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Marine Power Services on the Move Part 2

New Workshop fitout.
Posted - 06th July 2015

Following on from our update back in May many things have been happening at MPS. With the new workshop nearing completion the time has now come to start moving the many tonnes of engines, spares and equipment from one site to the other and the weekend saw the first engines arrive in our new workshop. Over the coming weeks we will completing the electrical fit out in the new workshop and sorting, cataloging and stowing away our stock of parts in our new stores area. as part of this work many new items will be available on our website over the coming weeks. 

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Marine Power Services on the Move

New Workshop fitout.
Posted - 08th May 2015

Since the departure of the Gardner 6L3 that was filling our workshop until late March our focus now has moved temporarily from the day to day re-manufacturing of vintage diesel engines to the fitting out of a new workshop. Our intention is for this to supplement our existing facilities for both engine re-manufacturing and to allow for expansion further into parts production. As recent years have seen an ever declining supply of some of the most commonly used parts ,and those that are available are of dubious quality, we will be adding the ability to manufacture, in house, CNC casting patterns, gaskets and press tooling for composite head gaskets etc . In particular accurately sized Lister JP,JS & JK head gaskets.    

Photo's to Follow Soon

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Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III Part 5

Repair and Recommissioning of a 1956 Gardner 6L3 engine.
Posted - 01th February 2015
February 2015 brings the next installment in the story of Beta III's Gardner 6L3 engine.  With Christmas and New year out of the way we progressed on with the reassembly of the Gardner 6L3, with January spent cleaning pipework and overhauling and calibrating the injector pumps and cambox, the later took some time due to damaged components caused by the engine being started after a long period out of use which resulting in various broken tappets and tappet springs. 
With the cambox and manifolds fitted the next couple of jobs will see the light at the end of the tunnel come into view with only a few jobs left to complete before test run time. First up is the refitting of the engine lubricating oil pump and all associated pipework followed by timing the camshaft and setting the tappets, well the latter as soon as we can track down a replacement water pump!!
The next update will see this engine undergoing its test running before heading back to the engine room of the Beta III.

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New for 2015 - Marine Power Services Online Store

New Online Store for 2015
Posted - 07th December 2015
The start of 2015 will see the arrival of a new MPS Online Store. This will replace the original parts listing that the website has displayed since its launch in spring 2014. This new online store will now include a much larger selection of parts for many vintage engine models and will continue to be added to throughout 2015 to better reflect the new, new old stock, refurbished and used parts MPS has in stock. The new online store will also see the return of the ability to purchase and download manuals from the full MPS manual archive, the information area free online manual flip books will remain.

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Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III Part 4

Repair and Recommissioning of a 1956 Gardner 6L3 engine.
Posted - 04th December 2014
After a couple of month tracking down parts and tinkering away its time for an update on the story of Beta III's Gardner 6L3 engine. Finally after a period of cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning post the removal of the pistons and cylinder liners which revealed just how much silt had built up inside! once all cleaned out the new cylinder liners, new pistons and connecting rods could be reinstalled, well all except for cylinder six which on dismantling revealed a damaged big end bearing which had to be replaced, luckily it hadn't cause any damage to the crankshaft so after a few weeks wait while we tracked down a new old stock item all six were refitted.
Next came a job that seemed to go on forever.... Overhauling all of the cylinder heads, once stripped it was found that although the valves were good and within tolerance the valve guides were a different story, with some of the exhaust valve guides being nearly worn enough to squeeze two valves stems through. Once overhauled we could begin to refit them which also coincided with the aluminium components returning from the polishers so couldn't resist putting the head name plates back on.
With all the cylinder heads refitted and the timing case back in place we can now move on to some of the smaller external parts starting with the injector pump cam box, which as expected on strip down hid all kinds of nasties that the engines long period dormant had caused. The first notable issues were four out of the six tappets seized in the fully up position which would have basically meant the engine wouldn't have been injecting on those cylinders and another which was extremely sticky and only occasionally would return once pushed up. Digging a bit deeper found the cam box itself half full of water with one bearing collapsed and another so worn the outer race could be removed over the pitted balls.
The next update will see this engine nearing completion ready for test run, and then onto the fitting of a few modifications to make the engine better suit the owners needs.

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Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III Part 3

Repair and Recommissioning of a 1956 Gardner 6L3 engine.
Posted - 07th September 2014
Following on from our previous updates, the story of Beta III's Gardner 6L3 engine has moved on another step towards being fully running once more. Finally after a prolonged stop over at Arc Fab Sussex (Riveted Narrowboat Co) in Lewes ,the engine arrived with us on the 4th September. After some huffing and puffing getting it into the workshop, the stripdown and inspection began. We already knew the engine wouldn't run on all its cylinders and that the fuel rack was seized, so the next step was to investigate all possible causes for the lack of running on certain cylinders.
Initially the manifolds, pipework, cambox, injector pumps and all ancilliary bits were removed to allow removal of all the crankcase doors so we could inspect inside. Removing the timing case cover revealed a slightly worrying view; a timing chain so loose that we could make it jump round a tooth without undoing any of the tensioners. This could have been fatal to the engine had this happened whilst running as it could have caused pistons to come into contact with the valves. This could have also contribulted to the poor running and excessive smoke as the injection and cam timing was wildly incorrect.
The next task was a compression check, first up cylinder one and all appears well, but cylinder two is a different story with virtually no compression. Cylinders three to five are better but a long way off cylinder one, finally cylinder six seems ok. So with cylinder two leaking past the rings and valves and three to five passing valves it was time to get out the endoscope. A few minutes later and the primary cause of most of the running issues becomes apparent. Where the engine had sat for many years the salty sea air has done its magic with a combination of corroded valves, seats and in cylinder two a rusty cylinder liner. So after a discussion with the owner the cylinder heads were removed and the task of identifying all the bits that need some tlc begins.

