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Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: (---.dyn.iinet.net.au)
Date: January 16, 2008 06:17AM

A happy new year to all.

I had a marvelous start to 08, with a trip to NSW and inspections of the Doble, model K, 2 X 740's, 735, a 1916 -condensing Stanley-don't know model!:-( , a 07 White and 2 Locomobiles! talk about being spoilt!
One was a completed restoration (that ran very well) and the other a very original 01 stanthorpe.
Now, after my showing off, I have a question for the boffins.

All of the literature I have seen, including the drawings that came with my Locosurrey, as well as my experience with the WA museums 740, all tell me that the path for the pressurised fuel SHOULD be from Tank, through isolation valve, to Steam automatic, where a small amount passes unregulated for the pilot and the majority is regulated by the steam automatic, when it then goes through the vapourising tube and the through the jets into the venturi tube/s and into the burner....
all very logical to me.

Now, when I first spotted the restoration Loco, I traced all the pipework etc (as a matter of course) and I was surprised to find that the fuel came from the isolation valve and then THROUGH the vapourising pipework (obviously inside the burner assembly) and THEN through the steam automatic and then directly to the jets.

Now as I have previously stated, the car has previously,and indeed did on the day we had it out and about, run very well and the owners were very happy with its performance,
But I kept thinking that the steam automatic would have to be more effective at preventing LIQUID fuel passing than vapourised fuel.....

So I pondered......

Anyway, I then was priveledged to get to see another (very original) Locomobile, complete, but hadn't run for several decades, and again I dived under the car to get a good look at the plumbing systems and, you guessed it, it had the same fuel pathway.

So now I am stumped.

Logic is that fuel as a liquid is better for the automatic to be automatic with, and the thought of having vapourised fuel trapped inside the burner (which presumably, would increase in pressure as the temperature increased), -perhaps causing a backflow of vapouried/wet fuel into the tank and all the nasty implications that could have.......

I would appreciate others experience and thoughts,


locosurrey.

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: (---.wavecable.com)
Date: January 16, 2008 10:17AM

I have never seen a Locomobile or any Stanley plumbed like you described with the steam automatic placed after the main fuel vaporizer and before the main fuel jets. I have seen over 300 Locomobiles & Stanley steam cars and they all were plumbed in the conventional manner of the steam automatic placed before the main fuel vaporizer. Another down side of the steam automatic being placed after the main fuel vaporizer is the loss of heat of the main fuel vapor to the steam automatic and to the extra plumbing before it finally passes through the main fuel jets. The burner needs the higher temperature of the fuel vapor for both fuel velocity, fuel vaporization, and complete air/fuel mixing. A cooler fuel mixture passes more slowly through the main fuel jets and the burner plate than a hotter fuel vapor because the molecules are more dense in the cooler fuel vapor.

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: Jeff Theobald (Moderator)
Date: January 16, 2008 04:59PM



Hi Dave,

The way your cars fuel system is plumbed is correct; I have two early original cars here with the same system, the 1897 Hart and my 1900 Locomobile. As you described the burner is high when on and when the automatic calls for no fire it shuts to a low fire (pilot) so the pressure will not increase, when you shut the car down the pressure slowly goes down as the low fire (pilot) uses up the last fuel in the vaporiser.

This is the reason Locomobiles with an original system cannot stand around for to long, as it is difficult to get the low fire low enough to not make steam without it blowing out under windy conditions, you have to set it for the lowest it will keep alight and not make steam to quickly.

You should also have the "Firing Iron" which when you have it sizzling hot is connected with the quick release screw fitting to the steam automatic, turn on and light the burner, as soon as it is hot enough, change over to the main fire and remove the firing iron.

Hope this helps, Jeff.

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: (---.dyn.iinet.net.au)
Date: January 17, 2008 06:50AM

Thankyou both,
I like sssteamer, had not seen such a set up, hence the query,
Jeff, thanks for confirmation that I am not (necessarily) mad.

