Commer TS3 opposed piston 2 stroke

This remarkable engine was built from 1954 to 1972. I would like to know some details of this truck. They were common when I was a boy. Even as a 4 years old this truck stood out because of the whine of the engine (probably
the rootes blower) and exhaust note. It sounded wonderful. It sounded class and quality even to a 4 years old.
Many were still around in the late 1980s/early 90s.
Some questions;
1. Where these engines cheap to run compared to the equivalent trucks of the time? 2. Where they reliable? (I believe they had mainly transmission problems rather than engine, (well there was little to the engine) 3. Did drivers like them? Where they nice to drive? 4. I believe Chrysler of the USA bought out Rootes and dropped the Comer brand and engines in 1972. (I believe the Commer commercial vehicles division was making a profit) A 4 cylinder prototype was being developed at the time, and near complete. Why did Chrysler drop an obviously successful, efficient (in cc terms as it was only 3.5 litres) and ultra simple engine with near 20 years of development behind it? 5. Does anyone know if this type of engine is being brought back? With new engine technology and synthetic lubricants, this design would be a great success.
TIA
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http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/Technical/TS3.htm Looks awkward to me.......

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"News43" wrote: > This remarkable engine was built from 1954 to 1972. I would > like to know > some details of this truck. They were common when I was a boy. > Even as a 4 > years old this truck stood out because of the whine of the > engine (probably > the rootes blower) and exhaust note. It sounded wonderful. It > sounded class > and quality even to a 4 years old. > > Many were still around in the late 1980s/early 90s. > > Some questions; > > 1. Where these engines cheap to run compared to the equivalent > trucks of the > time? > 2. Where they reliable? (I believe they had mainly > transmission problems > rather than engine, (well there was little to the engine) > 3. Did drivers like them? Where they nice to drive? > 4. I believe Chrysler of the USA bought out Rootes and > dropped the Comer > brand and engines in 1972. (I believe the Commer commercial > vehicles > division was making a profit) A 4 cylinder prototype was being > developed at > the time, and near complete. Why did Chrysler drop an > obviously successful, > efficient (in cc terms as it was only 3.5 litres) and ultra > simple engine > with near 20 years of development behind it? > 5. Does anyone know if this type of engine is being brought > back? With new > engine technology and synthetic lubricants, this design would > be a great > success. > > TIA
Hi, I live in the South Island of New Zealand and like you, grew up with the sound of the TS3, as my father was a truck driver who drove TS3s and I often accompanied him. I have never driven one, but as a result of my interest in Commer trucks and TS3s, I produce a newsletter for about 50+ Commer enthusiasts in NZ, as well as sending them to England, Norway, the Netherlands and Australia. To answer your questions; I have heard from two sources that the engine was originally developed by Tillings - Stevens, a company that used to make petrol-electric buses used in England around WW1. They were taken over by the Rootes Group, makers of Commers. This is where the motor designation comes from TS 3 = Tillings Stevens 3 cylinder. It was designed for underfloor mounting, originally for English self-righting life boats. It was also mounted underfloor in the Commer Avenger bus chassis. They were significantly cheaper to run than other equivalent diesel motors of the time, my father quoting 12-14mpg on difficult hilly going. What was really appreciated was their instant power compared to other (lumbering?) diesels of the time. They were always easy starters, and if they didnt start first push on the button, it was an indication that all was not well. In New Zealand, they were never used within their design limitations as a 7 tonner. I have a photo from my fathers collection which shows his Commer with not one but 2 trailers on behind. It has been estimated that it had to have a least 20+ ton of sheep on board. This was fairly usual of the time. An engineer from Rootes in England came out to visit NZ and was horrified by what he saw. They were designed for milk and beer deliveries on local runs on smooth roads, but he saw them as tractor units pulling logging jinkers with huge logs out of the bush (there were no heavy trucks in NZ after WW2 until the 1970s). They took this punishment but the trouble was that while they could pull up one side of the hill, they didnt have the brakes for going down the other side with these sort of loads on - no engine braking from the two-stroke engine! In New Zealand, there were all sorts of modifications made (which would now be illegal) to increase the truck and trailer braking, including the fitting of 3 compressors on the motor. This lack of down hill braking led to engine problems - particularly the breaking up of the fire rings at the top of the pistons. One expert says that if drivers stopped at the top of the hill for a while after a long hard slog and let the engine cool down, it wouldnt have been a problem, but another expert says that it was due to over-revving going down the hill with a heavy (over) load and lack of suitable braking. The interesting thing is that they would still start and do a hard days work, even if suffering cracked liners from this mistreatment. It was also fairly easy to alter the fuel pump through various means to provide more fuel (and hence more power) than intended, although this often lead to melted pistons! One trick involved fitting 14mm spark plug washers over the fuel pump ramp to extend its travel. The transmission problem you note related to Commers bad idea of fitting the 5 speed synchro box from the petrol