Ruston AO Diesels - Page 4 - Ships Nostalgia
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Ruston AO Diesels

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  #76  
Old 22nd November 2015, 09:38
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A.D.FROST A.D.FROST is offline  
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Originally Posted by david freeman View Post
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???
ST.DAVID twin 16 PC2V Crossley/Pielstick's(same but different, both Widow makers)ST.GEORGE twin AO Ruston

Last edited by A.D.FROST; 22nd November 2015 at 09:42..
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  #77  
Old 25th November 2015, 11:47
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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Originally Posted by A.D.FROST View Post
ST.DAVID twin 16 PC2V Crossley/Pielstick's(same but different, both Widow makers)ST.GEORGE twin AO Ruston
Thank You! Memory is a Dangerous Implement without the written reports.
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  #78  
Old 21st December 2015, 07:07
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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In the 1970's I read a paper, Transactions of the I Mar E, about SSM's experience with the Ruston AO engine. My recollections are that it was a horror story and that great credit must go to the crews who kept them running. The engines drank lube oil and burned out exhaust valves like nobody's business. They were eventually re-engines with TM 410's which apparently was not an inspired choice. I would love to read that paper once again, can anyone give me a Christmas present.
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  #79  
Old 22nd December 2015, 11:43
uisdean mor uisdean mor is offline  
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In the 1970's I read a paper, Transactions of the I Mar E, about SSM's experience with the Ruston AO engine. My recollections are that it was a horror story and that great credit must go to the crews who kept them running. The engines drank lube oil and burned out exhaust valves like nobody's business. They were eventually re-engines with TM 410's which apparently was not an inspired choice. I would love to read that paper once again, can anyone give me a Christmas present.
no Present really but suspect the article was a lengthy coverage of the drama in The Motor Ship. I seem to remember a particular focus on the Temple Arch which suffered almost total failure including many days adrift in Northern waters. Cannot remember the year of publication - sorry
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  #80  
Old 31st December 2015, 09:24
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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Serang, I remember that paper. I also remember an earlier paper lauding the choice of AO's for these ships at the time of building. Wonder what happened to that particular author?
In the later paper I recall that even the panels in the accommodation alleyway had to be replaced as they couln't be cleaned of the oil and grease left by the poor engineers as they staggered back to their cabins for a short rest before the next breakdown.
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  #81  
Old 17th April 2016, 10:32
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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OK Serang, I have found a report based on that paper in The Motor Ship, February 1975. The paper was by N.K. Bowers, Technical Director, Scottish Ship Management Ltd. and entitled "Medium Speed Diesel Engines in Bulkcarriers."
Just a few quotes, in March 1971 MV Temple Arch, on a voyage from Panama to Japan, 15 liners had to be changed and the oil consumption varied from 682L/day on one engine and 1818L/day on the other! This same vessel took 38 days to sail from Alaska to Japan. Here's another frightening quote - liner wear could range from 0.025 mm to 0.25 mm per 1000 hours. Just a bit more - on some ships the lube oil comsumption was between 2,273 and 2728 litres per day! I sailed on Cape Hawke with the Werkspoor engines and I don't recall any problem, so long as the head valves were well lubricated, that is every 4 hours each valve stem got a gusher of oil from a large syringe.
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  #82  
Old 11th September 2016, 12:29
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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After all this much deserved bagging of AO's, has there ever been a serious, unbiased assessment of what the problem was with these engines, given that they seemed to be OK in diesel-electric trains. What was it about the marine environment/installation that caused them to be so bad?
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  #83  
Old 11th September 2016, 13:22
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Originally Posted by Chillytoes View Post
After all this much deserved bagging of AO's, has there ever been a serious, unbiased assessment of what the problem was with these engines, given that they seemed to be OK in diesel-electric trains. What was it about the marine environment/installation that caused them to be so bad?
Never used on land(incl.railway),but who knows if it wasn't rushed into service
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  #84  
Old 12th September 2016, 19:23
howardws howardws is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillytoes View Post
After all this much deserved bagging of AO's, has there ever been a serious, unbiased assessment of what the problem was with these engines, given that they seemed to be OK in diesel-electric trains. What was it about the marine environment/installation that caused them to be so bad?
I don't think that a Ruston AO would fit the UK loading gauge or any other gauge in the world either!
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  #85  
Old 13th September 2016, 00:12
Hamish Mackintosh Hamish Mackintosh is offline  
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I would like to know where that quantity of lube oil went, if it was going to the combustion chambers those shhips must have been laying a smoke screen like they were dodging the german raiders, but by the same token had lots of power, so where else could it go, can't rational burnt exhaust valves as they would be oil cooled, so negating a horrendous oil leak, who was selling it?As an aside what is/was the viscosity of marine diesel lube oils, straight grade or multi grade?just asking
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  #86  
Old 13th September 2016, 07:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chillytoes View Post
After all this much deserved bagging of AO's, has there ever been a serious, unbiased assessment of what the problem was with these engines, given that they seemed to be OK in diesel-electric trains. What was it about the marine environment/installation that caused them to be so bad?
The Ruston engines used for Rail Traction were RKCs; a development of the English Electric CSVT series.
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  #87  
Old 19th September 2016, 10:43
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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Sailed with Ruston RKCM's. Good honest workhorse but would not make it in todays world. Leaked more lub oil than it used. A bit like Barry Sheene and Japanese motorbikes.
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  #88  
Old 26th September 2016, 12:19
skilly57 skilly57 is offline  
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12RK3CMs - original engines in the ship I am currently on - done 140,000 hours each and cranks have never needed to be ground. Sure - they've had a few new liners/pistons/heads/fuel pump cams/couple of con rods - bit like granddads axe! Still using all the original fuel pumps, and only minor problems with the Regulatus Europa 11003G governors (just changed the last one - it's done 32,000 hours since last overhaul).
Biggest hassles are the number of oil leaks, the useless exhaust bellows seals and exhaust pipes that bend too easily, the number of fittings that have to be released/removed to get a cylinder head off, and those bloody frogs! (= JCW flexible elbows from the block to each head, and hidden at the back in the hottest spot). Always pre-lubed & post lubed before/after running, which will probably explain the good crankshaft conditions. We fitted engine heaters when they were still new, so engines are never started cold.
Funny though - one engine (IH8827) has always pulled more propeller pitch than the other engine (IH8828). Spent months measuring everything, checking timing, etc when they were new (37 years ago), but today, analyser still shows Stbd puts out 120 hp more than Port for same Gov'r index & rack settings.
Skilly
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  #89  
Old 4th March 2018, 20:23
Bilgediver Bilgediver is offline  
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Rustic AO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamish Mackintosh View Post
I would like to know where that quantity of lube oil went, if it was going to the combustion chambers those shhips must have been laying a smoke screen like they were dodging the german raiders, but by the same token had lots of power, so where else could it go, can't rational burnt exhaust valves as they would be oil cooled, so negating a horrendous oil leak, who was selling it?As an aside what is/was the viscosity of marine diesel lube oils, straight grade or multi grade?just asking
Yes Hamish they did leave a smoke screen and also deposited a lot of burnt carbon in the uptakes. Departing from a port after a week or so alongside ad especially if wet weather we would get the effect of a Roman candle not long after full away .

