Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fears have been realized.

I managed to attach the brake rod yesterday.   The rod end goes through a hole in a lever attached to the brake band. This has always been difficult to put in and with everything else in place it became impossible.   The rod had a flat spot where it had been rubbing against a frame member.  I used the hydraulic press to put a bow in the rod which fixed the clearance problem.  The rod has been on and off the brake so often that I have tired of fishing cotter keys into place and bending them.  Removing them is even worse.  Instead I used a hitch pin clip.

The more I work on this the more I am convinced that the brake was not right to start with.

Unfortunately the sprockets on the drum does not line up with the rest.  I towed the roller from the shop across the street hoping that the drum might shift back to its correct position.  It did not.  I may have to remove the drum to sort it all out.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Progress on the Brake and Something New.

The last time I worked on the roller I put the front end on jack stands.  Today I noticed that the belt that drives the eccentric for vibration was tight when it should have not been.   It seems the front drum is set in rubber to help isolate the roller from the vibrations.  The rubber stretched.  I do not know how much damage this did.  The part with the rubber is 105 "Flex Mount with Bushing".  Between this and the snubers I wonder if this unit will ever vibrate again.  Live and learn.  Still looking at the diagram I do not understand how this could happen.  I was too focused on the brake today.  I need to investigate this further.

<missing image. see manual>

The key to reassembling the brake band setup with everything removed but the band (264) and rotate it so the ends of the band are at the bottom of the drum where they are exposed.  The add all the parts but the actuator rod from the pedal (274).   Then the band can be rotated into position and the rear (276), then front (282) supporting blocks attached.  Note that supporting block (276) goes between springs (277) and (278).  The end of the band goes below the bottom spring (277).  I put one shim each on the front and back support blocks.   The original shims are shown to be .062 inches in the manual.  These seem much thicker.
<missing image. see manual>

I still need to attach (273) and (272) and find a stronger spring to replace or supplement the spring return on the brake.  The locking lever (266) needs a spring too.   The existing brake return spring maybe strong enough to work on the locking lever.   

When the brake is finished  I can start putting the chain and its tensioners back on unless there is real damage to the front from jacking.  

The new chain has arrived from Amazon.  It was one of their scratch and dent items which they marked down to about 1/3 of the original price.  Like that :)  But the chain will not do much good until we order a chain breaker and some master links.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tooled around in the VR30RE for 15 minutes

The ANLED serial number is 5509995.  A search of the wisconsin engine database returns

Serial Number Found!
Produced Year: 1975
Produced Month: April
Engine Model: N/A

The first digit of the serial number for the roller is simply not legible.   It is ?2092610,   That tells us the roller was made in a year ending with 0.  The first ones were produced in 62 so that would leave 70.  However this does not agree with the motor but it could have been replace somewhere along the line.

A few days ago I put the drive chain on and drove the roller for about 20 minutes.  It was working well till something failed on the drive side of the main roller and stopped the drum from turning.  This happened in front of the shop behind the dumpster.

In the process it broke the chain, messed up the band brake, and ruined at least one of the rubber snubbing roller.  I removed the snubbing rollers by grinding off what remained of the two attachment bolts.

Two bolts holding the brake band in place were missing.   I do not know if I had inadvertently removed these when I rescued the roller from the city lot or if they were already gone.   The holes were blown full of dirt but there is a chance that could have blown in since then.   There seems to be no permant damage to the brake setup.   When I get done it should be fully functional for the first time.  The real loss is the ruined rubber snubber roller or rollers.  But asphalt had been allowed to build up on the rim of the drum where they rid and they may have already been useless.  Replacements are going to be hard to find.  Maybe hard rubber rollers used on boat trailers could be repurposed.

The brake mounting like the drum flange had a buildup of asphalt forcing the band to the outside.  In an effort to remedy this some mechanic had moved a shim from the rear brake mount to the front which may have caused it to bind even more.  Putting the brake together has been a bit difficult.  The right choice may be to hook everything up then put in the 4 band mounting bolts.

That was all a few days ago when the weather nice with 60s and 70s.  The last few days it has hardly been above freezing.

Today while working on the spare motor I found a starter rope so I hoofed it over to the other shop to see if the roller would pull start.  It took about 4 pulls but it was cold outside and I expect the motor was even colder.

I also opened up the carb for the 2nd ANELD.    It has been through the ultrasonic cleaner a few times but has a ways to go.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Found the manual!

I have a reply from a nice fellow on Smokestack letting me know the gearbox is made by a company called Twin Disc which is still around.  He indicated that setting the clutches without instructions would be hard.  He has offered to send images of what he has although it is not the exact gearbox.