to the diesel which wasnt up to the job and lead to 1st and reverse failure. This was eventually sorted and the later 6 spd Commer box was really loved by drivers. I dont know about nice to drive but drivers and operators still swear by them and the concensus is that they helped an awful lot of businesses get off the ground. One of the drivers that worked with my father was put on a Mercedes (which was just getting a foot hold in NZ - it may have been an early 1418 or the L series bonnetted model before) on trial loan from the dealer. I can remember this truck it was darkish red. The 1418 was generally considered a huge improvement on the Commer but when the trial was over, the driver wanted his Commer back as he reckoned the Merc had no-where near the instant power on the hills. I worked on farm work where a local firms driver used a TS 3 powered tractor unit to collect the peas from our pea-viners. Eventually, it was replaced by a Perkins 6354 powered version (they fitted this engine in NZ after 1972) and he hated the gutless thing - he wanted his tired TS 3 back! Chrysler bought Rootes Group in 1966/67 and were staggered at what they found in the TS4 - the 4 cylinder version. 14 prototypes had been built and they were an incredible motor and would have been ahead of anything at the time 200hp, etc. Chrysler had a deal with Cummins in England so they ordered the 14 destroyed. Luckily 4 survive (mainly in museums in England) and a friend has just found one in a barn in Ireland and imported it to NZ. He is in regular contact with Don Kitchen, the designer of the TS 3/4 and the facts he has on what this motor achieved in testing is amazing. The motor that replaced the TS4 in Commers, the Cummins Vale 170/185hp was a disaster - it was a high revving, low torque hand grenade! I dont know of any thoughts of bringing this motor back. Noise would be a huge problem but with new technologies this could probably be cured. The TS3 found a lot of use in stationery engines, in fact Lister combined with Commer to produce a power-pack for multiple use - there is a link to this in the other posting on this topic. I have heard heaps of stories of how, if they were kept at 1500rpm, given a change of oil and air filter occasionally, they went for ever. They were popular in the Australian outback where farmers filled a 44 drum of diesel connected to the TS 3 and visited it to refuel it once a week. It was always still going! Another story I have from 1st hand concerns a sand barge on a NZ river where the TS 3 wasnt touched for 15 years. They were quite a popular boat motor (which probably isnt surprising since that is what they were designed for. Dont forget though that they were a copy of a pre-war design by Sulzar (Swiss). There are a number of people in NZ who have restored and running TS3s. There is a later model one for sale at the moment with only 63000 miles on the clock. If you want to get in touch, I would be happy to send you the newsletter I put out, which includes photos of the TS 4 and pictures and stories of the TS 3 Cheers from NZ
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redbeard45 wrote:

That was interesting. The Otago Vintage Machinery Club at Outram, near Dunedin, has one of these motors on display, sectioned so you can see inside it. I also remember the distinctive whining scream those trucks made, and haven't heard one for decades. Cheers, another NZer
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I remember working on this engine but only to fit a blower.I remember it was not a very nice job to do I seem to remember that the blower drive shaft would shear also. Drivers tell me that you had to drive them hard and in the dark when how they would fire up and blow out the hot carbon particles.
Ken

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"Ken Booth" wrote: > I remember working on this engine but only to fit a blower.I > remember it was > not a very nice job to do I seem to remember that the blower > drive shaft > would shear also. Drivers tell me that you had to drive them > hard and in > the dark when how they would fire up and blow out the hot > carbon particles. > > Ken > >
> > > > > > > redbeard45 wrote: > &nbsp;>> > &nbsp;>> "News43" wrote: > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > This remarkable engine was built from 1954 > to 1972. I would > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > like to know > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > some details of this truck. They were common > when I was a boy. > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > Even as a 4 > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > years old this truck stood out because of > the whine of the > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > engine (probably > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > the rootes blower) and exhaust note. It > sounded wonderful. It > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > sounded class > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > and quality even to a 4 years old. > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > Many were still around in the late > 1980s/early 90s. > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > Some questions; > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > 1. Where these engines cheap to run compared > to the equivalent > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > trucks of the > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > time? > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > 2. Where they reliable? (I believe they had > mainly > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > transmission problems > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > rather than engine, (well there was little > to the engine) > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > 3. Did drivers like them? Where they nice > to drive? > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > 4. I believe Chrysler of the USA bought out > Rootes and > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > dropped the Comer > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > brand and engines in 1972. (I believe the > Commer commercial > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > vehicles > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > division was making a profit) A 4 cylinder > prototype was being > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > developed at > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > the time, and near complete. Why did > Chrysler drop an > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > obviously successful, > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > efficient (in cc terms as it was only 3.5 > litres) and ultra > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > simple engine > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > with near 20 years of development behind it? > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > 5. Does anyone know if this type of engine > is being brought > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > back? With new > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > engine technology and synthetic lubricants, > this design would > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > be a great > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > success. > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > > &nbsp;&nbsp;>> > TIA > &nbsp;>> > &nbsp;>> Hi, I live in the South Island of New Zealand and > like you, grew up > &nbsp;>> with the sound of the TS3, as my father was a truck > driver who drove > &nbsp;>> TS3s and I often accompanied him. I have never driven > one, but as a > &nbsp;>> result of my interest in Commer trucks and TS3s, I > produce a > &nbsp;>> newsletter for about 50+ Commer enthusiasts in NZ, as > well as sending > &nbsp;>> them to England, Norway, the Netherlands and > Australia. To answer your > &nbsp;>> questions; > &nbsp;>> I have heard from two sources that the engine was > originally developed > &nbsp;>> by Tillings - Stevens, a company that used to make > petrol-electric > &nbsp;>> buses used in England around WW1. They were taken > over by the Rootes > &nbsp;>> Group, makers of Commers. This is where the motor > designation comes > &nbsp;>> from TS 3 = Tillings Stevens 3 cylinder. It was > designed for > &nbsp;>> underfloor mounting, originally for English > self-righting life boats. > &nbsp;>> It was also mounted underfloor in the Commer Avenger > bus chassis. > &nbsp;>> They were significantly cheaper to run than other > equivalent diesel > &nbsp;>> motors of the time, my father quoting 12-14mpg on > difficult hilly > &nbsp;>> going. What was really appreciated was their instant > power compared to > &nbsp;>> other (lumbering?) diesels of the time. They were > always easy > &nbsp;>> starters, and if they didn't start first push on the > button, it was an > &nbsp;>> indication that all was not well. In New Zealand, > they were never used > &nbsp;>> within their design limitations as a 7 tonner. I have > a photo from my > &nbsp;>> father's collection which shows his Commer with not > one but 2 trailers > &nbsp;>> on behind. It has been estimated that it had to have > a least 20+ ton > &nbsp;>> of sheep on board. This was fairly usual of the time. > An engineer from > &nbsp;>> Rootes in England came out to visit NZ and was > horrified by what he > &nbsp;>> saw. They were designed for milk and beer deliveries > on local runs on > &nbsp;>> smooth roads, but he saw them as tractor units > pulling logging jinkers > &nbsp;>> with huge logs out of the bush (there were no heavy > trucks in NZ after > &nbsp;>> WW2 until the 1970s). They took this punishment but > the trouble was > &nbsp;>> that while they could pull up one side of the hill, > they didn't have > &nbsp;>> the brakes for going down the other side with these > sort of loads on - > &nbsp;>> no engine braking from the two-stroke engine! In New > Zealand, there > &nbsp;>> were all sorts of modifications made (which would now > be illegal) to > &nbsp;>> increase the truck and trailer braking, including the > fitting of 3 > &nbsp;>> compressors on the motor. This lack of down hill > braking led to engine > &nbsp;>> problems - particularly the breaking up of the 'fire > rings' at the top > &nbsp;>> of the pistons. One expert says that if drivers > stopped at the top of > &nbsp;>> the hill for a while after a long hard slog and let > the engine cool > &nbsp;>> down, it wouldn't have been a problem, but another > expert says that it > &nbsp;>> was due to over-revving going down the hill with a > heavy (over) load > &nbsp;>> and lack of suitable braking. The interesting thing > is that they would > &nbsp;>> still start and do a hard days work, even if > suffering cracked liners > &nbsp;>> from this mistreatment. > &nbsp;>> It was also fairly easy to alter the fuel pump > through various means > &nbsp;>> to provide more fuel (and hence more power) than > intended, although > &nbsp;>> this often lead to melted pistons! One trick involved > fitting 14mm > &nbsp;>> spark plug washers over the fuel pump ramp to extend > its travel. The > &nbsp;>> transmission problem you note related to Commer's bad > idea of fitting > &nbsp;>> the 5 speed synchro box from the petrol to the diesel > which wasn't up > &nbsp;>> to the job and lead to 1st and reverse failure. This > was eventually > &nbsp;>> sorted and the later 6 spd Commer box was really > loved by drivers. I > &nbsp;>> don't know about nice to drive but drivers and > operators still swear > &nbsp;>> by them and the concensus is that they helped an > awful lot of > &nbsp;>> businesses get off the ground. One of the drivers > that worked with my > &nbsp;>> father was put on a Mercedes (which was just getting > a foot hold in NZ > &nbsp;>> - it may have been an early 1418 or the L series > bonnetted model > &nbsp;>> before) on trial loan from the dealer. I can remember > this truck it > &nbsp;>> was darkish red. The 1418 was generally considered a > huge improvement > &nbsp;>> on the Commer but when the trial was over, the driver > wanted his > &nbsp;>> Commer back as he reckoned the Merc had no-where near > the instant > &nbsp;>> power on the hills. > &nbsp;>> I worked on farm work where a local firm's driver > used a TS 3 powered > &nbsp;>> tractor unit to collect the peas from our pea-viners. > Eventually, it > &nbsp;>> was replaced by a Perkins 6354 powered version (they > fitted this > &nbsp;>> engine in NZ after 1972) and he hated the gutless > thing - he wanted > &nbsp;>> his tired TS 3 back! > &nbsp;>> Chrysler bought Rootes Group in 1966/67 and were > staggered at what > &nbsp;>> they found in the TS4 - the 4 cylinder version. 