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An electric oil winker
Posted by: Mike Clark (---.glfd.dial.virgin.net)
Date: August 23, 2005 04:55PM

Iím having difficulty seeing the oil winker wink! The steam oil consumption of the H is much too high at the moment - I set it deliberately high when fitting my new block, oil being cheaper than cylinders - but now want to cut it back to 60-80 miles per pint which I believe is the accepted rate of use. Trouble is that using Morris steam oil which is a golden/green colour it is very hard to see the winker with the pump set to give anything over 30 miles to the pint.

I suspect that period steam oils used in America were like the present Pennsylvania Black - just that, black and therefore much easier to see.

My question is - has anyone found an alternative way of indicating oil flow?

A pressure gauge on the oil pipe to the winker might help but I am running out of space on the dashboard and in any case just having oil pressure doesnít mean that oil is flowing against the steam pressure. The winker of course ingeniously does indicate that there is a pressure excess on the pump side and that oil is flowing. This is hard to do in any other way as we need to prove the existence of a pressure difference.

However hereís an idea for an indicator which would warn if the pumped oil pressure were lower than the steam pipe pressure. I've not tried it yet - just seeking your thoughts.

I propose to use a diaphragm sandwiched between two plates with steam pipe pressure to one side and oil pipe pressure to the other just like the winker. The diaphragm would be flat against the steam side (as in the steam automatic) but would be free to bulge a few thou toward the pump side. A button on the pump side of the diaphragm would, when the diaphragm bulged, connect with an insulated contact on the pump side and make a circuit to light an LED. A light spring may be needed to bias the diaphragm back to the off position when the car is stationary. In action the light will come on as the throttle is opened but would, if all was well, go out as the oil pressure rose to equal or overcome the steam pressure. Undoubtedly the light will come on and off as the oil pressure plays catch up with the steam pressure but if it remains constantly on then we know we have a problem.

Connected in this way the indicator would not show that oil was being pumped when the throttle was closed and it could be reversed in function so the light would come on when the oil pressure was up. The disadvantage then would be that the diaphragm would move with each pump stroke possibly interfering with the winker and needlessly using part of the pump stroke - each stroke moves less than 0.02ml of oil by the way - not to mention fatiguing the diaphragm. In the chosen mode, the diaphragm would mostly be pressed back flat against the steam side plate as for most of the time the oil pressure will be greater than the steam pressure.

I would connect the indicator in parallel with the winker so the steam pressure was taken from the oil feed to the main steam feed to the engine, after the winker check valve which on this non condensing car is part of the winker. On a condensing car the connection would need to be made between the oil pipe check valve and the steam pipe.

In case you are wondering - yes electrical contacts do work even when immersed in steam oil.

Well - would it work or has anyone else found a better way?


Mike

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: Mike Clark (---.server.ntli.net)
Date: October 9, 2006 05:37PM

Another revival.

Never did get to making an electric winker although I did progress to the idea of incorporating the contact in the back of the Stanley winker.

I have cut down the oil rate to about 50 miles per UK pint and now find it almost impossible to see the winker wink. Having just looked at the DVD of the 2006 Melle steam tour in which the dashboard mounted winker of a 735 is very clearly seen to work I wonder whether these late versions are different from the original and if there is some simple mechanical way of getting a better indication?

Mike

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: (---.wavecable.com)
Date: October 10, 2006 01:25AM

Dear Mike, Your post here is interesting. I have both noncondensing and condensing cars. The winker in our 735 condensing car is the same winker that we have in our 4 noncondensing Stanleys. Our 606 uses 1 U.S. Quart for every 100 miles. I check it's mileage everytime that I refill the oil tank. I use the Exxon TK1000 (no longer being made) which is a dark oil just like the original oil. It registers well on all our winkers. Starting out cold, the winker goes black and stays black until heat thins the oil, then it starts registering with every pump stroke very well. At 55 mph, the oil beat of the winker looks like the heart beat of a humming bird. I once had a winker that had excessive wear on the winker and the oil leaked by the winker's piston without passing by the glass first. I machined a new winker piston for it and now it works great. I machined the piston to just slide feely in the bore without binding. I have found that every modern contrivance that I have installed on our Stanleys, eventually is removed for better reliability of the car. I enjoy everything that I read about your steamer. Keep up the good work.