Multiquip sells Essick mortar mixers.  They must have purchased Essick or at least the brand name.  I have sent them email asking for information.  I called them up and sent them a email.  The both resulted in a manual the email one is a subset of the other.  I spoke with a technical support coordinator Nate who was very helpful.

Today I unloaded the roller from its trailer and opened the clutch.  It needs an oil change which may be part of its problem.  I will hold off adjusting it till that has happened.  As I run it the neutral position is getting easier to find holding the handle.   It takes too much pressure to put it into forward and it runs forward when it should be in neutral which leads me to think the forward plates need to be loosened.

The chain has been cleaned alternating between the ultrasonic cleaner and a soak in diesel fuel.  It is quite clean now but has a few links that need to be tightened with a punch.

VR30RE manual

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dry compression and it ran better today.

Today I did a dry compression test and got about 50 lbs.

The spark plug was all carboned up.  After running full throttle for a while the plug looked like this.  The insulator cleaned up and maybe the rest of it would too if it ran enough or started with a clean plug.  I will hit this one with the harbor freight sand blaster prior to running it again.

The engine ran for a few minutes without hunting at several throttle settings.  video Then I shut off the gas and let the carb run dry.  When I restarted it the hunting was back.

The generator is making about 10V on the generator itself.  No idea what that means.  Do not trust the regulator and there was no battery connected.

The clutch runs forwards and back but is hard to keep it still.   It says.

Release adjusting lockand turn adjusting ringuntil operating lever requires a dinstictpressure to engagelock adjusting  lock

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's Alive!

It is not well but it runs.   Today was a not so cold at 50F so after finding the trashed points in the original magneto I felt the need to give the current setup on the roller another try.

I didn't change a thing.  At first it cranked over and I got the same sad few poofs It did last time.   I alternated between starting fluid and 2 cycle gas   When it started to fire more then once or twice in a row I added some gas to the tank.  With a bit more coaxing it ran off the carburetor.

The only thing I did different this time was not giving up as easy.   Maybe the engine's low dry compression keeps it from starting till it has squirted enough oil up into the cylinder to seal the rings.  The aneld has an oil pump but it just quirts the oil at the piston, it does not have a pressurized oiling system.

I played with the transmission lever.  It seems only to know two things, forward and revers.  A neutral would be nice.  Maybe with the drive chain in place that will happen.

If this engine follows with what I have seen now that it has been running it will start easier next time.

The blogging software chokes on the video so here is a youtube link.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The 2nd magneto.

While I was in the shop today I brought the magento originally on the roller over to my electronics bench in the house to work on it.     It sure is easier the 2nd time around.

The point contacts are covered in grease, the c clip holding them in place was missing, as was the wiper for the cam lobe.  Note that the on the fixed point on the left you are looking at the rivet

Tomorrow I will run them through the ultrasonic cleaner and see if I can get a c clip.  I also plan to test the capacitor with my mondo superprobe.  Also the gasket is intact so I may use it to refine my pattern.

After ultrasonic cleaning with dawn dish soap.


These closeup show these points are textbook examples of material transferring from on point to the other.  The images were taken with a digital blue QX3 toy microscope at 10X.

I don't know for sure but they rather look like junk.

Luckily as you will see in a future post I did not need to use this magneto.

Removing the gear reduction from the spare engine.

Today I pulled the gear reduction off the spare motor.   I figured it would be easier to work with the motor without but now know that one should not run the engine this way as gear reduction unit acts as the crankshaft bearing for that side.  But this does give me some idea of what to expect if I have to swap engines.  I suppose the right thing to do is to put it back one.  I should get an image of the plate to see what the gear reduction is.

I used the Kwik Way Dirt Master Backhoe to do the heavy lifting.

The stuff draining out looks a lot like old gear oil. The AENL manual states that the gearbox uses the same oil as the engine


Thursday, December 5, 2013

VR30REs on the web, serial number to date of manufacture decoding.

These were mostly found on auction notices or for sale on ebay.   A few have ages and serial numbers.  It appears that the year of manufacture is the 1st and 3rd digit.

The first VR30RE comes from Lincoln Illinois and 
sold on ebay for $1,525 on Apr-24-13 12:49:38 PDT,

It was described as :
This is a 1.5 Ton Ride on Roller with its own Trailer.
Roller is in good working condition and has a pressurized water system.
Unit has been garage kept and has some newer upgrades.  Local pickup only.

The original trailer has a single pin to lock the roller in place once loaded.  You can see it just to the rear of the wheel.

This one has had a water tank change.  Maybe it rusted out or maybe it was to pressurize the tank.