There is a picture here in the Gallery of Green Rover which I took in the Malacca Straits. Note the plume. Discovered some years later the skipper was a neighbour of mother in law and he was pleased to get a copy.

Rustons tried all sorts of novel ideas with the ring pack to address these issues and it was in respect of one of these attempts I had to fly to one of Smith's ships in Esperance complete with enough rings to deal with both in line 9 cylinder engines. We did one engine in Esperance and the other in Fremantle. Rustons had discovered that the modified rings they had fitted were likely to fail between Oz and the UK. We had requested Rustons castellated the firing ring and in fact even thought of doing it ourselves. We were amazed to see that the firing rings on the PC 2.4 that replaced the Rustons had castellated firing rings! Who knows!
The engines in Welsh and Cornish City actually became reasonably reliable so long as a strict maintenance schedule was kept:. Piston rings were not allowed to run for more than 2000 hours.
The other continuing problem was the failure of the rubber elements (buffers) in the Metalastic couplings . Quite early on when Danny the other AO chief was was on board and after we by we obtained a strobe ,we spent an hour or so running the engines up and down the speed range while departing Kobe Bay taking photographs and then tried running the strobe at 4 X engine speed. The couplings had 4 identical elements so we were seeing each element in succession. As we varied the revs just as expected we noticed the apparent image blurring at certain revs indicating shaft and coupling oscillation. A visit to Rustons with Metalastic in attendance and we soon had a set of bigger and stiffer elements.

