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Ruston AO Diesels

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  #51  
Old 12th March 2009, 17:49
Paul Cocker Paul Cocker is offline  
 
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Hi Folks , I wonder if any of you know which ship the engine that the Cadets at Llandaff practised their skills on !!!! came from? We had fun in Summer 1981removing the camshaft and exaiming the lost motion mechanism. Our tutor at the time was a chap known as Professor Hamworthy real I don't know. Ch. Eng. Danny Trigg called him that he had amusing stories for all during my trip starting Sept 1981 on the Port Alberni City.

Regards Paul Cocker
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  #52  
Old 14th March 2009, 00:55
John Glover John Glover is offline  
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I was Lecky on the Tanjong Pasir x Baron Wemyss She had been re engined with the WORKS POORS but was still an engineers nightmare.I used to turn out regulary with the lads when we broke down, rarely ran for more than 48hrs without something falling off. I left her in lay up in jurong Singapore and was transferred to Kilmun in Japan. I left KIlmun when my contract finished. After my leave i was told i would be joining a new ship in the U.S. the KIlchrenan. Comming round the end of the shed i realised i had been suckered when i saw the "New Ship" was indeed the renamed Tanjong Pasir. If i could have afforded it i would have turned around and gone home.

Happy days, i don't think so.
regards
john glover
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  #53  
Old 21st October 2009, 04:42
jrg jrg is offline  
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I served my apprenticeship at Rustons (1967-1971)-my parents, brother, grandfather, great uncle, and various uncles and cousins all spent time there. A great uncle and his mate turned every AO crankshaft. Diesel engine production finished in Lincoln during 1974, and moved to Newton le Willows.
The AO engine was developed during the 1950s by Dr Alan Watson, and the first test bed trials commenced during 1964. The Welsh City was the first deep sea vessel with the engines.
Rustons were developing diesels, gas turbines and Napier Turbo blowers. This was bankrupting them, and the AO was rushed into production to start recouping costs.
I remember engines on the production line being stripped for urgent spares.

I was on the Welsh City when C/E Dan Trigg had a piston and con rod part on the port engine. Andy Perrott was 3/E-ex machinist-and he salvaged the rod by machining the palm flat in the lathe. Back in the engine with a new piston.
On that particular trip, we also had a crankcase explosion in the port engine.

As for the AO, I think it was a product dead end-lightweight and two stroke, the direction has been heavy four strokes with very high charging rates. The Wartsilas I am currently working on take some beating.
I was on a pipe layer that had four V8 Wichmann engines. Two stroke, but loop scavenged and cylinder lubrication. No trouble at all.

It is a pity that the AW 4-stroke space frame variant was not developed first-many problems would not have occurred, and at 500hp/cylinder would have superseded the AT (260hp). Assuming the AW was successful, it would have possibly replaced the EE Vulcan-a mediocre product by all accounts; however, the lightweight spaceframe idea in retrospect was always going to be a dead end compared to today’s products.
I also think that the Ruston idea of housing/water jacket/head was becoming outmoded-the engine was not rigid enough, and the ATs were susceptible to fretting. It was interesting to observe that when EE moved the APC to Newton-le-Willows, a complete redesign saw the introduction of a liner block to replace the jackets.

The RK was an English Electric engine, used primarily for rail traction. The basic design was pre-war, at 50hp/cylinder.
It was pumped up to 270hp, and used in the Tasmanian Incat ferries. A high speed, high vibration wave-piercer was not the best place for an overrated, tired old design-problems were soon apparent.

The engine at Llandaff College was out of the Welsh, I believe.

JRG
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  #54  
Old 10th November 2009, 10:15
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R736476 R736476 is offline  
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JRG, Thank you for continuing the saga of the Ruston AO. I never thought that 4 years later this Thread would still be running!! Some amazing stories!
I never knew or met Dr Alan Watson but in 1970 on the sea trials of RFA Grey Rover I had a very heated discussion with Dr Bradshaw from Lincoln as to the merits of the AO following a raging fire caused by a fracture on the port engine!!
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  #55  
Old 12th November 2009, 20:08
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Ruston Diesel Engines

