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Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Mike L Clark (
Date: April 10, 2015 03:22PM

Steamcarbob Wrote:

> The second visit there was to Graham who is
> making a steam trike using a special engine which
> is powered by steam in a continuous hose with
> rollers as the �pistons�. It has five rollers with
> four 4 sections of hose per revolution. It looks
> an interesting fun project. The engine is
> developing more than one HP with the steam at 300
> deg C maximum, the temperature limited at present
> by the material of the hose being squashed.
> Obviously much more development will be needed.

Gosh a peristaltic motor - don't tell them on the SACA forum it would go viral!

Re Stanley brakes when going backwards - the trick is to assemble the handbrake. which presumably is external contracting, so as to get a self wrapping capstan effect when going astern so it gives some real bite.


Edited 2 times. Last edit at 04/10/15 03:23PM by Mike L Clark.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: April 12, 2015 05:20AM

The brake problem on the Stanley came soon after I picked up the car from my late fathers garage. I had the boiler test done and then tried it out. It twice caught me out with good forward brakes but no reversing brakes before I got them to have some function. Luckily I could get out of trouble each time. I know father had some excitement with the reversing too with that car!

The peristaltic motor theory has been around a long time. It is getting it to work well and the materials that are the problems. I am told that Grahams father was tied up with the jet engine development so there is family form!

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: April 17, 2015 05:28AM

Oh dear, I am getting into trouble with this 1903 White! We are off to Germany in less than two weeks and this steam leak in the steam generator casing is not accepting its cure some temporary TIG welding repair. We TIG welded the cracked joint.
I had a drive out for about ten miles as it tested OK. The car could cope with most things and is going much better except on steep long hills. I could hear the hissing from the steam generator and took the burner off again on returning home but it still leaks in an inaccessible place by the front of the steam outlet pipe.
We are going to have another go at TIG welding it but, as before, there are more basic errors that have been made by the previous owner. The beautifully made thermostat casing is made from stainless steel and has been modified probably for easy assembly. Although regulating the steam temperature at 395 deg C or 750 deg F, this runs red hot most of the time and it is quite impressive to see it when returning from a trip. It has too thin stainless pipe where it should have a good strong steel casing and of course the stainless screwed joints are virtually welded together with the heat.
Taking it apart breaking almost welded steam joints while making a new steam line from generator to throttle earlier in the winter may well have damaged it and then the heat finished it off. This joint also bears the weight of the steam line so vibration adds to its woes.
I am attaching a picture of the underneath of the generator taken when we were about to TIG on the new steam pipe junction which leads to the engine(on the left of the picture). You can see that the pipe is quite light weight to take the steam line. It is the joint from this little pipe to the pipe above that fractured. On the other side of the picture you can see the inlet pipe to the thermostat casing with its almost inaccessible nearly welded on nut up between the coils and the casing. How does one get a decent large spanner on this one?
As a permanent cure, I will have to take the steam generator out of the car and cut the present thermostat casing out before making a new one. Luckily a spare thermostat rod came with the car so if I damage the one in there which is working well, I will have a spare. I will almost copy my 1902 Whites thermostat casing which usually last a good 15 years of steaming without problems, but I will have difficulty with the different union at the rear side as it is probably stainless and quite inaccessible. I really do not want to do this job before going to Germany as it is a lot of work and I have other things to sort beside the car.

Whistling Billys completion of the engine rebuild should have been done by now although I do have the bottom half of the engine rebuilt ready to receive the block that is on the car at present. Rebuilding the engine top should not be too long a job but that depends on how welded together the steam unions are with the heat! We have tried a new treatment process on the nuts to see if it helps. Billy is almost always on full steam temperature when in action so corrosion can be severe but I use plenty of the good older stock Copper Slip.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 04/17/15 05:41AM by Steamcarbob.