Looks like 72498011.  Which would make it a 74.

It look like this one is in its original paint. The images are dated early 2010.  Has an oil bath air cleaner. This looks like to be at least one of the original seat styles as it shows up on several machines.

The trailer has no ramp and does not look to be a factory unit.  Note what looks to be a winch in the 2nd image.

Found on

Originally I was thinking this was a replacement seat.   It is an original later style.   Trailer may be in its original paint.  Square gas tank may indicate a latter date of manufacture or a replacement tank or engine.

Found this listed as a VR36RE
On Saturday, April 30, 2011, as a part of the annual Scott Valley Clean-Up Week (April 18-23rd), the City of Etna Public Works Dept., the Fire Dept. & Police Dept. will be selling surplus equipment at public auction

I can not find any info on the VR36RE.  It seems to be missing the motor?

Is this a typo? Maybe not found this bit of text from a newspaper classified section dated Jan 1977.

Essick VR36RE Roller s n 62438650

This one is from

 First is the pipe extension on the water tank.  Is it missing a cap?  This is the first I have seen with the square gas tank.  Could be a replacement ARENLD as they came with square tanks.   Then there is the stuff on top of the motor just ahead of the gas tank.  Others just have the electrical cluster. The fiber pads that go over the rear drum are missing as is the drivers seat.  Maybe an unfinished restoration?

What following are VR30RE images collected from the net.  
I did not take down any info on them. 

From the picture we know these uints were sold on

And finally this add from a 
Strickland Equipment Co

Jan 16th 2014

Found another VR30RE on auction block. Sold for $100 in Paris California.

And a 73 with asn asking price of $10500 but the image is lost.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A stand for the pare AENLD.

I found this stand that I was going to use with my sand blaster.   Instead it has been pressed into service as an engine stand.

The plan is to get this engine running on the stand then swap parts with the roller till the roller starts working or this on stops.  Next step is to remove the gear reduction to make it more stable.  Other then that I have not worked on this project since the last post.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cutting gaskets and it still will not start.

Yesterday I designed and cut new gaskets for the magneto using Make The Cut and the Cricut.

The cover gasket is two layers of a thin material stuck together with the elmer's spray adhesive used to hold the material to the cutting mat.   Cutting was optimal speed, 2 passes, medium pressure.  I have found that higher pressure tends to get the registration off.  Need to look into that.

This is the gasket between the magneto and the engine.  It is cut from 0.033 gasket stock.  Cutting was one setting below optimal speed, 14 passes in 2 sessions, and medium pressure. 

Next step is to take the bad one off and replace it with this.  Need to set the timing according to the AENL manual.

I painted the magneto tooth with the X white and used a flash light to see into the hole. The magnetos were exchanged but the engine only pop weakly once in a while even with starter fluid.  One possibility would be bad timing but I followed the directions.   I am wondering if there is a valve not closing as compression is iffy.

Did a wet compression test and reads 120 lbs not a bad number.  I am confused.  Need to recheck the spark.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Inside the magneto.

I have been working on another project.   Of topic. maybe but it is my blog!

Getting my 1972 Chev C-50 truck running after 8 years of inactivity.  I replaced a few fuel lines and got the engine running.  Sounds good.  But there are no brakes.  I have a gallon of brake fluid, now all I need is ambition.

Now back to the roller.  The points from the spare AENLD were removed and clean in an ultra sonic cleaner.  The plan is to put them back in the magneto and see if we can get a spark from it on the bench.  If that works I will swap it with the magneto on the roller.

It was in the 20s (F) today so I brought the magneto into the house to work on it.  Assembled it and aligned the points under a magnifier.  Its alive!  Tosses a 1/2 inch spark and gave me a whooper of a jolt.   Next warm day is a ways off.

EDIT: "The breaker point gap of the Fairbanks-
Morse magneto and Wico magneto should have
an opening of .015 inch at full separation."

The roller is driven by a long roller chain which I had to remove because it had a few spots where links were rusted solid.  I ran it through the ultrasonic cleaner a few times.  The chain is cleaner but the rusted links are still stuck.  I think it is a #60 chain.  10 feet of it and a connector link from amazon is under $50.  The place is to order a new chain and avoid problems with the old one.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

First attempt to start it.

The AENLD has a belt driven combo delco starter generator.   The advantage in this is that the starter does not need to disconnect from the engine because it switches over to acting as a generator.  There are separate windings for starting and generating.