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: Mike Clark (---.brhm.adsl.virgin.net)
Date: October 10, 2006 06:02PM

Hello SSSteamer,

My problem is that the oil is so clear I just can't see the thing winking while watching the road at the same time - specially in sunlight! I've tried every kind of lamp shining on it with no success and am just concerned that if it ever does fail to oil I shan't see it in time. Like you I always check the oil used after each trip and regularly look at the ooze dropping out of the exhaust. My oil consumption is much the same as yours.

After a run on Sunday I was worried enough to jack the car up this evening and run it on the airline to see if it winked - it does and I've checked the pipes and blown it all through - it's perfect - just can't see it! The pressure gauge I have connected into the oil line between the winker and the steam pipe at least allows me to know that the connection to the steam line is clear and not broken.

Thanks for your comment - haven't been able to steam much this year and in a couple of weeks the salt will be on us dammit!

Mike

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: October 11, 2006 07:06AM

Is there a dye that one can add to the oil?

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: Mike Clark (---.manc.adsl.virgin.net)
Date: October 11, 2006 02:55PM

I wondered about that Peter but concluded it's bad enough covering the chap behind with steamy oil without staining him black as well!

Does anyone else have an alternative oil which is naturally a bit blacker? If so this would be a good answer.

Mike

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: Mike Clark (---.server.ntli.net)
Date: October 16, 2006 04:08PM

Up till now I have used Morris' Compound "T" oil with tallow. It has worked well in my car and I never hear the groan of rusty cylinders on first moving off but like I said it's so hard to see it wink with a 50 miles per pint rate.

I see that Morris now advise against using this tallow oil with superheat and pressures over 150psi because of fears that the oil may be hosed off the bores, pistons and valves. Realistically my Stanley Model H spends most of it's time with a steam line pressure of round about 100psi unless climbing or accelerating hard when it goes up to 250psi so mostly it is probably within the tolerated range. However I am wondering whether their Compound Steam Oil ISO 1000 grade (The Compound "T" is 600 grade) would force the winker to operate with bigger globs so I would see it better and whether the darker colour of the ST 1000 would help.

I am a bit reluctant to move away from an oil which has worked to something different. So can ask how others have got on with the ISO 1000 used undiluted in a non condensing Stanley? If I change to a thicker oil will I need to alter the setting of the oil pump and can you see it wink!!!!

Mike

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: (---.wavecable.com)
Date: October 17, 2006 01:52AM

Dear Mike, Your oiler should be a displacement oiler and the viscosity difference of the oil in use will not be a measurable difference . If after using the thicker oil and you are still not satisfied, then thin your steam cylinder oil with a bit of kerosene as reccommended for the noncondensing Stanley model 735 cars.

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: October 17, 2006 03:31AM

Mike,

I have recently changed to 1000 grade steam oil in the Mountain Wagon but still use the 600T in the CX. My decision to do so was prompted by the Morris specification for the 600T not suggesting its use for the higher pressures. I suspect (but have no gauge) that the line pressure in the Wagon will frequently be higher than in your H5.

However,it is no easier to see it in the winker!

Peter

Re: An electric oil winker
Posted by: Mike Clark (---.belf.cable.ntl.com)
Date: October 17, 2006 05:25PM

SSSSSSsteamer - thanks for that reassurance - I wondered if for some reason the pump might not fill so easily with thicker oil.


PGOWilliams Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> However,it is no easier to see it in the winker!
>

Peter - dammit!


Mike



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