Attachments: 30.5.2014 001.JPG (249kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: April 26, 2015 07:06AM

Yesterday the 1903 White and I made about a fifty mile round trip to Trevithick Day. It was dry most of the way there and back apart from heavy rain between Camborne and Hayle on the way back. I found that the quite cheap reflective safety jackets combined with some very good and comfortable modern waterproof trousers kept the driving rain out well with wrap around goggles and my leather top hat. This White has no weather equipment at all.
Trevithick Day is a good spectacle with traction engines, steam lorries and rollers lining one street. Two engines were towing a beam of a Cornish Beam engine, a good load. I was in the next street with two portable engines and the 1801 Trevithick engine replica. I had some problems on the tour of the town as it was too slow to bring my pumps in or even circulate the steam. The result was that I had a couple of runs off course and then past a couple of engines and pressure and temperature was soon restored. Unfortunately I did not take any photographs during the day.
The car performed well but I was very disappointed to find that I had no air pressure in the fuel tank when I went out to steam it up early in the morning, having pumped it up the day before. I also found that my modern electric air pump was not working so I had to hand pump on occasions through the day. This pump does work well but I still have not got the better of the mechanical air pump although I fitted an O ring with the leather washer which seemed to cure similar problems on the 1902 White. The shaft in the pump has not been well made and is a bit eccentric so I will have to return to it. Getting the little valves on the system to seal and reseal when in use is also quite a game. These were changed in the later Whites and work much better.
As long as the tank pressure was near 40 psi, the car ran and climbed hills quite well. I did not have to stop on any of them but made sure that I had full temperature and pressure approaching them and then held back on the power until I was confident on making the hill. I would like not to have to be so concerned about the management; it still is not yet as good as the 1902 White with hill climbing.
I am now trying to keep the petrol/diesel mixture to about 15% diesel as more causes a lot of popping and banging in the pilot light. I think that I need to reduce the jet size a little still perhaps to 63 thou but I do not have the correct drill at present.
It did develop a steam leak on the take-off from the steam-line to the pressure regulator just before I arrived home and this made me stop and get up steam again to get up my drive. The pipe nipple has come loose. I will fix that today with a couple of other small jobs.
Tomorrow is car preparation and loading onto the trailer day for our trip to Germany on Wednesday. We have about 5 days based at the Melle Museum under the care of Heiner Rossler which is always a good well organized tour of various castles, museums, workshops and points of interest. It is easy touring with low hedges around the fields so one can see a long way. We are then going to spend a few days going along some of the large German Rivers.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Rog White (
Date: May 1, 2015 05:09PM

Hello Bob
This is for when you return from Germany,
Have you looked at the little air pump on the 1903?
I assume it keeps the fuel tank at constant pressure.
If you increase the pressure and reduce the fuel jet size (keeping the fuel flow the same), the induced air to the fire should increase. I don't know if you have a shutter, but I think that should be closed at sea-level, so you can increase the air when on a high mountain pass. Might be worth considering before you play jet sizes too much.
Hope Germany is going OK
Rog W

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: May 17, 2015 06:28AM

Hello Roger,
Yes, this is just what White did - when climbing mountains especially over about 3000 ft one needed a little more air and opened the air up a bit so the basic adjustment near sea level is with the venturi almost shut.
My fire on the 1903 car is hunting a bit and I would like it more constant. It is best at around 40 psi as it states in the old manual. 35 psi is alright on level ground but at 30 psi it does not keep the full heat in the steam.
The air pump on this car is not yet working properly. They are very simple but quite awkward to stop leaking and still be fully functional when required. We have been using mainly the hand pump and occasionally a modern electric one.
We have just arrived back from Germany and I will do a little bit about our trip as I get some pictures sorted.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: May 18, 2015 05:57AM

