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Holden the Quality Engine Specialists.

By Laura Bateman 14 days ago 171 Views No comments

Wyn has been digging through his old green filing cabinet again, where he came across this old Holden (Leicester) Limited leaflet. The registration plate on the van in the image below is a ‘G’ registration, which dates back to around 1989/ 1990 - making this leaflet up to 30 years old!

Holden Limited was the Midlands leading supplier of small petrol and diesel industrial engines and genuine replacement parts. As you can see on the leaflet below, there are also some logos on the leaflet that are still popular engine brands now. These brands include: Lister Petter, Briggs & Stratton, Villiers, Kubota and Robin. Did you know we still sell vintage spare parts for some of these, including Lister Petter and Villiers?

Our full range of vintage engine parts can be found here: https://www.lsengineers.co.uk/lister-petter-villiers-engine-spare-parts.html

As always Wyn is on the lookout for new old stock for Vintage engine spares, so make sure you contact us if you have any laying around!

Wyn's Wickham Story

By Laura Bateman 28 days ago 1833 Views No comments

During my [Wyn] working life I have always been involved with Wickham pump spares. We have been selling the four lug diaphragms for over 45 years! One of our customers, John Hayes the owner of JFH Plant in Bristol would buy 20 diaphragms at a time as he had a large fleet of these four lug Wickham pumps.

I recall him telling me about a steel processing company, and how he hired this type of pump/ machine (Wickham 3-4” Lift and Force) on a permanent basis. The liquids that the machines pumped would attack the main castings after a couple of months, making them porous and unsuitable for use. As a joint venture the steel company and John Hayes had some of these main castings made from a phosphor bronze material - solving the problem!

This leads us onto D Wickham (the founder of Wickham Engineering Co Ltd) they originally made bottle equipment for the brewing industry. They then went onto making hoists and pumps for the construction industry and other contractor plants. Wickham were also known for cranes and trains ‘the Wickham Trolley’ on the British Railway.

Wickham was then brought by Benford - the dumper and mixer manufacturer, located in Warwick.

Images found on Graces Guide (https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Main_Page)

We were looking through our archive when we came across this Wickham Lift & Force Diaphragm Pump instruction manual.

We still have stock of some of these parts for the pump unit! Including part numbers: 38 (P25), 50 (WE900), 55 (P21).

On the Wickham Lift & Force Double Diaphragm pump there were a variety of alternate engine types that were attached onto the machines. This includes popular brands including: Petter/ Lister Petter, Ruston and Wolesely as shown in the images below.






No copyright infringement intended, all information used for informative purposes only.

Back in History || Villiers Price List

By Laura Bateman 2 months ago 1414 Views No comments

Recently Wyn found this first edition Villiers retail price list in our archives dating all the way back to 1958! So we sat down and dived into the history of an iconic vintage engine brand. The first thing you may notice is the book is back from when pounds, shillings and pence were used. Just in case you wanted to know (or even if you don’t!), in old money pence was referred to as ‘d’ which comes from the Roman word ‘denarius’.

When looking through the book it’s easy to see that times have changed since 1958, especially the prices!

In 1958 you could buy a complete engine for just over £11, which would now be worth approximately £254.87! Are you blown away? Well during this time you could also buy a loaf of bread for 4p, six eggs for 8p and a house for just £2000!

Unbelievably spare parts for Villiers engines started at just 1 pence (‘d’), and carburettors started at just £2 - wouldn’t that be nice nowadays!

Did you know we still sell Villiers engine parts? Why not have a look at our range here.

Wyn is always interested in new old Villiers engine spares, please contact us regarding this.

Altrad Belle || A Construction Brand Through the Years

By Haliena Brown 2 months ago 414 Views No comments

Belle is an iconic brand within the construction industry, the brands orange colour has become synonymous with their range of lightweight equipment.

The company was founded in the 1950's by Doug Blackhurst when he was looking to build a new house. When on the look out for a cement mixer he found that there were no small portable mixers on the market. This sparked the idea to create his own, so he started to design one. The result of these events was the now famous Belle Mini Mixer.

