KINGFISHER DIESEL ENGINES .uk
The October issue of Stationary Engine magazine contained a request from RG for information regarding a Chinese Wei Dong engine in his possession. I have an almost identical engine although mine is a Yuyao, type 165F with bore 65mm and stroke 70mm, made sometime shortly before 1993 in Zhejiang, China.
It seems that Yuyao Power Machinery Corporation of Zhejiang was the actual manufacturer of both these units, which were also marketed with other names through Dong Feng, of the Dong Feng Automobile Corporation which in turn has agreements and international joint ventures with other companies such as Cummins, Citroen, Renault, Mitsubishi and Honda. Dong Feng, was established in 1969 by the Chinese government as an industrial manufacturer of trucks, machinery and military equipment such as tanks. Dong Feng translates into English as East Wind. In 1913 the first Chinese engine factory, Jiangsu Engine Works was established in Changzhou city in a factory formerly known as the Houkeng Metal Works. Diesel engine manufacture began under the name “Saving Star” and by 1934 engines up to 40hp were manufactured. In 1938 a further factory was set up in Shanghai to also manufacture these engines as well as textile machinery. In October 1964 the factory became known as the Changzhou Diesel Engine Works producing engines under the Dong Feng title. Other factories and brands became set up to produce a standard design as China expanded following the death of Chairman Mao hence Wei Dong in Jingyan, Sichuan province, Yuyao in Ningbo, Zhejiang province and Swan in Jintan, Jiangsu province.
My own Yuyao is complete with the original silver and blue paint finish with a red fuel tank, starting handle and comprehensive workshop manual / owner’s handbook in English. The book states that it is the smallest engine in a range known as ‘Twi-
During the 1980s a number of British firms ( Lister, Perkins etc) were invited to evaluate such engines as the Yuyao, Swan and Dong Feng and some ended up on the preservation scene. However, my own engine has a slightly different, and I think more interesting history.
In 1993 the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Bath made its first attempt to enter the Shell Mileage Marathon competition with an economy vehicle and it was agreed to enter the diesel class. The previous year, while walking around the Royal Bath and West Show, I had been drawn to a stand displaying a number of engines for marine and stationary purposes. Talking to the salesman, who turned out to be also the proprietor of Kingfisher Diesels of Ferndown in Dorset, it was obvious to me that the engines displayed, whilst some had UK-
After the event, the engine became superseded and therefore redundant so I recovered the original cylinder and piston and rebuilt the spare silver-
The Yuyao was mounted on a wooden base with handles as an interesting and unusual engine exhibit which would be a fairly easy unit to load into the boot of my car and start quickly at perhaps a small evening rally. In actual reality, I then forgot about it!
Some years later in 1999, I was judging at a rally in South Somerset and whilst sorting out the club members eligible to be so judged from the ineligible non-
© Eric Brain
Edited and posted with the permission of the copyright holder.