We are back from our German tour with my brothers 1910 White and my 1903 White still steaming.
We started with Heiner Rosslers Melle tour which was as well organized and enjoyable as ever. Both John and I had had car issues on the last day at Melle and had to do some sorting. It was very noticeable that the rate of steamer failure has increased since our last trip about 4 years ago. I could have done all the days but we wanted the 1903 White working for the next 12 days so I did some repairs and had a rest myself.
My White had the manifold gasket on the valve chest leaking. We twice had a go at sorting this and in the end left it wheezing! I could not use much cutoff on the Stephensons link in this state so alternately ran with power and then power right off rather than keeping it smooth and losing steam through the leak.
I also broke off the water pump when the engine suddenly ran fast when the clutch was disengaged after having got steam either side of the piston. I found someone to silver solder this but it was somewhat crooked after he had done it. I just drilled it through with a half inch drill and refitted it but had to push the packing around to get a near seal on the pump. It worked for the rest of the tour with the help of some hand pumping of water into the steam generator coil.
I will be taking off the clutch that Paul had fitted as this is the third time that I have broken one part or another of the pump when using it. I found that I could use the car perfectly well without it (as with my 1902 White) and one gets no fatal sudden over-revving as one is always in gear.
The third issue was that the mechanical oiler packed up. Paul had fitted a less than half size pulley on the top which was feeding too much oil but the oiler eventually seized. I just removed the drive spring. I will fit the correct pulley and I have some spare gears which I expect that it will need. I hand-pumped the oil at the rate of one pump-stroke every half mile, plus a bit more on the hills. This was a little more than was really needed but oil is cheaper than metal as father used to say.
With four people up on a small car, even with the valve cover leaking and the poor water pump, we managed to keep up about 30mph on the flat and climbed all the hills required with only a couple of pushes when I got it wrong and took off too much steam too soon. Most of the roads have wide cycle paths level with the road and we could drive on them leaving the traffic free to pass us. When I first re- sealed the manifold the car would climb any hill easily but it was soon leaking again. I have been using about 6 parts petrol to one of diesel.
By day four at Melle, Johns 1910 White was running very roughly as well as having a steam leak on the bottom joint of the thermostat. We eventually managed to get all the large steam line nuts undone and re-tightened securely on his car with the leaks sealed.
He retested the car but it was still rough so he then ground in the small inlet valve on the simpling valves which he did with Brasso having removed the gland packing as we could not remove the complete fitting (we were only in a hotel car park). It was then well oiled and repacked. John went off down the road and was very pleased to find the car capable of a good 45 mph and quite smooth.
He also has an issue with the water tank leaking. It is only about 3 years old but the oil has attacked the galvanized coating and has made it like a sieve. He has painted it with a plastic sealer pro-temp but will need to have yet another made, this time probably from copper.
We found a car base in a caravan camp beside the River Neckar where our hotel base was up a very steep climb in the hills above Eberbach. We went to Bad Wimpfen and back (about 60 miles) on the penultimate day and then steamed into the University town of Heidelburg on the last day which was only slightly shorter.
Steaming to Heidelburg resulted in John's car running out of water on the steep hill with switch backs behind Heidelburg Castle (I passed him and climbed it up to well above the castle). We had to get water, refill the system and re-steam it with pilot light fuel before the flowmotor would come in and all worked again. We then went down and parked in a square for lunch and had excellent cakes for tea while people took lots of photographs of the cars. It was much safer and more sociable than leaving the cars up the hill!
We returned to Eberbach in good form and packed up the cars ready for our trip home the next day. We had a bonus here. We found that there were no lorries on the roads. It was a bank holiday and we had an easy trip back to The Hook of Holland for our overnight boat trip. We also had a clear run back to Cornwall with no traffic stops on the way even on the M 25 around London!
I have added a couple of pictures but I did very little photography myself this time. I hope to have some better pictures later from the rest of our teams.
The teams were;
1) Chris and Christine Relf (he has just purchased Francois de Backers 1909 White) with John and Anne Dyke in their 1910 Model OO White steamer.
2) Chris Everett (organizer, master map man and German speaking), Stuart Hamer (water and assistant mechanic) and Ken Waller (finances, car cleaner and oiler filler) with me in the 1903 White Model C steamer.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 05/19/15 04:15AM by Steamcarbob.

Attachments: 1903 nd 1910 White steamers in Bad Wimpfen.jpg (225kB)   Proprietors of the Hotel Rose in Volkach.jpg (240kB)   The cars and teams in the square in Bad Wimpfen.jpg (225kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: May 22, 2015 05:10AM

I have the engine on the bench now from the 1903 White. The problems needing sorting after out German trip were
1)The steam leak on the inlet manifold
2)The water feed pump needs truing and sorting
3)The oiler needs the proper wheel fitted to give the correct amount of oil and to be fed. It is at present ceased up.
4)The clutch needs removing although I can leave it in and not use it.
5) To fit a spring over the Stevensons link lever which Whites did often as a retro fit to give a smoother cut off. This should be simple with the engine out.

