The Best Mamod Engines to Buy and Restore

Mamod steam engines are becoming very popular at the moment since they can be purchased at very cheap prices and restored back to their former glories. The great thing, I find, about Mamod engines is their simplicity. They are all simple external combustion engines that, under a good fire and a full boiler of water, will run for a good ten minutes at least.
For people that want to get into buying and restoring engines though, it is important that they start off with the easier Mamod engines and make their way up to restoring harder engines once they have gathered the basics with the simpler engines. This is why I have created this article. I will go through all the engines Mamod have made and list them by how hard they are to restore.

To do this, I have three categorise to list the engines under: Easy Restorations, Slightly Difficult Restorations and Difficult Restorations.

Easy Restorations

These engines can be considered the easiest restorations to do out of all the Mamod engines.

SE Range 

For anyone wanting to do their first restoration, start out on these engines. the SE1/2/3 are all simple engines because they have only four painted parts and the rest can be metal polished.
The other great thing about these engines are that they are ridiculously cheap, the cheapest of all the engines. You could pick yourself up a:
  • SE1 for under £30.
  • SE2 for under £40.
  • SE3 for under £50-60.
My preference to restore is the SE2. Since the SE3 has two pistons, this might be slightly more difficult to restore: especially if the engine does not run.

SP Range

The SP range was the replacement to the SE range. Therefore, they share similar characteristics with the SE being that they are just as easy to restore.
The only problem with the SP range is their pricing. Mamod currently (2014) are still producing the SP range. For this reason, they hold their value slightly better than the SE range. Therefore, you will be looking, for any SP engine, at least £40 and up. 

Slightly Difficult Restorations

The easiest restorations are the stationary engines because they have the minimum amount of parts for them to run. However, Mamod did not make just stationary. They also made traction engines too. 

TE1/a Traction Engine 

The TE1/a traction engine is slightly harder to restore since the torque from the flywheel is transferred to the rear wheel of the engine by drive bands. You are not just trying to make the flywheel rotate like you would be doing on a stationary engine. You are now trying to make the whole engine move forward.

Along with the added parts such as the wheels and front axle, the paint job on the TE1/a engines are a lot harder. The traction engines have heat resistant paint covering the boiler. However, it is very difficult trying to find the right colour paint that Mamod used while making sure it is not matt and is heat resistant. The prices for such paint are quite high...

Saying this, the satisfaction of restoring a traction engine cannot be beaten since this is the eptiome of a steam engine. You could expect to pick up a traction engine for £40 and up.

SR1/a Steam Roller

The steam roller is equally as difficult to restore as the traction engine since it is almost identical
except for the wheels at the front are replaced with rollers. You can find steam rollers selling for £40 and up.

What I would say about the traction engine and steam roller is that because of the difficulty in trying to replicate it's original paint scheme, many restorations end with making a unique paint scheme as this is usually the easiest way to respray the engines. For example, the brass coloured traction engine to the upper right actually started out with a green boiler. However, it was easier for me to strip the paint and turn it into a brass boiler traction engine. As well as this, the steam roller I restored has a black boiler instead which actually makes it look a bit mean!

Difficult Restorations

The reason why all these engines are considered difficult is because:
  • They have many more parts to restore.
  • The structure of them is different (such as the wagon with a much longer drive band to connect flywheel to rear wheels).
  • The paint jobs for them are much more complicated.
  • The cost to restore them is much higher.
  • The price of the engines are much higher.
All of these engines, from my opinion, are considered difficult restorations to do compared to the above engines:
  • All Mamod steam trains.
  • Mamod SW1 Wagon.
  • Mamod SE4 engines (however, if you do get one of these, don't restore it! They are extremely rare and worth much more in their original condition).
  • Mamod Steam Roadsters.
  • Mamod Fire Engine, London Bus and Delivery Van.

I hope this helps people decide what engines to restore. If you need more help on restoring your Mamod engine, have a look around the website as there are little tips and tricks to restoring engines scattered around all my articles.

More excitingly, this summer (2014 summer), I will be releasing a book. Yes, a book! This book is going to be about Everything you need to know to restore a Mamod engine be it all of the above engines. As well as this, it will include a complete history of Mamod from when it started to now plus a little science about how the steam engine works! 

The reason for such a book is that since creating, I have had many people ask for me to restore their engines. As flattered as I am about people wanting me to do this, I am very limited by my time since I am studying at University. Therefore, I thought it would be far better and cheaper for people wanting to restore their engines that I simply create a book with all my knowledge about engines into it so anyone can learn how to restore an engine to a high level.