What was causing the failure was a serious critical we discovered at 85 RPM ! Guess what speed we always reduced to in fog and navy weather :-)

Yes interesting times but they were happy ships and usually had good berths in most ports.

Last edited by Bilgediver; 4th March 2018 at 20:31..
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  #90  
Old 5th March 2018, 10:32
Bernie24 Bernie24 is offline  
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Ruston AO

When I worked in the Caribbean in the mid 1980's a shipowner in Jamaica had a Ruston powered vessel and the local joke was that the engines gave so much trouble that he had a permanently reserved seat on every BA flight to the island for a Ruston service engineer.
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  #91  
Old 7th March 2018, 15:32
Clifford Cocker Clifford Cocker is offline  
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Ruston AO engines

The "AO" stood for Admiralty Order and were built with very light scantlings and were never properly tested, British Rail foolishly purchased some for it's Harwich-Hook of Holland Ferries and never failed to regret it. I believe the world at that time was littered with clapped out engines which had to be replaced.
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  #92  
Old 7th March 2018, 16:07
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The "AO" stood for Admiralty Order and were built with very light scantlings and were never properly tested, British Rail foolishly purchased some for it's Harwich-Hook of Holland Ferries and never failed to regret it. I believe the world at that time was littered with clapped out engines which had to be replaced.
Dreams and Nightmare Machines
two in the S T.GEORGE lasted the longest because they were run on MGO I was told by some one who sailed on it under BR and said it was OK and yet again I've sailed with a Doxford that people sailed with them said they were ok( glad I didn't sail on Pielsticks)
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  #93  
Old 7th March 2018, 17:06
Bernie24 Bernie24 is offline  
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Pielsticks

I never sailed with AO engines but I was on four ships with Pielsticks. The first was a French built steam turbine powered Shell ULCC which had a 1200kW T/A, a V12 Pielstick of the same power and a V6 version as an emergency generator. The ship was less than a year old and the V12 had a water leak on one cylinder. None of the engineers had any motor experience but we tried everything we could to stop the leak without success. At the one year guarantee discussions in Rotterdam a French Pielstick technician came on board, took one look and asked to have the engine turned so that unit was at TDC. He then used a tool to depress the valve springs, removed the collets and took out a broken inner spring. He fitted a new spring, put everything back as before and when the engine was refilled the leak had stopped! He refused to talk about why changing a valve spring could stop a leak and simply left the engine room.

The next one was a British flag tanker with two V14 units connected to a single reduction gearbox to drive a CPP. These engines burned IFO180 at sea and MDO in port. One thing I quickly learned was to stick rigidly to the running hours maintenance schedule, fitting OEM parts only and paying very close attention to the condition of the lube oil. We had no more trouble after that.

The third one was a RoRo working out of Miami on a two week route in the Caribbean fitted with two inline 7 cylinder units which I went on as a relief CE for the permanent guy. I didn't expect it to be a cushy job but was surprised to find that the engines had been badly neglected such that they were losing 24 tonnes of water a day from the JCW system due to leaks everywhere. The man I relieved was so fat he couldn't get down constricted route to the engine room. The 2E was a Yugoslav and the rest Filipino. There were tons of spares so me and the second set to at every port stay replacing leaking pipes etc. At the end of my two month stint we were down to 200 litres a day water loss.