First, I am sorting the valve casing problem. I found that the block fitted was almost beyond repair when I first took this engine apart about six months ago. The block now fitted happened to be on my shelf where it had been for several years. I have even forgotten from where it came! I did have the blocks surfaces skimmed but the engineering company had difficulty mounting the job for the valve chest skimming and did not do this valve casing surface.
The plate where the steam goes in was leaking. We re-sealed it at Melle and again a couple of days later. It soon leaked again and we carried on with it wheezing away and unable to use the cut-off as the steam leaked rapidly out of the HP chest. That however is not all the problem.
On taking the engine out when back here, I found that the inlet plate was slightly curved so the outside edges were touching my engineers flat table and, when I had ground that flat, the outside edges were still bluing on the block surface by several thousands of an inch. It was leaking both top and bottom AND between the HP and LP spaces. The latter damage means that as well as loosing lots of visible steam from the block which a White does not tolerate well, it would give a roughness in the engine and excess use of steam similar to the simpling valve leaking. I had improved matters by taking great care to seal the simpling valves but I had not considered this problem. It did have that roughness when we were not going well.

I gave Arnoud Carp a ride at Melle (he has a similar 1904 White not quite yet sorted) just after we had re-sealed this copper gasketted joint. The joint was still alright although I noted as I put it away that it was wheezing again. We climbed quite a steep hill with ease but the thing that he learnt from it was that the steam temperature MUST be near the 700 to 750 deg F mark for any good performance and hill climbing.
One must look after the temperature on the car and this is largely done by keeping the steam pressure up over 300 psi even if one would like to open the throttle a little further for the hill. Keeping the pressure up in turn keeps the temperature up by the water by-pass being largely open and not giving more water to be heated. The bypass opens at 325 psi so no more water goes to the generator causing the steam temperature to rise until the thermostat turns the fire off. The by-pass shuts off at 300 psi so water is then pumped to the generator. Do not be tempted to have the steam temperature too high with excess performance as it will surely result in some damage such as I have on the old block, the rings breaking or the valve surfaces roughing up.

The copper gasket was new about 2 months ago and now looks about fifty years old as it clearly could not take up the damage after leaking hot steam! I suspect that this is the reason why the block had been abandoned in the past. The copper was not damaged on the edges where it was sealing properly.
I am taking great care to get this job right as I do not want the problem again. Although the car is usable with it, it does not go as a White should and lots of extra water pumping is required. This was a new problem to me and I had missed it when testing locally.
I have now reassembled this plate and put the engine casing back on.
I also have refitted the spring for stopping the Stephensons link motion from moving when on cut off running forwards which makes the engine smoother. It does not touch the lever in reverse and it is not necessary. It is interesting to note that this car must have been fitted with this spring before as the marks were clearly there on the crankcase where the bolts had been and the holes had been aluminium welded to seal them up. They were in fact not quite evenly placed but I re-drilled, tapped and fitted the machine screws from the inside with a lock-nut on the outside and then the spring and nut plus another lock nut. The spring is left and right hand wound at the ends to fit properly. It was quite an expensive process to get them hand wound which I did a few years back. I do have several spares if anyone needs one.
Next I will get on with sorting the water pump and a broken spare which I have.

Attachments: The old gasket.jpg (146kB)   The levelling process just started.jpg (148kB)   The new Stephenson\'s link spring fitted.jpg (211kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Rog White (
Date: May 22, 2015 12:36PM

Hello Bob
These might be the most important words posted in 2015:-

"One must look after the temperature on the car and this is largely done by keeping the steam pressure up over 300 psi even if one would like to open the throttle a little further for the hill. Keeping the pressure up in turn keeps the temperature up by the water by-pass being largely open and not giving more water to be heated".

I didn't know that White's had a 'lower than over-pressure' control for the water.
I fitted one about four years ago to the Landy, and have rather overlooked it.
I'll lower it to 600psi.
I.C. drivers are taught to 'keep the revs up' on hills.
Not so with steam, though there is in fact a very low stall speed on a triple in 50% cut-off.

Thanks fopr that

Rog W

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Mike L Clark (
Date: May 22, 2015 03:12PM

Well done BOb - a lot of work involved!

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