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.