Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Steamcarbob
Date: March 6, 2018 05:51AM
Things are improving down here at the end of Cornwall. The snow has gone, the grandchildren’s snowman has melted and the dog has eaten its carrot nose. I am slowly getting more mobile and am now able to get to my workshop. I hope to get started with work very soon.
Robert Hurford has remade the woodwork on my 1908 White model “L”s rear right wheel where the woodworm had attacked one fellow. I injected liquid fiberglass into it in 1988 and it has given good service for about 25 years and about 25,000 miles but the spokes had started to loosen leaving no way forward apart from new wood. I now am going to oil it to bring it nearer the colour of the other wheels which all seem well at 110 years old. I do not use varnish on my old car woodwork but oil them once or twice a year with boiled linseed oil applied thinly with a rag.
My brother John tried his 1910 White Model “OO” before the cold snap. He had problems with his pilot light and then his simpling valve. These are parts that need servicing every year and he has studiously avoided them for a few years! After sorting these, he had quite a good run but as usual he did not go well up his very long and steep test hill. He was using about 10% diesel in unleaded fuel with ethanol in it. This is what my early cars run reasonably on. I suspect that with more diesel he would have climbed his steep hill more easily but he also would have been more at risk of fire in the burner. My advice is to run the car for more miles avoiding steep hills for the present and I think that it will improve on its own perhaps with finer fuel adjustment. The temperature of the steam is now almost constantly on 750 deg F. He did complain of some “fluffing” in the engine on the long hill even with full temperature. This could be some water overload and he is going to check the valve at the back of the flowmotor which can corrode or the spring on it can weaken. It should in theory cause overheating of the steam rather than the reverse.
Recently I was given a hard backed White 1909/10 manual and in it was an interesting cutting from a newspaper. I will type it out as it is not very clear to reproduce.
“No 1353,- 20 h.p. White Steam Car.
I am a driver-mechanic in charge of two White steam cars – an 18 h.p. and a 20 h.p. touring car (private service) - the 20 h.p. being our favorite.
During the two years that we have had the car we have covered just over 29,000 miles. We have always got to our destination without assistance of any kind, and generally well inside time. We have toured throughout these Isles, especially over the Devonshire roads, and have had a right merry time.
One little trouble that we had is worth mentioning. We were coming over the Llanbaris Pass about midnight one stormy night last December when the car slowed up, and would not steam properly. I stopped and unfastened the union on the back of the superheater, thinking it was an air lock, and gave a sigh of relief when the air hissed out. I fastened it up, and went on again, but the car slowed up. I unfastened the water regulator, and found a tiny piece of gauze fast around the regulator valve (the Finnegan pin - RD), thereby preventing it from seating, consequently the water was bypassing instead of going into the generator. The pressure of water from the pumps against a dirty thimble strainer had burst the gauze, causing it to go forward onto the valve.
As to driving hints, keep the strainers clean, (thimble strainer at the back of the water regulator should be taken out every day if possible, as it only takes two minutes). Flood the oil out of the water tank at the end of a long journey whilst hot, as it comes off easier. Keep a good pilot light, viz., blue flame, and no leaky screws, a clean tight vaporiser (will do 800 to 1,000 miles without cleaning, if touring, but less for town work). See that all piston and pump glands are tight. Start quietly, and go at a steady pace for about 5 miles, then let go. The 20 h.p. runs better on half-opened throttle, unless one wishes to make a dash past anything. When travelling fast, link up a little. By doing so steam and petrol are saved, but never neglect to link back when slowing up and in town traffic or the engine will vibrate, - GOLDEN SILENCE”.
There is lots of good advice here and a well looked after White will run well for many miles!
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