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Cruban pilot
Posted by: ron parola (IP Logged)
Date: March 21, 2015 08:55PM

I'm trying a Cruban burner on my car now, really makes steam but I'm having pilot issues. First off I've made a short vaporizer in the vain hope of making my life EASIER by using gasoline for the pilot. That seems to work fine and the few Cruban pilots I've seen have been cracked at the clean out plugs on it's cast in 2 foot long vaporizer so I've avoided that problem with a completely separate vaporizer. The problem seems to be when the main burner is on it sucks the pilot flame out, at least on the 3 sections of pilot burner I can see with the hatch closed. I can't see if the main part of the pilot is still going, but the vaporizer is heated by the front sections so it cools down and it may or may not relight when the burner cycles. Any thoughts therein? Thanks Ronp

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: EBG (IP Logged)
Date: March 22, 2015 03:08AM

Hi Ron,
I used a Cruban pilot for a number of years on my car. When I got it, the original cast external vaporizer tube that wrapped around the outside of the front of the pilot had been replaced with tubing, probably because the original casting had cracked. This was nicely made and worked OK, seemed to like gas (unleaded or white) worked better than Kerosese, although once hot it became unreliable and would start burning under the "grate". This was a persistent issue, the main burner would kick in, the pilot would go out, but it would, almost all of the time, relight as soon as the burner shut down. Although, as I say, once things got hot it would eventually light below the grate. I would turn the pilot off, and relight once it was a bit cooled down, and it would burn great again, at least until the burner came back on. I spent some time really making sure the pilot burner intake was clear and unrestricted, played with jet sizes and fuel pressure, etc. Got to the point where I would have a nice burning blue flame hot pilot (about 4-5 psi) on gas, but it would always go out when the main burner lit, and relight when the burner shut down. It would still light the main burner even when it was burning below the "grate", so I could live with it, but it bugged me. I aways figred the pressure in the burner area just got so high when the main fire came on, that it blew the pilot out, it only relit once the pressure in the burner area reduced as the main fire started to shut down.
At the end I tried bypassing all the vaporiser that is in the pilot casting, and rigged a vaporiser and jet from an MSR camp stove, wrapping it around the exterior vaporizer heating area. This worked OK, although I had to do more preheating with the torch to make sure the shorter vaporiser was really hot before I lit it. Sometimes, if I was not careful, or tried to push things too fast, it would stop vaporizing the fuel and the pilot would go out and flood with unburnt fuel. This was not an issue once the main burner lit and everything started to get hotter. I did still have the problem with the pilot going out when the main fire lit. I tried adjusting the jet size and the pressure, hoping that with a smaller jet, I could increase the pressure and not have the pilot blow out. However, I could never get the pilot to burn with a nice blue flame across the entire burner area with a small jet and a high pressure, 4-5 psi always seemed to yeild the best flame. I don't remember off hand what jet size I ended up using, just know it was pretty small (70s drill size). In the end I could do an entire day of tourning without the pilot going out and not relighting the main fire, but, after it warmed up it always would relight below the "grate" with a sooty yellow flame.
I now have a Maxwell pilot, that, knock on wood, is burning just fine, although I don't now have any kind of peep hole to see if it stays lit when the main is on.
Hope this helps some, and please let me know if you work this out.

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: ron parola (IP Logged)
Date: March 22, 2015 10:03PM

Yup, I've made a SHORT vaporizer just for gas, and yes around 5psi the flame was quite nice and yes when it gets HOT it does change the mixture, I think I've got the mixture down so it doesn't burn in the pilot. I'm now trying 20 psi with a needle in the jet and that SEEMS to work well. It appears that too much pressure IN the main burner combustion area MAY be reversing air flow in the pilot housing, the pilot flame seems to go rich as the main burner picks up and when it shuts down the pilot SLOWLY comes back to life. I'm going to try blowing air into the pilot air tube to see if I'm full of it....again. Wouldn't be a big problem but the wife hits her head on the roof if it back fires so I'm TRYING to make the pilot as bullet proof as possible. After all There are letters on the web TESTIFYING good the Crubans 1920!

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: EBG (IP Logged)
Date: March 23, 2015 01:34AM

Glad to hear you are making progress! When I first got the car there was a needle in the jet, but the orifice was so large that all I got, at any pressure, was a yellow sooty fire. Had trouble finding just the right orifice size with the needle, so I just went with a needle-less jet. Maybe I should have tried harder!

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Ben (IP Logged)
Date: March 24, 2015 12:25AM

Stanley pilot ,,,,036 hole/w wire,,filed flat on 1 side
forgot depth of flat,,,its in museum newsletters
Maxwell pilot has ??Wire,that also shuts it off,,,TINY wire
NOW,,I'm having trouble following this thread,,
The Empire/cruban burner won't except a Stanley pilot
different animal ,,,
Cruban ALSO made a retro fit replacment Stanley pilot
It has a 1" tube hanging down to eliminate wind from
blowing it out,,,
Does this main burner have a 5" door,CAST IRON,,and hinges
with hot stuff inside,,,ONE mixing tube,cast iron
Very heavy assembly,,Has anyone weighed one of these,??
All for now,,,Ben

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Rolly (IP Logged)
Date: March 24, 2015 05:23PM

I donít believe there is much written about the details of the Empire Cruban pilot.
I do know David Nerrgard is using the burner and Pilot and has had his problem.
Here are some drawing from my files.