Similar to the beginning of L&S, when Wyn Lees and Alan Shaw would engineer and manufacture their products for local customers, Doug Blackhurst first began manufacturing the Belle Mini Mix for local tool hire shops. This was at a time when tool and plant hire services were just taking off within the building and construction industry.

After the success of the Mini Mixers, the company began to branch out into other areas of construction. Belle began producing a range of generators, and in 1990 production of the Skid Steer Loader commenced.

Rapid growth of the company came after 1995 when Doug Blackhurst's son Ron became Chairman of the Belle Group. With this change several acquisitions were made to drive the company forward. This lead to the increase in product range including machinery for compacting, mixing, concreting, cutting, breaking & moving.

From it's very beginning a strong technical foundation was crucial to the companies continued to grow, both in the UK and globally. Belle, though ongoing investments in CAD technology has been able to create "one of the most advanced engineering centres in the industry." In 2008 Belle was rewarded for it's success in the export market, the company was presented with the highly coveted Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

A new beginning for the company came in 2009 when the Altrad Group completed the purchase of the Belle Group. This ended over 50 years of Belle being independently owned by the Blackhurst family. From this moment the company became Altrad Belle a brand that is still very much a major supplier within the construction industry.

Don't forget we offer a wide range of Belle spares including mixer, trowels, power screeds and many more!

Copyright Notice: All information and images used for informational purposes only, no copyright intended. Please see http://www.altrad-belle.com/?p=history & http://www.altrad-belle.com/de/aboutBelle/history.html for the full history of Belle.

Common Troubleshooting Issues for the Belle Minimix 150 Mixer

By Laura Bateman 3 months ago 1475 Views No comments

The Belle Minimix 150 is a common mixer used for construction projects across the UK. The mixer hasn't changed substantially since it first went into production. However, as with all working machines that are in constant use, you may from time to time encounter issues. Correctly identifying the problem can save time and money when repairing these mixers.

Here are some common issues you may face with the Belle Minimix 150 (and how to troubleshoot and fix them!)

Snapped Belt

It may seem obvious but, a snapped belt is one of the most common issues. It’s also one of the easiest to identify on these machines, as the motor will run without the drum spinning. This is due to constant use, meaning the belts are worn down. It's always worth having a few spare belts so you don’t get stuck!

The Machine Runs then Stops

If your Belle Minimix 150 runs when it is first switched on, it suggests that the switch and the capacitor are working. A common cause for the machines to stop running at this point could be that the motor fan is broken or missing blades. This fan is designed to take the warm air away from the motor, so with this element damaged after a few minutes of running the motor can overheat and shut down. These fans are available separately.

Blown Capacitor

Holding the start button for too long can blow the capacitor. If the mixer won't start and you can't hear a buzz when you press the start button, it could be either the switch or the capacitor. A simple way to identify what is causing the problem is to try spinning the drum in the direction it should turn whilst pressing the start button. If the mixer then starts, this will indicate that the capacitor is no longer working and needs replacing.

Broken Switch

If you have tested the mixer by spinning the drum and it still does not run it could mean that the switch is broken or not working properly. In this case it is worth testing the switch to see if it needs replacing before moving to other more costly parts of the machine.


The gearbox also causes a few common problems on the Belle Minimix 150. Without regular servicing and greasing (EP90 oil is available here) the gears can be worn down over time, due to friction. You will be able to hear if the gearbox has worn down as this will create a grating noise. Any grating or abnormal noise coming from the gearbox should be dealt with before causing further damage. In extreme cases, if left without maintenance the mixer motor / engine will start but the drum will not spin. In this case, it may be because the worm gear and the drive gear have worn down and no longer are in contact with each other.

We hope you found our common troubleshooting tips helpful. Please note that although the tips above can be used they will not always fix the problem, as every machine and problem has different factors attached to it.

Did you know we stock a wide range for the Belle Minimix 150 parts aswell as offering a parts breakdown for the complete machine making it even easier to find the part you need. For our range of Belle Minimix parts please click here.

