Author Topic: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!  (Read 473 times)

Offline Mark M

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RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« on: March 07, 2020, 12:09:45 PM »
This site seems to be a bit sleepy of late so this recent discovery by a pal of mine may interest you all. From the garage clearance of a well known and long time Royal Enfield expert comes this odd beast. It has been suggested by someone who knows RE 2-strokes well that the top end is Flea (RE 125,) but there are no numbers on the cases at all. The big puzzle is the curious worm drive. Also, if the carburettor bowl (no markings on carb,) is oriented downwards the engine sits on it's side with the other crank shaft pointing upwards yet this shaft has a cotter pin cut away, presumably for some sort of starter, but that puts it in a horizontal plane? The other shaft has a taper, clutch? Or drive of some sort? But if a clutch, why outboard of the worm? We know Enfield made motors for their lawn motors and during the war made something described as 'oil engines' (which are presumably hydraulic units) for driving tank turrets - could this be for that purpose?
REgards, Mark

Offline Rex

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2020, 06:11:47 PM »
No military vehicle expert but I wouldn't have thought that there'd be a separate engine for driving the turret hydraulics as having a plug whisker at the wrong time cold mean the loss of a tank. Aren't the powered turrets moved by an electric motor driven off the tank's battery?
In the old war films they always show one of the tank crew furiously winding handles when traversing the turret.
Incidentally, isn't "oil engine" an older term for a diesel?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 06:13:55 PM by Rex »

Offline Mark M

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2020, 07:25:49 PM »
Rex, the mention of the 'hydraulic engine' was just an example of the type of thing Enfield were doing at the time, I'm not saying this is one or getting involved in a discussion about tank design! The 2-stroke engines used in other applications apart from the bikes are a bit of a mystery. Lawn mowers we know but there is mention in some of the books of other uses, even chainsaws. But please don't shoot off on that tangent!
REgards, Mark

Offline R

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2020, 09:28:04 PM »
A quick bit of googling reveals that Enfields supplied a 250cc twin cylinder engine to
power the hydraulics of a Crusader Anti-Aircraft "tank". (mobile gun platform).
It was intended to be stationary when used in anger, hence the separate engine,
but "on test wasn't strong enough to work on anything but level ground."
"Nethertheless, 215 were ordered".

So that rather rules out this engine.

A good view or identification of that carburettor may be helpful, since that might tie
it in with whatever it was used for. Its going to be something light duty ??

Offline Mark M

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2020, 10:36:39 AM »
Thanks, R, I'm waiting on detail pictures of the carb. In the meantime an expert has identified the top end as 1948 type Model RE.
REgards, Mark

Offline Mark M

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2020, 08:40:33 AM »
I'm having trouble getting the pictures of the carb from Whatsapp (yeah, I know,) but I can tell you that it has AMAL clearly marked on the side. I really don't know how I missed it first time! Flange is stamped 343/0 but is a bit faint.
REgards, Mark

Offline cardan

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2020, 11:52:11 AM »
343/0 doesn't seem to appear on the list of AMAL motorcycle carburettors 1940 - 1954 - perhaps no surprise.

R.E. 125cc used AMAL 223/001C carb during the war (body number 223/001) and 223/3 (body number 223/018) in 1948, so nothing going on there.

There are a number of "motor cycles" that used 300-series AMAL carburettors - things like the 308/1 on a 49cc Berini, 359/1 on a 47cc Power Pak, and so on - but clearly nothing motorcycle-related on this interesting beast. It looks too well made to be lawn mower!

Leon


Offline R

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2020, 12:49:47 AM »
"Amal 343/10 used on Shay Rotivator"


Offline Mark M

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Re: RE 'Flea' type engine? What is it for?!
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2020, 09:33:54 AM »
Thanks R, I've looked at the picture of the carb flange again and there is the faintest mark after the / which could be a 1 making it /10. I also looked at the various mower and cultivator websites (who knew?) and the Shay range looks very likely, the Shay Rotogardener being a good example of how the worm drive would have powered the cutting head. It also explains the horizontal fitting, the non drive-side crank journal being cottered to fit a pull cord starter. I'm now thinking this is a JAP engine, not an RE product but I'll do some more on that. The beauty of sites like this one is that someone may have an idea of where to look, the internet might make searches easier but as any librarian will tell you, without an index, it's rubbish!
Thanks again,
REgards, Mark