The plan was to use jumper cables to run the starter.  It worked after I switched to a pair of good cables.  So I added a wee bit of 2 stroke oil to the spark plug hole and a spurt of engine starting fluid in the intake and run the starter. ....  Nothing

OK time to learn about magnetos.   The Wisconsin AENLD manual suggests checking for a spark to the block.  That sounded reasonable and familiar.  No joy.

As per instructions on the net I hooked a 2K ohm resistor to a neon lamp.  With this I could detect the magneto firing.  Also held on the the high tension lead and only got a mild shock.  Now I should add that both engines seem to have the same problem.   After checking with the local parts store for an points file and could not get one so I used an emery board on the second engine's points.  No change.

The local parts store wants $20+ for the condenser and $40+ for the condenser points set and you can add about $4 for tax.  Ouch

The guys on smokestack (thanks) say one can add an external condenser between the posts that you ground to turn off the engine and ground.  This puts it in series with the existing condenser.  If this made it run I would be happy to buy the new one but checking first sounds like a good idea.   I did not have any automotive condensers or electronic caps that would work.  Time to scrounge around.

Found a link to a Fluke document on Troubleshooting outboard motor magneto ignitions.

Essick VR30RE carb work.

EDIT:  The manual has been located.

It should be understand that unless you own a VR30RE this blog will be of little or no interest to you.  However I am sharing my experiance in the hope that it may in time help others who opt to adopt one.

The Essick VR30RE vibratory roller is a 30" aprox 2000lb road roller.   It has a water system that wets the drums to keep asphalt from sticking.   It also has an eccentric that vibrates the front drum and improve compaction.  It is one of the smallest self propelled compactors and should be useful in compacting the base for sidewalks and pavers.  It is powered by a 9hp wisconsin AENLD engine followed by a clutch gear reduction and a chain drive to the front roller.  The gear reduction has Essick on it but it looks like it may have been made for them by Wisconsin or whoever made Wisconsin's gear reductions.

I purchased this VR30RE complete with trailer at a city auction in a non running condition.   The roller had been sitting unused behind the city shop for about 10 years and had sank into the ground.    To move the roller I had to dig ramps in front of the rollers and jerk it ahead.  The drive chain had rusted in but I discovered the connector link after I pulled it ahead.  I removed the drive chain and pushed the roller up onto its trailer with my tractor while my significant other steered the roller.

These pictures were taken when we arrived home with the roller.   The chain cover is off.

The goal is to get the motor running and then work on the machine .  After we will do a full service and then start on things like replacing the seat touching up the steering wheel. New wood parts.

Prior to finding the Essick I was planning on getting a plate compactor.  Even the harbor freight units are over $500.  I expect I can get it running for much less then that.  I would also like to thank all the people on Electro-Tech-Online, Smokestack, and other forums who are providing advice and moral support.

First I attacked the fuel system. The carb is a Zenith Bendix L63K  The upper half of the body was warped so I sanded it on a sheet of glass to improve it. Mostly around the bolt holes.  The bit on the end indicated by the arrow was warped too much so I added more gasket material there.

The rod from the governor was broken off and rusted in at the carb.

New ones are $1 +15 S&H.  I ordered a #5 tap and die off ebay and made on from a AC welding rod.  Used oxy propane torch to help make the 90 degree bend.   Cleaned up where it attached to the carb with the tap.

The carb was warped from over tightening.   I sanded it flat as I could using sand paper on glass then cut a gasket for it on the cricut.  This is an image of a trial cut using cardstock.

I purchased an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning carbs and it seems to work quite well. I used it to clean the sediment bowl too.  This is a image of the carb after assembled.  I took this image to help make the intake gasket.

This is the process for designing and cutting a gasket.

  1. Import an image into inkscape.
  2. Trace the image using paths that one can pull and push to get the right shape.
  3. Import the inkscape SVG file to Make-the-cut.
  4. Cut a cardstock version of the gasket and try it on the matting surface.
  5. Go back to step 2 in inkscape and adjust the line drawing as needed.
  6. Import the final version to Make-the-cut and cut it on gasket stock.

Note that Make-the-cut was sued by the cricut people and only older versions of MTC software can be used to control the cricut.  But MTC works with several other cnc paper cutter.  The cricut was marketed to scrapbookers.  MTC is not free.

I ordered and recieved a sediment bowl gasket from amazon.

At this point I purchased another AENLD.  This one  has a gear reduction .  The original owner gave it to a guy who gave it to a guy who sold it to me.  Funny how that works but I was glad to get it and it was only $10.  Word was that the original owner said it ran when last used.  The orange mower next to it is a golf greens mower (I think), a Cooper Klipper Trim..  I picked it up from the same guy.  It has rusted in roller chains.