Moving history of a vintage engine

Typenschild eines MWM Oldtimer Motors Typ GS13V

Old MWM engine still operable after more than 60 years

MWM-Oldtimer-Motor-auf-AnhaengerA special MWM Moment from Andreas Lorch

There it is on my trailer: a 60-year-old MWM GS13V engine. As far as I know, the engine bearing the serial number 65360 was built by Süddeutsche Bremsen AG in Munich, Germany. It is coupled with a three-phase AEG generator with an output of 32 kVA. The system comes with a control cabinet with an electro-hydraulic N&K current regulator that automatically adjusts the excitation current of the generator, keeping the output voltage at 400 V. The engine is equipped with fresh water cooling. What is more, the plant is still fully functional!

The vintage engine has a moving history in both senses of the word. According to my former colleagues, the plant was originally used at the hospital in Reutlingen. (Unfortunately, I have no evidence of this, and the colleagues who knew about this are no longer alive). In 1954, the plant was then installed at Stoll in Reutlingen to ensure emergency operation of the groundwater pumps. This was important because the company’s basement was below the water level of the adjacent Echaz River.

Monthly test runs of the plant are documented starting from 1954. Moreover, the plant was in operation from June 9 to 11, 1966 and on December 29, 1976. The battery charging and replacement times were also logged.

Type Plate MWM Oldtimer Engine GS13V

When I joined Stoll in 1987, I occasionally entered the room where the machine was located. During a test run in 1995 I witnessed incidentally, I noticed that the engine was no longer running properly. The reason was the lack of maintenance. It appeared that the engine oil had not been changed since the installation in 1954, so the rocker arms no longer had sufficient lubrication. On one of the rocker arms, the brass bushing was so worn that one valve would not open. Therefore, a new bushing was installed in the training workshop. At last, the engine’s oil supply was restored, and the valves were readjusted. The repair was successful. Afterwards, the engine again ran smoothly.

After we moved into a new factory building in 2004, the old building lay derelict and was to be demolished. I did not want the generator to be scrapped in the process. With the permission of the management, I therefore salvaged it from the basement on April 1, 2005 and set it up on a trailer. Since then, I have repeatedly attended vintage engine events. Just recently, I visited a stationary engine event in Zwiefalten-Baach, Württemberg, where the engine attracted a lot of attention. Many questions were asked especially about the air storage process. Obviously, this is a quite unique concept that even many engine experts are not familiar with.

By the way: MWM engines were also greatly appreciated as reliable engines for agricultural applications. I still have a Röhr tractor with a KDW 615E engine built in 1953. Thanks to a good supply of spare parts, I have been able to furnish it with a new liner and pistons. Now, the engine runs like new.


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Image Credits

Image 1: Vintage MWM engine on trailer, Andreas Lorch
Image 2: Type plate, Andreas Lorch