Chris Walker 4hp GRAY

Chris Walker's GRAY 4hp
Wet Head, Pumping Engine

Sold (circa 1917) in the United Kingdom by
Thomas W. Ward LTD, of Glasgow
to the Army?

After some searching on the net I was glad to come across your web site on
Gray engines. In the UK I have never found any mention of Gray engines
anywhere so I am not sure if any others exist in the UK. The engine that I have
is on a steel wheeled chassis with a pump.

It is a Model G 4HP (Serial) Number 13752 Wet head

It was originally supplied by Thomas W Ward LTD of Glasgow and this is on a fine
cast brass plate on the right hand side of the engine (looking from the crank end
towards the head)

On the opposite side of the engine is the Gray copper nameplate
and below it is an aluminium stamped single line plate screwed to the block saying
'Army rating 2.375 600rpm'

It has 2 governor weights with collar on the left side outside of the flywheel.
The lubrication is by an oil lubricator made by Detroit Lubrication Company,
Model G, 112702 This is mounted on a cast bracket on the same bolts as the
splash guard and directly behind it.
It has 4 output lubrication pipes to the 2 main bearings, the cylinder bore and a wiper
for the big end. The whole unit is powered by a chain drive from the crankshaft on the
right side (again looking from the back) and this chain also drives what I believe to be a lucas
magneto. The lucas magneto (high tension) looks as if it may not be origional as it doesnt quite
run true and it is sat on packers and non origional bolts and washers hold it on its bracket behind
the the crankshaft. The bracket does look origional.

The engine is coupled to a Darnes Pump Co, Mansfield USA .
S? or B? P 48. It is a double acting pump of about 5.5 inch bore
Cast into the side of the lower body of the pump is 'Patented March 20 1917'
The pump is driven from the right side of the crankshaft via a gear onto a large
flywheel sized gear and then onto the pump. Engagement is via a dog on the end
of the crankshaft with a hand wheel which I think you pull outwards to engage.
The pump is approx 5ft long, plus the engine makes approx 8ft in total length. This
all sits on a steel chassis with light weight spoked wheels approx 12 inch diameter at the
pump end (turntable) and 18inch at the rear. The pump has a 3 inch inlet and outlet and
contains a blow off valve on the outlet.
Total height of the unit is approx 5ft 4 inch and width approx 3ft 6inch. Weight, very heavy,
I would think at least 1 to 1.5 ton.

The sides of the unit are clad in flat steel sheets down each side mounted on hoops bolted
from the chassis, this means that the sides are totally enclosed. The left end of the crankshaft
pokes out through the cladding with a drop down guard which you can lift to fit a starting handle
as this is the only way of rotating the engine. Carburation is by the very simple 3 way carburettor
fed from a tank in the belly of the engine.

The whole unit is in origional condition and still exhibits light grey paint to the engine and pump,
and the chassis, framework and side panels appear to be black.

I have never yet had the unit running so I am not sure about how some bits work ie, the pump
drive dog and as yet it is in as found condition, dry stored, covered in oil and swarfe and in good
sound condition, turns over nicely.


When I aquired the unit approx 15 years ago I was told that it was thought that it had been shipped
over to France/Belgium during the first world war for pumping out the trenches and shipped back to
England afterwards, perhaps with the army, presumably the British army. Whether this is correct I
dont know. Whether this would lie correctly with the Glaswegian supplier I still dont know. But the
aluminium army plate is original but fixed to the engine block as an obvious non original addition
after manufacture.

Any thoughts on its ancestry would be very much appreciated.
Perhaps the engine number along with the patent date of the pump will shed some light upon your
(GRAY Web Page dating project.

Updated Information:
I have checked the engine number again and it is correct.
The bracket for the lubricator and magneto is nothing like the engine in New Zealand.
The two units are mounted on one cast bracket which uses the bolts holding the splash guard and a
further bolt in the lower casting just below the drain tap. (Can't see another engine on the web site with
a drain tap at the back, but this is located in the centre for draining oil out of the sump area)
The bracket is quite substantial in cast iron in effect creating two shelves, one for the lubricator and one
for the mag below it. The mag shelf about half the length of the lubricator but aligning both for the same
drive line by chain from the crankshaft.

The Dywane Simpson engine is pretty much identical.
The spark plug is in the same place, the large hole below and to the left of the spark plug is where
the petrol filler pipe comes up through from the tank in the engine base. (A heavily built pipe with a
heavy style iron threaded cap) but the muffler is the type seen on other engines, presumably the
original one, a heavy cast pan size, in fact I have just referred to the web site and the Pete Stauffer
engine is probably more of a likeness, not including the ignition system and the fact that the wording
cast into the hopper is on the opposite side same as Dwyane's, only the copper and aluminium
nameplates on the governor side of the engine. In fact the wheeled chassis on this is also representative
of mine with the same wheels although the steering wheels are smaller on mine but with different axles,
less casting and more shaped wrought iron, probably cheapened as time went on by 1917/18 or so.

Many thanks
Chris Walker

Tel numbers below and address on the web sites below.

And in case any of your want to go to England on Vacation, it looks
like Chris can accomdate you in Derbyshire. Check out the
beautiful old buildings in his links below!

Pat Walker
Offcote Grange Cottage Holidays or
Tel.01335 344795 Fax. 01335 348358

Our latest web site is now live.
Please find the time to look, details on our current 5 Star cottage Hillside Croft,
our new cottage Billys Bothy and all our future projects can be found here.
Prices and availability can be viewed at leisure.
In order to effectively plan your holiday, information on local produce, places to go,
activities and leisure, restaurants and walks can all be found here.
Your comments would be appreciated as this site will be updated and revised to suit our
customer needs- you tell us what you need and we will do our best to accommodate.

Return to the "Gray Motor Company" Homepage.