14 > prototypes had been > &nbsp;>> built and they were an incredible motor and would > have been ahead of > &nbsp;>> anything at the time 200hp, etc. Chrysler had a deal > with Cummins in > &nbsp;>> England so they ordered the 14 destroyed. Luckily 4 > survive (mainly in > &nbsp;>> museums in England) and a friend has just found one > in a barn in > &nbsp;>> Ireland and imported it to NZ. He is in regular > contact with Don > &nbsp;>> Kitchen, the designer of the TS 3/4 and the facts he > has on what this > &nbsp;>> motor achieved in testing is amazing. The motor that > replaced the TS4 > &nbsp;>> in Commers, the Cummins Vale 170/185hp was a disaster > - it was a high > &nbsp;>> revving, low torque hand grenade! > &nbsp;>> I don't know of any thoughts of bringing this motor > back. Noise would > &nbsp;>> be a huge problem but with new technologies this > could probably be > &nbsp;>> cured. > &nbsp;>> The TS3 found a lot of use in stationery engines, in > fact Lister > &nbsp;>> combined with Commer to produce a 'power-pack' for > multiple use - > &nbsp;>> there is a link to this in the other posting on this > topic. I have > &nbsp;>> heard heaps of stories of how, if they were kept at > 1500rpm, given a > &nbsp;>> change of oil and air filter occasionally, they went > for ever. They > &nbsp;>> were popular in the Australian outback where farmers > filled a 44 drum > &nbsp;>> of diesel connected to the TS 3 and visited it to > refuel it once a > &nbsp;>> week. It was always still going! Another story I have > from 1st hand > &nbsp;>> concerns a sand barge on a NZ river where the TS 3 > wasn't touched for > &nbsp;>> 15 years. They were quite a popular boat motor (which > probably isn't > &nbsp;>> surprising since that is what they were designed for. > &nbsp;>> Don't forget though that they were a copy of a > pre-war design by > &nbsp;>> Sulzar (Swiss). There are a number of people in NZ > who have restored > &nbsp;>> and running TS3s. There is a later model one for sale > at the moment > &nbsp;>> with only 63000 miles on the clock. > &nbsp;>> If you want to get in touch, I would be happy to send > you the > &nbsp;>> newsletter I put out, which includes photos of the TS > 4 and pictures > &nbsp;>> and stories of the TS 3 > &nbsp;>> Cheers from NZ > &nbsp;>> > &nbsp;>> -- > &nbsp;>> http://www.AutoForumz.com/ This article was posted > by author's request > &nbsp;>> Articles individually checked for conformance to > usenet standards > &nbsp;>> Topic URL: > &nbsp;>> > http://www.AutoForumz.com/Classic-Trucks-Commer-TS3-opposed-piston-stroke-ftopict58429.html > &nbsp;>> Visit Topic URL to contact author (reg. req'd). > Report abuse: > &nbsp;>> http://www.AutoForumz.com/eform.php?p12347 > > > > > > That was interesting. The Otago Vintage Machinery Club at > Outram, near > > Dunedin, has one of these motors on display, sectioned so > you can see > > inside it. I also remember the distinctive whining scream > those trucks > > made, and haven't heard one for decades. Cheers, another > NZer > > > > > >
What was so special about the 2-stroke Commer? It certainly wasnt cheap and rumours spread about its unconventional engine frightened away a lot of potential buyers. But you have to go back to the mid 60s, a time of small cabs with mechanical hands on the door and rubber bands around the 2 speed diff switch to look at what was available in the 7-ton size truck. Ford had their ostentatious V8 banger with wire holding the bonnet and guards together or the dreadful Thames Trader. International had a more serious range right up to the 190. Austin was there, Bedford, and the Leyland, Albion, AEC, Seddon, etc. range. Dodge offered the power giant, and the Rootes Group had the Commers. I was 12 when we got our first 2 stroke Commer, a near new repossessed single drive cab and chassis with all the extras. You tend to forget that power steer was a luxury in those days, air over hydraulic brakes instead of lousy vacuum and of course the big No 4 Eaton diff which was indestructible. It was a 62 model; single piece windscreen and she went straight to work pulling bulk sugar in 2x 6ton bins on a short single axle semi. By 1968 dad had bought another new version with the flash, but still non-tilting cab. They both pulled 12 ton semis but soon we moved to 3x6ton bins using a 9ft wide-spread semi. This gave us a gross combination weight greatly in excess of the designed load and we were granted a special permit, as to move on to heavier rigs would have exceeded the capacity of the town bridge. Main Roads Engineers monitored the bridge and finally gave the all clear for 60ton B-doubles. Sometimes our total weight would be 32 tons, due to over zealous loaders at the mill, but the Commers kept on going and the excellent brakes on the semi quickly pulled them up. So as a kid, I worked on our as well as other owners trucks, and knew them inside out. I think I could still neutralize the diff in my sleep. (To grease the universals) But they certainly had some faults, and Ill have a go remembering as its been 40 years. Oils. As long as you used good quality 2-stroke diesel oil, no worries. Unfortunately a lot of owners simply didnt understand 2-strokes and therefore spent each weekend de-carbonising the exhaust ports. Exhaust manifold. The early engines had an aluminium