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Semi OT - Wanted - WW1 Tank engine

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  • Semi OT - Wanted - WW1 Tank engine

    Evening all,
    In a conversation with my Father he mentioned that a group he knows is building a replica WW1 tank, but they have run into a snag - they cant find an engine / transmission.
    There are 2 engines that wold be suitable - the 16l 6 cylinder Daimler, or the Ricardo development of the Daimler.

    Its a long shot, but I know some of the lurkers here abouts have links to old engines and similar, so I said I'd ask around.

    Anyone got any leads?

    Just south of Sudspumpwater UK

  • #2
    IIRC some used engines the same as the London buses?


    • #3
      I was about to say not many museums will even have those engines but I see you're in the UK. If it is a replica, why be so picky about the engine? I'd search around a few trucking yards. Around here, you can get a whole running 18-wheel tractor for less than $7k. Less if all you care about is the running gear (some body damage). But, we have BIG trucks on this side of the pond. Don't know what you'll find over there.


      • #4
        Its not just a replica.
        Its being built in Lincoln (birthplace of the 'Water Carrier' - Tank), by a team of dedicated enthusiasts.
        I believe part of the funding is dependent on the authenticity of the finished tank.
        Im not directly involved, so I don't know the details, but it seemed very important to get the correct engine / transmission.

        The website is here:

        Just south of Sudspumpwater UK


        • #5
          You should follow up with the successors/executors to Jacques Littlefield's tank collection here in California <>. I know they've sold off much of the collection, but maybe if you follow the trail, you can get somewhere.


          • #6
            I was going to suggest contacting the Ordnance Museum in Aberdeen, MD, but they have relocated to Virginia. Yet it may still be a lead worth following.

            You are probably already familiar with:

            Good luck!
            Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
            USA Maryland 21030


            • #7
              This could be a tough one to locate, I had a tough time even finding a photo of one.

              I believe the link below is what you are looking for, scroll through some of the pics as there are a few on this page, but no transmission, and the engine is already spoken for.


              But, we have BIG trucks on this side of the pond. Don't know what you'll find over there.
              Ah yes, but the horses on the other side of the pond are in greater numbers, several at about the 730-750 mark, nothing like that in the colonies.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia


              • #8
                Some time spent south and east of Ypres with metal detectors
                and perhaps something along the lines of ground-penetrating radar
                might pay dividends. More than a few Mark IV's sank in quagmire
                there in 1917.

                The Daimler-Knight 6-cylinder 16 litre 105 hp gasoline engine had
                sleeve valves.

                Here are some exerpts from what Wiki offers about the Mk I version
                The hull was undivided internally; the crew shared the same
                space as the engine. The environment inside was extremely
                unpleasant; since ventilation was inadequate, the atmosphere
                was contaminated with poisonous carbon monoxide, fuel and oil
                vapours from the engine, and cordite fumes from the weapons.
                Temperatures inside could reach 50 °C (122 °F). Entire crews
                lost consciousness inside the tank or, sometimes, collapsed when
                again exposed to fresh air.

                To counter the danger of bullet splash or fragments knocked off
                the inside of the hull, crews were issued with leather-and-chainmail
                masks. A leather helmet was also issued, to protect the head against
                projections inside the tank. Gas masks were standard issue as well,
                as they were to all soldiers at this point in the war (see Chemical

                A direct hit by an artillery or mortar shell could cause the fuel tanks
                (which were placed high in the front horns of the track frames either
                side of the drivers' area, to allow gravity feed) to burst open.
                Incinerated crews were removed by special Salvage Companies,
                who also salvaged damaged tanks.

                There was no wireless (radio); communication with command posts
                was by means of two pigeons, which had their own small exit hatch
                in the sponsons, or by runners.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                  IIRC some used engines the same as the London buses?
                  That was in WW2. Some also used liberty engines.
                  The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                  Bluewater Model Engineering Society at

                  Southwestern Ontario. Canada


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
                    But, we have BIG trucks on this side of the pond. Don't know what you'll find over there.
                    Only in bulk.

                    In the United Kingdom, the maximum permitted gross weight of a semi-trailer truck, without the use of a Special Type General Order (STGO), is 44,000 kg (97,000 lb), which is the second heaviest permitted legal weight for a single semi-trailer truck in the world (50,000 kg (110,000 lb) is allowed in the Netherlands).

                    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


                    • #11
                      I'd probably hit a tractor forum and ask there.


                      • #12
                        found a reference to ricardo 105 hp gasoline engine for the Mark1
                        Mark 2 the same
                        Mark 4 daimler 105 hp gasoline
                        Last edited by janvanruth; 01-20-2015, 10:17 PM.


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't be surprised if a 150hp Ricardo engine could be found - there were a lot made and they were used in other applications after the war.

                          I am guessing the transmission would be the hard part to find. But they seem to dig up tank remains now and again in the old battlefields.

                          I know a man in NZ who is restoring a 225hp Ricardo at present, this was an enlargement of the 150hp with some re-design of the cylinder heads (four valve heads with vertical exhausts). They arrived a bit late for the war (I think) but were used in other applications e.g. generator sets, ploughing engines etc.
                          Last edited by Peter S; 01-20-2015, 10:22 PM.


                          • #14
                            I would enquire of the staff at the Anson Engine Museum - they might even have one under a tarp in their back yard - but they are perhaps the most likely people to know where you might find one. Museum is well worth a visit too and very friendly staff when it comes to talking about engines.


                            (PS Museum is in Cheshire, UK)
                            "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"


                            • #15
                              Thanks guys, Ive passed on those leads.
                              If anyone thinks of anywhere else please speak up

                              Just south of Sudspumpwater UK