28 JULY 1928, Page 29

Motors: And Motoring The 16/45 Six-Cylinder Wolselev THE 16/45 h.p.

six-cylinder Wolseley is a car which is well designed because it is simple both to drive and to look after, while it gives excellent all-round results on the road. The engine is of the popular 2-litre class, which affords sufficient power and speed for all ordinary purposes yet is of a size which is economical. The bore and stroke of the cylinders are 65 and 101 mm., which make the capacity 2,025 c.c. The construction is up-to-date and of a good class, and this may be seen in the provision of seven bearings for the crankshaft, duralumin connecting rods, aluminium pistons, overhead valves and camshaft, and high-pressure lubrication. The drive to the camshaft is by a vertical shaft and spiral bevel gearing, and the gears are kept up to their work by special spring washers. The valves themselves are operated in the usual way: by rockers. The oil is deflected from the valve heads. The stems have single springs. I always prefer springs duplicated in the case of overhead valves, birt there is hardly room in this case for double springing, and it is but fair to say that the engine, nearly up to its maximum revolu- tion rate, runs quietly. Adjustment of valve clearance is effected by turning the rocker bearings, which are eccentric. The cylinder head is detachable and can be raised if desired without disturbance of the camshaft and valve gear. The manifolds can be detached without trouble or they can be lifted with the carburettor in one with the head. The inlet and the exhaust are cast together so that the mixture may be heated and properly vapourized. The cooling water circulates naturally through a honeycomb radiator of reasonable size. The latter is fastened to the cross-member on rubber and therefore damage from possible frame distortion should not be experienced. Behind the radiator is a fan, and the belt can be tensioned. The water can be run out easily by means of a large tap. If desired, an impellor, to assist the circulation, can be fitted. In the ordinary way, it is not required, but where the car is usually to be run in a hot climate, or where gradients are exceptionally long and severe, this might prove a useful addition. The oiling arrangements are convenient. On the off-side there is the filler, which has a strainer, and to gauge the level there is a dip-rod. The main oil filter can be withdrawn from under the bonnet, while the base can be emptied by unscrewing a plug in the side of the sump with the jack handle. Thus an operator is saved from having to crawl under the car when wishing to clean his filter or change his oil. The carburettor is set well up—a point which naturally appeals to motorists who have to drive through water splashes —and the petrol is supplied to it by gravity from the vacuum tank on the dash. The main reservoir is at the back of the chassis and holds 10 gallons. The filler has a strainer and it is set to one side so that luggage need not be disturbed. A needle and dial gauge shows the amount of fuel in the tank. Cross-drive, which affords the greatest amount of accessibility, is employed for the magneto on the off side, and the generator on the near side. Forward unit construction embodies the assemblage of engine, clutch, and gear-box as a single unit and this is held on rubber at three points. The single plate fabric-lined dry clutch is withdrawn by forgers which can he regulated; and the greaser for the thrust-race can be reached from outside the casing. There is an inspection cover over the clutch which can he removed after three wing nuts have been unscrewed. The floorboards on the Wolseley are not screwed or bolted down as on so many makes, but can be lifted out without awkwardness. Four forward speeds are rightly provided in the gear-box and these are controlled by a centrally placed lever which works in an invisible gate. The flexible type of lever originated, if I remember rightly, in the United States. It has its attractions especially for women drivers. The customary disadvantages with this Pattern are not present in the chassis under review as there is a stop to prevent accidental engagement of the reverse gear and the respective speed positions are marked on the knob of the lever. The gear ratios are 5, 7.72, 1P65, 19.2 and (reverse) 19'2 to one. For replenishment of the tox there .is a. goad-sized 'level filler.. Drives for the -windscreen wiper and the speedometer are obtained from the gear-case. Power is passed to the back axle by a propellor shaft which is ball-centred and has flexible fabric disc joints. Torque is taken by the front sections of the back springs. Final drive is by the orthodox spiral bevel. The axle case has a level filler and is of the practical banjo shape which allows the gearing to be withdrawn without having first to remove the road wheels, springs, and so forth. It is an asset, in my opinion, that Timken compound taper roller bearings ate used through- out the axle and also for the front hubs. The chassis has six brakes—an advantage. An off-sided pull-up hand lever expands shoes which are side by side with the four wheel brake shoes in the back drums. Cables are used for both sets of brakes and compensation longitudinally is supplied for the four-wheel braking by using a common cable each side of the chassis. The drums are fully enclosed. The front brakes are of Rubery pattern which allows some differ- ential action when cornering. The back brake drums can be drawn off without having to disturb the hubs, which is sound. Wear can be taken up individually in the six brakes by applying a spanner to the cable ends. Additional allowance is made by fitting the rear brake arms on splines, and these are held in place by pinching bolts.

Half elliptical springs insulate the frame from the axles. They have gaiters and shock absorbers and the back springs are placed under the frame, are slung beneath the axle, and have fixed central anchorages.

I have heard some minor adverse criticism from time to time about the saloon body, but those which I have tested I consider to be well planned, and there is a proper amount of head room—a feature which is not always to be found in the modern saloon, where the craze for low external lines is often carried tco far. There are four doors, the driver can get to his seat from either side, and the front seats are not trouble- some to move for alteration of leg length. All three pedals can not only be moved for length but also for up and down angle. In the latest types, the rear seat is adjustable for angle, a single piece windscreen is used in front, and there is a petrol gauge on the dash. The equipment also includes dipping and swivelling headlamps. The wheelbase and track measure 9 ft. 9 ins. and 4 ft. 6 ins., and it is worth noting that 2 ins. more can be had in the track to suit standard Colonial requirements. Minimum ground clearance is 9 ins., and the chassis equipped weighs 18 cwts. The tyres are 4f ins. for 21 in. rims. The turning circle is about 40 ft. in diameter. The chassis is, I consider, very moderately priced for its class at £350. The saloon costs £495. At the normal engine speed of 1,700 r.p.m. the makers give the road

speeds on first, second; third, and fop at 7 8, 12.9, 19.5, and 30 miles an hour. Actually on the road I found the maxima with quietness on second, third, and top to be in the neigh-

bourhood of 30, 38, and 55 or a bit more. It is, however, worthy of mention that under favourable conditions I ran the car up to over 60 and the valve gear had not yet become noisy. The car tried, moreover, was not fully run in. The machine is particularly attractive on account of its sweet running and absence of hum and vibration, while it is flexible.

For example, one can drive on the level at a veritable crawl on top and accelerate thereafter without fuss and with a swiftness which is satisfactory for the type of car. A driver need have no fear in tackling the most serious hills and the gear-change allowed early changes down and therefore good speed to be made when climbing. The clutch took lip the drive properly and I found the brakes —both the four-wheel by foot and the rear by hand—produced a strong yet smooth and well-graded deceleration force with the car running back- wards as well as forwards. The suspension allowed a little

movement in the fore and aft direction ; otherwise it was effective. The steering action was satisfactory. On the

strength of the design of this six-cylinder chassis the Company subsequently brought out a 12/32 h.p. four-cylinder and a 21/60 h.p. eight-cylinder model on similar lines. These chassis are sold respectively at £220 and £550.