exhaust manifold, which when hot, drooped and sagged then fell to bits. Later ones had cast iron and this was a necessary replacement. Exhaust pipe. The exhaust gases exited straight into a long piece of flexible pipe, which carboned up solid in no time, then proceeded to either tear the flex apart or cause more grief to the manifold. The mass of 2 big mufflers swinging on rubber mounts didnt help. Ancillaries. Given that excellent companies such as CAV or SIMMS were available, it was unforgivable of Rootes to fit rubbish Lucas starters and generators. Almost any Commer fire was caused by the starter staying engaged after the engine had fired. As the engine was a bit noisy, it was impossible to hear the starter screaming at unbelievable revs until its fiery death, right adjacent to the glass fuel filter bowl. Air compressor. It must have been an after thought and just slipped its big end onto the longer left rear rocker arm pin. Way too small and due to the amazing amount of oil thrown around inside the crankcase, it was impossible to stop oil sucking passed the compressors rings and into the system. Despite increasing the piston length on later models, they were still an oily air system. I could never understand why they didnt fit a decent 2-cylinder compressor straight onto the timing case, just like GM. Crankcase breather. The engines breathed a lot. The front axle would be awash after a days work and I had the job of cleaning everything in dieso each weekend. Air cleaners. Two oil bath cleaners were probably the go back then but on Australias roads, they were next to useless. The left front wheel would throw up heaps of dust right where the filters were mounted, clog the oily mesh and load up the engine. Performance dropped off and if you didnt fix the problem immediately, you ran the risk of screwing off the blower shaft. Notably later models mounted the filters high on the rear of the cab, but they were still only oil bath cleaners. Timing chain. Early models had a multi-row timing chain, which stretched and stretched and of course, retarded your injector timing. They had a hydraulic tensioner to keep it tight, and a rubbing block for start up (until oil pressure) Once again, later models had timing gears and designers took this opportunity to increase the blower speed and thus give a bit more power. Injector pump. The early engines had a vacuum governor control, which used intricate butterflies mounted in the inlet tract before the blower. Although the system performed admirably, I always thought the butterflies were restricting the airflow. I think later models changed to a DPA distributor type injector pump with hydraulic governor and of course, they made more power. Pistons. Our early engines had pistons with a removable steel crown, which incorporated a stud to bolt it to the aluminium piston. I worked on engines where the crowns had worked loose and some had even turned sideways before being crushed at the next stroke. Because we worked in confined spaces, to fit the pistons we made up a short tapered sleeve, same diameter as the engines, and fitted each piston into the sleeve at the bench. Then we just offered the dummy sleeve up to the engine sleeve and pushed the piston through into the engine. Very quick and no damage to those pegged rings. Rocker arms. I once worked on an engine that had somehow loosened the big Nylok nuts holding the exhaust side rocker arm shafts. Imagine the damage as in one blow, the arm and shaft came out a bit too far, then the pistons oil rings must have sprung out and the rocker just pushed the whole lot across, sleeve, injector and all. Gearbox. Our trucks had the standard 5-speed sliding mesh gearbox and we never saw inside it, which says it all. Clutch. We never had a slipping clutch but the awful mechanical operation and light duty engine mounts gave the most jumpy starts imaginable. Hydraulic actuation would have fixed the problem. We always did a clutch reline at each timing chain replacement. Chassis. The front springs were too skinny and too thin. Combined with no shocks and terrible roads, we broke a spring every day, I kid you not. As a youngster with good eyes, it was my job after school, to crawl under and wipe off the oil to check for broken springs. I was hated by the drivers who were keen to get home instead of changing springs, but if you missed a broken leaf, next day the ones below it would also be broken. We started to break the chassis when we moved up to the 28-ton loads. They would start to break across the top, down the side and then stop, holding by just the bottom flange. As it was always slightly ahead of the turntable area, the truck was really saying 28 ton is too much. There is probably a lot more, but I dont want to give the wrong impression. If ever an engine was ahead of its time, then this was it. Forget about 4 cylinders, why not give the poor thing a decent bore, at least 4 inch, then turbo charge and after cool it. I think the power would have been outstanding. Then add some more fuel to increase the boost, whats it going to do blow a head gasket? What a waste. Compared to the 2-stroke GM of the day, it was just so simple and we got 12mpg. As it was always down on power, speeds were slower and therefore tyres lasted forever with 100000 miles from a Michelin the norm. People forget that registration was calculated on rated horsepower in those days, which was a simple sum of bore squared x number of cylinders divided by 2.5. So a Commer with 3.125 bore and 3 cylinders had about 11 rated horsepower. Compare that to a V8 petrol with some 60 rated horsepower and a fuel economy of 4mpg. As well as owning trucks, my dad managed a fleet of about 30 more in the 60s to 70s and each night we kids would add the daily tonnages, tally fuel bills etc, so we soon worked out who got the best economy. The Commers were streets ahead each week. Its amazing how many successful truck operators owed their start to this honest workhorse, and so incredibly sad that design TS3 was dumped.