Reading between the lines, I assume, that with the Stan Otway burner that I am building, I should proceed to plumb it as I originally thought......

that is....

Fuel tank--Isolation valve--steam automatic--Vapourising tube---jets, venturi's

The other way, WAS used but has drawbacks

Am I reading this correctly?

PS, just got my chassis back from the paint shop, beautiful RED!

locosurrey.

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: Jeff Theobald (Moderator)
Date: January 18, 2008 05:16AM



Hi Dave,

Some restorers like to keep to the original components and style of operation, insisting on keeping everything to the original specification. Its just a case of preference by the owner/restorer, we all know there are numerous small changes that make a car more user friendly with better performance, and only a few will ever know that the changes are there.

Keep up the good work, and I look forward to seeing some pictures of your progress,

all the best, Jeff.

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: (---.dyn.iinet.net.au)
Date: January 18, 2008 07:15AM

Thankx Jeff,

Yes caution being the better part of valor, I will opt for going to the automatic FIRST,

what I did not mention was that on the restored Loco, with the vaporiser occuring before the automatic, the pipework did ( a few years ago) split causing an uncontrollable fire in the burner (and around the boiler, seat etc) necessitating a partial rebuild, the cause.... the pipework used was original type stuff, the replacement pipework is stainless steel

As soon as my B$#$#$##**&y computer is fixed I can download some pic's to post, I must say my visit & drive in a Loco has certainly spurred me onwards.

locosurrey

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: (---.wavecable.com)
Date: January 18, 2008 11:10AM

Dear Dave, About 10 years ago while on tour in the Shasta mountains, I had a fuel line to my fuel pressure gauge break off its original flare at the tubing nut located on the gauge. Being on the boiler side of the firewall, I had 140 pounds of fuel pressure instantly vent it's self onto the hot boiler and with the bonnet's top flap just openned, flames explosively shot 20 feet into the air. This is where it was handy having a fuel pressure dump valve, as all I ended up with was having to repaint my hood. I have since located the fuel pressure dump (return) valve on the outside of the Stanley rather than inside the Stanley. After dumping the fuel pressure, I effectively used my Halon fire extinguisher in putting down the flames. With times like these, it is easy to see why the steam cars are also called "fire wagons". SSsssteamer

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: Mike Clark (---.winn.adsl.virgin.net)
Date: January 18, 2008 04:43PM

Good idea moving the dump valve to where you can reach it - I hadn't thought of that.

Pity Halon is now illegal - so much better than the replacements as has been proven on steamer fires quite recently!

Has anyone used an AFFF foam extinguisher on a steamer fuel fire and how did it work?
We generally are advised to avoid dry powder extinguishers on antique cars as the powder tends to compact in storage and then it does not work when you need it.

Mike

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: (---.dyn.iinet.net.au)
Date: January 19, 2008 04:23AM

OUCH!
Damn fine idea that, I will (a) include such a device on mine and (b) pass on the words of wisdom.

I am quite familiar with uncontrollable flames after a few "experiences" with the 740, certainly nice to avoid if at all possible, failing that nice to have an escape clause (dump valve)

Thankx
locosurrey

Re: Locomobile fuel path
Posted by: (---.for.connect.net.au)
Date: February 3, 2008 04:02AM

New to steam, but notice on my 1899 Locomobile, when I shut the main fuel valve off, the fire still burns for upwards of 2 minutes due to the pressure in the line between the valve and the jets. Seemed ineffective to me to turn the fuel off if a fire occurred, as the entire car would burn in 2 minutes. I made a new 2 piece jet holder with a small tap, so in an emergency I can turn the fuel off within 4 inches of the jets. (providing I can get may hands to the tap!) Hope I never need it, but makes me feel better.

As a side note, First fitting had the jets about half inch from venturis, and the burner howled like a herd of bison. Readjusting the gap to nearer an inch where they should be, the howl reduced to the normal sound of a herd of sick cows.

Cheers


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