Engine Dis-assembly #1

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This page is showing you the restoration of my 5 cylinder radial Velie engine. Bought it in January 2013, from Jack, in the US, a retired aviator who was cleaning up his shed.

Glenn Peck:
While I was looking to buy this engine, I found this gentleman, Glenn Peck who is currently restoring some Velie engines, see http://peckaeroplanerestoration.com

Just want to say that he was a great help while making up my mind about buying the engine. And I am glad I found him, because now while I am building up the machine again he has valuable info for me as I found out yesterday (27 Feb 2014, a year later). So yes good old internet, and phone !! 🙂

Chad Wille:
I would like to thank Chad as well for all the valuable information regarding the engine he has given me. Chad has made my propeller, but also has a Velie engine like mine. He is not using it anymore but has in the past. Always good to talk with him, and you know he has valuable information that I trust.


A bit apprehensive

Here we go;

The engine.

I am a bit apprehensive, never worked on an engine before. This will be great as it’s a basic and simple engine. This is the kind of engine I always wanted on my plane 🙂


The valve rocker arm and push rod:




Something would have been at the bottom of the carburetor. Probably some forward facing air inlet, so not to hard to make. At the top of the photo, between carburetor and the engine housing is the carburetor adapter. Looks like its some kind of heat exchanger, as it has two tubes on either side that are internally connected but don’t interfere with the air – petrol mixture going up into the engine.

Left, rocker arm removed.

Below the carburetor hanging from the bottom of the engine.



Left the oil sump, in between the two bottom cylinders.

Right (a bit blurry) the position of the oil sump, the oval hole, and “behind” it the round hole for the carburetor.



Left the first piston, with the 3 cylinder rings, two “normal” ones and one “double” one.
The piston pin left, was easy to push out.

Below one of the 4 con-rod’s (connecting rod). The 5th one is the master con-rod that is connected to the #1 piston, in the cylinder that’s on top of the engine.


Below a cylinder and the intake tube. Sort of looks a bit messy on the photo here, but it looks really good. As you can see, I will have to make some gasket’s here.


One cylinder left, the number 1 cylinder that has the master con-rod on it.


All cylinders are removed now. So far it has been going really well, very happy with it, all nice and clean, and no problems up to now !

Prop hub and mags off

Just before going to work, I quickly tried to get the propeller hub off. I tried it yesterday but didn’t know how to. Last night looking at the drawing of the engine, I suddenly had a thought….

And I was right.

Easy (-:


And after work took the 2 magnetos off. Just in case you don’t know what that is, its making the sparks for the spark plugs. There two for powering the two spark plugs for each cylinder.

As Jack said, one of the mags was not functional. That’s right, the right one seems mechanically stuffed, not moving. So will open it up when I am ready and find out. The left one rotates nicely and as shown in photo ( below right ) the contacts are nicely moving.



Amazing quality


Been working on the back of the engine today. On the left you see the “thing” that holds the 2 magneto’s. Behind the big hole is a coupling that can be used for adding a starter motor.

Photo on the right is what’s behind the green “thing”. On the left you see the coupling for the optional starter motor.

I am thinking of getting an alternator for charging a little battery to power the radio, avionics and maybe lights. To the right you see the two magneto drive shafts. Really nice looking gears !!!!



About to take the gear case cover off 🙂


What you see here is at the back of the gear case cover. Its the cam. Its going twice as slow as the crank shaft and the 3 lobes that control the 10 valves.


Here are the 10 valve lifters and rollers. Also one of the 3 roller bearings is visible here. That will come out so I can start taking the crank shaft out, maybe tomorrow ………

4965684_origThe whole idea is that crank shaft and the 5 con rods are going to be X-ray’ed just to make sure they are all OK.

Crank shaft out

Continued for a few more hours today. Turned the engine around and stated working on the front side. In the photo on the left, I have just taken of the thrust bearing cover off. On the crank shaft , you see the green front bearing nut, and the little strip screwed on top of the shaft, the propeller hub key that stops the propeller from slipping. You also see the thrust bearings just behind the green nut.

After taking of the nut, the key and the thrust bearing, in the photo on the right, you see the second bearing.



To the right you see the inside after taking of the crank case cover.

