Can you identify this hit and miss?

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Thad Swarfburn III

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2009
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Christchurch, New Zealand
An old mate of mine built this in 1999 - he was a very capable modeller in his day but he struggles now and can't remember anything about this engine, or where he put the info about it. He's asked me to get it running for him. I need to ID it so I can research a bit about what fuel and oil is recommended for it. I've gone through a couple hundred images on google but haven't seen another like it. Unlikely (but possible) that it's a freelance design as he's more of a steam guy.
-Built from stock, not castings
-One flywheel larger than the other
-Cylinder is vertical; crank up, head down.
Ring any bells for anyone?


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That looks like the Topsy Turvey engine designed by Phil Duclos and published in Home Shop Machinist.

Perfect, that's exactly it! Thanks so much. I got impatient and got stuck into trying to get it to run. The builder put the coil and battery in the wooden box underneath the engine, but the battery has been in there for almost 25 years and has split, leaking electrolyte. This has attacked the circuitry in the "wall wart" charger, rendering it inoperable, as well as attacking the wiring to the coil. So I hooked it to a 12V 3A power supply, topped it up with white gas, and gave it a bunch of pull starts. After some spluttering and twiddling, it came to life and will run for about a minute before quitting. Not sure why this is, but it's possible it's electrical as when I was disconnecting the power supply from the engine, the engine's ground wire fell apart in my hands (corrosion). Excited to get at least this far!

Thanks for the info, now off to try to find out more.


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