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Merco Engines

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Paul Jefferies01/10/2014 08:59:03
254 forum posts
39 photos

Ebay can be a great source of "classic" engines and (amongst other things) I have accumulated a number of old Mercos for no better reason than I just like 'em wink . I tend to go for the "bargains" many of which look pretty ropey and well cooked but no matter how grotty they look on the outside, most of them have been almost pristine and showing very little signs of use on the inside with little more than slight discolouration on the piston. Perhaps I have just been lucky.....

I now have four "nearly new" Merco 61s and they are all different in detail, mostly in the finning and cylinder head, as well as the obvious twin plug version. Most, if not all, of the parts seem to be interchangeable.

I have found an interesting website in which Bill Morley (One of the co-founders of Merco) gives fascinating background to the company but nowhere can I find any details of the different Marks, ie., what is the difference between a Mk1 and a Mk2/3/4....... or was it just a case of gradual evolution? Can anybody throw any light on this?

Paul

GONZO01/10/2014 18:28:28
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1192 forum posts
13 photos

This site has quite a lot of general info/tests on many glow and diesel engines **LINK**

Eleven entries for Merco engines of various capacity.

HTH

Percy Verance01/10/2014 20:51:33
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7918 forum posts
152 photos

Hi Paul

Several parts are also common to both the .49 and the .61. The Mercos (Model Engine Racing Company) were a very popular choice back in the 60's/early 70's, and were often the chosen engine for scale models. The .61 could swing a 14 inch prop, which not too many other 10cc jobs could do too well.

I have both a .61 and a .49, although I haven't run either for well over 25 years. Up until a few years back there was still a source of spares, although I'm not sure where you'll go for spares these days.

The .29 and .35 were never held in particularly high regard by too many flyers, and consequently they're not nearly as sought after. A couple of decades back, these engines were re-launched to the market, with the .29 and .35 being marketed as a .30 and .40 respectively. Needless to say, they didn't set the market on fire.

Edited By Percy Verance on 01/10/2014 20:51:58

Tom Sharp 201/10/2014 21:43:17
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3352 forum posts
17 photos

The silencers were piggy articles.

David Davis01/10/2014 21:59:36
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3286 forum posts
559 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 01/10/2014 20:51:33:

The .29 and .35 were never held in particularly high regard by too many flyers, and consequently they're not nearly as sought after. A couple of decades back, these engines were re-launched to the market, with the .29 and .35 being marketed as a .30 and .40 respectively. Needless to say, they didn't set the market on fire.

Edited By Percy Verance on 01/10/2014 20:51:58

They weren't particularly good but they had a good carburettor. I wore out a 35 while practising for my A Certificate on a Telemaster 66. I'm a slow learner!

I junked the original silencer and fitted something more effective.

tele 66.jpg

Tom Sharp 202/10/2014 01:09:26
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3352 forum posts
17 photos

I've still got two 35's and a twin plug 60, just in case I might need them some day.

David Davis02/10/2014 06:19:18
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3286 forum posts
559 photos

I also used a Merco 35 in the Super Sixty which flew away. Once it had been recovered I continued to use it until I entered Sam 35's Fly-In at Cocklebarrow last year. The poor old Merco struggled to move the model fast enough to permit take-off on the less-than-billiard-table-smooth patch at Cocklebarrow and received a cheer when it finally unstuck! I replaced it with an OS40 FP. Problem solved!

Picture of model before the flyaway, Merco 35 up.

super 60 merco 35 up.jpg

Paul Jefferies02/10/2014 08:01:53
254 forum posts
39 photos

Many thanks all for your responses..... 'Love the reminiscences. Yes, the 35 was a bit of a gutless wonder but easy to start and a great "cooking engine". I'm still hoping to find another use for mine........ apart from as a fishing weight that is! wink

Gonzo, thanks for the link. From the several reports and tests on .61s I have now been able to identify what I have.

Thanks all

Paul

Edited By Paul Jefferies on 02/10/2014 08:04:33

Robert Putley 102/10/2014 09:14:10
179 forum posts

Yes, the 61 was a great motor. Very popular in its day. My first was in a Gangster 63, purchased s/hand after my Super 60, as a first aileron trainer. Great plane, great model, great combination.

On the subject of swinger large props. I purchased a mk111 twin plug to install in a Mercury IV - 8 foot span vintage model, undercamberd wings, therefore very slow. Needed much static thrust- I used a Punctillo 18x4 prop. I had to change the carb for a Kavan to get it to run satisfactorily. Massive thrust and you could almost count the blades on tickover. Ran it like that for years. A super motor.

My Super 60, I fitted a McCoy 35. Super motor with bags of power. My club, instructor @ Martlesham, a disuesed wartime airfield, suggested I changed the motor for an OS 35, as the T/Over was too high for the plane to stand still. Well No OS`s available so purchases a recommended Merco 35. It was absolutely useless. It had so little power that I had to put the plane in a dive to manage a loop, and the running time was literaly about half that of the McCoy. The tick over was nice and slow!!

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator02/10/2014 09:14:31
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6703 forum posts
185 photos

Great link Gonzo....all those engine tests a real stroll down memory lane for me....I wonder what sort of dynamometer they used to use to get the torque/bhp curves for such tiny engines??? I also spotted a test on the Fuji 15 from my dim & distant past which I've never seen a reference to anywhere else & had begun to think I'd imagined....

I too have a Merco 35 in my drawer....I remember it being a real power house after my OS Max 15....it pulled my Jolly Roger around very nicely....teeth 2 but the muffler should have been banned under the Trades Description Act....

Dave Bran02/10/2014 09:43:23
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1898 forum posts
5 photos

35's on a Super Sixty?? I had a twin plug 61 on mine.............never had an issue with being reluctant to unstick.............

