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Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (---.range86-134.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 6, 2016 06:30AM

4.10.2016
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]

Bob




Edited 3 times. Last edit at 10/17/16 06:06AM by Steamcarbob.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (---.range31-50.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 20, 2016 04:58AM


20.10.2016
My 1908 White is coming back together but I am not doing a full restoration. The paintwork will stay as used. I have the chassis completed with its new American oak where it was burnt out. Mitch Grose told me about some a heat shield that should be fitted inside these wooden chassis made of galvanized iron running the length of the steam generator section of the chassis hooked over the top of the flitch plate and bent underneath the wood where it is pinned to it. It should be lined inside with Fibrefax. I could not get this over here but got a sample of an identical product from a German company. However there was not enough so I used Kaowool instead. This I hope will do the trick and it does mould more easily. I do not think that it can escape from its housing and I have been careful not to compress it.
I now have the steam generator in the car with its cover on and the body back on the car. The engine now will get a full strip down and service. I have rejuvenated the steam line joints and made the thermostat move easily in its packing. The car was running well before the rear axle was abused so most parts should be alright with just a simple service as they go on the car.
The rear axle is in bits. My son and I eventually broke up the outer wheel bearing enough to get it out. It had completely seized on the half-shaft. I will make the next one a slightly easier fit!
I have some new rear axle gears coming from Don Sable in Oklahoma. I visited him in 2004 and purchased Billy’s crown-wheel and pinion and the central axle casting off him. He had a crown-wheel and pinion for my 1908 White too but I had too much luggage to bring it home by air. As it was I purchased an extra case and “Heavy, do not lift” was posted on it at the airport! I should have posted it to myself here as I now need it. He also had some new gears for the bottom gear. I am awaiting a parcel from him! I will order the new bearing and clean and sort the other parts ready for reassembly when I get the bits.
Four times I have had to remake the front gearbox spindle with its two squares and several accurate machined parts but this time that seems fine, what a relief! This goes when the three inch long bearing in the center of the axle seizes on a long (about 2mile) bottom gear stint and it does not get sufficient oil through its rather small feed pipe. I now use leaded bronze for this and have had no problem since; if it gets hot presumably the lead melts slightly and lubricates it.
Now the car has been pushed back in the corner on its temporary Morris Minor rear axle awaiting its serviced engine and rear axle. I will do some winter servicing and improvements on the other cars for the next few weeks.
We had a lovely sunrise here today. I will attach a picture hopefully!

Attachments: Lucy with body back on tucked back in the corner.jpg (210kB)   The worn crownwheel.jpg (183kB)   2016. 10.20 009 Today sunrise over Mounts Bay(s).jpg (207kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Peter Turvey (---.as13285.net)
Date: October 20, 2016 09:48AM

I managed to get some Kaowool 1260 Ceramic Paper insulation over here in the UK to use instead of fiberfrax, got if from a fire products company.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Peter Turvey (---.as13285.net)
Date: October 20, 2016 09:48AM

I managed to get some Kaowool 1260 Ceramic Paper insulation over here in the UK to use instead of fiberfrax, got if from a fire products company.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Mike L Clark (---.108.255.146.boundlesscomms.net)
Date: October 20, 2016 04:46PM


Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (---.range86-134.btcentralplus.com)
Date: October 26, 2016 06:02AM

25.10 2016
Thank you for the information.
Perhaps the Kaowool that I used is not quite the correct thing but I have to stick with it for the present. I have used it a lot and know some of its limitations. As long as it is contained and not permitted to rattle about or be compressed,it is usually very efficient. It looks almost the same material as that on the link that you sent to me, Peter. The thing that I did not like with the Fibrefrax-type sample that I was sent was the rigidity of it. I am sure that it would have broken up eventually. Perhaps it could have been fixed to the casing but that in itself is a problem.

Yesterday I seemed to have a TV day. I contacted the film people who made the video of Chateau Impney and Billy and I are featured on it but I had missed it on the TV. They are sending me the video which is available from them (Hayfisher Productions telephone 01905-794411 ). There were many very interesting old cars there that competed before and after WW2.
Then in the evening I scanning the TV programs and noted "Shed and Buried" was on with three episodes. My place and the steam cars had been filmed for this in the summer and the third one was about us and a drive out in the 1903 White.
I am always sorry the these programs do not show more mechanical detail which would be of much more interest to me and probably many others but it is said to kill the programs for the general public. How about the many engineers in the country who often earn the country a shilling or two?
I have a similar problem with Jazz and other music. Many program makers and especially Sky have a whole group of programs on "Music" -- all pop -- how about one on each type such as Jazz, coral music, classical music etc. Surely they would be popular especially with the older age groups even if they took time to establish.
Enough ranting!! I have the 1908 White's engine apart on the bench. So far I have only found the flywheel slightly loose, one ball missing out of the front main bearing which I think we left out because the balls had to be slightly oversized, and some corrosion on the outside of the HP cylinder due to its high temperature running at 750 deg F. I must set it up running nearer 700 deg F and go more gently with the old girl in future! The flywheel is only located by the four mounting bolts and I think that I will have to make new ones. The problem here is the fitting of them which is usually done before the crankshaft is put into the crankcase so it could mean a complete strip down with the crankshaft out.
I have the rear axle bearings sorted and am now awaiting the new gears from the USA. With the body back on, it is only the engine and the rear axle that need sorting.
Bob

