Good morning folks,
I have been back to my CAD drawer Rod and had a chat with him. The casters could well have used either product but after consideration went for the grey flake iron with 1% copper as the best option. I certainly was with both of you and would have initially gone for SG or Ductile iron 80-55-o6. I hope to have 10 of these made and certainly I hope to have some done in SG iron so that anyone wanting them will have a choice. The next stage is to machine these two and test the castings and pattern. I hope to start next week after our three day West of England Rally at Stithians this weekend.
I have completed the reassembly of my 1908 White Model"L" and had a drive around. I do not have enough heat in the steam but this is probably related to the ethanol in the fuel as that side I have not altered since last out. In fact the last time out, about two years ago, we climbed very steep hills with no problems apart from the front shaft of the rear axle bearing seizing and fracturing the shaft.
It is similar to the problems that I have had with the 1902 and 1903 Whites which disappeared when I went onto ethanol-free fuel in the Isle of Man. I have upped the diesel in the petrol to 25% to see if it improves. It did help to put the fuel pressure up from 50-55 psi to 60psi which has not been required before.
The rear axle is slightly more noisy than it was. I did slightly tighten the crown-wheel on the pinion which is probably a mistake although it looked as if it needed it.
I also note that half of the fellow on the right wheel is failing after 110 years. I believe that this had been replaced in the early days ( before it was taken off the road in 1915) with the wrong wood which had become worm eaten. I injected fibreglass into it 29 years ago and it has done well! That is a job for this winter and I will do little running in the meantime with this car.
We had very wet West of England Steam Rally at Stithians but still managed to enjoy much of it, much spent chatting in the Hounslow trailer. I ended up taking my 1902 White which my eldest son William drove around the wet ring with his eldest daughter Polly and her friend Alice on the Saturday. The first day we had managed to erect an 8 X 4 meter tent which turned out to be the center of our little show with my 1908 White, George Hounlow’s nearing complete 1901 Porter which is a Locomobile look-a-like but with a complex original chassis and Nick Howell’s 1901 Toledo. On the Saturday I tried to steam the 1908 White only to find that I had bought the petrol for it and not put it in the car, it was in my workshop still! I was pleased to have taken the car home on the Saturday evening as the weather was so bad on the Sunday and loading and transporting the 1902 White was enough on the very soft ground!
Peter, George and Sarah Hounslow were there but just with the Porter, Chris Relf took his 1909 White Model “O” chassis and Mike James had the only Stanley which he steamed on the Saturday but Sunday was too wet all day for us to see it again. Martin Nutter came down with his home-made and quite efficient mono-tube “Likamobile”. He could not be persuaded to steam on the wet Sunday either. The rain did not stop all day.
My brother John came down to the rally with Anne on Saturday but sensibly no steamer. John has been steaming his White again after some fire damage to the right side of the body.
I had an incident with my 1908 White which could have been similar to his. I think that it is another fuel problem again with the ethanol. It is four years since I steamed this car before last week. The ethanol separates the petrol and diesel which I was already aware of as I find that I have to rock the car and fuel tank to make it burn cleanly on the early Whites. Sometimes the petrol vaporizes and burns alright but at the wrong temperature (as yet I do not know what temperature). The diesel does not vaporize and gets squirted into the burner base where eventually the liquid lights and has to burn off giving a hot fire which burns for some time even with the fuel off and no more fuel going into the burner.
I am going to try again with heating oil and this time a vaporizing additive, the short hot vaporizer (6 inches X 6 passes = 36 inches with rods fitted inside) and the three jets reduced from 0. 054 inch to 0.046 inch as recommended by Whites. I tried this several years ago without the additive and I could not get the fuel to vaporize properly then. The short vaporizer on the Whites is the hottest as almost all of it sits over the pilot light. The 8 inch vaporizer is the standard one and the long 10 inch one was used when alcohol was used as fuel (I would have thought that that was too light a fuel!). Putting the ¼ inch rods in the 5/8th inch vaporizer tube makes the vaporizing more efficient at a slightly higher temperature. This allowed a variety of fuels to be used once one had found the right combination for that fuel.
The early White vaporizers were 8 inches x 4 passes up to 1905 when the 6 passes became the normal. Whites only give details for Kerosene for the later vaporizers but only one fuel was used in the early ones so the pilot light must work off the same fuel which it will not do with kerosene.
I will attach a couple of pictures. I seem to have mislaid the shorter vaporizer. My camera remained unused this wet weekend so I have no pictures as yet of the gathering.