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Originally Posted by R736476 View Post
JRG, Thank you for continuing the saga of the Ruston AO. I never thought that 4 years later this Thread would still be running!! Some amazing stories!
I never knew or met Dr Alan Watson but in 1970 on the sea trials of RFA Grey Rover I had a very heated discussion with Dr Bradshaw from Lincoln as to the merits of the AO following a raging fire caused by a fracture on the port engine!!
Hi 736476 I feel I'm gate crashing here a little so excuse me. My father was never an engineer but nevertheless was always telling me how good Ruston diesels were and as I grew up I found this was pretty true. In the early sixties the company I worked for was looking for a tug for a new job that was breaking out, and a colleage and I went to Swansea to view a tug for sale there. Soon as we saw it we realised that it was not for us apart for the fact that it was unkempt and obviously too old.. However we had a look at the engine which was a Ruston. The machine we were looking at shone like a new penny, it was very old but the brass was highly polished, maybe to impress us. I think it was 6/8 cylinders. Memory not good here. It had paraffin heaters to each cylinder head which were heated for several minutes before the thing was turned over, whence it appeared to run as sweet as a nut as the say. As I have said it was too old for us. I have always remembered it and wondered how old it really was.
Best wishes.
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  #56  
Old 27th November 2009, 21:40
Alex Baxter Alex Baxter is offline  
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Originally Posted by Dragon53 View Post
Hi all,
I never sailed on either the Welsh City or Cornish City but I was a junior engineer with Reardon Smith at the time and heard some stories from engineers who had been on them.
Apparantly it was very rare to have both engines available to run at the same time, if you had both running for 24 hours you were doing well.
Lub oil carried in 45gal drums stored wherever there was room, it was said they burnt as much lub oil as fuel.
Heard stories of happy engineers when the were replaced with the single V16 Pielstick engine.
Regards,
Steve.
Hi Steve,

The Pielsticks were not perfect, although comparatively speaking, they were. Used to burst LP fuel pipes, and incinerate exhaust valves, but lube oil consumption was good.
Cheers,

Alex
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  #57  
Old 28th November 2009, 03:47
jrg jrg is offline  
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Reardon Smith AOs

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Originally Posted by Janner100 View Post
Indeed John,

Ian, Dave Smith and Chris Buckley were supberb in keeping the things going on the Cornish.

PS do you have a Skyphoto or similar of the Cornish City by chance?
I have Skyphotos of te Welsh and Cornish, and can scan for you.

jrg
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  #58  
Old 28th November 2009, 03:53
jrg jrg is offline  
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Hi Steve,

The Pielsticks were not perfect, although comparatively speaking, they were. Used to burst LP fuel pipes, and incinerate exhaust valves, but lube oil consumption was good.
Cheers,

Alex
I sailed on the Cornish City after re-engining during 1974. The Pielstick was a great improvement on the AO, but IHI altered various specs. Exhaust valves guttered; fuel pumps malfunctioned and injectors burned out. RSL decided to obtain all spares from SEMT to improve reliability.
As an aside, these two ships had the first deep-sea PC2.5 engine model.
Dan Trigg was C/E on the Welsh city going into Hamburg and all engine control was lost. The air distributor bearing moved in it's housing, and blocked the air ports-so no starting. The SEMT engineer who subsequently attended stated that the distributor was not and SEMT design.

JRG
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  #59  
Old 28th November 2009, 19:27
Bilgediver Bilgediver is offline  
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Originally Posted by Paul Cocker View Post
Hi Folks , I wonder if any of you know which ship the engine that the Cadets at Llandaff practised their skills on !!!! came from? We had fun in Summer 1981removing the camshaft and exaiming the lost motion mechanism. Our tutor at the time was a chap known as Professor Hamworthy real I don't know. Ch. Eng. Danny Trigg called him that he had amusing stories for all during my trip starting Sept 1981 on the Port Alberni City.

Regards Paul Cocker


Hi Paul

This was one of the engines from MV Welsh City and was shipped to Cardiff from Aioi in Japan. I am not sure if it is still there.

There may be pictures of the engines in Aioi in the gallery.
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  #60  
Old 28th November 2009, 19:31
Bilgediver Bilgediver is offline  
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Originally Posted by jrg View Post
I sailed on the Cornish City after re-engining during 1974. The Pielstick was a great improvement on the AO, but IHI altered various specs. Exhaust valves guttered; fuel pumps malfunctioned and injectors burned out. RSL decided to obtain all spares from SEMT to improve reliability.
As an aside, these two ships had the first deep-sea PC2.5 engine model.
Dan Trigg was C/E on the Welsh city going into Hamburg and all engine control was lost. The air distributor bearing moved in it's housing, and blocked the air ports-so no starting. The SEMT engineer who subsequently attended stated that the distributor was not and SEMT design.

JRG
Oh dear...... This was a fault found on the Cornish on the first voyage where the airdistibutor rotary valve would slip on its taper drive during a long passage. DOn t ask what happened at Antwerp but my friend Fred had a very red face up on the bridge when he failed to let the lads check it before entering the river!!!! Pilot absconded and told us not to call him back till we had disentangled the ship from between a couple of cardinal buoys!

