Register now to get rid of these ads!

Projects I'm building a steam powered Model A

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by wafflemaster, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. Nice to see some positive constructive criticism. I've been watching this build, and the dead man switch is a great idea.
     
    slv63 and keywestjack like this.
  2. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Thanks Jay, it's been my favorite project to date. I'm really enjoying the learning curve and making improvements along the way. This project has also lasted about 5 months longer than my previous attention-span record :)

    I like the idea of a deadman switch, and I've been giving it some thought. I would need to override it for initial firing up, but perhaps once everything is approaching operating temp, I switch over to deadman mode. So far I've taken the Stanley approach to too much fire: should the boiler run low on water, any "dry" copper should fail before the steam domes reach a critical level. But, without building a duplicate boiler and testing, it's all theoretical. Another version of a deadman switch is to use a low-water cutoff. A float or something could cut off the propane feed should the water get too low in the boiler. I've been working on some ideas for that type of system for a couple weeks.

    Good point about running out of propane before water. That's why I switched to two 20lb tanks instead of my 40lb forklift tank. I will carry both propane tanks, but I have to manually switch between them. One propane tank lasts me for about 70% of my water consumption (Based on current testing. It might be closer to 50% on the road). Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it!
     
    simpsonrl and Jay Evans like this.
  3. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,488

    shadams
    Member

    Unreal....on so many levels....cant wait to see the body on this thing....
     
    simpsonrl likes this.
  4. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,727

    raven
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Interesting 'solution' to your rear end dilemma. I'm thinking that the bearings might not last that long if you use sticky motorcycle chain lube, though... just a thought.
    r
     
  5. haileyp1014
    Joined: Feb 15, 2006
    Posts: 599

    haileyp1014
    Member
    from so cal

    Those Bbq dot tanks are a joke.not designed to be on a motor vehicle.need to run a legit approved motor fuel propane tank.propane expands 270 times .shit is serious.using bbq tanks makes this thing deserve a "RAT ROD TITLE"
     
  6. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Have you seen the rest of the car? :)
     
  7. Frank4000
    Joined: Mar 9, 2017
    Posts: 3

    Frank4000
    Member

    It's fine, man.
     
  8. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Those are around $1,000 which is why propane conversions aren't done very often. Not really needed at this point for testing. It might be possible to find a used one from a motor home that still passes inspection.
     
  9. There are dozens of those heavy duty propane tanks to be had for a few dollars. The old farm tractors used them. And the Propane delivery trucks usually have a small tank that the engine runs off of. If he was close I would give him one.
     
    natedeville likes this.
  10. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,115

    gatz
    Member

    You beat me to it, Old Wolf. I was thinking the same thing.
    Seems like Minneapolis-Moline tractors were the most common brand to have LP tanks.
    They could be found on combines as well. Gleaner comes to mind.
    They might even have the gauge still on them. The fill port would be a standard for LP gas.
     
  11. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Check the date. They have to be recertified every 10 years or they can't be refilled.
     
  12. Yes you cant get the dealers to refill them. What you do is buy or rent a home tank. Then you get a electric pump and fill them yourself. Propane dealers are sometimes crooks. a 100 pound bottle contains a little over 24 gallons. Yet they charge about 80 dollars to fill one. I have a 250 gallon tank. And during the summer I have it filled when LP is much cheaper. And I fill my tractors and bottles myself. You need a tank with a guage or a set of scales.
     
    Frank4000 likes this.
  13. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,040

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    You can put a valve in the top with a tube in that reaches down to the maximum fill level. There are also float valves that block the inlet when the fuel reaches a certain level. I think all of the new 20 pound tanks have them. You crack the valve while filling and when liquid comes out it's full. We filled them at work for forklifts and torch sets. We had to replace the pump about 7 years ago and the pump cost $975. Then OSHA came in and found the old tanks and we had to scrap them. They had dents in the bottom rings so they wouldn't pass recertification.
     
    simpsonrl likes this.
  14. I have a old 1940 tractor on LP. and don't intend on spending money getting the fuel tank recertified. So I just fill it myself. You can fill them with a double ended connection hose. However you only get a partial fill.
     
  15. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

  16. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 2,238

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Too cool! Sounds like a mini loco....
     
    wafflemaster likes this.
  17. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 842

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    For the chain-oiling, use ChainWax. Follow directions. Best stuff on the market, period. If it'll stick to a #60 chain on a ZX-11D at somewhere over 100-140, I'm sure it'll stick to your chain. :D . For the axle bearings, I don't think it'll work, but sealed bearings n grease zerks will.
    Marcus...
     
    wafflemaster likes this.
  18. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Any guesses on how much she weighs? I got her on the scales today...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,718

    BrandonB
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from nor cal

    Watched your video and that is just fascinating. WOW!
     
  20. jhexide
    Joined: Feb 23, 2012
    Posts: 170

    jhexide
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  21. Dude, you know what's up! The vid of the car is uber cool.
     
  22. Locomobiler
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 15

    Locomobiler

    Waffle, making great headway on the project.

    There is some mention of foot controlled burners? Having an accessible fuel shut off is important. Too much steam is typically not an issue on most road steam vehicles. The biggest issue is going to be enough fuel over an extended period of time. The two 20# cylinders each only have a sustained vaporization rate of around 80k btu at 70 degrees F or 160k btu combined. When propane vaporizes, it requires heat to do so. It pulls heat from the outer shell - much the same way the boiler makes steam. As it pulls heat, the shell cools and the vaporization rate is reduced. Eventually if the shell is not permitted to come back to ambient - it keeps dropping until moisture condenses and starts forming ice. At that point the vaporization rate for both combined drops in to the 30-40k btu range. Not much heat. And all steam plants transform heat to work and the amount of work is relative to the amount of heat. IMPORTANT: The big mistake people make here is to concoct a means in which to heat the propane cylinders to up the vaporization rate. Never do that. It is very dangerous as the tank can over heat and pop off (130 degrees) which is straight liquid and it is an immediate big fire if there is a source of ignition.

