Some Notes on the 2-litre Lagonda
IHAVE read MOTOR SPORT, The Motor and the Autocar since the war began, and although I am only one of many enthusiasts who wish to see the good work carry on, I feel I must congratulate those people who have made these motoring articles so interesting to read. My one regret, however, is that very little has been written about the 14/60-h.p. 2-litre Lagonda ; unfortunately they are rather rare cars, which may be the reason for so little being heard about them. In this article I have tried to demonstrate the excellent qualities of the 2-litre, because, to my mind, having owned and driven a fairly wide variety of vintage motors, it is a car which must not be allowed to be exterminated by the breaker’s tenpounder. The 2-litre Lagonda can be placed high on the merit list of vintage motors which were performing before this miserable conflict.
The first 2-litre was manufactured in March, 1926; this was the 0.11. model of 12.9 rated h.p., developing 78 b.h.p. The engine has four cylinders of 72 mm. by 120 mm. (capacity 1,954 c.c.).
The inlet and exhaust valves, set at an angle of 450, are operated by two camshafts, chain driven off the crankshaft, through rockers working on fulcrum pins which are hollow, and eccentric for tappet clearance adjustment. The oil pump and dynamo are also driven by chains. Seven sprockets are situated inside the timing cover, the crankshaft driving chain passing over the intermediate sprocket, underneath the central sprocket and over the oil pump and water-pump sprocket. Attached to the central sprocket, which runs on the lower spindle, is another sprocket, from which another chain drives the two camshafts, an idler sprocket running on the upper central spindle. The magneto is driven off the exhaust camshaft and is mounted across tne top of the front of the engine, at an angle.
The sump, chain case and cover, flywheel-guard and engine bearers (4-point mounting) are aluminium.
The crankshaft runs in five pressure-fed die-cast bearings, of which only Nos. 2 and 4 are interchangeable. Crankshaft thrust is taken on the front bearing by a hardened steel floating washer.
Oil is delivered to the bearings through an internal gallery pipe, a pump mounted on the front of the engine drawing oil from a 2k-gallon sump through an external pipe, and an oil cleaner, the handle of which turns at throttle openings, and delivering to the gallery. Oil passes through a filter and a tunnel in the sump before entering the inlet side of the pump ; the relief valve should be set to give a gauge reading of 30 lb. per sq. in. at 30 m.p.h. when the engine is hot.
The dome-topped pistons are made of a special aluminium alloy, and have three compression rings and one scraper ring. The gudgeon pins, with bronze rubbing pads, are a push tit in the con.rod and a running tit in the piston.
The camshafts each run in three whitemetal bearings carried in tunnels, the car of the exhaust camshaft being ”crewed for a rev,-counter drive.
E. J. L. Griffith, M.I.E.I., enthuses over a respected vintage car that is still in considerable demand.
The connecting rods are high tensile alloy steel forgings. The cylinder head incorporates eight valves and the rocker gear, and it is retained by 21 nuts and has cork sealing washers between the head and the camshaft tunnels.
Firing order : 1, 2, 4, 8; magneto firing : 36° before t.d.c., fully advanced ; valve timing : i.o. 5° after t.d.c. (225° opening) ; e.c., 8° after t.d.c. (236° opening) ; tappet clearance (inlet and exhaust) : 0.004″ hot, 0.006″ cold.
One tooth on the starting ring equals 3° on the crankshaft. The gearbox is driven by a short shaft with two couplings and a clutch stop. The propeller shaft is of the Hardy-Spicer type. Front and rear axles are underslung, with triple Hartford shock-absorbers, mounted across the frame at the rear. At the rear of the chassis is a.17-gallon petrol tank, with a further three gallons reserve supply, petrol being fed to the carburetter, which has a water-heated jacket, by an A.C. pump. The chassis frame is of Vickers’ steel, which can be “tied in a knot” and straightened out successfully. Marks steering gear is fitted. The front brakes are operated by rods and the rear brakes by cables through a compensator box and two pulleys on each side of the frame. There are four shoes in the rear drums, one set for the foot brake and the other set for the hand brake, which is of the “pull back” quick-release type. Adjustment of the rear brakes is by the stop
screws ; the adjusting nut on the end of the cable is only to take up any slackness in the cable after adjusting the stop screws. The blocks on the compensator-box end of the cable should run in the guides of the compensator-box. Running adjustments can be made by the hand wheels on the foot-brake pedal and the hand brake.
The clutch consists of five main components:. the flywheel, the floating plate, the driving plate, which is attached to the clutch shaft, the clutch cover plate, and the clutch pressure plate. The cover plate is bolted to the flywheel, making the two components one unit. The clearance between the tappets and fingers should be 0.020″, and the adjustment of both tappets should be identical. If these clearances are adjusted the stop screw must be readjusted, and clearance between the stop screw and pin should be 3/64″. The clutch stop can be adjusted to suit the driver’s requirements. In 1927 the “Speed” model was introduced. The main difference from the standard chassis was a higher gear ratio and raised compression ratio ; fabric bodies were introduced about this time. Some data follow :
Tappet clearance : 0.004″; valve timing: i.o.’ 3° after t.d.c. (236° opening), e.c., 12° after t.d.c. (236° opening) ; firing point : 36° before t.d.c.’ fully advanced. The supercharged model followed the ” Speed ” model ; it developed 110 b.h.p. and had a maximum of approximately 85 m.p.h. at 3,822 r.p.m. Data relating to it are :—
Valve timing i.o., r after t.d.c. (23U° opening), e.c., 18° after t.d.c. (253* opening) ; firing point : 44° before t.d.c., fully advanced. The 2-litre Lagonda is a motor of very high repute. Roadholding and cornering