Attachments: img1.jpg (153.5KB)   img3.jpg (164.7KB)   640-2.jpg (72.4KB)   P6030002.JPG (153.1KB)  
Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: jschoenly (IP Logged)
Date: March 24, 2015 07:56PM

Here is a Cruban pilot that would fit a standard Stanley burning with the down tube. I have thought of making a few of these. The vaporizer is moved up in this unit and the originals had a mica glass window to view the pilot in the slot.

Attachments: 20141218_211659.jpg (769.8KB)   20141218_210254 - Copy.jpg (617.8KB)  
Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Rolly (IP Logged)
Date: March 24, 2015 10:23PM

That looks like a pilot someone made up.
Here is a drawing I did of an early nozzle that should work with your pilot. The hole is 0.040 and the wire in red that goes through is flat on one side by 0.0130
I hope this helps.


Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: jschoenly (IP Logged)
Date: March 25, 2015 11:57AM

This one isn't mine, but it's a real deal Cruban by the looks of it. That is to say the grate and the main casting/tube. You can see on the vaporizer clamp that it's marked with the Cruban information. These photos show a little better how the vaporizer would have passed through the lower holes and the 180 degree bend in the vaporizer would have been bent upward over the burner grate. The window the vaporizer is currently in is the space where the mica glass was for the window to see the flame. Kinda neat design. The jet fitting would be shorted and it is roughly sealed to the casting so that all the air draw comes up from the tube.

Attachments: 20141218_210323 - Copy.jpg (573KB)   20141218_210330 - Copy.jpg (577.8KB)  
Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Rolly (IP Logged)
Date: March 25, 2015 05:24PM

Could be, itís just that I have never seen one like it.
Here are two more photos I have found on my old computer.

Attachments: Curban pilot.JPG (159.2KB)   P1010036.JPG (194.7KB)   PC090003.JPG (95.7KB)  
Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Ben (IP Logged)
Date: March 26, 2015 01:12PM

Hi,,,Note Rolly's #3 pic above is a rose-bud not the usual slotted grate
I had a 26" like that in the 1920 -735 that went to Pa Cheers,,Ben

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Kelly (IP Logged)
Date: March 26, 2015 08:11PM

it may be that the glandular case is a kerosene pilot and the little one is Cruban's version of a gasoline pilot.

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Rolly (IP Logged)
Date: March 28, 2015 02:15PM

I think this is one of your Cruban burners with the rose bud button heads.

Attachments: P1010031.JPG (168.3KB)  
Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: Ben (IP Logged)
Date: March 28, 2015 09:02PM

Correct Rollly,,,I recognize the floor also,,
Note the long draught tube enclosure,,different from
the 23" burner for the 20Hp boiler
How many variations of equipment were available,,
AND how many are in use presently??
I still have one on the warehouse shelf Its a
..23" for 20 Hp car,, Door close up to burner diameter
Also excess to my needs is a 20"burner/complete [pilot separate]
this would be for 1910-14 ten Hp I think,Slotted flat top
Pics if your interested,,
..Also,,30Hp original as found,un touched ugly,rusty
..26"burner w old style bottom feed pilot,,For parts and
measurements,,,BUT it is 26" 30hP,,hAS 2 DOORS To lite it!!!
All for now,,,Ben

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: ron parola (IP Logged)
Date: March 29, 2015 06:06PM

Ok, some news to report. I've put some sheet metal baffles around the pilot casting to partially block off the opening to the main burner. This has stopped the flame from blowing sideways into the main burner area and the flame now goes upwards towards the main burner nozzle mounting. I've also sealed the pilot casting where the air intake hole meets the floor of the burner casting to prevent a draft upwards when the main burner is on. Both these have made the pilot more stable, I've also made sure the pilot doors seals better And have tried a longer pilot intake pipe. So far so good the pilot has stayed stable when the main burner is on, at least when sitting still haven't driven it yet......CUZ now the motor won't turn. It MAY be just full of water since I had filled the boiler to who knows how high for these pilot tests, will see later today. And with a Magnehelic gauge stuck up the pilot intake it would read .05in water ( gotta get a MORE sensitive gauge for this) with pilot on and would drop to nothing with main on. So I think back pressure in the main burner is stalling air flow in the pilot, at least with lower pilot pressure; up to 25psi now. cheers rp

Re: Cruban pilot
Posted by: ron parola (IP Logged)
Date: March 29, 2015 09:49PM

Hah, motor was just full of water, all ok. I forgot to mention that I have coated pilot with ceramic heat reflective paint and recut the pilot fuel valve spindle from it's 30ish degrees to 5 degrees; that allows a very fine adjustment of flame. Now I've got to make a real pilot vaporizer since The one I made is just silver soldered together.... what could happen?! It appears these pilots need a lot of pressure and they go lean as they heat up so you have to have them rich to begin and they lean out as they heat up. And I just ordered a new Magnehelic so maybe I can read pressures. rp

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