“Why not take the flywheel off?”

Last Summer (2014), I spent many hours trawling the Internet to find replacement parts. I managed to procure: valves, shell bearings, piston rings, gaskets – all brand new in original 1940s/50s packaging. Not so lucky with the water coolant pump, so I combined the best bits from three used ones to build one perfectly good one.

Excellent, so far so good. Next step, crane out the engine and fit the parts. What could possibly go wrong?  Well, I naively assumed that the 250kg flywheel would easily come off after removing the giant woodruff key. The key, it turns out, is a sacrificial lump of soft steel that is not intended to come out easily, if at all. After much tugging and bashing, and colourful cursing the flywheel was partially off and ‘most of the key was removed’. Therein lies the problem. When the time came to refit the starter motor and coolant pump I discovered that the flywheel was not far enough back on the crank shaft for the ring gear to engage – and to make matters worse I had confidently craned the engine back into the boat! The moral of the story is, do not, if you can avoid it, remove the flywheel!

Winter put paid to further rebuilding,  but I’m preparing to resume over the Easter period as I’m off work for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, all the engine parts are stripped and repainted and the brass/copper bits polished. I admire this handywork every day as I stride over the parts scattered all over the floor of the boat!

7 thoughts on ““Why not take the flywheel off?”

    • Hi Wayne,
      Thanks, I’m looking forward to having it back up and running soon. You’ll probably get your seals and gaskets from Dorman Diesels in Lincoln. They stock many Ruston Hornsby parts; it’s where I got the piston rings and valves.
      I’ve seen some really nice glass and brass oil feeders on a 2VSO which I’d really like get to replace those on my rocker cover. If anybody knows where I can get some, please let me know.

      • Hi,
        I have a Ruston 2VSH in my collection of engines, nice engine !! But one of the fuel injectors are not working correct. Seen one one of the photos of your engine rebuild, that you have got your hands on a pair of overhauled injectors. Where did you find the injectors ?

  1. hi.
    reading your post on rebuilding your 2vsh.
    we have a wonderful 2 vsh in our narrowboat,
    shes a bit poorly at moment, we need 2 injectors new or refurbished.
    may I please ask where you had yours done ??
    regards wayne

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