Attachments: Billy accelerating at Chateau Imppney.jpg (207kB)   On Local Radio at Chateau Impney.jpg (144kB)   Outside the front door at Chateau Impney.jpg (217kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (---.range86-134.btcentralplus.com)
Date: November 6, 2016 07:28AM


6.11.2016
Working on the 1908 White Model “L” engine which is almost identical to Billy's, the flywheel is now back on with new studs fitted with new front nuts which are round with a large flat (in fact a curve to match the inside curve of the flywheel) on one side to lock inside the flywheel as it goes together. I hope that they will stay put fitted with Loctite. I had the last one split-pinned which allowed slight movement. The flywheel certainly feels solidly in place now, but it always does at this stage. It is the accelerating and braking forces that loosen it.
I will go into fitting the piston rods in some detail to try to help those doing it for the first time.
On taking the pistons out, the hard chromed rods showed some damage on both cylinders, the HP rod is the worst as usual. Both pistons have worked loose on the piston rod by about half a turn on the thread. This engine has not been out for about ten years so this is not surprising. Re-tightening the rod is not an option. If heated and tightened the head will snap off.
Earlier this year I made six new piston rods from EN24T and had them hard-chromed. This now pays off! I machined off the old riveted head to extract the old rod, screwed in the new rod as tightly as possible and riveted over the head with the rod in a lump of steel in the vice made for the job with an half inch hole in it to take the rod and put the strain on the lip on the rod below the piston rather than the piston.
I was lucky in that my piston rings were intact and the car had been going well so I left them well alone. The bores always look poor on this car. I have resisted re-boring it as the problem is clearly a casting fault and seems to make little difference to the way the car goes. These defects are said to hold the oil!
I carefully cut new lock washers which have an internal tag to lock the rod (these must fit well), an external tag to lock the washer onto the cross-head and a tag to lock the nut holding the piston rod. I had some of these laser cut but they need finishing to the rod. They were not a good job and many have to be chucked as the piston rod tag is too small. With those lock washers, it is easiest to pre-bend the tag down to go into the cross-head and just start the bend on the nut tags going up which also allows one to clear the crosshead locking nuts which complicate the issue. To fit the rod once the piston is in the cylinder and the packing glands repacked, the nut must first be screwed up the piston rod as far as it can go with the lock washer pushed up to it. I stick it up there with some grease to hold it temporarily in place. It is then a case of carefully screwing the pistons into their crossheads working the tag washers down in their place WITHOUT damaging the tags until the correct “clearance” setting is reached from piston to block rim. Then tighten the piston nut down and tag it. The clearance is measured with a steel rule to the nearest 1/32 inch as the piston can only be locked in place at half turn positions with those tag washers and the rods have a 20 TPI thread. I put a bit of tape on the ruler at the correct setting for each piston. Using calipers I find complicates the issue and mistakes can be made.
I next move onto the valves. In practice I do these before fitting the pistons into the block to make sure that the block is quite clean before all fitting is done.
The LP slide valve will need some cleaning up with grinding paste on a sheet of plate glass and checked with blue on the flat plate to make sure that it is true. Then I will polish the block surface and grind and scrape it, checking again with blue that it is fitting all over.
The HP piston valve needs to be checked to see what the fit is like. It needs to be good and I work to one tenth of a thou on machining using fine emery to finish.I use Meonite for the valve which is a fine cast iron. Remaking one is simple but time consuming as the fit needs to just allow the piston valve to creep through its tube under gravity with thin oil.
Resetting the valve adjustment is a case of following the book getting the openings equal at both ends of the valve travel and rechecking after tightening the valves. There are no rings on this car on the piston valve but some 1910 White engines had them.
On the first steaming, I let it tick over on cut-off and re-adjust the settings to get the tick-over absolutely smooth. It is only an adjustment of at most about a turn of one or both of the valve rods. Probably the expansion of the valve rods slightly alters the settings from the cold setting.
Bob

Attachments: Old and new piston rods with new tag washers and nuts.jpg (228kB)   Piston and slide valves needing work.jpg (250kB)   The bores are a bit pitted but this is not a problem.jpg (217kB)  
Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Donald Cook (---.range81-146.btcentralplus.com)
Date: November 7, 2016 05:03PM

Bob, I am surprised that the piston valve doesn’t have any piston rings.


Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob (---.range86-134.btcentralplus.com)
Date: November 9, 2016 05:25AM

Hello Don,
The piston valve was first introduced on the White on Whistling Billy in 1905 for racing. It went into the production cars for 1907 (Models "H" 20hp and "G" 30hp). It is a cotton-reel valve of about 1.14inch diameter(perhaps they stared off at 0.125inch before polishing out a few times). There is no cage to hold the ends of the ring in; perhaps this was the complication in that the space was limited around the valve when the design of the block was changed from flat valve to piston valve on the HP side.
The later valve has a cage inserted but the whole block was redesigned into a square block with more space for the valves beside the pistons and Joy valve gear. The ringed valves are quite a lot larger even without the cage.
The piston valves seem to work well without the rings but they do need replacing quite often. I have several that came with the 1907 and 1908 Whites and they differ considerably in the size of the cotton reel ends. I think that someone in the past has tried reducing the end length perhaps to get a little extra performance! I have yet to go this far on Billy as I am still keeping the performance down because of the fragility of the blocks!
Bob

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Donald Cook (---.range81-146.btcentralplus.com)
Date: November 10, 2016 03:46AM

Thanks Bob, I can see why you replace the valves quite often as without piston rings the smallest amount of wear would pass quite a bit of steam.

Don

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