Petter PH and AVA Engines || Wyn Lees

By Laura Bateman 4 months ago 1799 Views No comments

Last week I had an interesting conversation with Laura (who works in the marketing team) regarding our vintage engine spares. We then got onto talking about my history with the PH engines and my interest towards them. After finding the PH operations handbook, she wanted to source some information to create a blog.

I [Wyn] said to her, ‘I have a story to tell and here we go’...

When I was a lad in the 60’s (can you hear the violins playing?), I worked for Bill Langston, (an ex Petter field engineer) on the counter at Reliant Plant Services. I remember the fitters coming in and I would serve them spare parts for Petter, Lister and Villiers engines. The PH1 was a very popular engine, as it was the upgrade from the Petter AVA1.

From a distance the parts for both the PH and AVA engines looked identical. However, the parts had their own distinctive features, once you had a closer look at them. I could always recognise the difference between the two cylinder’s due to their cooling fins. They were slightly tapered on the PH, but, on the AVA they were straight. Also, the PH engine had a larger bore - another way to tell them apart!

(PH Operations Handbook)

There were balance weights that fitted onto the crankshaft, they were plain on the PH engine and grooved on the AVA.

(PH Operations Handbook)

There were numbers stamped onto the fuel pump which helped to distinguish the difference between the two engines. I knew how to identify them, as the PH engine finished with 80 whereas the AVA engine ended in 70.

We had Bryce reconditioned pumps that came back from their agents after they had been repaired.The PH pumps had green plastic protection caps and the AVA would have had red.

I can still recognise most of the part numbers that are in the operators handbook even now, 50 years on!

We used to receive reconditioned engines directly from Petter’s. When they arrived on the lorry we would lift them off by using chain blocks. We would unscrew the rocker box nut until it came off, then screw on our modified rocker box nut that had a lifting ring welded onto it. Bear in mind the rocker box stud was only ¼” BSF and the PH was a heavy lump! (But, we never lost one!)

Petter's PH1 engine fitted with a Newage PR 40M gearbox and a Borg & Beck clutch, was especially popular back in the day! You would find it on most 15 & 22 CWT (hundred weight) dumpers!

At Reliant I found the main dumpers fitted with PH engines were:

- Winget 2S 15 CWT (Slater and England)
- Benford
- Thwaites
- Liner
- Barford

Other machines with PH engines fitted to them were:

- ACE Comet 10 cwt platform hoist
- BHC Ant Queen platform hoist
- 3” Wickham pumps
- Drilling Rigs
- Saw Benches
- And many more!

P.S. I [Wyn] is always looking to buy job lots of Petter PH1 spares, as well as PR 40M gearbox spares in small or large quantities.

If you are looking for any vintage spare parts for your engine, we have a wide range of genuine parts available. If you cannot find the spare part you need on the link below, please call or email our sales team and leave a message for Wyn to contact you!


‘Graces Guide to British Industrial History’ is full of interesting history about companies and products, particularly in British engineering. Please find their website link below.


Finding and Breaking down the Serial Number on a Thwaites Machine

By Alex Wise 5 months ago 403 Views No comments

When it comes to buying spare parts for your Thwaites machine, it's crucial to know that you have identified the correct machine. In some cases just knowing the model/mach number is enough to identify the correct part as there may not be any variation throughout the different models. However, in some case it can be difficult to identify the correct part when the machine has changed over time or when there are subtle changes between models.

The most accurate way to purchase spare parts for your machine is to go by the serial number. When you know the serial number it is more reliable and makes it faster for our team here at L&S to accurately pinpoint the component you need.

Serial numbers, in general, can be found in various places on different machines depending on the brand and model. The serial number can often give you further information about your machine, such as when it was manufactured or a particular element making it unique. For example, some engines include the size of the shaft in their serial number.

Thwaites are currently doing this for all of their MACH diggers, with each part of the serial number telling you different features that the machine has. For Thwaites, the serial number or VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is often found on the side of the machine on the yellow covering.

These 4 characters of the Thwaites serial number or VIN (shown in the image below) are perhaps the most important, as these state the MACH number of the machine. This gives you the broadest identification of the machine. Please see below how this is presented.

