Well after an eventful start to the weekend with the Range Rover developing a boost leak and the trailer getting a flat tyre, I finally got to George Hounslow's house for some work on the Nelson!
Ever since I have owned the car, it hasn't steamed well. It has been very lazy raising steam and once running it was very unreliable at re-lighting often causing blowbacks and fires the wrong side of the burner plate.
George and Peter worked all weekend to clear the fuel system and generally check over the whole car. I am chuffed to say it is now running incredibly well and looks like it generates steam very well. Next job is to get a steam test and I can take it for some proper test drives on the road.
I had previously cleaned out the fuel tank (Thinking this was the cause of the issue) but had overlooked the fuel pressure vessel! Turns out this was full of rusty, sludgy gunk! It was this gunk that kept blocking the entire system.
I cannot thank George and his family enough (Peter Hounslow & Sarah Hounslow) for making me feel so welcome and being so generous with their help, guidance, time & delicious food haha. I have learnt so much this weekend and look forward to many more weekends like it. This is what being part of the Steam Community is all about.
Mason #1 Steam Car Engine, photos, help?
Here sending some photos of a Mason #1 engine that I "restored" a few years back. It was partially disassembled, but had virtually every last original bolt and screw, missing only the main crankshaft drive sprocket. It had suffered a major cylinder head cap failure at some point, and two of the valve eccentric rods were slightly bent.
I had every intention of restoring it to working condition, at least enough to get it going on compressed air, but as things progressed it became obvious that I could not meet that goal. So, instead I fitted it with 1/4 inch plexiglass plates on the valve chest and one cylinder (cutaway effect, I suppose). Gave it a snappy colour scheme, and was pretty happy with the results, as a nice display.
Early on, I was able to identify it as a brass-frame 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 bore Mason # 1, as every detail matched the 1902 Mason catalogue. But my efforts to find more information about its exact age, and what car it might have come from, have been frustrating (sound familiar?). Most of what I have read comes from a variety of forum postings, some of which are inconsistent, etc.
Recently I came across the posts here from Billings Cooke about his Grout restoration, and was interested to see that his engine appears to match mine in every detail (aside from the Grout-marked valve chest cover), and is thus also a Mason #1. I am however aware that Mason supplied engines to a number of makers, and have heard that they would assign serial numbers according to whatever the buyers wanted.
My engine bears serial # 1008. Does anyone have any information about when this engine might have been made, and/or what car it might have come from? Also, how many makers used Mason #1 engines? As far as I know there was Stanley, Locomobile, Mobile, and apparently Grout. Surely there must have been more, but maybe those details are now long-lost to history.
Amy comments appreciated, this is a wonderful site for all manner of steam car information. I could post some more photos of my little engine if anyone is interested.... Thanks! - Greg
Tilly's grand adventure
In the few opportunities we had to steam Tilly at the end of last summer I was concerned about consumption of steam. With a little bit of time still available before steam car season will start I decided to take a good hard look at Tilly's engine. The bottom end of the engine has been beautifully reworked several years ago.
I noticed that all packing glands, both piston rod and valve rods were very loose. Solution, to repack them. That's normal maintenance. On the other hand I found a loose nut on the bottom of a piston rod. The Piston rod was free to turn. This needed to be fixed before the engine would run again. The other glaring problem where the bushings in the beautifully cast bronze frame that the pump drive arms run in. They needed attention, badly.
Yesterday I removed the engine, took me about an hour and a half to 2 hours. I decided to do more investigations took the valve chest cover off to look at the slide valves. They are in very good condition. I then removed both upper cylinder covers. Upon measuring the distance from the top of the piston to the top of the cylinder bore, I found the piston that had the loose nut on the bottom of the Piston rod had moved about .035. after cleaning the threads in the Piston rod I reset the Piston height. Once I had piston heights the same I used red Loctite on the nut and retightened the nut that secures the Piston rod itself. Job number one complete.
