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Old 12-04-2014, 09:59 PM   #1
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British Leyland Engines

I was going to look a 40' trawler with 2 150Hp Leyland engines, would this be a choice as bad as than buying an Volvo! I tried to find info on the forum and the net, not much luck.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:12 PM   #2
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I had a 200 hp British Leyland on my last boat. Owned it for 15 years. Never had a hiccup. Flawless engine. The PO owned it for 13 years before me and had zero problems. A friend has a boat with twins; also flawless. Talk to Bob or Brian Smith at American Diesel in Kilmarnock, VA. they were the distributors for British Leyland. They can tell you about the engines in detail and they have a warehouse full of spare parts. And no, I am not confusing Leyland with Lehman. Good luck, Howard
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:21 PM   #3
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They are or were used in Leyland farm tractors I used to see them a lot overseas especially in the ex British colonies. There were some sold here in the US, not too many. It may be a Ford engine, with the same spares as the Ford Lehman. These guys, Bob Smith, could probably tell you more.
http://www.americandieselcorp.com/
good luck
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:26 PM   #4
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Price

Howard, I have read how hard it is to find Volvo parts and how high price, do you know if Leyland is comparable to ford, cummings, and the others. hate to be stuck somewhere for weeks, waiting for a part. Steve
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:28 PM   #5
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To add to Steve's comment, there are thousands of Leylands in busses all around the world. The engines are real workhorses. I suspect American Diesel can't sell many parts cause the engines are so strong. They also run smooth as silk.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:34 PM   #6
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Steve and Z,
American Diesel has all the parts and get anything to you overnight I suspect. They also sell a cruising kit of critical spares which I had. I never needed to use anything and passed the kit along to the next owner. The filters and belts are standard issue. Howard
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:57 PM   #7
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In my younger days I owned four British Leyland sports cars (Triumph GT6+, TR4, TR4A, and a Jaguar XJS). My favorite bumper sticker was "The parts falling off this car are of genuine British quality!"

But seriously, other than Lucas Electric (a.k.a. The Lord of Darkness) and some twitchy Strombergs and SU carbs, those English tractor motors ran and ran and ran... I considered them to be the most dependable part of the car.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:10 AM   #8
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In my younger days I owned four British Leyland sports cars (Triumph GT6+, TR4, TR4A, and a Jaguar XJS). My favorite bumper sticker was "The parts falling off this car are of genuine British quality!"

But seriously, other than Lucas Electric (a.k.a. The Lord of Darkness) and some twitchy Strombergs and SU carbs, those English tractor motors ran and ran and ran... I considered them to be the most dependable part of the car.
My favorite British gas engine was the one that was removed. Thanks to Carrol Shelby he got a boat load of Sunbeam Alpines and removed the bulk of the mechanical bits and dropped in a Ford V8 creating the iconic Sunbeam Tiger. Now that was a proper English roadster. I still lament selling that red go fast.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:25 AM   #9
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My favorite British gas engine was the one that was removed. Thanks to Carrol Shelby he got a boat load of Sunbeam Alpines and removed the bulk of the mechanical bits and dropped in a Ford V8 creating the iconic Sunbeam Tiger. Now that was a proper English roadster...
Never drove one Tom, but I`d have expected terminal understeer with a V8 shoehorned in place of the 4cyl engine. Like the Daimler SP250. Ah, the joys of British sports cars.
Like hmason, I`d say a Leyland diesel should be durable. There were plenty of Leyland trucks as well as many buses. If the parts supply is ok, should be fine.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:40 AM   #10
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Leyland!

What to say. They made good buses, trucks & tractors, and in their guise of the 1970's automotive saviour of the British car industry effectively oversaw it's death.

For a car enthusiast not a marque to saviour.

I was at a car rally a while back with a mate and his old Jensen Healy, we were at the bar one night chatting to some other Healy owners and one bloke got on to the subject of Leyland.According to him Hitler made one big mistake in WW2, he should have waited till Leyland took over the British automotive industry first, then he probably would have won the war!

Like I said Leyland evokes strong reactions.

Tom, the Sunbeam Alpine Tiger was to Maxwell Smart what the DB5 was to James Bond. Pity you let it go, not many around now.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:24 AM   #11
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You guys are talking about gas engines. The thread is about diesels. The Leyland diesel is a great engine.
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:02 AM   #12
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You guys are talking about gas engines. The thread is about diesels. The Leyland diesel is a great engine.
OK, now, about that rusty anchor ---
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #13
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For the OP a 10 minute phone call to American Diesel is all that is needed to clarify the issue. Call it a straight from the horses mouth solution.

Tom I feel your regret in selling your Sunbeam Tiger as my choice was buy my friends Tiger or the boat. As much as we enjoy the boat I should have bought the Tiger. There's plenty of boats but not that many Tigers...
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:46 AM   #14
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Remember running a Sunbeam Tiger with my 65' Corvette. Did not know what it was and got beat for not goin' full bore. The second time had a different ending.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:11 PM   #15
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I bought my Tiger off the show room floor at Bill Edell Motors in Tucson. Shelby, knowing the chassis limitations did not rod the engine at all, it was a stock 289 with a T10 BW or Ford tranny and beefed up rear end. He did not try to Cobraize them as the cost would soar. Dirt simple, reliable and with the best/most modern "low end" English sports car chassis made at that time. Roll up windows too.


Chrysler killed the deal in 1967 when they acquired Rootes.

At triple the HP the Vettes would run away from them, but then as now, the Vettes were expensive and a real handful.
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:01 PM   #16
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We saw twins installed in a 42 Grand Bank's and GB is not known for installing inferior components.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:50 AM   #17
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Yes they got off theDIESEL thread, but we ole car owners can't help it. My 1st car was a Austin Healy Sprite. learned how to repair cars on it daily, I laughed for 10 mins after reading "Lucas Lord of darkness" because I experienced it as well as broken axles!! From what I am reading, I will be conformable buying Leyland engines. PS my 2nd car was a 65 blue convert Vette, when I wrecked it , I needed a car while a rebuilt it, so I bought a Triumph. OK I am now off the Thread too!!Steve
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Old 12-06-2014, 12:27 PM   #18
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Leyland made good solid diesel tractors and while I have not seen many of their engines in boats it would not be a deal breaker if everything else was what I was looking for.
On the subject of Lucas electrics

The Lucas motto: "Get home before dark."Lucas--inventor of the first intermittent wiper.
The three-position Lucas switch--DIM, FLICKER and OFF.
Why do the English drink warm beer? Lucas made the refrigerators, too.
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:27 PM   #19
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I'm sure the OP must be amazed at this thread drift-- marine diesels, to cars with gas engines, to Lucas Electrics, to trucks and tractors. Any Leyland diesel planes or trains out there?

Anyway, I was having a business discussion a number of years back with a young lady with the last name of Lucas. Naturally, this brought me to a discussion of my MGB sports car and its Lucas electrics. I made every negative comment I could think of about the Lucas stuff. Yes, you gussed it, that was her family. Her last words to me were something about my making cracks about her family's business while she grew up in an English castle.

Needless to say the business discussion did not go well after that.
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:50 PM   #20
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thread drift ............. my dad was a Leyland Master Mechanic at age 14 (building diesels in Glasgow)...... by 18 he was designing ships propellers for Harland & Wolff in Belfast and Bulls Metal in Glasgow. By his early 30s he was designing turbine blades for Orenda in Toronto ..... very proud of my Dad.
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