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Vee Configuration Diesel Engines - Crossley

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:00 pm
by Dennis96
My research has not come up with any Royal Navy submarines powered with Crossley engines.

I understand the Metro-Vick tender for the WAGR X class provided the impetus for Crossley to start serious development work and build a prototype of this power plant, as until then, there was just agreement that Crossley could provide engines for locomotives to be built by the Metropolitan-Vickers/Beyer Peacock joint venture.

Crossley was a well respected builder of diesel engines used in marine and stationary applications. Many of their models were successful, - eg most, if not all of the famous Star ferries in Hong Kong were Crossley powered. Indeed some of them may still have Crossley engines.

I'd love to see a catalogue of Crossley engines to see how close in specs and configuration the HSTVee8 was to those in their existing range.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:37 pm
by RK215
A quick search brings up: ... /2442.html

From this:

The pulse scavenging system was well-established by the time the HSTV8 was built.

Quite likely the HSTV8 inherited the "H" cylinder size from earlier models.

And it is not unreasonable to suppose that the "T" in HSTV8 means "traction".


PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:02 pm
by RK215
A few more leads to Crossley history:

The Crossley Brothers Ltd archive is held on behalf of Rolls-Royce plc at the Anson Museum, Poynton, Cheshire, UK. (

I'm not expecting that the new Crossley Motors book will have much about Crossley Bros engines, but I'll advise further when my copy arrives.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:37 pm
by Swift
This thread has sure been a wealth of learning.
I didn't know Crossley made their own engines too.I thought they were another truck maker that relied on Gardner/Meadows et al.
What a shame that the British commercial vehicle industry is a thing of the past.
What fantastic machines they came up with all those years.
Other countries can be as reliable and efficient as they want to claim,there will never be anything quite like a British made commercial vehicle.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:33 pm
by Herbert
Crossley buses were as scarce as hens' teeth in Australia, but had a popular following in the UK. As well as making their own engines, they also built a number of the bodies, too. Hence you'll hear of a UK Crossley being called an "all-Crossley".

There appears to have only been one Crossley bus in Perth, operated by the Scarborough BS. I guess the relevance of that comment to this thread is that Scarborough became a major Daimler fleet!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:54 pm
by RK215
I found the "Diesel Railway Traction" article on the Crossley HSTV engine. (In fact I had already scanned it, and it was sitting on my hard drive awaiting filing.)

It doesn't give any real clues to the origin of the design, other than the fact that it used Crossley's established pulse scavenging system. But the way the article reads generally, it would be reasonable to infer that the engine series as a whole was new, and that the WAGR X class was its first application. The series included V6, V10, V12 and V16 models as well as the V8, but somehow I doubt that any of the others were built. Or if they were, it was not for rail traction applications. The HSTV8 was used only in the WAGR X, the CIE A and the BR 28.

Dennis96 - please send me a PM if you would like a copy of the article and don't already have it.

It’s really quite surprising the number of relatively small British commercial vehicle makers who built their own diesel engines, albeit with varying results.

Included in that list of "others" are Bristol, Commer, Crossley, Daimler, Dennis, Foden, Midland Red and Thornycroft. I guess that one should also include Albion, whose heritage-design engine manufacturing continued into the 1960s, well after the Leyland takeover. Additionally, at least Standard-Triumph, Austin and Rover had their own light commercial vehicle indirect injection engines of around 2.2 litres, all three of which Leyland inherited.

On the other hand, Atkinson, ERF, Guy and Seddon stayed out of the diesel engine business, although Meadows later came into the Jaguar-Daimler-Guy group. I'm not sure if it was still building engines by that time, though.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:09 pm
by Swift
RK215 wrote:
Included in that list of "others" are Bristol, Commer, Crossley, Daimler, Dennis, Foden, Midland Red and Thornycroft.


