Buggy - Page 1
The project's inspiration was born out of a desire to own and drive my own steam vehicle.
I'm a part owner (with 13 others) in a 1913 steam tug, the Kerne, and attend a few rallies over the summer with our extended family helping out with a 1913 Clayton and Shuttleworth and a 1933 Sentinel S6.
I came across a largely complete set of castings for a 3" foden wagon for not much cash and bought them with the idea that this would be my route to steam ownership. However, the usual excuses of time, family, work etc etc were being used without me having made a start.
The idea occurred of commissioning a builder but that was dismissed for various reasons and the castings sold on. Within the groups mentioned above were various spare parts including a Stuart Turner 5A and an old dairy boiler suitable for gas firing. These were obtained, the idea of constructing my own vehicle was born and the search started for various bits and pieces.
Something large enough to carry two people around a rally field but small enough to be powered by a 5A and to be stored easily were the initial criteria. From that and after a visit to a local lawnmower service centre, the running gear from an old lawn tractor were sourced and deemed to be suitable.
In time the boiler was stripped down and assessed, unfortunately the lower tube plate and the barrel had passed their best and were condemned. Enquiries as to rebuilding them revealed the cost as prohibitive so a new boiler was sourced via the Steam Boat Association's website. One of the membership had a coalfired VFT boiler for sale. It was a K1 design built in 1982 by Allan McEwen, it had only been steamed for certification and 3 times since built, and was in excellent condition and was the right price.
The original frame from the lawn tractor was to flimsy but the gearbox and steering subframes were made of stronger stuff so were shotblasted and formed the basis of the new design. The design was now being refined a little more, I didn't want excessive lengths of drive train, I still wanted to be near to the engine in order to control it and I wanted most of the weight over the drive wheels and away from the steering hence the design you see in the photos.
The frame is mainly of flat bar of 10mm thickness and 100mm deep. Bolted to this at the front is the manstand/cab/footplate (call it what you will) to which the steering is fitted. The steering itself is of the Teleflex design used commonly on smaller boats and again reduces the need for an extensive drive train to the rear wheel steering. It was sourced through Ebay although the cable had to bought locally from a chandler.
At the moment my father in law (who owns the 5A) is in the process of adding another cylinder to the engine to make it into a 'Swan' with a new crankshaft. Click here to see engineering work Being such a small single cylinder engine it tends to stick on BDC until the machine gets underway, hopefully the extra pot and 90 degree crank will reduce this. It will still drive via a chain to the gearbox/differential that powers the front wheels.
The brakes act on a disc driving off the gearbox, the calliper for which has come from a motor cycle scrap yard.
Water supply is from 3 redundant fire extinguishers strapped to their own subframe behind the boiler and sitting outboard and between the frames. Water is supplied to the boiler via an injector (8 pints per minute) and a hand pump.
The whistle came from an autojumble in Belfast in 1994 and has been looking for a suitable home ever since. It seems to work best at lower pressures.
The front will have a single panel akin to Sentinel practice and behind the boiler will be a pick up style body.
I would eventually like to register it for the road as an agricultural tractor but we'll see have to see about that.
Boiler from a Steamlaunch.
Engine from a different Steamlaunch.
Wheels, subframes gearbox and some steering from an old lawn tractor.
Water tanks from old fire extinguishers.
Seats from a British army tank.
Steering from a power boat.
Steering wheel from an old lathe.
Brakes from a motorbike.
Inspiration from the British Victualling Trade!
As well as being known as, the 'Buggy' it has also become known as the, 'Ollie' in deference to a more common make of steam car.
Old fire extinquishers used as water tanks
Click here for "Buggy" Page Two.