Project Anzani

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wristpin
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Project Anzani

It's all Clive's fault for posting details of a British Anzani Powermow 24" in need of a home , especially when its only 20 miles away. The story is that the machine was the former property of a local Vicar who presumably lived in one of those large old vicarages with a big garden. The vicar was retiring and gave the machine to one of his parishioners who restores old motorcycles. All well and good except that said parishioner has a smallish garden not suited to a 24" mower . The mower was pushed to the end of the garden and stood on a sheet of polythene with the grass box inverted over the engine . There it remained for for enough time for the front rollers to disappear  and some heavy rusting to affect the lower steel work. On the plus side the grass box is alloy and is in good condition. I dragged it from its resting place last week , brought it home and set about dismantling it. 

A couple of days later, after lots of heat and  Plus Gas,  its all apart . On the down side - missing belt guard, missing transmission cover and totally seized cutting cylinder bearings, plus ouf course some heavy rusting. On the plus side , the engine is free and it is a simple well built machine , so watch this space. 

 

Clive1997
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"That's another mess you've

"That's another mess you've gotten me into" you might say, but what better chap to bring this mower back to life.

Looking forward to more instalments.

Will let you know if I come across any more information re the Powermow.

Henno
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Very interesting project!

Very interesting project! Without being an absolute nitwit, how should it look like when assembled? There is very little footage available.

 

 

Regards, Henno

Clive1997
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You must have missed this
Henno
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Yep. Will read it now. Thanks

Yep. Will read it now. Thanks! 

Regards, Henno

Henno
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Aah that one, got scared away

Regards, Henno

Henno
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Aah that one, got scared away

Aah that one, got scared away from the pictures... 

:-) 

New home that is wristpin I presume?

I like the Stanley Kubrick / The Avengers styling these machines have. Futuristic.

 

Regards, Henno

wristpin
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A bit of an update.

A bit of an update.

While the very rusty steelwork was at the blasters it was the turn of the engine. Pitted contact breaker points were given a clean up with a carborundum slip stone and the totally dead condenser replaced courtesy of Paul at Meetens who also found a replacement special shoulder bolt for the starter pulley which had been attacked by some animal with a cold chisel.

The valves themselves were in good shape but the seats need a bit of a clean up and narrowing down a bit. However some strange things have been done within the valve chest where one of the spring retainers has been replaced with one from a different manufacturer and the anti splash baffle hacked about to clear it. Presumably some one lost the correct one and had to dig out of trouble with what ever was to hand. I'm on the track of a spare engine which will, hopefully, render up the correct parts, but meanwhile it has gone back together "as is".    

The exhaust muffler was rotted away and extracting the remains from the pipe elbow resisting all attempts to unscrew it despite being given the red heat and cold quench treatment a couple of times, so it was cut off slightly proud of the elbow and internally longitudinally slit with a hacksaw blade, crushed and peeled out. A bit crude but effective! The engine is running a bit rich which will need investigation but doesn't make any nasty noises, so fine tuning can wait. 

Bottom blade carrier and blade screws.  The carrier is an alloy casting and all the steel countersunk screws were frimley corroded  in place - another result of the machine having spent untold years abandoned in the bushes!  Despite heating each screw head to cherry red a couple of times they wouldn't budge with as much force as I dared give them with the impact driver - remember that alloy casting!!  It was then a case of Mig welding a thick washer to each screw head  and then an old nut to each washer to be gripped with the Vice Grips, flooded  in Plus Gas and worked back and forth in increasing increments until a complete rotation  was achieved. Probably about quarter of an hour per screw but all out without incident .

More later.

    

    

  

 

After "sand " blasting, the result of years spent exposed to the elements. Call it Patina!  However the machine is built like the proverbial brick outhouse so there's plenty of strength left. 

 

.    

Chris G
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That's patience with the

That's patience with the bottom carrier which paid off, must have taken ages! great progress and enjoyable reading. Look forward to the next update.

wristpin
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In the last report I

In the last report I mentioned that there had been an interesting modification (bodge) to the engine's valve gear. Thanks to OLC member Hillsider for sourcing a similar engine from the depths of a friend's shed I discovered that the obvious visible bodge was not the only issue. Briefly, after a struggle to fit the correct parts it eventually dawned on me that the valve guides were protruding too far down into the valve chest  - confirmed by comparison with the "new" engine.  With the aid of a piece of threaded rod, several large washers and a couple of nuts the guides were repositioned and everything else went back together as it should. I now have a running engine.

Rear roller. This consists of three cast alloy drums with a bonded on ribbed rubber covering on each drum, mounted on a chain driven shaft with individual free wheel units. As a result of the machine's long  sojourn in the undergrowth moisture had crept in between the alloy drums and the rubber and the consequent corrosion had loosened most of the rubber covering and the "growth " of the corrosion had bulged it in places. With the aid of a hacksaw blade and compressed air I managed to clear most of the powdery residue and then pump in CT1 "hybrid adhesive sealer". Each roller, in turn , was given that treatment and clamped up to spread the CT1 and keep as much as possible of the rubber in contact with the alloy drum. Seems to have been a success and with certainly be adequate for demonstration and exhibition purposes.

This afternoon I've been making shavings! Front roller manufacture.  More to follow.

PS. Should have said that there was just about enough lip left on the old bottom blade to take a grind, so it was refitted, faced off and amazingly the cylinder cuts paper all the way along !!   