I'd love to get a sample of each of those for my tape recorder!
10 Years ago I saw an old Scammel tanker going along the side of the tarmac at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport and that engine sounded like nothing I had heard before.Talk about character overload!It was a 6 cylinder of some kind I could tell. The truck was a twin steer ,twin axle configuration cabover.I always wondered if it was Meadows or Gardner.I remember it sounded much throatier than any Gardner I had heard so it might well have been a meadows powerplant.It sounded amazing and made a kind of spluttering sound as it went.
I waited 40 minutes outside the perimeter fence in the hope it would return but it never re emerged.Got a few stares from staff inside wondering why I was standing on the edge of Qantas drive like that!
If I did that today ,I would be hauled in by Federal Police officers.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:37 am
by RK215
Swift obsessor wrote:
RK215 wrote:
Included in that list of "others" are Bristol, Commer, Crossley, Daimler, Dennis, Foden, Midland Red and Thornycroft.

10 Years ago I saw an old Scammel tanker going along the side of the tarmac at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport and that engine sounded like nothing I had heard before.Talk about character overload!It was a 6 cylinder of some kind I could tell. The truck was a twin steer ,twin axle configuration cabover.I always wondered if it was Meadows or Gardner.I remember it sounded much throatier than any Gardner I had heard so it might well have been a meadows powerplant.It sounded amazing and made a kind of spluttering sound as it went.

Maybe it had a Rolls Royce engine? Talking of Scammell and Meadows, in the 1950s Scammell re-engineered the Meadows 6DC-630 diesel engine into the 6PC-630 petrol engine for military applications. Now a flat 6PC-630 in a Swanther would be something. With the 3.31/4.53 axle, it would be good for 140+ km/h. Mind you, I think that you'd need both front and rear cooling systems, and also the high frame in order to accommodate a big enough fuel tank. Or, thinking of the Roadliner, maybe the Rover Meteorite V8 (petrol or diesel), which was essentially two thirds of a Roll Royce Merlin aero engine. Evidently Rover got this engine in a swap that saw Rolls Royce get the B-series, hence the very Rover-like top-works of the latter.

Scammell wasn't really a bus builder, but it did build some bus chassis, namely the last two orders for BUT trolleybuses. And that circles us back to the Roadliner again; although it failed in its original mission, I think that it would have made a good trolleybus chassis. Its rear chassis rails were a bit lower than those on the Swanther, but about the same height as say a Sunbeam MF2B or BUT ETB1 trolleybus, and so about right for a rear-motored installation, say with the "big" BTH "Jo'burg" motor and control system. Rear axle choice would have required some thought, but maybe an Eaton hypoid/planetary head would have provided the torque capacity and 10:1 or so reduction required without being too noisy.



PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:26 am
by Dennis96
RK215 is right. The H in the Crossley engine classification was the power rating, S was for "single" in that it only turned in one direction and T was for Traction - ie the rail application. To avoid the need for a reversing gearbox, larger marine engines are usually reversing, so the same engine if adapted for marine use would have been an HRNVee8.

The excellent book on Crossley by Michael Eyre, Chris Heaps and Alan Townsin whets the appetite to learn more about the company and its products.

Also, the HSTVee10 was offered to the WAGR at the time.

Back to the buses, I guess when you consider Western Australia had some rear engined Fodens, an underfloor Dennis Lancet and Guy Arab, plus the solitary Daimler Roadliner plus the WAGR's batch of Guy Victories in addition to the more usuall stuff like Worldmasters, it was an interesting period for enthusiasts here.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:28 am
by RK215
RK215 wrote:
Swift obsessor wrote:On that Cummins L10.Did Cummins actually design the L10 engine specifically for the British market and was it all done in America?
Am I reading it right that Cummins looked at the Gardner's economy when they came up with their engine?
The Gardner was always seen as a premium engine yet was always eclipsed in the power figures by the Cummins L10 in the MCW Metrobuses.
Was the L10 just as durable as the venerable Gardner product?
I understand that the Gardner range were a very old design being carried on by the 1980s whereas the L10 would have been much more recently designed altogether I assume.
What about the Rolls Royce diesels used in some MCWs as well.Why weren't they as prolific as Gardner /Cummins??

