August 2019

Update from Ted Giliam Diesel Engineer Glen Valley

  • Since the first public start-up weekend in October 2016, approximately 700 people have seen the engine run.
  • The motor has been started and run about 25 times after Open Day weekend for different groups.
  • Over time, excessive main bearing wear was noticed, as there was excessive oil spillage into waste oil drums.
  • In October 2017, while running the engine for a large group, it was noticed that one main bearing was developing a knock.
  • Ted Giliam and Dave Dyball removed the main bearing cap and found the white metal bearing fractured.
  • They made the decision to decommission the engine before major damage could occur which would render the engine inoperable.
  • The main bearing caps and oil slingers were removed.
  • The crankshaft was jacked up using three 10 tonne jacks and secured in place.
  • Top and bottom bearing shells were removed with great difficulty because of broken white metal in bottom shells.
  • Ted took all eight bearing halves to Leongatha to assess damage and to decide what path needed to be taken to repair the bearings.
  • The bearing halves weighed approximately 50kg each and working on the bearings required a lifting machine at all times.
  • The next task was to source some white metal which costs around $50/kg – approximately 130kg of white metal was needed to reline the bearings.
  • No real funds were available and a donation source needed to be found.
  • Ted went to Yallourn Power Station work shop, which is run by Hardchrome Engineering. They machine white metal bearings there for industry.
  • Through their generosity, Ted was able to secure a 200 litre drum of lathe swarf.
  • Ted melted this down into ingots recovering 90kg of clean white metal.
  • Meanwhile, old white metal was melted out of the bearing shells, also into ingots
  • A mould had to be designed and built to be able to re-pour new white metal into the bearing shells.
  • Many hours were spent manufacturing these moulds as they had to accommodate three different sized bearing shells.
  • A special oven was designed and built by Ted to pre-heat bearing shells prior to tinning. The shells required heating to approximately 200 degrees celcius for the tinning. Tinning is a process which helps the white metal to attach to the bearing shell.
  • Meanwhile, Dave, Kelvin and James have spent many hours restoring the big air compressor. This is almost complete and ready for painting when the warmer weather returns.
  • All heavy lifting was done by Gordon and his John Deere Loader.
  • It was decided to try and pour the while metal during the Christmas/New Year break 2018 at the Glen Valley motor site.
  • Dave being a foundry worker at different times, sourced the necessary equipment. Furnace, gas blower pipe, furnace tongs, crucible and associated pieces to do the job accurately and safely.
  • Around 28th and 29th of December 2018 all the equipment required for the pour was assembled on site.
  • The moulds and bearing shells were heated to 200 degrees celcius (plus) and the white metal was heated to approximately 400 degrees celcius to clean it and get it to the right temperature for the pour.
  • That afternoon the first of the bearings was filled with white metal. The temperature that day was 36 degrees. A hot task on a hot day!
  • Dave was in charge of the furnace, the white metal melting and pouring.
  • All 8 shells were poured over the next 10 days with success.
  • The pouring was done by Dave, Ted, Gordon and Meredith.
  • The whole procedure was videoed by Olivia Williams.
  • Following the pouring, all bearing halves were taken back to Leongatha by Ted for machining.
  • The machining process included:
    • Thrust faces x 8
    • Parting joints x 8
    • Boring of assembled bearings – including new shims and special clamps to hold halves perfectly together.
    • Oil return grooves
    • Crankshaft champers
    • Oil reliefs to oil bearings
  • Lundstrom Engineering owners – Steve and Michelle Allen were most generous with their time and machining of the bearings at the most absolute minimal cost.
  • Machining is still ongoing and it is hoped that cleaning of motor tunnel and crank can commence on Cup weekend 2019.
  • Bearing assembly and crankshaft recommissioning hopefully over the Christmas/New Year break 2019-2020.
  • All things going well, the engine restart and testing of bearings and crankshaft alignment in January 2020.
Click here for photos of the bearing relining and machining process 

or, click on the image below to watch a video of the white metal being poured into the bearing shells.

June 2018 

More parts on the way to Glen Valley to be reunited with the engine

While chasing parts for a Ronaldson Tippett engine restoration, a casual conversation between Lawrie Piko and Peter Bongiovanni from Lockington Victoria lead to the recovery of an almost as new condition big end bearing for the Ruston. The bearing had found it’s way into a fellow engine enthusiasts collection many years ago, and they were very happy to see the bearing returned to Glen Wills.   A big thanks to our friends at Lockington for coming forward with this part – which may prove important to the continued running of the engine in the future.

15 & 16 October 2016

The Open Day was a big success for more information about the event follow this Link.

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Using a portable compressor to supply air, the engine was cranked over during the weekend. The air was fed into the system which is used to start the motor. The great news is that it turns over smoothly. Another milestone reached and another step closer to the startup! See the following video

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Preserving our mining and engineering heritage