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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. (1937) 1880s John Marston's Sunbeam cycle had become extremely successful, by relying on high quality of production and finish.This web publication contains 133,862 pages of information and 212,095 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them. But Marston was dissatisfied with the pedals on his machines, which he bought in.The cylinder had a fixed head and the bearings for the crankshaft and small end were made of phosphor-bronze while the big end a roller bearing.The piston was a deflector head type made in cast iron.It used roller bearing big-ends and a force fit crank-pin with the cylinder upright. 1933 Villiers Engineering Co 1933 Introduced a stationary engine of 2.5 hp 1933 Introduced the Marvil air-cooled two-stroke stationary engine rated at 0.6 hp at 1,7 Japanese industry had been found to be copying the bicycle free-wheel made by Villiers Engineering and supplying the product to India 1935 Produced the Pygmylite generator units 1936 Introduced the D type 122cc engine with a bore and stroke of 50×62mm.The cylinder barrel was fitted with a separate head and a flat-topped piston was used, exhaust studs were placed on both sides of the barrel and the carburettor stub on the offside.He was impressed by the production system and the labour saving devices he saw there.He pointed out that "it was not possible to develop these at Sunbeamland, which had long been working on another plan, but it was possible to start them in a new factory".
Similar to the 147cc engine having a fixed cylinder head with roller type big end, but with twin exhaust ports. This had aluminium pistons, three large plain bearings, and was built in unit with a three speed gearbox and clutch.The oil was passed through a drilled front crankcase bolt into the crankcase where oil-ways fed it to the bearings.Surplus oil was splashed onto the walls where it was picked up by the incoming petrol vapour and taken to the upper cylinder.The outside flywheel was made with a separate centrepiece which could be changed to allow for pulley or sprocket usage 1921 Introduced the Mark IV with a change in the driving shaft that enabled the flywheel magneto to be fitted 1922 Introduced the Mark IV with flywheel magneto and available with electric lighting 1922 They discontinued the 269cc engine and introduced a range of 147cc, , 247cc and 342cc.
The three units were basically the same with the flat-fin heads now using a 'sunburst' pattern which gave better cooling.
The production of free wheels reached its peak just after World War II, as the company produced 80,000 per week or 4 million per year.