The Taipan Tyro Diesel

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The Taipan Tyro was a 1.9cc diesel produced for a number of years in the 1970's by Australian engine designer, Gordon Burford. Design wise, it is a conventional front-rotary valve, compression ignition engine with a bronze bushed crankshaft and steel liner with cast iron piston and contrapiston. It features two generous transfer ports, milled upwards into the cylinder to open just after the exhaust ports and fed by cast-in passages in the left and right sides of the crankcase. The exhaust ports are therefore positioned fore and aft--a rather unusual arrangement. Produced as an inexpensive, sport motor, it was easy to handle, yet quite powerful for its weight.

After (1)

This restoration is another case where I did the work BDC (Before Digital Camera), so alas, I can give no BEFORE shot. This job did not require much more than cleaning two basket cases and selecting the best parts. By a minor miracle, I actually had a head, spinner nut, plus screw and gasket set, new in bag, as it were, so I've been able to delay the experiments that go with cracking anodizing in a new color (black). The prop driver looks like it's been gripped with pliers while being carefully rotated (the engine came from the same source as the Blue Head, after all) and could stand a touch up, but for now, another Taipan restored!

Before (2)

This time (ADC) I remembered to take a bad before shot. This Tyro is an early model, distinguished by having no head anodizing and no compression bar friction gadget (note the piece of thin piano wire under tension between two tiny holes in the previous shot). The engine was found at a garage sale in a sad state, looking like it had been stored in a box with leaky batteries for several years. The usual well-intentioned locator then decided to make matters worse by completely disassembling the engine without the propper tools *sigh*. This photo is as-received/rescued -- completely disassenbled, corroded and sad.

After (2)

Restoration began with a thorough ultrasonic clean, aided by the old toothbrush. There was ample evidence of the case having been gripped in a vice on the ends of the lugs, but I decided these were too deep to file away, so they remain. All turned aluminum parts (head, backplate, prop driver) got minimal skims to remove the worst of the scratches and gouges. Look closely and you'll see the prop drive washer is now a smaller diameter than the case. The cylinder also needed a light skim in the badly rusted areas to turn off the oxide without actually removing any metal (it can be done!) then it got a good linishing on the Scotch-Bright belt. A new stud was cut from an appropriate bolt and fitted with a correct, new and original spinner nut. One end of the spray-bar got lightly skimmed to remove a case of galloping gangrene; gaskets were made and the engine reassembled. A squirt of fuel in the port had it firing readily in my hand, so it will certainly run. Chalk up another irriplacable Taipan saved from the tip.




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