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  • Model I/C engine – any experiences?
  • Premier Icon fadda
    Subscriber

    Fadda Jr is showing some interest in understanding how an I/C engine works.

    I can explain to him, and draw pictures, but I wondered if building a model engine would be a better, more engaging way of learning.

    There are a number of models available, and I don’t want to spend loads, since this is not likely to be something that’s loved and cherished, more just a way of seeing how bits go together. I’ve easily found a Haynes one, both 4 cyl and V8 versions available around £40, but reviews are a bit variable…

    So, anyone done similar? Any advice or suggestions?

    TIA, as always

    hols2
    Member

    Take apart an old lawnmower or something.

    Premier Icon fadda
    Subscriber

    Actually not a bad plan, hols – with the added bonus/smug factor of maybe getting something working again…

    Vader
    Member

    hols +1

    That’s how I learned, when I got into motorbikes later on it made stripping engines a doddle.
    What was really good was seeing something that was all oily and in some cases looking frankly shonky actually go back together and work. Gave me a really good idea in my mind of what was going on in the engine, how it felt when you moved all the parts and what the surfaces of components looked and felt like when they were already pretty old. Great stuff.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    I learned rather a lot by rebuilding a mini engine on my kitchen table. I’m sure Mrs. Fadda would oblige.

    Premier Icon fadda
    Subscriber

    I’m not dismantling Mrs fadda on the kitchen table!

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    My lad got a model V8 for Christmas and it’s pretty good. Plastic one that goes together like a cross between airfix and mechano. I still need to sort the ‘spark plugs’ out though as they’re not firing in the right order.

    It was a Haynes branded one, from some men stuff shop, about 40 quid.

    Premier Icon fadda
    Subscriber

    ads678 – That’s the one I was looking at for him. I love the idea of fixing up a lawnmower or something, but it’s a bit involved if he suddenly decides he’s not *that* interested after all!

    Premier Icon fadda
    Subscriber

    @slowoldman – I should have said that I learnt similarly, by rebuilding and old Vauxhall Viva engine in the garden with my dad, but I’m pretty sure Jr doesn’t have the attention span, so I wanted to start with something simpler…

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Oh absolutely. I think the lawnmower is a good idea. It might even inspire him to do the lawn for you.

    Premier Icon Nick
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    Don’t f about

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
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    Having tried to fix some issues with my lawnmower, spare filters and gaskets seem incredibly expensive… And I imagine if I were to pull it apart it would be incredibly basic.

    Must be more interesting options that are designed to run for more than 10 hours a year…an old portable generator might be a bit better and more resilient to being tinkered with?

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Subscriber

    We got my lad one of those transparent 4 cylinder kits when he was a lot younger and he seemed to like it. I don’t remember them being that expensive though – maybe £15-£20 rather than £40+

    Don’t f about

    Quite…

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    In all seriousness, why not a real model IC engine, but single cylinder 2 stroke glow rather than crazy expensive multi cylinder 4 stroke etc, the 2 strokes are easy to take apart and quite simple in their design, but therefore easy to understand.

    Plus they make a racket, and a mess and are slightly dangerous if not handled properly, what’s not to like?

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR11.TRC1.A0.H0.Xos+engine.TRS0&_nkw=os+engine&_sacat=0

    Finally something on singletrack I might have a useful input on!

    My anorak hobby is restoring and researching vintage engines, with that I write a bit for Stationary Engine magazine, think Have I Got News For You magazine of the week…..

    A good starting point for playing about is a little Suffolk Punch engine off a lawnmower, plenty of spares and cheap to pick up.
    Something bigger the Lister D is the stalwart of the engine line up, though prices are increasing for them they are a favorite among collectors (not me..)

    If you don’t mind buying from China lots of collectors have had fun with these little hit and miss models. I’m yet to buy one….

    https://www.banggood.com/Eachine-ET1-STEM-Upgrade-Hit-and-Miss-Gas-Engine-Stirling-Engine-Model-Combustion-Engine-Collection-p-1430588.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=UK

    Another area to look is Stirling/Hot air engines. Great for running inside, you can get simple ones that run on a cup of tea to stuff like the Ryders that will cost you many thousands. There is some nice UK models that done break the bank.

    If your near North Wiltshire I might have a little 2 stroke I could pass on to grow the interest/hobby, but I’d rather not see it thrown in the metal recycling bin once the fun is had….

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Subscriber

    Try to avoid generators , quite risky electrical devices when stripped of protective covers.

    Try to avoid generators , quite risky electrical devices when stripped of protective covers.

    Or nice displays if you’re sensible.

    My collection of Generator sets.

    1920s Barr and Stroud Single sleeve valve engine.

    1941 Stuart Turner R2.

    And a 1960 Stuart Turner H1, last example of 15 made. Now on loan to Internal Fire Museum

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    single cylinder 2 stroke glow

    Those things are about as far from a general car engine as you can get whilst still being called an IC engine. My mate had an IC engined RC car so of course I had the engine apart immediately. Two stroke, no valves, no cam, no spark – I already knew how 2 and 4 stroke engines work at the time but it took some time to figure out how this thing actually ran. And it was a really simple one with the minimum port arrangement.

    rydster
    Member

    I modified the 2 stroke engine for my RC car to give more power using a Dremel.

    Premier Icon fadda
    Subscriber

    Some great input, thanks all.

    As molgrips says, this is about him seeing how a car engine works, so 4-stroke for sure. Not sure I understand 2 strokes as well, and certainly not anything more complicated.

    I think the Haynes model may be the best start, and move on to an actual engine if he stays interested… (bloody teenagers…)

    Premier Icon Moses
    Subscriber

    Look for a scrap moped engine, there should be plenty around.
    I got a dead Honda C50 lump for my son, who promptly ignored it for a year until we left it on the garden wall for a scrap merchant to take

    As molgrips says, this is about him seeing how a car engine works, so 4-stroke for sure.

    You could get a working glow fuel 4-stroke from the bay for near £100. Anything much less will likely be a ‘parts’ motor or wonky in some way. Most of the commonly available small stuff is pushrod driven poppet valve – think 1950’s Anglia block with a single SU carb, vs DOHC variable timing cams injection ECU type engine. But the basic principles are all the same.

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