Author Topic: Horizontally Opposed Engine  (Read 11920 times)

Chris Thomas

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Horizontally Opposed Engine
« on: October 28, 2008, 08:36:51 PM »
Dear Friends and colleagues

I wonder if I can call upon you all to rack your brains and search through your libraries of reference books to find a car for me.

I am researching the origins of an engine which I think is a Coventry Victor engine that is mated to a BSA gearbox. The gearbox is dated 1934 and so the engine is likely to be about the same year. The engine is a two cylinder side valve 4 stroke that is air cooled, and about 600-700cc in capacity. Th nationality of the vehicle that it was designed for is unknown but assumed to be British, but that is not certain (only because of the BSA gearbox)

The BSA gearbox has an inbuilt differential as it was designed for a front wheel drive BSA scout or similar.

Whilst I can find descriptions of Horizontally Opposed engines driving rear wheels via a prop or a chain, I can not find any reference to a front engine front wheel drive air cooled 2 cylinder Horizontally opposed side valve 4 stroke engined car built in the early 1930's. Do you know of any such vehicle???

I would be pleased to hear from anybody that can come up with any name or information.

By the way the BSA front wheel drive cars had 4 cylinder in line water cooled engines.

I would like to be put out of my misery as I have been researching this for over a year, and the more I look the more elusive the answer becomes.

Many thanks

Chris Thomas

Smart51

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 10:47:56 PM »
I can't help you directly but I do know of a car from the 30s with a Horizontally opposed 2 cylinder engine.  The 2CV.  It was hidden away during the second world war and appeared again in 1948 having been redesigned into the car we all know.  The engine either came from BMW or was redesigned from a BMW engine, so I've been told.  BMW bikes had horizontally opposed twins, and some still do. 

g-o-g-g-o

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 05:42:35 AM »
Your right BSA Scout did ahave a 4 cylinder engine, I remember when I was doing my apprentiship another apprentice had a BSA series 6 car of about 1938 or 39, this sereies had the pressed wheels rather than the spoked ones of the previous sereis. We used to tow one another because I had my first car a Morris 8 sereis E tourer (which is still in my garage) my car and his car used to break down every mounth or so and we took it in turns to help each other out. I used to go to a lot of BSA rallies in the 60's and you are right the scout's did have a 4 cylinder but the 3 wheelers had mostly 4 cylinder engines but some of them had two cylinder air cooled engines - al la Morgan, look on the BSA FWD club site and you will see some - I hope this helps you out.

marcus

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 09:01:27 AM »
Well Insight, I do not know if this will help, but there is a Shire Album book number 165 called Three Wheelers by Ken Hill. I think all Shire titles are still in print. It has a photo of a rather fetching C.V. Luxury Sports model of 1935. he text mentions several models, and some engine details eg 2 cylinder, air and watercooled, 850 and 750cc but no mention of FWD. Perhaps someone took one of these enegines and added a gear box from a Beezer. Would you like me to email you a scan of this info ?
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Bob Purton

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 09:14:50 AM »
I also looked at the other three wheelers of the period, Coventry Victor, JBM etc but all were rear wheel drive. AS Marcus said, it may be a later marriage.

Chris Thomas

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 09:15:32 AM »
Dear Goggo and Smart 51 and Marcus

Thank you for your input

It was through the BSA FWD club that we identified the gearbox and date and this has led me to believe that the engine is probably British. Unlike the 2CV the engine is behind the gearbox like on a Renault 4 which makes for a very long unit. I did consider that the diff had been turned around and the unit was running in the opposite direction with the gearbox at the back and the engine in the mid position like a formula one car, but 1934 would have been too early for that type of layout and the diff does not look as if it has been turned around, so it still looks like I am looking for a front wheel drive unit.

The Coventry Victor car did use both an air cooled and water cooled engine, and some also had over head valves, but they were all rear wheel drive with the gearbox at the rear and the prop shaft running at engine speed through the passenger compartment.

I do think that I may be looking at a Coventry Victor engine fixed to a BSA gearbox and diff. But what car whas it designed to be used for ? The installation has been done very professionally and does not look like a prototype or one off.

I am looking at other flat engines like the Panhard, Douglas, BMW and the Zundap to see if there are any similarities in the crank case design. But I was hoping to come at this problem from both ends by trying to find the car, and then trace the history back the other way.

So has anybody else any ideas.

Many thanks

Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2008, 04:58:53 PM »
Dear Friends

I have now come to the end of my research material and I am no wiser now than when I started regarding the origins of this engine, Perhaps those meeting up on Sunday at the farm might like to give me their opinion.

Chris Thomas

Jawmedead

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2008, 08:33:16 PM »
Hi Chris,

 Have you been in touch with Mike Worthington-Williams? I this months Old Bike Mart he mentions a mystery flat twin engine, with photo, but it doesn't match any literature he has on Coventry Victor flat twins.

Cheers, Rob.

Chris Thomas

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2008, 09:34:00 AM »
Dear Rob

Well spotted. I have not been in contact with Mike Worthington Williams nor Nick Geordano as I do not have contact details for them. But I have been in touch with Patrick Knight who edits a publication regarding static engines, of which CV made a lot.

I wonder if Mike has picked up the item from their and has published one of my photographs.

Is there any chance you could scan and email the item and photo from Old Bike Mart, to me directly at tileroofconsult@btconnect.com or will you be on the working party on Sunday?

Many thanks

Chris Thomas

Jawmedead

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2008, 10:11:29 AM »
Hi Chris, I shall bring the paper with me on Sunday. Rob.

Chris Thomas

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2008, 11:06:56 AM »
Dear Rob

Things are starting to move again. I contacted old bike mart and they have given me Mike W W email address and I have also heard from an expert from the BSA three wheeler club who is being very helpful regarding the gearbox.

See you on Sunday

Thanks again

Chris Thomas

marcus

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 06:25:09 PM »
glad you're getting some leads, let us know if you find out anything interesting
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Chris Thomas

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2008, 09:15:39 AM »
DearMarcus and friends

The mystery is solved!!!

Whilst at the very productive working party day at the farm I had an opportunity to take off the cooling shroud to the left hand cylinder to expose the cylinder head and was able to see that it was not a side valve engine but an overhead valve unit, like a BMW motorcycle engine, but the rockerbox cover was wrong.

So after some searching on the internet to compare the finning and cylinder head arrangement I have identified the engine as a Zundapp KS600 engine, probably from a two wheeled tractor or cultivator as used in central europe by small farmers.

So does anybody know of anybody that needs a Zundapp KS600 engine?

I just wished I had looked at the cylinder head earlier.

Chris Thomas

Bob Purton

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2008, 09:47:40 AM »
Dear chris, you mean you put us to all that trouble and its not even from a car? Shameful !! The workparty day was fun wasn't it, and worth it for the lunch alone! Putting together all the non matching steel shelving parts was rather like being on the Krypton Factor show! I'm ashamed to say that I have lost the CD you gave me already, I think I may have left it on Jeans conservatory window sill. If you are reading this Jean, have you seen it?

Jawmedead

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Re: Horizontally Opposed Engine
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2008, 12:34:00 PM »
The best part of the day was when the Int.. Inte.. Oh what is the word? Oh yes, interlude for lunch came. Thank you Jean. Also trying to fathom out the Coventry Victor/ Zundapp engine. It did look a bit like a BMW though. Both German made.
Oh yes, Bobs' car, the Inter, fabulous restoration, very impressed mate. ;D
We had a postman at our office that had a Krypton Factor of Minus five!!!! ::)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 01:18:07 PM by Jawmedead »