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Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III Part 2

Repair and Recommissioning of a 1956 Gardner 6L3 engine.
Posted - 12th August 2014
Following on from our previous update in June the story of Beta III's Gardner 6L3 engine has moved on a step towards being fully running once more. After much head scratching it was decided to remove the engine from Beta III's engine room and move it to MPS's workshop where it can get the attention it needs. This will allow us better access and facilities to repair the engine and better access to parts of the engine room for platework replacement, blasting and painting. The first step was to lift the engine and put it onto a suitable transport cradle, so a short trip the Arc Fab Sussex (Riveted Narrowboat Co) in Lewes was in order before its trip to us.

Photos Courtesy of BetaIIIfireboat.com. July 2014

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Breathing Life Back Into The Heart of the Beta III

Repair and Recommissioning of a 1956 Gardner 6L3 engine.
Posted - 14th June 2014
You may of heard of the Massey Shaw (A 1935 Built Thames fireboat that has recently been restored with the aid of Lottery funding) but have you heard of the Beta III ? The Beta III was built in 1926 and is one of the Massey Shaw's sister ships. Unfortunatly the Beta III has not been as fortunate as the Massey Shaw having lost, long ago, the twin Gleniffer diesels that powered her for most of her life, along with many of the original firefighting fixtures and fittings.
During the early 1960's the Beta III was converted into a sightseeing cruiser and at this time was re-engined from twin 6 cylinder Gleniffer engines to a single Gardner 6L3. After many years sightseeing and a period as a floating bar in the 1980's, the Beta III eventually ended up in Rye, Kent with a very uncertain future. This was of course until its current owner came along and has begun the mammoth task of bringing this old lady back to life.

This is where MPS comes in. After many years of neglect the Gardner 6L3 hiding in the Beta III's engine room needed some TLC to get it back into a reliable and usable condition. Our first visit to the boat found that although not seized and appearing to have good compression some other bits were not so good. The fuel injection pump and cambox are partially seized resulting in an engine that starts, all be it only on a couple of cylinders. Over the restoration of the Beta III we will be working on the engine to get it back running smoothly. First up is the fabrication and replacement of most of the off engine systems. Bilge pump, raw water, exhaust and fuel systems. We will post updates as the work progresses.

For more information on the restoration of the Beta III see the blog here Beta III Fireboat Blog

Video Courtesy of BetaIIIfireboat.com - Taken by the boats crew while getting the engine started to move Beta III from its mud berth to be lifted out for restoration. Dec 2013

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New Marine Power Services Website

A new sleak look for spring 2014
Posted - 07th March 2014
Along with the start of spring 2014 comes a fresh new look for the Marine Power Services Website. Over the next few months a selection of new features and additions will be added to improve the look and general navigation of the website. This new look will coincide with a programme to increase and improve the technical information available online to our visitors.
This new website has been written to better support the ever growing use of tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. Utilising many of the recent improvements in website software Joomla CMS, HTML5 and CSS3 are used to better support current user preferences.
NOTE for users of Internet Explorer 8 or lower. HTML 5 is not supported in these outdated browsers. We have made every effort to maintain usabilty with IE8 but use of this browser or older will restrict your experience. Please consider upgrading to a newer version.

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New Boatshow Display

in collaboration with the Riveted Narrowboat Company
Posted - 24th May 2013
Although MPS works on and restores many vintage engines for all sorts of different applications; boats, generators, railway locomotives, and even pumps. The last few months have seen us working on something a little bit different.
"What could it be?" I hear you ask.
Well it is a boat, at least part of one.. It is also fitted with a 1942 vintage Lister 9-1 (JP1) and is held together with rows of rivets, but none of these are fake, and to top it off it is also on four wheels.
Yes you've guessed it, In collaboration with the Riveted Narrowboat Company (RNC) based in Ringmer, East Sussex. Marine Power Services have produced a display trailer for the 2013 boat show season.

The body of the show trailer is a representation of the engine room section of a RNC hull complete with all its rivets and removable soft patch in the engine room roof (A standard feature on their hulls). This allow for the engine, which is normally one of the major expenses of a boat purchase to be fitted at the last minute. This ensures it remains clean and undamaged during the boats fit out. Saves on the Brasso and Paintwork touch up afterwards!!.
The late part of 2012 and early 2013 was spent with the RNC producing the hull section to fit onto a road going trailer. On completion this was painted and sign written. It was at this point MPS had work to do, on a wet and miserable Saturday morning the trailer arrived with us for us to bring to Lister 9-1 to life.
This included making the timber beds to mount it, wiring the starter motor, fabricating the exhaust system, bending up, mounting and connecting the fuel and water systems. Also at some time in the past the engine had been converted to marine dry sump so the oil tank required mounting and pipework producing. Most of the on engine pipework that it arrived with was unsuitable for this installation and needed to be redone, so with this removed the pipework routes were decided and the clamps welded in place.
The engine had been out of use for some time so a little TLC was needed. The valve clearances were checked and adjusted after finding the exhaust valve clearance to be nearer 0.100" instead of 0.008" which it should be. Also the injector pump had suffered from water ingress and was seized. After a rebuild of the pump and with some fresh oil in the tank we attempted the first start. A few turns and the old Lister was off and ready for the shows of 2013.

The next appearance of the show trailer will be at the start of the 2014 season (Location to be confirmed).

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