IHI Aioi were supposed to have modified this assembly????
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  #61  
Old 17th December 2009, 05:32
MarcelB MarcelB is offline  
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In the mid 60s Upper Lakes shipping in canada built 2 lakers.The 1st called the Canadian Century had a 6 cyl.poppet valve [email protected] slow speed which was a gem of a ship.The 2nd ship was named the Canadian Progress andf for some reason ULS decided to go away from a trusted and true [email protected] and had 2 x 8 cyl Ruston AOs.I was an oiler on the Century and had a chance to transfer over to the Progress which was in all means a much "better" ship.2 years newer,better aqccoms and all that.Well she was a much nicer looking ship from the outside but as they say beauty is only skin deep.From the time they fired up those 2 monsters they where a horror show.The 1st year they changed somewhere between 80-90 pistons,conn rods,cyl.heads and every fuel injector almost weekly.every man in the engine room where required to work their watches and between 4 to 6 hours ot a day.The money was good but the crew turnover was horrendous.After her 1st year when they very rarely had both engines running at 1 time they ghanged over from HFO to Marine gas oil.This made no differance they still rfused to operate properly.Finally in 1974 they decided to rengine her and put 2 Cats in as m/engs.These where a little better but not much.The ship is still running with her 3rd engine change she now has MAKs in her and they seem to agree with her a little more.The wierd thing is that if they had of waited 6 months they coulld have gotten a Harland Wolfe [email protected] the same as her sister ship.She was also fitted with Lincoln Ruston generators which ran perfectly up a couple of years ago when they just gave out from old age.Both ships are still running on the Great Lakes in the coal/ore/grain trade and the Century's [email protected] is still chugging along as for the Progress she holds the record for most crew changes in the eng.room of any lake vessel that I know of.
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  #62  
Old 2nd May 2010, 10:30
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Smile Baron Maclay Re- Naming

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Originally Posted by oldsalt1 View Post
The two Eastern Bulkers ships would have been the Kilinn x Tanjong Tokong x Cape Horn and the Kilchrenan x Tanjong Pasir x Baron Wemyss.
Both Tanjong Shipping of Singapore and Eastern Bulkers of Hong Kong were SSM's attempt of flagging out which didn't quite work.

I was on the Baron MacLay, the first to be transferred to Easten Bulkers. We arrived at the anchorage at Jurong and most of the crew went home while the engineers did some survey work etc and the re-naming took place.
The shore squad did a good job of painting in the new name Kilmarnock but slipped up somewhat when the port of registry on two lifeboats and the stern appeared as HONG KNOG.
The new crew and most of the officers were from mainland China with the Old Man & Chief from SSM, the mate and second were British.
Before leaving the Lecky was asked to show his relief how to drive the cranes.
The Chinaman thought it was a piece of p*** until he put the ponder ball through the Chief's dayroom window.

happy days
Hello oldsalt1, I was 4th eng. on the Maclay at the time and remember telling the ch/eng. to take a look over the stern after the painters had finished re-naming her, and I can confirm the HONG KNOG. If my memory is correct I remember that the new lecky had never sailed on an AC powered ship before and joined with his own bedding. I think they tried to convince the lecky ( an ex tanker man with a fancy for the young steward ) to stay on. I think the chief was actually in his accommodation when they put the crane ball through his window
Also remember the long lunches on the poop deck with chips and beers and the stay in the YORK hotel? before flying home.

Happy days indeed. Malky
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  #63  
Old 6th July 2012, 03:35
pandokerry pandokerry is offline  
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Just stumbled across this post....
I also served my apprenticeship with Ruston's and during that time had the 'honour' of working on their brand new design, the AO.
As mentioned by others it was designed by Dr Watson and Bradshaw(?), this was straight from the drawing board into metal, not an upgrade or improvement of an existing engine but a brand new design made by using a very lightweight welded lattice framework rather than the traditional cast frame.

I worked on the first production engine destined for St George(?) BR ferry and remember the owners reps attending for the acceptance test.We all knew that the piston/liner interface was a problem with scuffing and wear and literally held our breath when the owners nominated a piston to be pulled for inspection, fortunately for us the unit was as bright as new pin!
Later I went to work in the research department were we had 3 engines that we tried various ideas sent by the design team to solve the liner lube problem, sometimes crazy ideas, sometimes scary, but very very interesting!
Thank goodness I never sailed with them...
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  #64  
Old 6th July 2012, 04:59
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Baron Ardrossan had an engineer from Rustons permanently on board while I was there. He was a very busy boy! Not sure if any of the other Rustons's ships had one too.

John T
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  #65  
Old 6th July 2012, 10:23
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Just stumbled across this post....
I also served my apprenticeship with Ruston's and during that time had the 'honour' of working on their brand new design, the AO.
As mentioned by others it was designed by Dr Watson and Bradshaw(?), this was straight from the drawing board into metal, not an upgrade or improvement of an existing engine but a brand new design made by using a very lightweight welded lattice framework rather than the traditional cast frame.

