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Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: (
Date: November 23, 2014 10:04AM

Got this letter today from a brand new American member. Maybe someone can help him(?)


I just joined SCCGB and, in going through past forum posts, noticed you posted a request regarding parts needed for an early car with a Mason engine (SN 170?) I am acquiring a similar car (Engine SN 111) and am trying to figure out what I need to do to get it running again. It last ran in the 60s after a moderate restoration. It appears to have the original copper body boiler with a replacement burner. It is missing the automatic fuel control. I plan to have the boiler hydrostatically pressure tested to see if there is any way to keep using it before I bite the bullet and buy one of Don Bourdon's replacements. I don't like the idea of replacing the 50 pound original with a 160 lb replacement. I do not think I want to increase the operating pressure to the 400 psi available with the new boiler, given the weak frame of the original engines.

I would appreciate any help/advice you can offer. I don't see myself driving long distances, but would like to be able to demonstrate the car and drive a few miles at a time.

Tom Bastian
Tucson, AZ

Re: Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: Tom B (
Date: January 14, 2015 11:48AM

Hi all-
I have finally got my access to the forum straightened out, and am glad to be a new member of your organization (american spelling).
As Tom Dawson said, I have recently acquired an early Locomobile or Mobile. Not quite sure which it is. It has an early bronze frame Mason engine (S/N 111) and riveted copper shell boiler with wire overwrap. Some of the body wood was replaced in a mid-50's restoration. It has a larger oval cross-section gas tank and air tank, but the narrow (50 inch) track and tiller steering, so I am thinking it may be one of the first 200 chassis that were divided between Locomobile and Mobile and ended up coming out of Mobile in 1900.
I am currently trying to get it running on propane while I work out the fuel feed and pilot configuration. I have hydrostatically tested the boiler to 140 psi with no leaks. I have steamed the boiler out of the car to 140 psi, and set the safety valve to 135 psi. I am now reinstalling the boiler in the car. I am not new to old cars, but am new to steam cars, so I welcome all comments and suggestions.

Tom in Tucson, AZ, USA

Re: Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: Tom B (
Date: January 18, 2015 07:18PM

I got the car running on steam this weekend. I posted a video on youtube:


During the first drive, the left piston rod packing nut came loose, so a lot of steam was escaping. After reattaching, everything worked fine.

Tom B

Re: Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: SUPER7591 (Moderator)
Date: January 22, 2015 11:46AM

Congratulations Tom, nice to see another steam car doing what it was intended to do, on the road in steam. Harold (Chairman SCCGcool smiley

Re: Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: September 3, 2015 05:27AM

I am a bit late in linking your report to what I have on my shelf. In your first note, you state that the fuel automatic was missing.
I do have a spare fuel automatic for an early Locomobile type car.
It has a diaphragm of about 3ins diameter with the steam connection on the top and an adjustable part in the middle.
Coming out at the bottom is a pipe to the fuel line with a junction with a tap on the pipe leading to another junction, possibly for the main burner.
Going on down is another junction with a fuel nozzle controlled by two taps, one into the jet and one on the fuel section (this is probably for the pilot light).
Going on downwards is another pipe (still a bronze casting) with a right angle bend and a junction possibly for the fuel to come in.
I may have the two junctions the wrong way around as I can not see how far the control needle goes down into the pipes.
The general condition of the bronze is good and most parts are castings.The screws on the diaphragm will need careful removal and replacing. The top tap is free. The bottom two are broken off and will need careful extraction so as not to cause damage.

Attachments: Locomobile automatic 1.jpg (122kB)   Locomobile automatic 2.jpg (120kB)  
Re: Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: Tom B (107.77.165.---)
Date: September 3, 2015 01:02PM

Thanks for the reply. I am still interested in getting the gasoline system functional and still in need of the fuel automatic. Yours looks like what I have seen in drawings. How much are you looking to get for it?


Re: Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: Steamcarbob (
Date: September 4, 2015 02:09PM

Hello Tom,
I have sent a private message to you.
I also have a Locomobile displacement oiler which came with the pressure regulator. I hope to attach a picture of it but have failed three times!

Attachments: Locomobile Oiler 002.JPG (128kB)  
Re: Locomobile Help Needed
Posted by: beuvens (
Date: September 6, 2015 03:34AM

Hello Tom
I think you could run your car more than a few miles.
This year, I ran my 1900 Locomobile (engine number 959, photo on the front page of more than 330 kilometers (200 miles) during the Circuit de l'Argonne in France and the PAC Pre-1905 Tour in Nederland.
Tips : smooth opening of the throttle, good lubrication of the engine (left hand side - where the water pump is connected, sliding guides).
The more you drive your car, the more you know it.
Happy steaming !
Michel Beuvens

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