Below, after moving the crank shaft backwards and forwards, I moved the con rods for piston 1, 2 and 5 through the cylinder 1 opening, as a preparation of taking the whole assembly of crank shaft + master con rod and the 4 remaining con rods out of the crank case.



All out !!!!

Easy 🙂



Disassembling magneto’s

Been away last weekend so nothing done !! But this weekend I started taking apart the carburetor and the two magneto’s. One of the magneto’s was mechanically “locked” but after taking it apart I noticed dried up oil on the rotor, so after cleaning that at tuned around beautifully.

I need to get grease for my grease gun, for the bearings, so I can start putting it back together and see if it still makes nice sparks!

As new carburetor and crank shaft assembly

OK back on-line after problems getting into my “webs.com” account for editing this website.

In the last few weeks I have been disassembling magneto’s and the carburetor. Below is the freshly painted carburetor.




Started putting all the bits and pieces in again. Will show you that tomorrow.

Did more today then expected !!!! :-), See here it is.


Also cleaned the crankshaft assembly.  AS NEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW 🙂



Gearcase crankcase and front

This week been cleaning more engine parts after I had a visit from Evan Belworthy. Evan, is going to certify and test fly my Bleriot when it’s all done. He had no comments at all about the plane as it stands right now !!!!!!

Also I wanted him to have a look at the engine, and as expected he wants me to NDT (Non Destructive Test) the crank shaft and con rods, just to be on the safe site. Something I always said I wanted to do anyway, so no surprises there. Plus I am going to have the bushings that are in the con rods, measured, while I can, as it feels like there is some room, now the oil is gone after cleaning.

So all in all all good, no drama’s. Just making sure its all going to behave when I rely on it !

Below, you see the back 2 photo’s of the gearcase cover, 2 of the crankcase and 2 of the front. I went to a local garage this week to ask how to clean all these parts. He said use diesel. He gave me a drum with a mixture of diesel and petrol, that he pumped out of someones petrol tank after they put the wrong fuel in. That stuff works really well !!!







First conrod

Got the first con rod off today, getting ready for the NDT soon. It’s the con rod for cylinder #3 ! 🙂

There is one “locking screw” that holds the wrist pin in place. The pin you see here on the right, the wrist pin that connects the con rod into the master con rod. The bigger hole you see there in that pin (top left) is where the locking screw goes in. Right opposite of the hole on the other side (that you can’t see here) is another hole. This is where oil is pumped into the pin. The oil then sprays out from the little hole in the middle of the pin. And also here, there is a little hole opposite that centre one. So this wrist pin in nicely oiled.

The pin you see on the left is the piston pin that connects the con rod to the #3 piston. That connection is just oiled with oil that’s splashed around.

So there is 3 more con rods to be removed from the master con rod, but the locking screws for those ones are to tight right now, so I sprayed some CRC on them so hopefully later today I can get those out.


Decided to take the plunge today and split the crank shaft. Below is obviously the front end of the shaft, with the middle of the 3 bearings just visible behind the counter weight. The bit on the right is the crank pin. This sits of centric of the crank shaft and that’s the pin that the master con rod sits on.

The hole on the right is where oil get pumped into from the other side of the crank shaft. Oil enters the pin and comes out through the 2 smaller holes, just visible on the left and right of the crank pin. This oil lubricates the master con rod, and if you look at photo below, you can see that hole on the left also lines up with the 4 individual holes you see inside the master con rod bushing, creating a pulsating supply of oil that goes into the wrist pin you see in the photo above on the right, supplying oil to the that connection with the 4 normal con rods.




Left, you see the back end of the crank shaft, where the big hole at the top end of the counter weight assembly fits the crank pin.

In the photo below, you see it from the back end. The back bearing is just removed. This open end of the crank shaft is where the oil gets pumped into, and
comes out through the hole going up in to the crank pin.

