Progress on the London Dennis No 2 pump

We have been gradually stripping down the pump, recovering anything that is salvageable as spares, and preparing the engine for scrap.

It is a real shame, as it looks like the engine was fully overhauled only a few working hours before being left to rot. In fact, we think it was hardly run in.

As we took it to pieces, we found an almost perfect head-gasket, all bright and shiny copper-coloured, a head that has superficial rust inside, but almost no coking up, new oil seals, fairly clean oil with no sludge in the sump at all, new pistons in wear-free bores, and a little metallic dust in the oil on the sump plug.

But the rings have well rusted onto the bores as the upper half of the cylinders have been damp and are well rusted. The valves are all rusted up, and the inside of the block water jacket is not pretty. We simply don’t need another engine – we have two working ones anyway. So once we have stripped everything that comes off, away it goes. Pistons removed and engine freed off. What looked like serious rust is superficial. The pistons are almost new – the machining marks are visible almost everywhere. They are 20 thou oversize which means this engine has probably been rebuilt twice. It has probably only run a dozen hours since the last one. And this confirms the theory that it worked hard in the Blitz. So we have decided not to scrap it. If anyone wants it get in touch.

The trailer chassis and tinware is coming on nicely – should be all painted in a few days now.

At least the trailer will have a nice retirement, having cut its youthful teeth in the London Blitz.

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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