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actually i,v got one of these
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"ikeefy" wrote: > actually i,v got one of these
Fascinatin stuff , Ive always been intrigued by this engine but have found very little about it on the Net. I cant beieve it was only 3.5 litres... what were the power outputs? To run at 32 tons it must have been very strained - I always heard that 6.4bhp per ton was minimum (I think that was the legal requirement here in the UK).
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Greg, could you get in touch. I would love to have you contribute your experiences to our newlsetter. Your observations would strike a note with others in NZ Cheers
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Thanks to all who contributed to this thread Brilliant, the lot of you.
The opposed piston diesel two stoke is not dead. A new version is available for aero use: http://www.dair.co.uk /
Developing this to auto use can't be that difficult. Things have moved on from the 50s and 60s.
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i've just signed up, but I'd appreciate an email from Redbeard45 in receiving his newsletter. Im from the NZ South Island also, and enjoyed listening to and driving the Commer TS3's in Dunedin and Central Otago. The sound of O'Malleys TS3's on the long hauls on the Pigroot travelled many miles into the night. I drove them with Brambles SCG occassionally who inherited one from Crust and Crust, a semi tractor. Running from the container base with a USS Co 15ton seafreighter of Blackhead grit or general cargo produced that wonderful howl under load. I was always sorry to miss out on No73 which was delivered in April 73, and I think was one of the very last TS3's delivered in NZ from Brambles Burnett in Ashburton who had a Commer agency and ran them extensively in their transport fleet. Last year I missed out on buying a couple up for auction at Nobbys Queensland, which I had thoughts of restoring, but probably just as well the wife didnt come back from holi's and find them in the yard.
Cheers Boing.
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Ken, If you email me at snipped-for-privacy@xtra.co.nz, I would be happy to send you the newsletter. I have tried sending to your email address, but it was rejected??? Cheers Howard Pettigrew P.S. I am now redbeard46 as I have forgotten my password for redbeard45!!!
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"user711" wrote: > Ken, If you email me at snipped-for-privacy@xtra.co.nz, I would > be happy to > send you the newsletter. I have tried sending to your email > address, but > it was rejected??? > Cheers > Howard Pettigrew > P.S. I am now redbeard46 as I have forgotten my password for > redbeard45!!!
Greg - thanks for ur PM , very interesting stuff. Sounds like my dads old AEC Mandator on the hills out of Cornwall!
Has anyone got a definitive power output, and what the 4 cyl might have had? In Novembers Classic and Vintage Commercial theres a letter from Mark Erskine in NZ who has a 4cyl plus lots of 3cyl spares.
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I would

He has a 4 cylinder TS3? One of the prototypes that never made it to production? Is it in a truck?
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"News43" wrote:
> I would > &nbsp;> > be happy to > &nbsp;> > send you the newsletter. I have tried sending to > your email > &nbsp;> > address, but > &nbsp;> > it was rejected??? > &nbsp;> > Cheers > &nbsp;> > Howard Pettigrew > &nbsp;> > P.S. I am now redbeard46 as I have forgotten my > password for > &nbsp;> > redbeard45!!! > > > > Greg - thanks for ur PM , very interesting stuff. Sounds > like my dads > > old AEC Mandator on the hills out of Cornwall! > > > > Has anyone got a definitive power output, and what the 4 cyl > might > > have had? In Novembers Classic and Vintage Commercial theres > a letter > > from Mark Erskine in NZ who has a 4cyl plus lots of 3cyl > spares. > > He has a 4 cylinder TS3? One of the prototypes that never made > it to > production? Is it in a truck?
