Posted by: Steamcarbob
The 1903 White completed the tour in the New Forest in good style. She went well most of the time apart from fairly regular blowbacks which I must cure. I just had to turn the fuel off, have a puff with the bulb-horned anti-blowback blower-outer¯, turn the fuel on and we usually lost no speed travelling up to 25 mph by the Sat Nav. I think that the blowbacks are coming from and oversized hole in the casing where the thermostat comes through. I have yet to look at this in detail but it may need the steam generator removing from the car to sort it properly. Also the previous owner remade the venturi way oversized and this could be a problem.
Most of the roads in the New Forest were not smooth or flat enough to allow much more speed anyway and the free roaming horses need to be avoided. The maximum speed no doubt could be increased a little by taking off the propshaft clutch and correcting the eccentricity from the front right and rear left wheels. These are jobs that I have yet to sort on this car but the general performance impressed a few people now that she is running on 10% heating oil in petrol.
Unfortunately, my brother had on going problems with his 1910 White which he has been unable to stop blowing back after a few miles on the road since he severely bashed the burner with the propshaft when it bent. He now has the burner and steam generator out of the car and hopes to have them fully sorted soon. Has anyone made any new original type 20hp burner plates recently?
Bill and Dilys Rich did a great job organizing this very enjoyable rally at Bucklers Hard. We had good weather apart from the first day and the last morning.
Last weekend my son Michael and grandson Joe accompanied me with Whistling Billy to Castle Combe Race Track first as guests for a track day and then a competition day organized by Christopher Darwin (a direct descendant of the great Charles). We were planning to go on to Prescott with Billy on show for the Sunday but we got a bit wet in the heavy showers and decided that it was wiser to return home especially as Joe had school on Monday morning and we had 5 hours travelling to get home. We had a very enjoyable two days.
I had prepared the car before the New Forest rally but needed to do a couple of adjustments. I steamed up about an hour before our allotted track time but after initial fair steaming, I could get no temperature in the steam and the engine knocked, sounding dreadful. I cancelled my track run and went back to my pits to have a look around the car. I soon found a problem. The thermostat spring had slipped the wrong side of its nut and was now lifting the thermostat off its seat all the time. This was soon sorted and on lighting the car up again, the steam temperature and pressure rose smartly. The engine stopped knocking (hydraulicking) and all was smooth again.
My quarter hour of track time on my own was re-scheduled from before lunch to after lunch and out I went for three laps. We went well although I still have the steam pressure reduced from 800psi to 600psi and about 1/3 off full throttle. I still have to keep the car throttled back a bit on the straights as the engine is not yet smooth on my present full throttle. It should sound more like a turbine rather than like a bit bumpy steam engine judging by what my 1908 White used to do when I had it able to run on full song. I do not think that I will be able to achieve this until I have the new blocks fitted. It may well be that I need to sort the amount each valve is opening at full temperature and pressure - that is for exhaust and inlet which is a far from simple task. I do have some valves, both HP and LP which have been reduced in dimensions perhaps by someone trying to do the same many years ago.
On Saturday there were many great racing cars to see and I again was out on track in a few parade laps¯. I went off in my allotted place, last. It took me the first half lap to get warmed up but on the second time around I caught up the Bentley in front. Billy was going well but on the third lap we were all called in and the fun ended. I did have a blowback at the time, I think because I had set the pilot light incorrectly. I was now burning petrol in it as I had managed to run out of hexane with my cold steam problems of the previous day. Anyway, there was plenty of hot steam to get me back to my show place. At least the weather stayed dry for my runs on both days but things soon changed and the racing produced quite a lot of off-track activity.
The runs caused a lot of interest in the car and surprised many with the performance. Many think that they have seen every type of racing car and modification and then they see and hear Whistling Billy. It is quite different with its chimney, its wood spokes, no clutch but a simpling pedal, the throttle as the middle steering wheel¯, no front wheel brakes or rear suspension, its streamlining with its body design based on an upside-down boat, its under-slung chassis and sub-frame etc. Being a one stroke engine often fools them too!
Incidentally, in the cause of safety, I have spring-loaded the throttle to almost shut off but I can just have the engine ticking over but if it is allowed to spring shut it will shut completely. It did have the usual White friction set throttle. I still keep forgetting it is spring loaded on the way around the track and loose a few seconds!
I am now awaiting the new blocks. They should have been here by now but it looks as if it will be a few weeks yet until I get them. I need to make new slightly stronger more accurate packing glands especially on the HP valve as they keep blowing out their packing. This could still be partly misalignment but I thought that I had corrected this. I have been using copper wire packing in the HP valve and this is certainly an improvement. Doubling the normal steam pressure and increasing the RPM does have consequences but it is all good fun!
In the mean time I will continue putting together my 1908 White and sorting the 1903 White.
This hopefully is a link to a short bit of video taken by my son at Castle Combe this weekend [youtube
Edited 3 times. Last edit at 10/17/16 06:06AM by Steamcarbob.