I am glad I was told to take the crank shaft assembly apart so it can be NDT-ed. My confidence of the engine keeps on going up. Still very impressed with the engine I have got here, that’s almost completely apart now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Power output

The person who’s going to certify my plane came here the other day to look at plane and engine and had some doubt’s about the power output. I checked with a fiend I just met who is currently flying a Bleriot, who used to fly planes with a Velie engine, identical to mine, and who is a propeller manufacturer. His comments on the engine for my Bleriot was:

Gert, Cubic inch displacement and prop diameter matter and these are unrelated to horsepower. A modern high rpm 90 hp engine won’t fly my Waco 10 at all, but it flies beautifully with a Curtiss OX-5 90 hp engine and a 100″ diameter prop. Specifically to you, the Velie has 250 cubic inches and is extremely powerful, bears no relationship to say, a Continental 65 hp, it’s much more power. It’s a good choice for a Bleriot. The Rotec radial, which I have flown on a Bleriot, is too much, feels like too much, and changes the characteristics of the Bleriot as to lose all it’s charm. It’s a classic case of a slow antique being pulled by too much thrust. It makes for a lousy flying experience. The Velie is a very good choice. I would have used my Velie had I not had a Gnome rotary from the start.
Beyond that, the less power you use on a Bleriot the better and more authentically it flies. And since it is a good design by pioneer standards, it flies well regardless. C.W.

So, quite pleased with that answer !

NDT all clear 🙂

Had all bits of the crank shaft assembly back today, after the NDT at Air New Zealand. ALL GOOD !!

They only kept the main part of the crank shaft there so they could remove the last bearing (see photo above), just making sure that it is OK underneath that bearing.

Oil pump

Ooops, yes finished the pistons.


Today I started cutting gaskets, for the oil pump and carburetor. Not sure about the gasket in the oil pump. Might be a little to thick and not getting the pressure high enough. Going to test the pump anyway and find out how it performs, before it goes on the engine.




Also started cleaning the first cylinder. All looking good so far (see valve on the right).

Just an hour ago, got an email from Jack who sold me the engine. One of his friends saw my pictures and was surprised to see what looked like a gasket on the cylinder flange where it bolts to the crankcase.

He had always heard that this wasn’t done because the constant pounding would compress the gasket and cause loss of torque at the attached nuts and eventual failure of the studs. So checking that out….

5 min later,
Already had a reply from my propeller guy, who has a Velie:

A thin paper gasket, not more then .015″ (= .38mm) with sealant was common on low compression engines of that era. I used that with no problems for 100 hrs. Never compare modern aircraft engine methodology to antique engine methodology. There are many dissimilarities.
So yes that’s what I will do.


Crank shaft OK

Yesterday picked up the crank shaft as it had a bit more testing to be done. All fine, so that’s really good!!
But the bearing that was on it had to be forced of it and need to be replaced. Now I was thinking of putting 3 new bearings on, so now I am forced to do, I am sort of happy that I don’t have to make decision anymore, its going to happen!


Quintuplet Daleks

I present to you, my

Quintuplet Daleks


Now its waiting for my master con rod and 4 con rods to come back so I can start the assembly 🙂

In the mean time I will start on the Magneto’s, and get them sparking………….

3 New crank shaft bearings

Going to pick up my 3 new crank shaft bearings today !!!!!

The first and hopefully only new part in the engine 🙂


Yes picked up 3 new, NSK 210 bearings (made in Japan).

I have removed the “seal”. So will have to clean the bearings, remove the grease, before they go in as it’s the oil in the engine that will be lubrication them !


New bearings on crank shaft

And here are 3 new crankshaft bearings. Cleaned the grease from them with petrol. Nice and shiny !


Heated up the bearings in some oil to 100 degC in a little pot on the tramping gas cooker (in the garage) to expand the bearings a bit, so they will slide easily over the crank shaft. I was a bit nervous, but it went really easy 🙂 see below.


Now its waiting for the con rods to com back from being measured.

9 New bushings

Hmmm a little bit of an disappointment. All 9 bushings (that’s what was being measured this week) need to be replaced. One bushing in the master con rod and one on each end for the remaining 4 con rods.

The whole reason I did send them to Tony from CAMS in Blenheim, is that my plane certification guy Evan, expected that they were worn. Tony measured them and confirmed it. He had a second opinion and again the same answer, so 3 guys can’t be wrong.


Now luckily that is not a mayor job, but adds cost to the rebuild. But again, is this is all that needs to be done, apart from the 3 new bearings, then I am not complaining I suppose.

To the left you can see what I am talking about. Clearly you can see here a lining made from brass, for the steel piston pin in this case to go into. The other side is identical (almost) the same lining, bushing for the crank pin.

As there is no bearing there, something needs to wear. We don’t want the pin to wear so the bushing will, as its softer than the steel!
And it did wear, so that’s why it needs to be replaced with a new one.