The repair of the pump arm pivot bushing is now underway. I made a very quick extractor with a piece of quarter 20 threaded rod and some odd pieces I had in the shop so that I could extract the bushing without having to hammer on it. The tool may not look like much but it did the job very easily. So still around stock has been ordered so I can fabricate and fit the two new replacement bushings.
We have at last started the restoration of the Morris 1000 Pick-up. the vehicle was manufactured in 1972 and converted to steam power in 1975. we are not sure it was ever finished and driven. most likely it was not. we will do a full article for the magazine later when we have finished . Lets hope it is a sucess.
The Baker boiler.
Today I finished the pressure vessel. I still need to design a firebox or base to mount it on.
I finished it without the cleanout system as I went by the drawing I had.
A friend sent me the drawing back in 2013. I was unable to find more details on it but finely decided to go ahead as I needed a project to keep busy.
There is one measurement on the drawing of twenty-two inches. Using that as a scale the pipe sizes are estimated to be
The main drum 4 inch pipe size about 4-1/2”
The out side riser 1-3/4 inches
The bottom two coils 2 inches about 20 feet
The six coils above that 1-1/4 about 200 feet total
The 12 superheated coils one inch of 170 feet
The 6 economizer coils one inch of 85 feet.
The bottom diagonal pipe two inches about 20 inches long
This is just a rough estimate. It would be nice to know if the casing is off a boiler. What the actual pipe sizes are.
Attached are a few of the final photos of the pressure vessel and the drawing I went by.
I started work on building a model of the Baker boiler. I have had some plans for several years, but was reluctant to start as some photos I had were different then the drawings. I am not sure if they were all built the same. The Patent drawings show a cleanout system to blow the tubes inside the drum and the only construction drawing shows no system on the top of the drum, just a welded top plate. I know there are about three Stanley’s running and using a Baker boiler but I have seen none without the casing on.
Have you seen one striped down? Or do you have any photos of one striped down with no casing.
An all day project, and the last fitting of the night determined if it'd be complete tonight or not. Aaaannnnddd, not. Another hour, maybe two to adjust the boot across the seatback and add an inch wide expansion panel so the eyes aren't tight across the seat. Just a little curve ball the red doesn't have as much give as the onyx. But I do have the onyx boot cut out and ready to head to the upholstery shop for a dye job. We simply don't have the work space needed with everything in it's winter home.
Onyx is looking more like chocolate once close to black. First vinyl fitting of Tilly's boot. Some fitting issues around the Victoria brackets and bow arms. I'll use this copy as a pattern for the final.
Check out this video of Bill Lloyd talking through and firing up his 1924 Doble E11 Steam Car.
Thought I might share some updated pics with the group of my R at Don Bourdon’s. All my best, Jordan
30 horse Stanley engine
I set screw everything together first
Put it in a jig
Pin it and Braze it
That's how it was originally
I am now starting a full restoration of my Morris pick-up steam car. known as windrush.
Some photos of Bill Lloyds Doble, after some major work in being completed at his workshop in Australia.
While Tilly is down for winter, some custom work is being done. As originally built, Tilly's boiler level gauge only would only register the lower 4"of water in the boiler. This led to an incident, our mistake, that led to a swedging party, not fun.
I wanted to have a gauge that had a taller range of coverage. I did not want to have to drill a hole in the body side panel for the top water feed to get to the glass.
After talking with David Nergaard I decided to fit one of his remote level gauges. The assembly consists of a water column mounted next to the boiler, under the seat and a 1 milliampere meter. The meter is housed in a small box I fabricated attached to a plate that is screwed to a cross member under the floor boards. This would require a notch cut into the toe board to clear the plate. I did not want to cut into the original toe board, so a made up a new one. As with any water column top and bottom feed piping connect to the boiler. There will be shut off valves top and bottom as well as a blow down valve on the bottom. An electronic brain box mounted under the toe board makes it all work.
If you would like more information contact David Nergaard. I'm not finished yet, here's my progress to now.
David can speak to the sensor in the water column and how it all works. He has been running one of these for over 10 years.
I'm quite proud of the way the car looks - that's a Midwest Coach Vanderbilt Cup Racer Body
A quote from the late Mark Johnston.
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