The next characters of interest are the two digits shown below, which indicate the year of manufacture. Please see below:

After the year of issue, the serial number is followed by a two digit prefix number. This indicates your machine's parts manual issue, enabling you to be certain that the parts diagram you are looking at matches your machine. Please see below:

Finally this is followed by a set of five characters. This number is the actual serial number of this machine. This number is unique and specifically identifies your machines from other machines with the same MACH number. Please see below how this is presented:

There you have the complete Thwaites VIN Number and what it means when broken down. It's always important to note down your VIN Number, as these can often wear away or the badge could potentially break off. So keep this number safe, and be confident when ordering your spare parts.

10 Facts you may not Know About Makita

By Alex Wise 6 months ago 792 Views No comments

Makita are one of the biggest manufacturers of electronic power tools, and are one of the many brands we stock here at L&S. From their sleekly designed Disc Cutters to their impressively powerful drills, we stock thousands of spare parts for their machines.

However, when you're working with the machines, you may not think about the company and how they started out or know much about them at all. So we've put together a list of 10 facts that you may not have known about the Japanese company.

1. The name Makita came from the Founder, whose name was Mosaburo Makita.

2. Makita was founded back in 1915 but was originally called Makita Electric Works.

3. When they first started out the company simply started repairing lighting equipment, motors and transformers.

4. They were the first company in Japan to sell Electric Planers.

5. Their first big job involved exporting motors and electric generators to the Soviet Union.

6. However it was in 1959 when Makita started to manufacture their own electronic Power Tools.

7. They were the first company to create a drill with a nickel calcium battery, making it rechargable. The drill was called the 6010D which they released in 1978.

8. They also created the first air tools when they released the AN5000 pneumatic nailer and AC6001 air compressor.

9. Makita acquired the company Dolmar in 1991, which strengthened their position in the outdoor power tool industry.

10. They also released the first tool with a Lithium-Ion battery which featured on the TD130D Drill, which was released in 2005.

And a bonus fact!

- Makita have a manufacturing plant in Telford, not too far from us here at Brownhills, which has been running since 1991. Look out for it the next time you're driving around the area!

We have a wide range of Makita spares on our website including, disc cutters, chainsaws, angle grinders & drills!

Guide for NGK Spark Plug Numbering System

By Lauren Hodgkiss 7 months ago 1293 Views No comments

NGK have been developing their spark plug technology since 1930 and are the leading manufacturer for spark plugs, that can be used for motorcycles, cars, horticulture and many other plant applications. NGK produces over 1000 different types of spark plug, ensuring they apply to even the most demanding manufacturers’ specifications.

NGK spark plugs have two codes that are associated with them. Firstly, there is the spark plug number which represents the specification of the spark plug. NGK spark plugs also have a NGK stock number. For example, the BPMR7A plug has a stock number of 4626. Both part codes can help you identify the correct part, but only one of them will give you information about the spark plug itself. NGK spark plug codes can be decoded to help identify the suitable replacement or equivalent for an application.

The first part of the part code denotes the shell, thread and pitch of the plug. The table above lists the most common or standard thread sizes. However, there may be more variations than shown here, that are specific to manufacturers’ applications.

The pitch is the measurement between a pair of thread peaks. There may be thread exceptions for different models / machines. The thread reach is the measurement from the plug base to the end of the thread.

The first part of the part number also indicates when a spark plug has a tapered seat. The seat is the part that is fitted into the cylinder head of the engine. The types of seat for spark plugs are tapered / conical (no gasket or washer, contact direct with the cylinder head) and flat / gasket (gasket or washer seals between the plug and cylinder head).

This first part of the part number also indicates the hexagonal nut size that is used to loose/fix the spark plug. These are shown in the table in imperial & metric.

For example, we will use the BPR6ES to identify plug specifications. We can now see that 'B’' in BPR6ES specifies that the shell is 14mm x 13/16” & has a pitch of 1.25mm.

Secondly, we can figure out the construction of the spark plug from the second part of the part number. This part can be more than one letter, if the spark plug has more of the listed attributes. We can now see that ‘PR’ in BPR6ES specifies that the plug is a Projected Insulator and Resistor type.

