine without the usual Sloper poppet valve breather at the front above the oil filler. I remember a pipe emerging from above the back of the valve chest and connecting to the air cleaner. At the chest end has it got a ball valve or some such ?
spotted it in your pic above. you have a new villiers muffler fitted, a can with a little mouth in front of it. Did you buy that recently? ca £30 from Villiers parts?
your original pix showed you had the original cake tin muffler. was that US
I am curious about the paper air filter fed by a crank case breather tube? Seems counter productive, unless its on the suction side. I can see it working for the oil bath filter on the Amal carb.
I wonder why a del Orto carb was fitted, more complicated? Ran out of supplies at the time
“Oddball engine” - highly uncharitable – Last technical development of the F12 surely :-) I had checked the breather, checked again, its clear as a bell. There is no check valve visable within the engine tube and the aperture is too narrow for my bendy camera scope, pipe cleaner is not bringing back much so seems pretty clean. High oil level is a possibility, I put less in than the book capacity but its higher than the bottom of the fill thread so sucked out another 25ml may need to remove more – visually any ideas where it should be cold?
Have now taken the valve chest cover down flat on the linisher as far as I am comfortable and finished it on flat plate with 600 cross checked for some bite onto a thicker gasket I’ve made on decent material, this should have a lot more squish onto both sides, torqued up as far as I dare. Also crushed up just a bit a 9.5mm OD M6 riv nut going through the fuel line stand off, drilled the thread out and the fuel line goes through a treat, with the fuel line routed better and the extra guide away, this will kill my exhaust proximity paranoia. If all this does not fix the teeny oil weep I will make another from thicker ally plate the same.
The Villiers exhaust on this was how it came to me and I’m thinking it was original fit although it is in suspiciously good condition, I could have sand blasted it but decided to spary it black. I think the other exhaust you saw was on the Punch. The air filter case is clearly designed to take the specifically designed pipe from the engine breather, this pipe would be a pig to replicate as I know from many old bikes with bends and reducers I’ve worked on. I will take a pic, you will see that air from the breather is directed straight to carb inlet, not pre air filter – yes a bit odd. As for the carb, I’m informed this was one of the later or last F12 Slopers versions so maybe Del Orto was the go at that point.