Rolls-Royce small horsepower cylinder blocks.... the original design.
The overall design of cylinder blocks was reputably so difficult to make, that it led to a manufacturing failure rate of 80% in the day. Later designs increased the cylinder diameter eventually to 3 ½”, creating even less water capacity, poorer flow and greater likelihood of engine overheating. It is our belief that poor water flow and low structural strength has led to the inherent failure of these original blocks through the years.
The new design
Over two years, Ameeco Engineering has been perfecting the design and manufacturing prototypes which are now running on engines. Using the design of the original cylinder blocks for the Rolls-Royce 20hp and 20/25hp engines, Ameeco Engineering has made improvements to significantly improve water flow thereby improving engine cooling and provide additional mechanical strength to the block as a whole, whilst looking outwardly identical to the original ones. Design changes found on later blocks are incorporated to all our new blocks.
Ameeco Engineering has been formed by two Rolls-Royce enthusiasts, Julian Hopper and Derek Smith both of whom have many years’ experience of servicing and maintaining small horsepower cars. Given their hands-on knowledge and the difficulties encountered in dealing with cars that overheat, Ameeco Engineering was formed to solely manufacture new cylinder blocks for these cars.
Julian completed a full apprenticeship in the motor trade but also studied at college to achieve a Higher National Diploma in Engineering. Whilst university beckoned, he decided to start his own business undertaking the repairs and servicing of modern cars. However, his real passion veered him away from that market and in to the world of vintage cars, lorries and steam engines. Over the years, Julian has become one of a handful of people able to repair, service and manufacture parts, from a steam boiler for a traction engine to a Rolls-Royce gearbox.
As one of the founding directors of Ameeco Engineering, Julian has overseen the design improvements of the cylinder blocks , produced prototype units and manufactured them in-house. (Production units are CNC machined for accuracy from computer-aided designs (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs prior to testing.) He provides technical support and guidance to the foundry and machinists while overseeing all engineering work. With his knowledge of the Rolls-Royce cars of the 1920’s to 40’s, having rebuilt many small horsepower engines, Julian been crucial in developing the new cylinder blocks that Ameeco Engineering can now manufacture and supply worldwide.
Having completed a four year apprenticeship at Chatham Dockyard in electrical engineering, Derek continued working there until it closed in 1983 having gained a Higher National Certificate in electronic engineering. Following the closure, he worked in the middle east for an oil exploration company, leading the technical support department for an off-shore surveying group. On his return to the UK he worked for a leading defence company, both in design, development and site support for one of the most modern sonar systems. However, In the early 1990’s, with his passion for cars and Rolls-Royce cars in particular, Derek started restoring his own early 20hp and several others subsequently for clients. Since then, he has gained a wealth of experience on the small horsepower Rolls-Royce cars but has also delved in to the understanding behind the original designs. With an engine requiring a new cylinder block and none being available he was, in conjunction with Julian Hopper, able to provide engineering support and design ideas which led to the incorporation of Ameeco Engineering Limited of which he’s a director. With his engineering ability and specific in-depth knowledge of small horsepower Rolls-Royce engines, Derek now oversees the operation of the company administration whilst also dealing with the engineering drawings, documentation, testing, marketing and sales.
The Old Oast Workshop
1, Swanton Street,
2, Oastfield Close
© Ameeco Engineering 2015
Ameeco Engineering Limited, Registered in England & Wales. Company Registration No. 9301109