I worked on the first production engine destined for St George(?) BR ferry and remember the owners reps attending for the acceptance test.We all knew that the piston/liner interface was a problem with scuffing and wear and literally held our breath when the owners nominated a piston to be pulled for inspection, fortunately for us the unit was as bright as new pin!
Later I went to work in the research department were we had 3 engines that we tried various ideas sent by the design team to solve the liner lube problem, sometimes crazy ideas, sometimes scary, but very very interesting!
Thank goodness I never sailed with them...
ST.GEORGE ran on MDO and so was the last of the 'AO' powered ship to be re-engined.(so close and yet so far)
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  #66  
Old 10th July 2012, 19:03
howardws howardws is offline  
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In about 1974, when I was Third Engineer on Southern Ferries 'Eagle' I attended a Retired Naval Officers Association dinner as guest of my father. The guest of honour was an Engineer Rear Admiral who quizzed me on the problems we were having with 'Eagle's' Pielstick PC3s, numbers one and two in the production line I believe. He said he couldn't understand why any company would buy what were, to all intents, prototypes. I mentioned RFA and Ruston AOs and the conversation abruptly ceased!
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  #67  
Old 12th July 2012, 01:39
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I had a very strong relationship with Ruston diesels at Newton-Le-Willows. does anyone remember Tony Orall, he was reported to be responsible for the design of the AO piston? I could wax lyrical about the development of the RK 270 engine but that would hijack this thread.
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  #68  
Old 12th July 2012, 14:05
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I had a very strong relationship with Ruston diesels at Newton-Le-Willows. does anyone remember Tony Orall, he was reported to be responsible for the design of the AO piston? I could wax lyrical about the development of the RK 270 engine but that would hijack this thread.
RK270 case of badge engineering (English-Electric)after E-E tookover Ruston Diesels of Lincoln and renamed themselves?(a little less haste)
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  #69  
Old 19th July 2012, 09:41
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R736476 R736476 is offline  
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I continue to be amazed that almost 7 years after starting this thread, the saga of the AO and its relatives continues......!
Alex
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  #70  
Old 19th July 2012, 10:48
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I continue to be amazed that almost 7 years after starting this thread, the saga of the AO and its relatives continues......!
Alex
Lasted longer than the ENGINE
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  #71  
Old 19th July 2012, 13:51
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Lasted longer than the ENGINE
Nice one! The three AO engined RFA Rovers entered service between August 1969 and July 1970 and had all received their Pielsticks by 1974.
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  #72  
Old 22nd July 2015, 22:03
benshipline benshipline is offline  
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Ruston AO Engines

I read the posts so far with interest.I served as first an oiler on the Canadian Shell Tanker Lakeshell it also had a Ruston AO 8 cyl.Diesel.Once Licenced I was transfered to other Shell Tankers and did return as 3rd and 2nd Engineer.I remember all the operating problems mentioned already.We must have been a silly bunch as our staff turnover was almost nil.Eventually the Engine was replaced with a Cat. but I had already moved on and the ship was no longer owned by Shell Canada
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  #73  
Old 19th November 2015, 07:03
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I think that we may have installed the very last Ruston RKG12s on the BP 'Shah Deniz' Platform about 10 years ago. If I remember correctly they had moved manufacture from Newton-le-Willows to the old Mirlees factory at Stockport by then.
As someone pointed out earlier; the RK was developed from the English Electric (C)SVT range of engines; primarily used for rail traction, but also favourites for the MOD for standby generators at airfields etc. They were OK for these duties, not perfect by any means (starting one on a cold morning always impressed the neighbours) but seemed to be reasonably reliable.
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  #74  
Old 22nd November 2015, 09:21
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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Sealink Ferry- St David

Back in the 80's I attended a drydock on the St David, and did and witnessed basin trials: This ship/ferry I believe (memory) had a single Ruston AO's for main propulsion. Bedding in of Main Bearings and Bottom ends was difficult, and while reinspecting the bearings after prolong trials, and changing some- The idea of bedding in was when the white metal in the shells had been worn through to the bronze shell? not wiped, in certain pockets: did the engine settle down to acceptable running temperatures all around. I was assured that this was normal, under normal service, and that the vessel remained satisfactory in sevice by the sealink engineers and superintendent? It certainly took me by suprise: however I followed her record in sevice, and as far as I known she ran ok on the Stranrea/Larne Service OK? I just wondered???
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  #75  
Old 22nd November 2015, 09:48
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Just as well these engines weren't fitted to aircraft ! If you know what I mean.
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