The third part of the part number, which is the number, identifies the intended heat range. This is shown in an extending scale. 2 being the hottest and 12 being the coldest. So again, in the case of BPR6ES, the ‘6’ indicates it is suitable for mid range heat.

After the number, the next letter or letters identify the reach of the spark plug. The reach is distance between the point at which it runs out of thread at the metal shell and the ground electrode at the end of the spark plug. So ‘E’ in BPR6ES tells us that it has a 19mm (¾”) reach.

Next, we can identify the firing end construction of the plug. The 'tip' or 'firing end' specifies the projection of the central electrode, providing better and more efficient combustion. There are four categories of tip / firing end, which are listed below:

Recessed – Firing end within the shell, protection for racing engines, good vibration resistance.

Non projected – More or less level firing end with the end of threaded shell. Relatively short tip, provides good vibration resistance and good thermal conduction from the electrode tip.

Projected – Centre electrode and insulator extend from threaded shell, often 1.5mm. The tip is more exposed which produces a spark closer to the centre of the combustion chamber.

Extra projected – Similar to projected spark plugs, however these can be anything from 2.5mm to 10mm or even longer. These are often designed for specific machine applications. These are not recommended as they may cause damage to machines if not the correct application.

The terminal is the part where the plug cap is connected to the plug. Here are different types of terminals that NGK spark plugs use:

Removable – These terminals can be used with or without a terminal nut to provide connection to the plug cap. These may often cause electrical issues as it may be loose and may damage the plug if is too tight too.

Solid / fixed / post terminal – This terminal will have a fixed terminal nut which cannot be removed. If you attempt to remove you will damage your spark plug.

Threaded terminal – An exposed terminal thread.

Special / Stud – Terminals that do not fall under the other categories will be a special type of plug and often apply to certain models, such as miniature models and specific NGK plug designs.

In the case of BPR6ES, the ‘S’ determines a Standard 2.5mm Copper Core C.E.

Finally, sometimes a spark plug will have another digit at the end of the part number. This specifies the size of the gap that the plug requires. For example, the NGK spark plug BKR6E-11 will have a gap of 1.1mm (.044”).

Below is an example of the specifications of a spark plug that have been decoded to tell us what specific features this spark plug may include.

​10 Interesting Facts about Yanmar

By Laura Bateman 8 months ago 560 Views No comments

Yanmar was originally founded as "Yamaoka Hatsudoki Kosakusho" (Translated as the "Yamaoka Engine Company").

Yamaoka Hatsudoki Kosakusho was founded in Osaka, Japan in 1912.

The company began to operate under the trademark of "Yanmar" in 1921. The name 'Yanmar' is a combination of the Yanma Dragonfly and “Yama” from the name of the company founder Magokichi Yamaoka. The company officially became "Yanmar Co., Ltd." in 2002.

Founder Magokichi Yamaoka is credited as having developed the world's first small diesel engine.

(Image Credit: yanmarmarine.com)

The company has it's own football team. It was originally called "Yanmar Diesel" and started as the company's team in 1957. The team is now named "Cerezo Osaka" and play in the J League in Japan.

Yanmar also bought the naming rights for Nagai Stadium and so it is now called Yanmar Stadium. This is where Cerezo Osaka play their home games.

(Image Credit: Yanmar.com)

The company have earned many accolades over the years such as the Deming Prize, The Medal with Blue Ribbon and the diesel gold medal by the German Inventors Association. Yanmar were also the first enterprise to earn a Marine Diesel Engine Emission Certification from the International Committee of the Lake Constance Switzerland.

The current Yanmar Brand logo was designed in 1993.

(Image Credit: Yanmar.com)

In July 2013, the company introduced the new “Flying Y” logo "as a symbol of its new identity, the Yanmar Group aims to become a front-running global brand in food production and harnessing power, soaring to heights that no one has yet seen."

(Image Credit: Yanmar.com)

The company have their very own museum in Japan, which opened in 2013 shortly after the company's centenary year. The museum is located in Nagahama, near the farming village where founder, Magokichi Yamaoka, was born.

(Image Credit: Yanmar.com)

To find out more about Yanmar. Please follow this link: https://www.yanmar.com/media/global/2016/history/1...