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Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Mike L Clark (---.bb.sky.com)
Date: September 23, 2013 03:08PM

oh yes - the dreaded Trojan rear engined Apollo - much inferior to the original underfloor engined version!

Mike

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (---.range81-129.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 29, 2013 04:40AM

29.9.2013
The crank-shaft is back together and in the crank-case. The bearings feel much better than they did and I had no trouble lining them all up this time. Let us hope that they last better.
I still note that there are some issues such as the main bearings do not all have a locating ring on their outer casing as they should have. These must have been replaced years ago with ones without this ring which stops the crank-shaft moving forwards. I am going to get these replaced eventually as I will need some new ones on engine H383. I have located a company which will make a small batch of these for me. I hope that the ring that is there will continue to be adequate to hold them all in place. I have made sure that they are all clamped in the correct place anyway.
The sump is back on and I am now turning my attention to the block from H383 which I am going to have to use as H4’s block is not yet back from being welded. This has been stored in the wet for some time (50 odd years probably) but has been quite well protected by the steam oil and on initial inspection and cleaning seems to have standard sized bores and plenty of meat on the valve faces in reasonable condition. The end surfaces where the gaskets fit are also reasonable. Unfortunately someone has been quite brutal on a couple of the bronze fittings using a cold chisel on them.
Anyway, I am now quite hopeful that I will be at Prescott Hill Climb for next weekend but I have a lot of work to do.
Bob

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (---.range81-132.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 29, 2013 05:27PM

29.9.2013
Considering the corroded outward appearance of my spare engine H383, generally the block was in good order apart from some light surface rust which I do not believe will make any difference on the gasket surfaces. I have made sure that they were all flat and that the copper gaskets were well softened. Only one of the simpling valve seats was badly rusted and needed valve cutter treatment before light grinding in for the bronze simpling valves.
I had to make a new steam inlet part of the simpling valve for both engines. The standard sized bores and the main valve surfaces had been well protected by steam oil.
I will use my pistons from H4 which are also standard size and use the rescued pistons eventually when I rebuild H383 when my cracked block returns hopefully satisfactorily repaired. I will have then to make new piston rods and valve rods, so I will make a dozen or so as usual. Incidentally my brother had two of the last batch which fitted his 1902 Steamobile exactly – was someone making large numbers standard items to fit many cars in the early 1900s? They are half inch diameter with half inch UNF threads at both ends and a ledge for the piston to rest on. I have them hard chromed as they then last for preservation use where there are weeks with no running where corrosion could be a problem.
I have been making many other parts for the spare engine as I have gone along so that I can copy those on H4 to keep it all interchangeable where modifications have to be made.
Tomorrow I need to finish the simpling valves and assemble the top of the engine, first getting the block on and timing the valves etc. I should be ready to get the engine in by midweek, hopefully leaving some time for testing before the weekend.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (---.range81-132.btcentralplus.com)
Date: September 30, 2013 04:47AM

I have three pictures that might be of interest with the White engine.

The first is a picture of clamping the crank-shaft tapers together with our "70 ton press". This may look a bit tame but the blocks of steel at each end and the threaded bar are substantial and it takes a very steady and measured force on each side to get the crank together correctly. Nigel Tamblin made the press as part of a kit for taking apart and reassembling the crank-shaft.

The second picture is the crank assembled with it's rods on all running freely and about to be offered to the crank-case.