You know, many years ago I did read about the development history of the Cummins L10, but I don't recall enough of the detail other than what I have already said to do justice to your questions. I'm not sure that I've retained much in my library on the L10, either, but I'll check when I'm back home and post again, and also comment upon Gardner and Rolls Royce.

As it happens, I have retained very little material on the Cummins L10 or the Rolls Royce Eagle series engines and their derivatives.

However, I do have an article from “Buses” magazine of January 1996 that does provide a brief historical perspective. It records that it was in 1982 that Cummins announced its intention to break into the UK bus market in a big way with its new L10 engine, in which it had invested STG100 million in development costs. Although compact, “complex” (insofar as it had 4-valve heads) and turbocharged, the L10 soon demonstrated that it could equal the Gardner 6LXB in terms of reliability, longevity and economy, whilst easily outperforming it. And it won on emissions, too. The Gardner 6LXB couldn’t meet the Euro 1 requirements.

Even so, the UK bus market would have been but a small proportion of the intended market for the L10. The largest market was probably the US on-highway truck sector. Cummins no doubt saw that with the progressively increasing specific power outputs that came with higher boost pressures, which in turn, coupled with intercooling made meeting emissions targets easier, there was a place for a smaller displacement, but nevertheless robust engine to cover power outputs up to around 300-350 hp. At the time, the Cummins 14 litre N-series was dominant in the US Class 8 truck market. Caterpillar’s mid-1980s offering, the 3406, was even larger at 14.6 litres.

I guess one might conclude that Cummins took an holistic approach to L10 design, factoring in multiple end-user requirements including, but not limited to the British bus requirements.

Meanwhile, I haven’t unearthed anything more on the Cummins V6-200, but I have found a brochure on the smaller V6-140 and V8-185 engines. The V6-140 was also a 90 degree, three-throw engine, evidently without a balance shaft. At least, there is no mention of it, nor any sign of it in the diagrams.

In respect of Gardner and particularly its late history, the excellent book by Graham Edge is the best source. I understand that a second, updated edition is about to be released. From the 1970s, Gardner rested on its laurels somewhat, having had a seller’s market for so long. Its late engine models were underdeveloped. Still, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems unlikely that such a relatively small organization could have mustered the resources to keep up with the “big” engine builders as development costs escalated, even had the intent been there.


Gardner Brothers

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:41 pm
by Dennis96
RK215 comments on Gardner engines reminds me of a story told by Lofty England many years ago. Lofty finished his career as CEO of Jaguar Cars. Jaguar had taken over the Guy bus and truck business and Daimler cars and buses. They took over Daimler around the time of the Fleetline and I believe as a senior Jaguar executive at the time, Lofty was a major payer in the London DMS tender.

He says he visited Gardners in Manchester to discuss engines for the Fleetlines and enquired of the cost. He was given a price of an engine.

"Now what if I order 2,000 engines, what is the price per engine"? he asked.

"Tis same price if you order one or ten thousand" came back the reply form one of the Gardners.

Clearly they had a dominant position in the market then and did not need to discount or offer incentives for large volumes of business - or were not good businessmen.

Lofty also said the Gardners drove a Mark IX Jaguar saloon to which they had fitted a 4 cylinder Gardner diesel. Perhaps they were so tight they sold the Jaguar engine back to Jaguar??!!

