Wilesco D32

The ultimate flagship of Wilesco steam engines, with a a twin cylinder aggregate, the Wilesco D32 is the biggest one they made. These beautiful machines were made from the mid 1950s until 1982 which make them hard to find and expensive. But most model steam engine collectors are willing to cough up the price without hesitation. Some are even willing to sell a couple from their precious collection just to obtain this one. Look at the faces of these boys in the picture playing with one... Yes, I want one as well!

NEW: Return of a legend. After more than 40 years Wilesco will produce a limited edition of their famous machine!


Instruction manual: Looking for the English manual? I've emailed Wilesco and got the instructions. You can download the manual here: Wilesco D32 manual (PDF).

The big boiler holds one liter of water and is electrically heated (2 heaters of 750w) because of the size. The engine of the Wilesco D32 has 2x double acting pistons and has 2x 100mm. fly wheel size. The two cylinders each have a 13mm. bore and 16mm. stroke and are the same as in a D16, D18, D20, D21, D24 and D28. It's important to have water in the tray before running the engine for the water pump to continually feed the boiler.

wilesco d32

The brass boiler ( dia. = 10 cm, length = 23 cm, volume approximately 1000 cm3.) is brazed, the nickel plated housing embracing it is also made of brass and contributes to better thermal insulation.

The flywheels are made of die-cast aluminium. The coupling between the drive shafts is by a universal joint so that allowances are made for slight mechanical misalignment. Wilesco D32's cylinders, pistons, steam chest, as well as slide rods are precision turned parts made of brass with a honed finish.

The exhaust/condensed water is passed to the chimney-base giving the effect of smoke, any condensed water collected is returned to the sump on the left of the control panel via an outlet in the chimney base. The Wilesco D32 model steam engine should never be operated without the chimney. The condensed water sump has to be drained regularly and it is advisable to clean it after every run.

Feed water pump

The valve on the feed water pump hat two extreme positions. When the valve is opened (anti-clockwise or idle running) the feed water pump will pump the water out of the sump and return it immediately. This process can be checked by the water flowing from the pump return pipe which is by the sump opening. When the valve is closed (clockwise = pumping) the feed water pump will pump water from the sump into the boiler. At an intermediate position of the valve it is possible to replace only as much water into the boiler as that being consumed. However, it must at all times be at least a quarter full. This rule must always be observed.

Should it be necessary to drain the reservoir, the feed pump valve has to be in the pump (clockwise position) and the water-valve, to be found adjacent to the feed water pump, must be opened (anti-clockwise). Make sure that a water basin has been but below the waste pipe which is behind the feed water pump. The pump of the Wilesco D32 has to be regularly greased. Due to the type of valve fitted in the feed water pump, the knocking noise is unavoidable.


The Wilesco D32 has electrical heating and is performed by a heating element which is below the brazed brass boiler. An over-temperature fuse has been installed for safety reasons which blows whenever the engine is heated without water. In case of breakdown of the electrical heater, make certain that the power supply is disconnected by switching the power off at the mains and remove the plug from the supply socket.


The D32 has the following features, taken from the manual:

wilesco d32


Updated: 1 January 2021

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Wilesco D32 forum

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Comments (8)
Steven - January 3, 2021
Hi recently purchased a D32 on eBay reg nr 019 von 500. 2017. It’s a limited addition, will I need to purchase a transformer to run it. Thanks.
Hi Steven, what a great find! About the transformer, depends where you're living and where you bought it I guess? Maybe these machines have a switch for 110/220v, not sure... Hopefully you get a manual with it. You could also try and ask here on this Model Steam Engine group on Facebook.
Steve - January 1, 2021
Hi, why does governor look different on this D32 compared others I see for sale
Could be a newer or older model.
Cary - July 7, 2020
I have an old D-32. I had taken it apart to repair a boiler leak many years ago. It was shipped to me by a relative about 1996, but I never unpacked it so didn't know that some parts weren't included. Does anyone know of a parts engine. I'm missing the safety valve/whistle, drain valve, and the 2 stainless ends from the boiler shroud.
Gary - February 22, 2020
I have a Wilsco D32el but the cord end was cut off. What wires do I connect to the cord end. Its a 110 volt model and there is a red, black and white wire.
Hi Gary, unfortunately, I have no idea. We have different color schemes here in Europe. Best is to Google for 'red black white cord 110v' and you might get some helpful articles or youtube videos. Good luck! Great machine you have there.
Mark - January 24, 2020
Good Afternoon,It is rqeuested if you can please advise if the Wilesco D32 steam engine is still available
I don't know, you might want to contact Wilesco for that (see link above in the 2nd paragraph, under 'limited edition').
Brian - December 30, 2019
Hello gents.Does anyone know where I can get a steam whistle for the Wilesco D32, made in the 1980's.Thanks a million.
Might be an universal whistle for multiple models, not sure. Best to ask here: Ministeam.com.
Christian - October 14, 2018
I recently bought a Wilesco d32 el engine.But i haven t any directions for use this engine ?Did some body help me please.Many thanks in advanceC. Bernar
Hi, I'll look for an instruction manual and post it on this webpage, in the meantime you can watch this youtube video. It's not that difficult. If you've never run a steam engine, than the most important thing is that you put sufficient water in the boiler before you turn it on, at least 50% to 75% of the boiler capacity (don't fill it completely) and don't run it dry.
Joe - December 29, 2015
I recently bought a Wilesco D32 el IN FANTASTIC, like new condition. I know next to nothing about it (except owner oiled it every so often and it looks new, so I did not even try to start it up. Wilesco 32 has a 110v plug, gaskets in plastic bag, perfect blueish paint and paperwork but no box, so what is the approx. value so I can list an opening bid and should I try to start or leave alone.
Oh my, I would definitely try to run it :-) But I understand your concerns if you've never owned a model steam engine and this one is just too precious. They are quite expensive because they are highly collectible. Around 1000-1500 USD is a good estimate, but it depends on description and state. If I where you? Put some water in it, see if everything is oiled well, start it. If you can show the buyers that it runs of course your chance of getting more increases :-) Make some nice pics while it runs, start bids at 1 USD (with a reserve of 500 or so). For more info, visit the forum I mentioned above.