Allen scythe renovation

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  trusty220 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #33062

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Hi all, I’m new to the forum so just finding my way round.
    I run a community group and we maintain areas of meadow and grassland. I bought an Allen powered scythe and I’m currently overhauling it with a view to using it on the project.
    Model number is 26554 so it has the alloy fan casing.
    I bought it as a non runner so it’s quite a job, there was no carb and I have bought a midget carb which seems to be the right one.
    I’m hoping Villiers service will be able to advise me on the rights and wrongs of my work so far.

    After stripping and cleaning the engine and setting the timing it fires on fuel squirted into the inlet manifold so im on the right track.

    On with the running gear and cutter bar now.
    Anyone know anything about the availability of tyres to suit this beast?

    Best regards Mick

    #33063

    ted20
    Participant

    tyres and tubes are easily available but not original but very close 2.75in x 21in mostly motor bike tyres I will find address for my supplier in North East UK

    #33065

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Quite a struggle to get the wheels off this beast. Keys were rusted in so I had to make a puller tool to shift them.
    But I’m in a position to have a look inside the gear casing. See if there are any surprises lurking there.
    My local motorcycle dealer has tyres that will suit at 39 quid each fitted so I feel a purchase coming on.
    Only the cutter bar to examine but I dont think there are many problems there, I can easily get hold of new cutter blades and should be able to get some fingers if they are worn.
    Enjoying the project so far, just a bit stuck for room as my wheel horse C125 is hogging all the room at present till I sort out a new home for him in the main garage.
    Mick

    #33066

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    The gear box internals look great, no rust or wear. Just new oil required after a clean out. There is an oil leak on the rocker shaft but looks like only a felt washer is used so that might be expected. Will investigate further.

    #33067

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    No metal in the sump so hopefully not much wear.

    The oil definitely has the smell and thickness of a gear oil, but the manual says use the same quality of oil as in the engine. It certainly says not to use thick oil.

    It looks as though the gearbox will need splash lubrication so a thinner oil would be of benefit.

    Does anyone have any view on a suitable grade of oil?

    Mick

    #33071

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Wheels have gone to dealer to have new tubes and tyres fitted.

    Looking for suitable transmission oil and I have stripped the cutter bar down to check the finger plates and blades.

    Soon be time to rebuild and test.

    Mick

    #33073

    iainn
    Participant

    Hi Mick, I’m in the same position as you, though you’re making much faster progress! There’s a manual for a later model here: http://www.coalcanal.org/workparties/allenscythe/allenscythe.pdf, you’ll find it says SAE 30 for the gearbox.
    Paragon Paints have enamel in the original colours.
    The adjuster grub screws on mine were well rusted in but they all came undone with soaking in releasing oil and a but of gentle heat from a blowtorch.
    Is the cutter bar on your machine flat? Mine curves up at the ends but I’m not convinced it should be dead flat. Also, I’d be interested to know how good a fit the cutter bar is meant to be within the slot formed by the finger castings and the main bar. The one on mine has a lot of play – the slot is 1″ but the cutter bar is only 7/8″. It doesn’t seem likely to have been designed like this. On the other hand, that’s a terrific amount of wear, all of which seems to have been on the cast parts (the new bars Villiers sell are 7/8″.
    I’ve enjoyed reading your commentary – keep it up!

    Iain

    #33074

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Hi Iain,

    I’m not sure of the exact age of mine, it has an aluminium cast cover for the fan housing so I think it’s quite old, certainly pre-1947 based on my version of the manual.

    My cutter bar is dead flat, I’d have to look at some images to see what you mean about yours being curved.

    My email address is mickseven9 at
    yahoo.co.uk if you want to mail me direct.

    New tyres fitted today and they do look smart, motor cross tyres from bike dealer.

    Going to refit the handles later before I put the wheels on, much easier to work on them without the wheels.

    Mick

    #33077

    charlie
    Keymaster

    Whilst I was at MERL in Reading yesterday I had a look at the Allen Scythe records. 26554 dates from 1947.

    #33079

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Charlie, that was so good of you to make that enquiry, thank you.

    It’s great to put an age on my machine, I had an inkling it was pretty early.

    They went on into the seventies I believe, I wonder what the last production number was.

    I will be buying the carb service kit and throttle cable next week, hopefully getting her running.

    I’m going to look at the cast fingers to see how the steel blade inserts are secured and if they can be replaced it worn. Thinking about a gauge plate copy of the blade hardened and tempered.

    Best regards Mick

    #33098

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Looks like I have a 3/4 model carb from a motor cycle. Not made for the allen scythe. So I will get the proper one for the job.

    Today I rebuilt the handles, had to make three new studs as the old ones had been left slack and been bent or worn.

    Repaired the clutch lever and reset it all and it works great.

    Wheels are back on so we are not far off a completed rebuild.

    Mick

    #33100

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Photo

    #33110

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Found that SAE 30 classic car engine oil is best for the transmission box, 5 litres for 24 quid and it took a couple of litres. Rest I can use as 2 stroke mixture.
    Rebuilt the cutter head and need to adjust the pads to give me proper cutter blade pressure.
    After looking at it rebuilt I decided to add an extension to the handle as it is about six inches too low for me to use comfortably, I guess the average height of the agricultural worker was quite a bit less in 1947. A simple handle bar on up stand brackets has given me a more natural working stance.
    Just ordered the last bits from villiers parts to finish the job off.
    Mick

    #33118

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    Well, all parts have arrived.

    I can start fitting the carb and throttle cable. The fuel tank is about shot so I’m going to use a plastic one to get things running, then make a new metal one as and when.

    I stripped out one of the cast iron blade inserts and it’s not a big job to make new gauge plate blades if required.

    Upwards and onwards

    Mick

    #33145

    mickwhitt
    Participant

    All back running again now. Looks good and I cant wait to try it on some grass verge.
    Only issue is wear in the pivot pin for the cutter head, it wont affect operation too much but ideally it needs a new pin and barrel to make it right.
    Mick

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