Re: Daimler Roadliner SRC6 - MTT Perth style

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 12:39 am
by Renown
Hello from the other side of the world, I'm new to your group.
I've read through this thread with great interest as the two bus types which fascinate me most are Daimler's Roadliner and AEC's Swift. I will say from the outset that I've had small time involvement in operation both types here in the UK and have one of each in my current preserved 'Fantasy Fleet' I share with a like minded friend. I grew up in the ex industrial area of Stoke on Trent (or 'The Potteries) as it's known locally, so the Roadliner played a large part in my childhood and teenage bus memories. As correctly stated above (or below... depending on where this show up in the other comments!) PMT (aka 'Potteries') were the largest user of the type. PMT's involvement came about as a result of their chief engineer Mr Mundella being pals with the Daimler management at the time. The Operator persevered with them against seemingly impossible reliability figures until even they were forced to throw in the towel. Not all PMT's were the same spec. as various batches had different cooling systems etc and subtle tweaks. The semi experimental prototype 6000 EH started off with the radiator at the rear, but latterly (unlike all the others) it was shifted to the front. None of them had very long lives and all (including the 1970 deliveries) had gone by 1976 ... some were laid up after less than 5 years in service. As recalled by others, the principal failing was the Cummins V6 engine, but it's not really surprising that this unit was chosen as Jaguar (Daimler's then parent company) had entered into a licence agreement to build them. (I believe though, that all those eventually used were straight imports) The V6 VIM 200 was a 9.6 litre unit which was of an ideal size and developed its potential 200 horses through it's rev-ability. Unfortunately it was basically an Industrial / Marine (the IM in VIM?) engine and only responded well if run at constant revs which naturally made it less than suitable for 'bus' use. It displayed little or no braking effort on the over-run which often brought valves into contact with pistons and had a reckless tendency to blow head gaskets. Seeing disaster staring them in the face with a fleet of almost inoperable buses, PMT began to look for a unit with which to substitute the Cummins. It was to prove to be a difficult task at the end of the '60s and consideration was given to re-engining the whole lot with GM 6V71 two strokes. In the end, Daimler offered the new Perkins V8.510 as a factory option and so swapped to this engine for their final 1970 batch of 10. PMT weren't alone in trying the Perkins, although smaller(8.4 litres) it was undoubtedly a better unit, but still not up to the reliability of AEC, Leyland or Gardned power plants. Bournemouth Transport had a fleet of 11 Roadliners and allegedly 17 engines back with Cummins under warranty at one time! The sole surviving Bournemouth bus ... the one currently on my care, is their experimental Perkins engined KRU 55F.
The last Roadliners were built in 1972 for a South African Municipal fleet and these had AEC's (Leyland badged /unfortunately under-developed) V8. Some UK operators who had ordered the Roadliner either cancelled after hearing of their 'in service' performance, or swapped later orders for Daimler's hastily produced replacement in the form of the single deck (Gardner or Leyland 680 powered) 36ft Fleetline. Just a note, some one mentioned in the comments about Belfast Corporation's order ... only their first batch was Roadliner, the second was single deck Fleetline. The confusion arises as Daimler fiddled with their chassis codes and called the single deck Fleetline an SRG 6 (if with Gardner) or an SRL (if with Leyland) which made them look like Roadliners. I think latterly they just became CRG6-36.
Someone somewhere mentioned a Guy Conquest. This was a 'badge engineered' Daimler Roadliner. Until quite recently, I hadn't realised any had actually been built, but a small batch of them went to a Belgian Municipal and there are pictures on 'flickr'.
The AEC Swift was an altogether better bus ... if you discount London Transport's biased opinion! The little 505 was sometimes a tad out of its depth, but it was a game little engine and was particularly fuel efficient. I've run several Swifts and found them excellent in almost every way. To make a positive out of a negative, if and when they did break, they were a doddle to mend. The 691 wasn't AEC's finest hour for reasons mentioned in the other comments. Under strain, they lacked the cooling ability they needed due to thick wall liners and thick 'parent bores'. Their party piece was to pinch the crown of the piston, then seize and snap the piston in two at the gudgeon pin ... with predictable disaster. The 760 addressed this weakness adequately (same block, thinner liners) and was an excellent engine. 505 production ended in 1975/6 and 760s in 1979, though the last UK Swift was delivered in 1976 at the same time as the last UK Bristol RE. Although your own country did indeed operate many 760 Swifts, the Portuguese operated buses built around the same running units in their hundreds, maybe thousands, many of which survived in service well into the current century.
Hope you don't mind me rambling on, but it's a dual subject which fascinates me :)