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The Hoke Family Stanley Steamer
Stanley Steamer SVCA 25030 Model 252

I have a file folder of stuff to take to the Dallas County Tax Office on Monday morning and we’ll try to get 25007 registered and licensed. I have a pair of 1925 Texas tags that I can use for the official registration. I still cannot get the cable out of the super heater. I put the vice grips on it again, twisted it, and pulled and yanked on it as aggressively as I could, but it would not budge. How hard can you twist and pull before you break something? It seemed to stretch a little and was longer after I pulled than before I started. Art Hart tells me that once the cable is stuck, it is stuck forever and the only solution is a new super heater.
Yesterday I stopped at my favorite hardware store which has almost anything anyone could ever want. I think they rival McMaster Carr. They had stainless elbows in the older style! I have no idea why I never asked them before. I bought all five they had and a couple of other short sections of pipe. This enabled me to put the emergency blow off valve from The BettyAnne (25030) that John Packard rebuilt onto the boiler. The original valve off 25007 is in the mail to John to rebuild. I bead blasted it and it cleaned up nicely, but I don’t have the correct spring for it.
I then put the bead blasted pilot back into the car, connected the pilot fuel line, put the bead blasted branch forks back on, pumped some air into the system (still have a leak somewhere), put water into the system until it ran out of a surface blow down valve and could be plainly seen in the sight glass, called CJ out to the garage, lit the fancy new propane torch with the 4’ rubber tube and stuck it into the pilot hole (which is conveniently the exact size as the propane burner nozzle), and five minutes later cracked opened the pilot fuel valve. Magic! It lit perfectly at 4:29 PM Central Standard Time. Nice blue flame.br> Following David Nergaard’s Directions to the second, I then waited half an hour. At 4:59 PM just as CJ and Carolyn were coming out of the house on their way to school for the third and last performance of Romeo and Juliet – CJ has the lead as Juliet! – I cracked opened the starting valve and the main burner valve and heard that wonderful whooshing sound of the main burner lighting.
We had some fire outside the burner where there is some type of leak and I saw a vigorous flame in one of the venturi tubes but not the other, so I turned off the pilot fuel valve both at the tank and on the frame and on the starting valve, made sure the main burner valve was off, and the fire slowly went out as the pressure dropped. My goal for the day was not to make steam but to test the pilot and main fuel systems. There was not time for a second effort yesterday, but I was distinctly pleased with the first effort.
This afternoon after CJ’s piano concert at 3:00 PM, I’ll caulk some of the areas around the pilot and between the burner and the boiler where some of the old caulking came off. I’ll try to get the bubble out of the master cylinder and get hydraulic fluid pressure to all four wheels. While I am under the back wheels, I’ll adjust the mechanical parking brakes.
As soon as I figure out which packing to use on the three air valves, I’ll repack them. I think that is where the air leak is located.
I bought a piece of tool steel and my favorite machine shop is making me a swedge per Don Bourdon’s specifications. It should be done by the middle of the week. My lathe does not have a taper attachment. Speaking of lathes, I finally got the correct cross feed screw ordered from South Bend for my dad’s 9” Model A lathe. It should be here by Wednesday. I continue to watch eBay for a Hardinge HLV, but have not seen anything in my price range just yet.
I bought a window frame on eBay to replace the window frame that was lost in the 1990s when the car was moved on an opened trailer from Aimsley’s shop to your house. It is, thankfully, a standard size. Carolyn is working on front seat covers as the original leather is too far gone to save. It is mostly rotted and breaks up when moved.

That’s the news from Dallas!

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