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Thread: Not agricultural but........................

  1. #1
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    Not agricultural but........................

    I have an old Howard Bantam rotavator. It hasn't run for at least 20 years having been stuck at the back of the shed. Of course it won't run now (no spark). Do I have any options to get it going again apart from sticking something like a Briggs & Stratton on the front of it ? It's a lovely old thing and they were quite good bits of kit in their day. I think it might be a Villiers engine on it at the moment, it is the original. It's a long time since I worked with coils, condensers, etc. so don't know what I'm doing inside the flywheel really.

    Do I have any options to rescue and preserve the old girl. It just seems sacrilegious to put something modern on the front of it.
    Last edited by zaza; 16-06-19 at 05:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Not agricultural but........................

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    I have an old Howard Bantam rotavator. It hasn't run for at least 20 years having been stuck at the back of the shed. Of course it won't run now (no spark). Do I have any options to get it going again apart from sticking something like a Briggs & Stratton on the front of it ? It's a lovely old thing and they were quite good bits of kit in their day. I think it might be a Villiers engine on it at the moment, it is the original. It's a long time since I worked with coils, condensers, etc. so don't know what I'm doing inside the flywheel really.

    Do I have any options to rescue and preserve the old girl. It just seems sacrilegious to put something modern on the front of it.
    Take the fuel tank off, fill it with a couple a handfuls of small nuts, bit of diesel/parrafin and then swish about for a while to loosen up any crud/corrosion, empty out and flush clean. Sort out petrol tap. Remove carburettor float bowl and clean out any remains in there, a carb-cleaner aerosol would be handy to blow through as many 'oles and orifices as you can find within the carb bowl and the tube the air passes through by the main jet and into the inlet manifold. Clean all this out thoroughly.

    Now take the cowling off, IIRC the flywheel will be held on with a hollow nut that presses a taper in the flywheel onto a similar taper on the crankshaft. Normally Villers never used a key. Have a look at this link for info to get the flywheel off and refit them- https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=vi...w=1536&bih=767

    Now clean up the flywheel, clean the iron core of the ign coil including where it earths to the block, remove the points and condenser to clean them up. You will be looking to get the metal to metal contact good enough to make a decent earth.

    Put it all back together and hopefully your away
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    Re: Not agricultural but........................

    Wow FF, that is so helpful. Thank you. In reading all that a lot of it all came back to me but it is so long since I played with a small engine like this. In your opinion, is there anything that is likely to need replacing inside the flywheel in order to get a spark, always assuming of course that I will be able to tidy up the points if neccessary ? And thanks for the lnk.

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    Re: Not agricultural but........................

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Wow FF, that is so helpful. Thank you. In reading all that a lot of it all came back to me but it is so long since I played with a small engine like this. In your opinion, is there anything that is likely to need replacing inside the flywheel in order to get a spark, always assuming of course that I will be able to tidy up the points if neccessary ? And thanks for the lnk.
    Often its just a case of alloy/steel corrosion and a methodical clean up of all contacting surfaces and points to ensure a good earth get things going. On Briggs & Strattons its the condensor and the soft iron of the ign coil where they butt up to the alloy of the crankcase, clean it all up, set the clearances and usually bingo its away. I have once or twice re-magnetized ign coils when there is no spark after every thing has been done, usually on something that had been stood for yonks, just a small torch battery between the earth and the lead to the points (with it all disconnected) has resurrected life from the dead! At the time it seemed nothing to loose as the next step would of been fitting a new coil.

    I used to do callouts on my pushbike round the village as a teenager fixing mostly villers, B&S or Tecumseh, springtime would be a good earner with stale fuel and no-spark faults......
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    Re: Not agricultural but........................

    Thanks again FF. Not sure when I will able to get to it next but I'll keep you posted. Another alternative is for you to get on your push-bike again, get onto the M40 and get off at gate 15 and I'm only 4 miles away ! Don't worry about payment, I've got some old white fivers that I could pay you with.

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