The third picture is of the block(H383) fitted with it's valves (apart from the simpling inlet valve) sitting on top of the crank-case(H4) in preparation for being bolted down.
Bob

Attachments: Clamping the crank-shaft together.JPG (90kB)   Crank about to go into it\'s case.jpg (114kB)   block ready for fitting to crank-case.jpg (118kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (---.range86-152.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 4, 2013 03:35AM

4.10.13
Whistling Billy is now back together with the engine fitted and briefly tested although I had a few issues. There is a bit of a rumble and quite a lot of rubbish was chucked out with plenty of oil from the exhaust from the corners where I could not clean from the old block. It settled down to a reasonble tickover but then I found the fire would not come in. I checked the thermostat bypass and then the pressure bypass. The latter was leaking back so I took it off and cleaned and reassembled it grinding in the Finegan pin with pumice powder.
I did not have time to re-test it but loaded up and off we are going to Prescott Hill Climb for the weekend and then off to try of Castle Combe race track on Thursday.
Bob

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (---.range109-150.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 13, 2013 05:55AM

12.10.2013
I still have the engine intact and working!
Our club members were guests of the Bugatti Club at Prescott Hill Climb for the weekend and we had a good weekend with fine weather although only five steamers attended this year.
On Saturday I had a run up the hill but did not have the system sorted before starting as I was suddenly told to run straight up the hill and I had not insured enough water in the coil. I had again to stop on the first bend this time by the gravel trap, through lack of steam pressure and too much temperature as the burners had not come in early enough leaving too little water in the coil. This often happens with the tourers but the system settles down within about three miles and then works well. I may have to still fix a manual bypass on the thermostat to stop this happening but of course I will have to be very careful to keep an eye on the temperature and open the valve as soon as possible. The final answer may involve an “Abner Doble style equalizer” where water is injected into the coil half way up (I do already have a pipe fitted on the steam generator to take this which I may have to use).
I stopped and sorted the generator with running up the engine, initially without any fire, while Peter Hounslow slowly approached me in his Stanley, I was able to go just before he reached me. We then went off like a dose of salts! I was doing nearly 60mph going into the hairpin, I braked a little, simpled it (left foot pedal) and opened the throttle. We went around the bend with minimal wheel spin but had good speed on up the hill. I was quite elated when two of the marshals came down to the pits to shake my hand as they were so impressed with Billy’s climb.
Unfortunately, that was my last climb this year as the pressure regulator, which should contain oil pressed by the steam, was leaking steam which of course it could not take for long being bronze. I took it apart and reassembled it with new sealant by the car but it still leaked so I did no steaming on the Sunday after testing when I managed to put my foot under the exhaust pipe and burnt it with steam and water ( the steam temperature was reading 350deg F). I will not use my lightweight trainers in future but stick to my old leather boots! I then was treated well by the ambulance staff and spent a couple of hours in Cheltenham Hospital emergency department!

After Prescott, I went on to stay with Ray Clark, a club founder member and owner/builder of the Daimler-Doble steamer. This car is large (17ft 6ins long) being built on the largest production car chassis built in England. Ray has been rather slow to get started again on this project since Philip’s demise but he has now made great progress and we should see it out next year. He has the engine back in and ready to run and just has a few pipes to sort before steaming. We went to an aircraft scrap yard where Ray found many of his working relays and parts. We spotted the body of a light aircraft and it just about fits the chassis! We may well be seeing a Daimler-Doble Streamliner soon!!!
I had three days to sort out the pressure regulator on Billy and worked out the problem as ever at about 6am while in bed. I had reassembled it with a copper washer in the wrong place. This was soon sorted and I had a fun afternoon with the locals and their children with brief testing up the road and lots of pictures. I spent the next day going to Cast Iron Welders to pick up Billy’s now repaired very cracked original block. I dropped it off for machining and refitting a liner on the LP side at Cornwall Engineering Ltd on the way home on Friday.

