Posted by: foggy
I own the ‘Nelson’ steam car, built on the same principle as a Stanley, by Les Nelson. The car has given a lot of pleasure since being acquired in 2002, however it has been laid up since 2009. I have now embarked on re-commissioning along with some further modifications. All was going well until I had the bright idea of moving boiler feed pump, fuel pump and lubricator from being engine mounted to a position where they could be easily accessed,….under the front passenger floor with a reciprocating rod drive from a crosshead connection via a rocker. In fact I used two smaller feed pumps in place of Les’s single engine mounted one. It all worked nicely under test with the car on chassis stands, but as I was doing a final fitting of the back axles to the springs, I realised I had overlooked the fact that the car has semi-elliptical springs, not full elliptical as Stanley’s do. Movement of the springs produces longitudinal movement of the engine and therefore also the drive rod to the pumps, effectively altering its length by much of the pump stroke!
I can’t see a way out other than fitting full ellipticals or reverting to as designed by Les (who obviously knew what he was doing!) with engine mounted everything. I feel foolish enough already, so don’t be too harsh in any comments! I have in fact begun the task of refitting all back onto the engine….but I am finding it difficult to muster enthusiasm for doing it.