30 hp Burner
Has a Healthy Howl
Kobus and Ali van Jaarsveld
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1920 735A Roadster
Coach by John Denmann & Co. Ltd. - U.K.
After an unbelievable number of delays and frustrations I have finally overcome all the hurdles in my way and the last few days saw me fire up and run Stan. There was a leak of vaporized fuel from the main vaporizer and it all had to come down again to cure that but all is well now. I attach some pictures. Let me make some comments as I go:
The hexane works magnificently and burns with a good blue flame. It certainly keeps its own vaporizer hot and I have not had a flame go out in driving around and parking etc today. A far cry from the Benzene I used to struggle with. The 50/50 unleaded/diesel fuel mix works similarly well. It burns easily and cleanly and I have not had any jet blockages. The 30 hp burner on Bourdon's 16 inch high boiler works very well indeed. We have some hills around here and steam pressure has not on any occasion dropped below 350 lbs. The unit has a healthy howl when the burner is full on. I let the steam pressure/fuel cut off regulator do all the work and steam pressure is mostly between 500 and 600 pounds.
The car goes much, much better than previously and is intoxicatingly nice to drive. I only realise now how bad the thing really was. My own design of igniter consisting of a Ford trembler coil and a long reach spark plug in a simple retainer through the peep hole works. I shut off all the fires and waited for a while and turned on the pilot fuel, pressed the button and whap! the fuel ignited. I still use the standard 6v system.
The exhaust flue venturi is magic. I give it just a small crack of steam while standing and it keeps up a clean draft through the system. Nice to clear out things when it gets potted up. I have not had occasion to use the flameout arrestor but it is a comfort knowing it is there. I installed steam enemas on both vaporizers and will see how they work when the time comes. I think it is a marvelous idea.
I have installed a circular stainless steel basket filled with domestic absorbent towels in the water tank. It is so designed that it can be removed easily without spanners by lifting the floorboards and we will see how this performs. I also designed and made a simple oil collector which I fitted in the steam return pipe close to the engine. It will add very little to the back-pressure but I was astonished to see that already oil dripped out when I opened its tap this afternoon. It does collect oil, how much will remain to be seen.
The 1000 lbs/sq inch pressure gauge which I fitted to the water pump delivery line is similarly invaluable. For the first time ever I now know when the water is pumping. I think it is also very useful in adjusting the water automatic.
I bought from Edward La Fleur one of those marvelous steam whistles and mounted it vertically on the footboard on the RH side of the car. I made a big mistake by tapping the steam for this device off the top of the steam pipe serving the low-water fuel cut-off and water automatic. Steam flowing towards the whistle syphons water from the bottom of the boiler causing a huge flow of water through the whistle and this then rains down on the car! All you get is a big whoosh and It also confuses the water automatic. This will be changed immediately. Steam for this purpose must come from a top tapping only.
I used new pipe fittings throughout and was surprised to see several leaks on joints which were not treated with a sealant. I took it for granted that new parts would fit perfectly but this is not so. I use an ultra high temp copper based gasket sealer on the threads now.
I had new brake drums turned from solid hunks of metal and fitted the water cooling I saw in the USA. Everything is new and stiff so there was some heat build-up and the cooling seems to work admirably.
Because the new boiler is 2 inches taller than the old one, I raised the water level indicator and the water automatic 1inch each. I also adjusted the internal water feed pipe and the internal surface blow-off stand pipe (left front) in harmony. These changes seem to have been correct.
In summary I must point out that the technical additions were made to address specific problems that detracted from the smooth and trouble-free operation of the machine. These are the result of much research and of course the most valuable help and advice I was given by so many steam friends. None of the work done was such that it would scar the car in any way. If ever one felt that the changes I have made should not be there they can be removed easily and the car brought back to "as manufactured " status.
Another most important fact is that I am now far better qualified to operate the car. Having been through all the details and knowing what every component does makes it much more enjoyable to drive. The car and I are both winners.
Thank you all for your invaluable assistance. I attach some pictures.
Very best regards,