The fourth was a French built reefer with two V18 units, each with four turbochargers. The major thing with this one was that one engine was on its third crankshaft and the other was on its second. The ship carried bananas from Jamaica to the UK and general cargo on the way back and after about five months on board the port engine ran a crankshaft bearing on the way to the UK and we ended up limping into Newport, Wales. An inspection showed that the crankshaft was badly damaged and needed to be replaced. A British technician from Crossley Engines in Manchester boarded and after discussions with the Super went below. He came back after about fifteen minutes and asked how long the engines had been secured to the bedplates using only fitted bolts. Turned out the engines had been installed by Pielstick themselves. Having only fitted holding down bolts left nowhere for the engines to expand and this was why crankshafts were failing. When the port engine was lifted to fit the new shaft, checks showed that the bedplate was bent due to nearly twenty years of mal-operation. Class insisted both engines be properly secured with fitted bolts at the flywheel end only and clearance bolts for the rest. Sea trials were run but the ship went into lay-up afterwards.

As one can imagine, I was happy not to go on anymore.
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  #94  
Old 8th March 2018, 15:32
MWD MWD is offline  
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The "AO" stood for Admiralty Order and were built with very light scantlings and were never properly tested, British Rail foolishly purchased some for it's Harwich-Hook of Holland Ferries and never failed to regret it. I believe the world at that time was littered with clapped out engines which had to be replaced.
I think you will discover that they were foisted upon BR politically by Tony Benn. Another case of scientific rather than engineering advise being followed by ministers!

MWD.
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  #95  
Old 10th March 2018, 17:43
Clifford Cocker Clifford Cocker is offline  
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Noise and Doxford Engines

Having sailed on most types of Doxford, including pre. WW2 t
the LB engines were relatively quiet but with the introduction of turbochargers became progressively noisier, the early "J" types became even noisier with the introduction of the non return valves in side rod crosshead bearings.
But the noisiest ship that I ever served on was the "Irisbank" after the fire that burnt out all the sound insulation on the air ends of the turbochargers (B&W opposed piston 2 stroke) I have suffered with tinnitus ever since, and never entered an running engine room without ear plugs backed up with ear muffs. I did try as Chief to go down at least once a day to annoy the watch keepers!
Even took my wife down once, not impressed!!
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  #96  
Old 11th March 2018, 08:56
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A.D.FROST A.D.FROST is offline  
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Having sailed on most types of Doxford, including pre. WW2 t
the LB engines were relatively quiet but with the introduction of turbochargers became progressively noisier, the early "J" types became even noisier with the introduction of the non return valves in side rod crosshead bearings.
But the noisiest ship that I ever served on was the "Irisbank" after the fire that burnt out all the sound insulation on the air ends of the turbochargers (B&W opposed piston 2 stroke) I have suffered with tinnitus ever since, and never entered an running engine room without ear plugs backed up with ear muffs. I did try as Chief to go down at least once a day to annoy the watch keepers!
Even took my wife down once, not impressed!!
make a good ring tone for a smart phone (at least you can turn it off)
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  #97  
Old 15th March 2018, 23:33
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Steve Oatey Steve Oatey is offline
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ST.DAVID twin 16 PC2V Crossley/Pielstick's(same but different, both Widow makers)ST.GEORGE twin AO Ruston
When the RFA Rover class had their Ruston AOs removed they were replaced by twin Pielstick 16 PCV 2s. These went nicely with the TEN Paxman 8RPH CZs (seven generators, one generator/ballast pump. and two cargo pumps). And people try to tell me how lovely the Rovers were! Not.
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  #98  
Old 16th March 2018, 08:22
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When the RFA Rover class had their Ruston AOs removed they were replaced by twin Pielstick 16 PCV 2s. These went nicely with the TEN Paxman 8RPH CZs (seven generators, one generator/ballast pump. and two cargo pumps). And people try to tell me how lovely the Rovers were! Not.
Reminds of a insurance policy. Replacing 'like for like'(a 'P' for a 'P') Some people have more than their fair share of FUN

Last edited by A.D.FROST; 16th March 2018 at 08:25..
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  #99  
Old 31st March 2018, 09:58
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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These went nicely with the TEN Paxman 8RPH CZs

I've sailed on a ship with one Paxman and a ship with three Paxman's and I was happier on the ship with one Paxman.
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  #100  
Old 2nd April 2018, 09:41
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These went nicely with the TEN Paxman 8RPH CZs

I've sailed on a ship with one Paxman and a ship with three Paxman's and I was happier on the ship with one Paxman.
None's even better (SD14 3x 4cyl Allens on diesel)
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