hi
If you send me an email I will fwd you his email address
regards
steve ghinzani at at @ at at o2.co.uk [[remove obvious at's - AutoForumz editor]]
ps can you add me to the newsletter also please? Thanks
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Hi gang. Re power outputs of the TS3 motor. The early TS3s had a bore of 3&1/4" and 4" stroke which gave a cylinder capacity of 199ci / 3261ccs. With a 16:1 compression ratio, this gave 105bhp @ 2400rpm (quoted from the Commer Maintenance Handbook for MkIII 5/7 ton trucks, Rootes Pub no 531) Power output was uprated through 117bhp and later motors had an enlarged bore of 3.375" with the same stroke which gave a capacity of 215ci or 3520cc. Eventual developments of this engine put out 135bhp, although it is generally felt that this had 'stretched' the motor a little too far to maintain its reliability. Mark Erskine has quoted me that "as at 2001 (or 02??) no other truck in the world had come close to regularly pulling the tonnes of freight per cc of engine size or had returned as favourable fuel economy per tonnes of freight carried as the Rootes TS3 powered Commers"..... It was apparently published in a British Institute of Registered Motor Engineers publication in 2001 or 02. I am currently writing to a contact in England to see if he can confirm this. Certainly, the stories of loads carried in NZ and OZ are legendary, with TS3 powered Commers regularly carrying 3 or 4 times their designated loading. Re the TS4 - I am unsure of capacity - will ask Mark but a simple bit of maths suggest they were around 4.6 litres. They produced 200hp (in 1966!) and were intended to cover 200 000 miles before rebuilding. I quote the following from Mark Erskine - "The first 2 prototype TS4s covered 20000 hrs each without failure! All the 14 prototype TS4s were test bed run initially. Six stayed in test bed work and eight were put in trucks for road evaluation, prior to going into production.The engines that were put in trucks ran up to 1.2 million miles between the 8 of them, trouble free, before being pulled out and scrapped on instructions from Chrysler to protect Chryslers joint venture in England with Cummins." 4 of the 14 prototypes survived, 3 are in UK museums - one is in the Leyland Collection, and Mark's was found in a barn in Ireland - he was actually hunting down one of the rare turbocharged TS3. It is TS4 number 065 which is the 5th or 6th one built and was TIllings Stevens 'spare engine' so had minimal use. Mark has recently had the injector pump serviced and he is determined to put the motor into a truck, probably a Maxiload Commer. (Many people think the Maxiload is the last higher capacity / horsepower Commer but it is a totally different truck to other VC Commers having a heavier chassis, front axle, wider track / front guards, etc) Also interesting is that Mark has just discovered his TS4 was developed as a multi-fuel motor. Commer developed multi-fuel versions of the TS3 in a 4x4 VC Commer for military use, designed to be run on what ever was handy - diesel, petrol, avgas, melted butter, magarine even whisky! (I'm not joking!) Unfortunately, they lost out on the military contract to Bedford. I bet a Bedford wouldn't run on all these fuels! Hope this helps Cheers Redbeard

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X-No-archive:yes WHo asked? Who cares?
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In reply to the questions about the TS4, here is the lastest info Mark has just sent me to be published in my newsletter. If you wish to see photos of the TS4 on the trolley mentioned in the article, please get in touch via email. Hope you enjoy this. What is interesting is to find sats on today's diesels of similar capacity. The TS4 is still right up there beating most of the them hands down. What a shame it never went into production. Where would we be now - 6cyl / 8 cyl versions?
Prototype Rootes TS4 (Stage I design) Engine number    TS OE 65 (spare engine) Model Number     4D-287 Number of cylinders    4 Displacement    287 cu in Performance    200 hp @ 2,600 rpm Torque     465 ft lb.'s @ 1,800 rpm Manufacturer    Tillings Stevens Ltd, Maidstone, Kent, UK. Year of manufacture    1966 Total TS4 prototypes built    14 Introduction: written by Mr Donald Kitchen (last surviving member of the TS3/4 design team)
The build of the Rootes TS4 prototypes and subsequent development was undertaken by Rootes Group Diesel Engineering Division (part of Central Design, Coventry) which was located with the Rootes Group Manufacturing Plant, Tillings Stevens at Maidstone Kent.
The Rootes TS4 prototypes have the same bore and stroke as the Rootes 3DB-215 model TS3 (with an additional cylinder added) and use the same liners, pistons, conrods and rockers as the TS3.
It was however in the program to introduce improved material in production engines for the liners and fire rings and nitriding of crankshaft journals and rocker pins to extend the working life of the engine to a projected 250,000 miles .
Although the TS3 and TS4 are of the same basic design, the TS4 included many improvements - the most significant being the introduction of twin through bolts at either end of the rocker shafts (replacing studs that were used in the TS3). This modification ensured the crankcase was always uniformly in compression.
The improvements also included the installation of a Holset harmonic damper to the front of the TS4 crankshaft (internally), which permitted maximum revs to increase to 2,600rpm.
The scavenge blower, water and oil pumps and oil filter were also upgraded to cover the increased capacity....
The History of TS OE 65 (Two-Stroke, Oil Engine, #65) now owned by Mark Erskinse Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
TS OE 65 was made at Tillings Stevens, Maidstone in 1966 and is one of 4 surviving prototype Rootes TS4, opposed piston, 2-stroke, scavenge blown, twin rocker beam, direct injection, water cooled diesel engines in the world today.
It is the only Rootes TS4 prototype in the world in private ownership, with the other three prototypes being in the care of significant British Museums.
The Diesel Engineering Division designated OE 65 as a "spare engine", which meant it received only initial test bed running-in during the entire prototype program that saw the five other test bed engines set a target of 20,000 hrs running apiece and the eight Experimental Road Test Vehicles set a target of 300,000 miles apiece to complete.