  

  

hillsider
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Your project Anzani is

Your project Anzani is progressing well considering the condition it was in when you collected it. The repairs to the rear rollers is a very good example of an engineering solution to a problem that has been shown on this forum in the past. 

Good to hear that the Donor engine was helpful, that makes two machines helped back to life by that engine.

Henno
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Hello wristpin,

Hello wristpin,

May I suggest in enlarging the pictures (a lot)? I find this a very interesting project (and the quality of workmanship is mind boggling) but the photos are tiny on a 27" monitor...  :-)

 

Regards, Henno

wristpin
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Photos. Can do but didn’t

Photos. Can do but didn’t want to overload the forum.

One more front roller to make and treat with colour and preservative etc and then another update.

Clive1997
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Excellent work so far, just

Excellent work so far, just wish I had the time, but running my operation museum/charity leaves very little time for hands on stuff.

If you have taken a liking to Anzani's I have a surplus 24in Lawn Rider with good box & in much better condition that the powermow ready & waiting????

Could even consider it on a commission basis.

wristpin
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A bit more engine reassembly

A bit more engine reassembly done and the recoil starter to do. Rollers completed and trial assembled, the originals had completely rotted away. Thanks to two club members for supplying the roller dimensions .Anzani fitted a spring between each roller and now that I know the length it will require another visit to the bay of evil. As with some of the other metalwork, the roller shaft suffered badly but was a snug fit inside a piece of 15mm stainless steel tube so the rollers were made with a suitable clearance .

wristpin
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Getting there. All assembled

Getting there. All assembled with a running engine. Belts to be acquired  - don't suppose anyone knows the original belt size ?

Three recoil starters supplied all the parts needed to build up one correct good one . Each of the three had something missing, fortunately not the same parts in all !  The spare engine produced a good starter cup , the original having badly worn engagement lugs  - probably the reason that the starter was handed over in a dismantled state.

The only outstanding item of consequence is springs for the centrifugal clutch . The originals are too weak and the clutch engages early. Hundreds of springs on ebay but note quite the right combination of length, diameter and wire cross section. Springmasters appear to have a standard spring that is suitable and reasonably priced per spring until it comes to their minimum oder charge + p&p+ vat . Presently investigating springs from heavy duty brush cutters.  However, if worst comes to worst, the carrier complete with shoes and springs from a Suffolk Colt fits both the Villiers crank and the Anzani drum. 

       

 

 

 

Clive1997
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A remarkable transformation

A remarkable transformation from the wreck you started with.

Henno
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Stunning... on photo almost

Stunning... on photo almost new. Superb work there wristpin.

Regards, Henno

gtc
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Great work, indeed. Very

Great work, indeed. Very inspiring.

Chris G
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Very nicely engineered

Very nicely engineered restore, and a bit of wood turning to boot! For someone who does not like to paint, well.....great result

wristpin
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Thanks for the kind comments,

Thanks for the kind comments, but I can’t take the credit for the paint . The mower was so far gone that it had to be “sand” blasted and I was then going to paint it, but Paul at Rye Metal Finishing had some green powder coat left over from a special order that is a very close match to to the un-faded original under the handle grips.   

Its sometimes the smallest things that are the most problematic. In this case it was two little springs for the centrifugal clutch. Dozens on that auction site but none offering the correct combination of length, diameter and wire cross section to provide the necessary controlled take up. Finally I had to bite the bullet  -  SpringMasters supplied the exact specification; just don’t ask about their minimum order and astronomical post and packing charges!

 

 

hillsider
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Good to hear that you have

Good to hear that you have found springs to suit, re the minimum order charge at work we used to dodge that by including an assortment box on to the order that usually made everyone happy, job got sorted and the workshop gained a box of springs.

wristpin
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With all the major work done

With all the major work done I'm now picking off both the outstanding jobs and going back over things that could be done better or just tidied up.  One job , the nearly worn out bottom blade was on hold while I searched the trade for an original, but it was not to be. Garfitts would make one to pattern but not to measurements but I had a bit of a hang up with parting with my reference blade should it go AWAL in transit.  Perhaps spooked by another supplier sending stuff to the wrong post code and the courier delivering some  correctly addressed, urgently needed parts, deciding that I had "moved" and returning them to his depot with the consequence that "Next Day" became 4 days!

So I sorted through a stack of bottom blades left over from the business and found one for a 24" Greens Zephyr that looked promising . The centre hole matched exactly and was in the correct position front to back. With the exception of two other holes that slightly overlapped the Greens there was enough virgin metal to drill and countersink to match the Anzani sole plate. The two offending "near miss" holes were filled with weld, redrilled and countersunk - job done.

One outstanding job is the question of the belt guard. Some old Powermow advertisements show a guard but none of the on line images of surviving machines have one. My machine has a hole in the side frame corresponding to the top mounting in one of the publicity images and in an image from a review of the machine in Amateur Gardening of , November 1962 - kindly sent to me by another Club member. So, if anyone has, or knows of, a Powermow with a belt guard , please let me know. 

hillsider
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That is a good example of the

That is a good example of the art of re engineering, by modifying the blade to fit your mower you have made good use of skills that we were taught as apprentices and all without the aid of a computer.

Any news yet on the replacement drive belt saga? also a tale that may interest followers of the tale of the restoration.