Above: A Villiers Mark V1-C Carburettor, ©Simon McKeown 2019, photo by Andy Malthouse.
When one of the Invalid Carriages in Simon McKeown’s collection developed a leaky carburettor, even the expert mechanic was running out of ideas. So how do you go about diagnosing and fixing an engine which is getting on for 100 years old?
We knew the Argson Invalid Carriage had a Villiers engine, so this was our starting point. When typed into the search engine it came up with a long list of results for ‘genuine’ and ‘possible’ parts, but none of the same age or type we needed.
We tried to tap into social media to ask if anybody had any guaranteed spares or suggestions as to why the carburettor leaked. It had no obvious cracks so the general consensus was that it needed a new flow needle and washers. Unfortunately, the mechanic had already tried this to no avail.
The Invalid Carriage engine is possibly the same as that which would have driven a 1920’s lawnmower. This is where we got our first break.
Above: The Argson Invalid Carriage with Carburettor Troubles, ©Simon McKeown 2019.
Among the nation’s lawnmower repairers and restorers, we managed to speak with a very knowledgeable and friendly bunch of people. By process of elimination, we finally arrived at a highly recommended family firm in the North West. A couple of photographs and a handful of phone calls later, things are looking very promising for this Invalid Carriage. Her Villiers engine carburettor will be getting the attention it needs and will soon be running smoothly. With no leaks.