I am sorry but due to family illness my events at the end of this season have all been cancelled and I have done very little in the workshop for the last month. This is likely to go on for the next month while more tests are done and the surgeon’s knife is at work.
I do have the odd hour in the workshop and then I am working on Billy’s steam line and throttle. I am renewing most of the pipework, joints and nuts.
I am leaving the machining of the new blocks until things here are more settled.
Instead of the usual friction damper on the throttle I am spring loading both the levers to the throttle and the throttle valve with its five start spiral to make it legal in modern competition. It must switch itself off in case of an accident. This is proving quite a problem to make it look neat and smart and work freely. I will then need an adjustable system to keep the throttle slightly open when warming up the steam. The steam pipes should be a lot smarter in their new wrapping of “Pit King Volcano Exhaust Wrap” from Demon Tweeks. It should take the temperature according to its blurb.
When early for an appointment at the hospital I parked for 20 minutes outside a shop in their car park and went into it. Some of the building was covered in polythene while work was being done. My BMW X5 was sprayed with paint “overspray”. It is very difficult to get it off (“two-pack” thinners and much rub does remove it) and it is going in for three days to be cleaned and polished. Several people have had the same problem, some needing the plastic work on the car replaced as the paint will not come off that. At least they are giving me a car for those days. The builders have been very helpful in sorting the cleaning but I could have done without the problem at the present time.
First I would like to wish Arthur Thomson well. Arthur has 1904 (Model “E”) and 1910 Model “OO” Whites and runs “Watty Pollock” a Foden traction engine and the Famous Scenic Burrell showman’s engine “Lion”. They invariably all run well. We heard before Christmas that Arthur had had a severe stroke taking his speech and paralyzing him down one side. He is also our Club dating officer.
I have hardly been in my workshop for two months with my wife and myself being unwell. We are now being sorted and hope to be back to full strength soon.
After my BMW tow car had been sprayed by some builders, their very efficient and helpful secretary sorted the cleaning out very well. Why can’t more people be like that?
I have managed to machine most of my 1903 White‘s block surfaces after it had had several cracks welded and the HP valve surface rebuilt up. The latter I machined with several cross cuts down the one and a half inch slot in the casting, cutting with the side of a long mill that was about 5/8 inch diameter and had side flutes about the same. This meant that it did not taper all the way down as it would have done side-cutting with a long mill. I am sure that it will need to be ground in but I cannot see any marks in the surface at present. This diameter mill just reached to end of the flat valve surface.
On this block, I am just left with having to machine out a simpling valve surface which is an ordinary poppet valve like that of a petrol car which the welders built up by mistake. That might not be as easy as it sounds for I do not have the proper cutters as yet but it will give me a practice run for Billy’s blocks which I hope to start on soon. This block was the one that I got on the car when I purchased it and I had a spare in my workshop that I have been using since;from where it came I know not!
I am only doing the odd hour in the workshop but when I went out there a couple of weeks ago the lathes and machinery were dripping with condensation as we have had so much rain here. All my batteries were flat on the measuring instruments too. I usually bring them into the house in my old medical bag and had forgotten to do so. I dried it out with warmth and a dehumidifier and have left the latter on as the rain does not look as if it will stop soon! My drive is now a stream! I need to check the leather on the cars for mold too. They are all under covers at present in the shed with frost protection heaters which come on at 3 degrees C.
My brother John has again tried lighting up his 1910 White. It seems unable to cope with the petrol with ethanol in it 80% and diesel 20 %. The burner suddenly bursts into flames in the base. We are fairly sure that the ethanol is separating the diesel off. Probably the petrol and ethanol are being burnt leaving the diesel in the burner base which eventually lights. The fuel being white coming out of the three jets shows that it is not properly vaporizing.
This is a change in the last year or so. Both my and his later Whites coped with unleaded petrol 80% plus diesel 20% until then and John hardly touched his set up for several years. I think that the increase in the ethanol by the government has probably caused the problem. We have tried adding rods up the center of the vaporizer but still without success. Unfortunately I am not able to do the required experiments with my cars at present to see if I can sort them. The 1908 White was exactly the same in the summer for the first time but I had not run it for about four years. It affected the 1902 and 1903 Whites making them more difficult also but when I tried straight unleaded petrol in the Isle of Man with the 1902 White it was right back on song. They add NO ethanol to their fuel.
Good luck Arthur.