Thursday saw me at Castle Combe Motor racing Circuit for one of Christopher Darwin’s charity track days (Yes, a direct descendant of the great man Charles). Whistling Billy as ever attracted a lot of attention and I had two slots on my own on the race track.
I think most people were very surprised at the acceleration and speed of the car although I had only a maximum of 600psi (usually running at about 400psi) as I had not fully re-adjusted the pressure regulator to its proper 800psi and needed to stay on the safe side with my still rather rumbly engine. I was most impressed by the fact that if one over-cooked the speed a bit going into a corner, opening the throttle really made the car dig in and accelerate out of the corner. I gradually got more confidence at using this most of the time. I probably only reached a maximum speed of about 65mph but still had plenty in reserve for when I have the engine right. I am very pleased with the chassis and the suspension even without rear springs. My seat springing with the chassis flexion seems enough for me!
I did two sessions of four laps and three laps but had a pilot light out on the last lap just before coming in. The Pizzo sparker seems useless and I am going to remove it and leave no electrics on the car, as it should be. I must ensure that I have two good pilot lights available for the racing days!
I was treated not only to a pint of beer but also to my meal at the local Bell Inn by the kindly other people racing as they had so enjoyed “new” Whistling Billy’s track debut!

Pictures can be seen on www.edpphoto.com on a section called “track days”.
The Picard Pictet is a large impressive Edwardian seen at Prescott and could be some opposition later!-See pictures below.



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 10/13/13 06:11AM by steamcarbob.

Attachments: Prescott 2013.jpg (117kB)   Picard Pictet racer.jpg (124kB)   In Castle Combe pits.jpg (104kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Mike L Clark (---.bb.sky.com)
Date: October 14, 2013 05:28PM

Good on yer Bob! You're obviously having a lot of fun in and amongst the repairs and fixes - no doubt though you are getting there. Very exciting.

Mike

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (---.range109-150.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 23, 2013 06:50AM



22.10.2013
I have been sorting many small problems on Billy since returning from Castle Combe but thankfully nothing major. The pilot light was a problem being weak the whole trip, even at Prescott.
To test the pilot lights, I run a pipe from the pilot light filter to the pilot light which is set up in a vice held in a Black & Decker Workmate beside the car by its fuel inlet pipe. I first make sure the connections have no leaks and that the pilot light valves are working properly with no leaks when off as I do not want a fire in the workshop with hexane. I also keep the airline nearby with an air jet available. I then warm up the pilot light and run it making sure that there is a good strong blue flame with little yellow if any. Testing on this rig allows one to see if there are any leaks from the screws or the centre washer which you cannot see on the car. The long pipe to the pilot light from the filter and its valve do produce a little delay in adjustment of the height of the flame but this is little problem.
I found that initially I could get little control of the flame but I made a new needle valve and all is now well. I tested and sorted two spare pilot lights at the same time. I like to keep a spare with each car when touring. I have had the old pipes break at times. These central castings are all now over 100 years old and are vulnerable to bronze failure. We have yet to find someone capable of making good new castings although we have tried several firms who have told us that they can do them and fail.

I have removed the sparker as it was useless and suffered scorching. The steam pipework has had a tidy up and most of the rest of the car. I am still in two minds about tidying up the bonnet paintwork or leaving it with a bit of character –well singed!
My next job is to take the spare engine crankshaft apart for its new bearings.

This link came in from the Prescott event. Unfortunately, I do not think that anyone videoed Billy on the top half of the hill.
[prescotamericanautumnclassic.blogspot.co.uk]
Bob


Attachments: Pilot 1.jpg (101kB)   Pilot fuel valve.jpg (98kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Mike L Clark (---.range86-172.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 25, 2013 05:14AM

steamcarbob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
I am
> still in two minds about tidying up the bonnet
> paintwork or leaving it with a bit of character
> –well singed!
>


I'd leave it singed Bob - you are not trying to kid anybody that the bodywork is old and original but I would still just let the patina develop - it's history in the making.

Mike




Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Donald Cook (---.range86-143.btcentralplus.com)
Date: November 1, 2013 05:46PM

Bob,

Thanks for sharing all the fun and games that you have had recently with Whistling Billy with us, I find it all very interesting.

I have to agree with Mike and say dont repaint it because if you do you will only set fire to it again, but if you dont repaint it you wont!

Don

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