Whistling Billy and I did a day at St Buryan Show but the second day I did not go as the weather was very poor and one day is enough for my health at present.
The following Sunday Billy and I went to Ruin Minor down on the Lizard peninsular. They have a very enjoyable little rally and Billy won a salver for “Best in Show”! We did a few laps around the ring and steaming went well but we were not going fast enough for the burners to come in. I had to keep stopping to rebuild the steam. This was probably caused by the bottom water pump leaking.
The following Tuesday was “Morvah Pasty Day”. Morvah is a very small village about 5 miles from us. This is a delightful little day out where pasties, tea, scones etc. are sold in the old church. There is live music staged on an old horse trailer and quite a few stalls.
I have a place reserved for me to park a steam car in the centre of the action. Last year I took the 1903 White. This year I hoped to take the 1908 White but I am trying to get it running on kerosene. I have about 80% kerosene in petrol at present but I still have an 8 inch vaporizer with rods in the car as I do not have a second 6 inch one (Billy has that one) which is what it needs. I have made a pattern and am going to have some cast. The car steamed quickly but I could not stop it blowing back. This is not very logical and I am going to take another look at the flowmotor and its fuel needle as it was not cutting off sharply enough.
Anyway, I put it away and got out the 1903 White Model “C”. It steamed easily but as I was warming it up there was a "bang and a woosh” from the generator area; something in it had let go. I have not done anything inside the generator since I had the car but have spent many hours on the engine and the pipework from the generator to the engine. I think that a pipe has just cracked but stainless steel was used and not the proper steel.
I put this car away and steamed the 1902 White Model “B” Surrey. It steamed as easily as ever and Claude, Joseph and I went off, climbing our hill for the first quarter mile quite slowly but as soon as it was up on the more level ground and warmed up we went along to the usual 30 mph. She really behaved very well with no problems and grand-daughter Emma rode on the rear seat for the return trip.
After the trip my son Michael came over to collect Joe and Emma. He looked into the engine compartment and spotted a silver plated half-pint mug in the pipework. The next day I took it out. I had evidently put it in there with a bit of wire on the handle to keep it steady, to hold in the insulation on the pipe while some fire cement hardened--- and forgot to remove it. This must have been there for a long time and put there when I was not in the workshop but in my trailer, perhaps in the Isle of Man last year. It could not escape from its position. It has now been removed and polished up again. My wife’s father won the cup for runner-up at the Wimbledon Open Squash Tournament 1946 – 47 and it has done many years of service as a drinking vessel in the trailer where it will no doubt continue its function.
I hope that I have now sorted the 1908 White blowback problem. I found that the thread on the fuel needle (0.094 inch) was not clean inside its tubular fitting and I had not threaded it into its proper position. I think that it will be alright now as the needle seals the fuel completely hopefully making blowbacks impossible.
Yesterday I took Whistling Billy to The West of England Steam and Vintage Rally at Stithians. The car worked alright but I still have a problem with the bottom water pump not working properly. The hemp water pump packing in what looks like a mustard source that I used is too old and hard with the “source” dried. I need to get some fresh packing. This packing was too hard when I purchased it! Billy running at up to 800 psi will not tolerate poor packing anywhere.
I would like to find some steam packing like I had from my father’s kit which had copper within it. That worked well on the valve stems which are always difficult to keep in on this car. I have never seen it for sale and only had a short length. Has anyone seen it for sale?
The West of England Rally is a three day show. I left Billy up there where it will be on display today and I will be back up there tomorrow steaming. I will have to clean out the pilot light as it was getting very congested with carbon after sitting still for too long and using the kerosene which is still a bit smoky while I am adjusting the parts for this fuel which is new to the car. Billy has always suffered from sitting around too long and is much happier going around a track where there is more cooling to the pilot light area.
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