Robert Putley 102/10/2014 10:06:00
179 forum posts

Sure you didn`t !!! This was in 1968, the plane weigh`d four and a half pounds and was rudder only. In later years their were quite a few around like yours.

Spose a Super "60" by definition should be powered by a "60" !!

Good luck Dave.

ken anderson.02/10/2014 10:21:10
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8394 forum posts
772 photos

during the 90's(last century) I had a petrol merco 61..it was quite a good engine-----must still be a few knocking around.

ken Anderson...ne....1...... last century dept.

Dave Bran02/10/2014 10:30:32
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1898 forum posts
5 photos

There's lots of petrol engines and petrol engined models available on EBay, some of them even are............

My Super 60 was 1972, converted from rudder only to three channel, originally orange nylon covered and painted black by me.....Futaba "M" series, it wasn't light!.......it taught me take offs and landings, I wore out the club strip grass doing touch and go's, then became the club Toffee Bomber, which it did admirably, dragging a load of toffees up in an internal bay operated by full down elevator. All I ever did to the Merco 61 twin plug engine was to replace the con rod after the pressed in big end bearing fell out. The old rod is on my key ring to this day.

ken anderson.02/10/2014 10:33:55
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8394 forum posts
772 photos

well done Dave-I gave one of my motorcycling friend's a con rod/piston out of a 40 engine...he was over the moon-had it put on a chain around his neck-bling to show off to his mate's..

ken Anderson ne.... 1 bling dept.

Dave Bran02/10/2014 10:57:47
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1898 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by ken anderson. on 02/10/2014 10:33:55:

well done Dave-I gave one of my motorcycling friend's a con rod/piston out of a 40 engine...he was over the moon-had it put on a chain around his neck-bling to show off to his mate's..

ken Anderson ne.... 1 bling dept.

Neat Ken!

Maybe he'd like a con rod I still have from a Villiers 9E race tuned overbored 217cc engine from a Class IV Pirhana four speed cluthc start Kart I owned 1967 - 1972...........the big end on that highly polished knife edged rod is one soldiified lump with flattened rollers, nicely coloured by the heat..................it was doing 90 plus when the gearbox selected first...............wasn't ME, honest................. embarrassed

Percy Verance02/10/2014 14:19:23
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7918 forum posts
152 photos

Dave

I didn't think the Fut "M" series appeared until 1974? I clearly recall using a friend's Fut Digimax occasionally, pre 74..........

I just had a look round in my workshop to find my Merco .61. Last used about 30 years back, fitted with an ED big bore competition carb. Boy, did that pep things up a bit. Didn't help the fuel consumption much though.......

Edited By Percy Verance on 02/10/2014 14:22:35

stu knowles02/10/2014 18:51:43
541 forum posts
44 photos

Hi All,

seeing the discussion reminded me about an engine that I have brought home to sell for a friend who has reached that age when its time to switch from planes to model railways

 

Here it is:-

As you can see it started its life as a twin plug merco 61. I presume that the brass cylinder and separate bit with a label on comprise a spark ignition system. The two wires trapped under the bright chrome punch on the right are one positive and one negative, so battery here?

Immediately behind the prop driver appears to be a cam which in turn drives a set of contact breakers or points

The carb is not original, the needle valve is the aluminium coloured item with large knurled knob. Between the needle valve and carb throat is another lever (black) which has a knurled section at its base. As we look at it above, the right hand side of the carb has no slow running adjuster so my guess is that the black lever probably has something to do with the slow running mixture.

Looking into the exhaust port, the very light staining suggests that it has run at some point but not much. The silencer is a black steel dumpy expansion chamber of resonable size.

 

has anyone seen anything of the sort before? Harry has no idea where it came from or how long he's had it in the drawer.

Last pic for now

The forward plug has the spark plug, the rearmost plug hole has a brass blanking plug.

 

I've not had time to do anything with it as yet, I'm tempted to buy it myself and fit it to a big Popsie or similar suitable vintage.

Anyone seen owt like it before?

cheers

stu k

Edited By stu knowles on 02/10/2014 18:54:01

FlyinBrian02/10/2014 20:22:26
505 forum posts

Shortly after starting in R/c in the late 60s early 70s I was looking for a medium sized glow motor but funds were very limited. A friend and club mate sold me an old Merco .35 for 30 shillings (£1.50) I used this for a couple of years then one day the same chap asked me if I still had the Merco .35 and offered me ............. Yes 30 shillings for it.

OTOH I had a twin plug Merco .61 which was an absolute pile of poo!

Alan Gorham_02/10/2014 20:23:26
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791 forum posts
92 photos

There were some 'license built' spark ignition engines based on Merco .61s made by a firm from Yorkshire in the early 1980's. It was around the time that the Vintage model movement was getting popular.

That particular engine looks like a home conversion. The carb looks to be a Perry carburettor to me.

Note that the ignition system you have are points (as you already know), a capacitor (the yellowish cylinder) and the coil (helpfully labelled Micro coil!).

Dunham Engineering made a number of repro spark ignition engines around the early 80's era including an Orwick 64 as well as coils and perhaps spark plugs as well.

The disadvantages of this system compared to more modern transistorised ignitions are the relatively high current drawn from the ignition battery, the likelihood of strong interference from the system (that gets worse as your capacitor ages) and the susceptibility of the points to the build-up of oil and oxidation on their contacts stopping a good spark from being generated.

If you wanted to fly it I would suggest making up a simple transistorised ignition circuit (Google TIM-6) and definitely fit an inline switch operated by the radio between the ignition battery and ignition that will enable you to switch off the ignition in the air if the engine stops. This is because if the engine happens to stop with the points closed your coil will overheat and burn out and they are not very easy to come by these days....

Bet that's more that you wanted to know....?

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