Atco standard - where to start?

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duncangasmith
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Atco standard - where to start?

I've just taken collection of a Atco standard 14" mower. My usual approach with these projects ,in ignorance, is to blind in and start taking the thing apart. My intuition is telling me that I would do better to disconnect the drive and then see if I can get the engine to run. 

How do the rest of you approach these jobs particularly if there is little hope of finding spares?

Specific to the Atco standard, are there any identification marks I should look for? The engine has Villiers engine is the Mark VI-C which seems to date to 1922-23 but this may or may not be original. The casting on the handle says Chas H Pughs but the tank is mounted across the frame. From the notes on the Mower Profile it sounds as if there was an endless variety of different combinations made not to mention later replacements made by owners.

Are there any common faults or issues that i should be aware of?

 

 

wristpin
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As far as I know the HY is

As far as I know the HY is the only “Standard” with the tank mounted across the fame .  Assuming that the engine is free to turn the most likely  major issues are seized/worn piston rings ( has it got compression) and worn main bearings allowing the ingress of air to the crankcase ( a source of issues with starting and running in two-stroke engines) . If those seem ok the major and expensive problem is often a corroded and non functioning ignition coil and to a lesser extent a failed condenser. Do a basic spark test - remove the plug and hold the end of the plug lead a couple of mm away from the cylinder while cranking the engine. Probably no spark which could, if you are very lucky, be just dirty contact breaker points, but be prepared for worse!

I would be inclined to leave the engine in the chassis while you carry out initial assessments and tests but removing the primary drive chain will make things easier.

So the engine turns and has compression - good

No or soft compression, remove the plug and give a couple of squirts of SAE 30 engine oil . Replace the plug and try again . Improved compression? Good. May just be stuck rings but could be worn rings or a worn cylinder bore - no so good but not a killer. Remove the cylinder barrel and have a look.

While you are about it , grab the crank and see if you can feel any up and down movement . If you can feel any - not too good!

Order of play. I would tend to check out the compression and bore etc before spending time and money on the ignition . A new condenser will be £15/20 and a decent guaranteed coil **£60 / 70. No point in spending on the ignition only to find that the bore or crank are shot..  **There are cheaper coils of dubious origin and quality on auction sites.

These are just suggestions - not really any right or wrong ways of going about it!!

duncangasmith
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Thanks again. That's a very

Thanks again. That's a very useful intro into the joys ahead. I'll work through those at the weekend and see what I find.

 

duncangasmith
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I started going through the

I started going through the check list.

Excellent compression on cylinder. No wobble/slack on drive shaft. Light carbon coat on spark plug.

No spark. Coil looks tidy but infinity reading between HT outlet and any ground point. About 2 ohms between LT wire and ground.

Are there any further checks to confirm the coil really is dead?

£60 for a new coil is going to mean the project has to wait for a few months.

wristpin
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Sounds as though your coil is

Sounds as though your coil is corroded / shorted internally. A dedicated coil tester would confirm that and also give an indication of the health of the condenser. . 

If you want to press on with the rest of the rebuild and run the engine you can rig up a temporary ignition with a car ignition coil and a 12 volt battery and just use the Villiers contact breaker set to trigger it.  

hdtrust
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The machine you have is a HY

The machine you have is a HY Atco not a Standard, they came in 2 sizes, a 12 inch model and a 14 inch, they date from 1928 to mid 1932, when they were superseded by plate steel sided machines.From 1926 to 1928 a 14 inch Standard was made to order only which I have seen a few examples

Regards

Andrew

duncangasmith
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Many thanks. Its good to get

Many thanks. Its good to get a closer date for the machine though it would appear that at least some parts of the engine have been changed over the years. 

I will probably hold off on working on this mower until I can find/afford the coil. I have rather too many half finished mowers around and could do with finishing off some of these. 

Duncan

gtc
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I have rather too many half

I have rather too many half finished mowers around and could do with finishing off some of these.

Ditto!