The Rootes TS4 prototypes represent the pinnacle of achievement in high-speed diesel engine design from the mid to late 1960's and even today, 200 hp and 465 ft lb.'s of torque from a 287 cubic inch diesel engine together with exceptional reliability, fuel efficiency and longevity is a remarkable achievement.
Had the TS4 made it to production, they were intended to replace the legendary Rootes TS3 opposed piston diesel engine in Commer trucks from the early 1970's onwards, however Rootes Group's deteriorating financial position in the 1960's saw American automotive giant, Chrysler taking full control of the group in 1967, and this take-over brought about the demise of the Rootes TS4 project.
In addition to the Rootes take-over, Chrysler had also invested millions of pounds in a UK joint venture with Cummins to produce new diesel engines (the disastrous Cummins VALE V6 and V8) and had lucrative supplier agreements in place with Perkins for the supply of their 6.354 inline six cylinder and new 185 hp 510 cubic inch V8 diesel engines.
When Chrysler's Management became aware of the prototype Rootes TS4's extraordinary:
Horsepower Torque Power to weight ratio Reliability Fuel efficiency Low manufacturing cost .they realised there was nothing they (or other engine manufacturers) could offer that came remotely close to matching the Rootes TS4's thoroughbred qualities.
Chrysler knew they would not sell Dodge / Commer heavy trucks with their new Cummins VALE V6 or V8 (or Perkins V8) engines fitted if the TS4 became a production option, so Chrysler's management of the day decided to terminate the TS4 project to safeguard their investment with Cummins and Perkins.
As a result, all Rootes TS4 prototype engines, parts, dies, patterns, plans, drawings, test records, photo's and fuel injection equipment were ordered to be scrapped under strict supervision by Chryslers management.
The actions of Chryslers management were profoundly unacceptable to Diesel Engineering Division personnel and key managers thankfully managed to save four prototype TS4 engines from destruction.
Three engines were eventually gifted to significant UK museums and the fourth engine (OE 65) was located by Chryslers Engine Development Department at Coventry.
Because the special pre-production C.A.V rotary/DPA pumps for the TS4 prototypes's had already been scrapped, C.A.V (now Delphi) provided a pre-production TS4 spec inline F.I pump to Chrysler that was also modified to Diesel Engineering Division's military specifications as a multi-fuel pump (enabling the engine to run on diesel, petrol, kerosene / jet fuel).
The inline pump was untidily adapted to the engine by Chrysler and the engine was run up on an engine dynamometer to insure correct horsepower and torque outputs were being achieved. To add insult to injury, OE 65 was then adapted to a generator to provide stand-by power in the Coventry factory in the event of winter power cuts!
With the generator requirement completed (and with less than 1,000 hours running completed), Chrysler once again consigned OE 65 to be scrapped.
Remarkably, OE 65 was rescued once again (by a former Diesel Engineering Division manager) and the engine was coated internally and externally with a paraffin based wax sealer to prevent corrosion and it went into storage.
It was then acquired by an engine design and development company in 1982 where it sat unused in their warehouse on its mobile engine trolley for over 20 years.
Even OE 65's engine trolley is significant. It was originally built by Diesel Engineering Division at Maidstone, to wheel Rootes TS3 prototypes around their test-bed bay at Maidstone during the 1950's and 1960's.
This particular trolley was lengthened in the middle by Diesel Engineering Division in the mid 1960's to accommodate the longer TS4 prototypes and is the only TS3/4 engine trolley known to have survived.
Although OE 65 is in "as-new" condition, it will be stripped to be extensively cleaned, checked and rebuilt with new oil seals and gaskets fitted prior to running up on a local engine dynamometer.
Once initial testing is completed, TS OE 65 will be installed into a fully restored Commer truck to receive regular use as originally intended by the Management and staff at Diesel Engineering Division. It will also be presented at truck shows as a working display.
Acknowledgement:
The current owners of TS OE 65 are most grateful for the ongoing and invaluable assistance provided by former Diesel Engineering Division, Design     Manager, Mr Donald Kitchen.     
During the last two years, Mr Kitchen has kindly provided the current New Zealand owners of TS OE 65 with a wide range of completely unique technical and historical items and information on the Rootes TS4 prototypes and in particular, information specifically about the history of TS OE 65 (as described above).      Recently, Mr Kitchen also discovered several sets of extraordinarily rare, genuine, pre-production TS4 gaskets and has gifted them to the engines owners for use in TS OE 65's imminent refurbishment.
At 80 years old, Mr Kitchen remains very active in his retirement, enjoying a wide variety of interests and maintains regular contact with a number of his former colleagues from Diesel Engineering Division.     
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Ken, tried twice to contact you. Email keeps bouncing. Can you email me at howard.pettigrew_at_xtra.co.nz? with the -at- changed to the usual. redbeard
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