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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Villiers 4 stroke engine, identification help please.

I've had this engine a few decades, inlet manifold is snapped off and there's a lot of play in the main crank bearing the ignition side, bushes are fitted both crank sides. Mk11 carb is fitted, went through L&S new parts lists, but couldn't find right one. Piston is +20 thous and there's bags of compression, it's not complete but I think it's worth saving, I've had it running in the past before the breakage, despite the 14 thous wear I managed to detect with a vernier gauge, not very accurately. It has a large steel outer flywheel fitted. Big end and con. rod are very good, as are piston and bore.

wristpin Wed, 06/01/2021

Looks like a Villiers Lightweight which was available in 150 or125cc, both in horizontal and vertical crank configurations. From the flywheel on the drive side, I’m guessing from an Atco.

wristpin Wed, 06/01/2021

is there a F model suffix? Or simply "Lightweight"?

No idea, perhaps someone like Paul Child at Meetens can tell you.



DJD Fri, 08/01/2021

Thank you.

I post on a few motorcycle sites too, some have a section where you can talk about your rebuilds with pics etc. I thought I'd do one on this engine, it might show a few others newish to the hobby some good ideas about how to save time and money and some idea sharing can be done too etc. I'll have another look around.

DJD Sat, 09/01/2021

I used my press today to push out the old split bushing on the timing side, dial gauge told me bush outer is one inch, crank journal is 7/8ths.

So bushing is only a sixteenth of an inch thick in section.I have a couple of lathes and plenty of brass and bronze, I could try making a new bush, but have no collets or collet chuck for such fine machining , I do have some split bushes that are too small, but they must be a good firm press fit, probably need reaming in line after too.

If I can get a pair at reasonable cost, it might be worth renewing both.

Looking again at the breather, which is empty now, I realise that the offtake should have had a rubber hose going to a different carb., yes, the MK11 Villiers carb. fitted is about 30 years or more out of date for this engine.

I remember selling a what I call a 'matchbox' type carb. back in the eighties, this had a hole for a breather tube and at £10, the buyer almost didn't buy it as his old carb. didn't have such a hole, if I could only go back in time, the things I've almost given away and regretted.

DJD Sun, 10/01/2021

I got lucky I thought this evening, I simply typed "split 1 inch bushing" into my browser and I was connected to bearingsboys site, the bush I wanted was at the top of their list and £1.48 each, I bought two and am now awaiting delivery. They are based in Norfolk, I have no previous knowledge of the firm etc.

After ordering I began thinking more about this engine, it has no pull starter housing, yet, so how did I start it? Decades ago I fitted the small ally pulley, maybe I used that, but then, there's no groove or cut out place for knot of rope to sit. Then I began remembering being able to start it with my foot, because it was mounted onto a heavy lump of wood, I was able to put the sole of my boot onto the heavy flywheel and bring my foot down sharply, engine generally fired straight away then got going second or third 'kick' it's worth spending a few quid more on yet!

wristpin Sun, 10/01/2021

After ordering I began thinking more about this engine, it has no pull starter housing, yet, so how did I start it? Decades ago I fitted the small ally pulley, maybe I used that, but then, there's no groove or cut out place for knot of rope to sit. 

Originally the engine would have had an alloy pulley with a notch for a starter rope and also incorporating internal dogs for the recoil starter unit.


DJD Wed, 13/01/2021

Thanks for taking the trouble to post the interesting pics wristpin.

I'm glad to see that my new bushes for this machine arrived this morning.



DJD Wed, 13/01/2021

I doubt there'll be any profit as such in anything I do to this engine, but it's helping me keep occupied and to an extent cheerful, hours now spent online instead of in shed etc. we decorated our living room from ceiling to skirting boards last October and were hoping we'd be somewhere nearer the end of the crisis by now, but we feel it's only a matter of time now.

DJD Sat, 16/01/2021

I was looking forward to getting the new main bearing bushes fitted to the engine, I knew it wasn't going to be that straight forward though, for a start, the new bushes are too long, I do have lathes though and a 7/8ths lathe mandrel that I can mount the bushes on to part them off shorter.

I needed to be 100% sure that they were a good fit firstly though, rather than measuring etc. I simply tried one on the flywheel side of the crank, not bad at all I thought, after squeezing up the split, but upon trying it on the worn ignition journal, I was saddened to find it a looser fit, I then held it gently in the vice and squeezed the thing to it's smallest size again, it was still loose on the ignit. side of crank, but almost seizing up on the unworn side, the crank has too much wear ignition side.

I did think about opening one out and using a needle file to take a few thous off the end at join, or even swapping the old two crank bushes around, wear would then be on the pto end, which I could replace with a new one.

Just how that engine ran with at least 8 to 10 thous. play I'm not sure, but other end must have helped keep it to a minimum, crankshaft 'whip' is a dodgy thing to be dealing with, especially on big multi engines.