    I'm basing this on your burner sizes of 240k btu each or 480k btu combined. Firing up it will be ok, but a short while in, it won't be making much steam. Let the tanks warm up and it can be driven again. Remember, don't try to heat those tanks :)

    The comments about the 20# cylinders not approved for road use is correct. Only an approved motor fuel LP tank should be used. All of the hoses should be high pressure braided with high pressure fitting even for regulated vapor.

    It's a common thing when folks discuss steam cars that the safety attention is pointed at the boiler, most steam vehicles that were lost were due to fire caused by the fuel system and one recent back in the 70's was caused by a propane leak on a Stanley.It had a retrofitted propane pilot

    Here is one of those innocent looking 20# cylinders: I think the chap got out with a lit cigarette and ignited the whole shebang.



    The propane will suffice for testing, but I would start looking in to vaporizing fuel burners/systems. If you get enough heat under your boiler, you're going to be shocked how fast it will go. If it's done properly, it's much safer than Propane. I think you have the gearing about right.

    -Ron
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
    crminal likes this.
  23. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 11,939

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    725 pounds full of water?
     
  24. trad27
    Joined: Apr 22, 2009
    Posts: 1,049

    trad27
    Member

  25. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    When I bought the chassis it was 1310 lbs. That was a rolling chassis (axles, wheels, brake etc) plus the engine and trans. You are close.
     
  26. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Thanks Ron, I agree that at some point a vaporizing kerosene system might be in order. I was looking at your Olefelt blue flame burner system and I think that something similar for my car would work great. So far I haven't run into any propane feed issues, but I'm sure that under sustained load I would see some tank icing. I'm familiar with bottle heaters for nitrous use, but I know enough to leave them alone with propane haha.

    Are you using kerosene for your pilot fuel as well? How much fuel pressure are you running, and what type of atomizer are you using? I saw some build photos and blueprints in the steamboating forum, but I wasn't sure on the pressure/injector/atomizer specs.

    I think the gearing is about right, but I still need to figure out my maximum RPM and see what my top speed will be. I have 17 tooth sprockets on the crank, and 31 tooth (or 30) on the jack shaft. I'm thinking that at 150psi I could go up to 20 teeth up front, it seems to have the torque no problem.

    The next issue to work out is my valve timing. I think that the eccentrics on the crank are optimised for reverese rotation, so I might try and use a later cutoff for a little more power in forward rotation.

    Thanks again!
    Jim
     
  27. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    1,210 with full propane, no water (or very little water, maybe 1 gallon). It'll be closer to 1,300 wet. I think I can keep it under 1,500 lbs with body, water and everything.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. Locomobiler
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 15

    Locomobiler

    Waffle,

    Yes two of those burners under your dual boiler would be a hot rod for sure.

    Vaporizing burners do just that, they vaporize, no atomizing. Atomizing happens when a liquid is simply sprayed through a nozzle at pressure. It's not a good way to present fuel to burn as it usually results in incomplete combustion. i.e. soot, stink, yellow flame. Vaporizing burners boil the fuel to gas and then the gas is presented to the burner in much the same way as Propane - liquid boiling to gas.

    Kerosene is the hottest readily available liquid fuel that there is, it's about 12% hotter than gasoline. Propane is at the very low end of the spectrum for heat - having only 3 carbon atoms per molecule C3H8. Butane has 4 making it hotter C4H10. I chose kerosene for the heat of the burn and for safeties sake - it's lamp oil. Kerosene depending on the source has 10-16 carbon atoms per molecule and gasoline 4-12 carbon atoms. Kerosene is also one of the most difficult to vaporize. The good things rarely come easy. Coleman fuel or white gas is very easy to vaporize and why it is used for camp stoves etc. White gas is also very clean, producing very little carbon when vaporized.

    My main burner runs on Kerosene and my pilot burners run on Coleman fuel. The biggest issue with vaporizing fuels is that it is a dirty process. When vaporizing the fuel, there is a range of how much heat is applied to the vaporizer - too little, and it goes to liquid out the main burner orifice, too much heat and it starts making carbon which can plug the orifice. One of the genius ideas of the Ofeldt burner is where only the pilots vaporize the fuel is that the heat can be controlled on the vaporizer. Baker type burners, the vaporizer is just over the main burner fire. That is why they typically can not run straight kerosene and have to use gasoline or a mixture of the two. Another issue they have is when inadequate vaporizing is happening, liquid is sprayed in to the burner chamber, when it ignites it can be a big backfire, why very few Stanley owners have eyebrows :). The Ofledt burner that I use has the end of the mixing tube blanked off with slots in the top and angled upwards, if any liquid goes in, it simply runs back out preventing that spectacle. And the Baker types make a loud howling noise, the Ofledt type is very quiet.

    My main fuel pressure is 40-60 psi (Kerosene
    Pilot(s) pressure in 10 psi (Coleman fuel
    Main burner orifice is .040"

    A storage air tank is maintained at around 100 psi, the two regulators, one for each fuel tank.

    With your boiler especially with copper coils, you should be using this style burner, no heat should be impinged on the center drum(s) as it is a downcomer. Otherwise, the water doesn't know which direction to go. :) It can't be all up and no down.

    -Ron
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    deathrowdave and wafflemaster like this.
  29. It's not my job to say if this thread should be here or not, so I wont.

    Considering the build, it's interesting, it's not the usual, and people will point and stare when they see it which I suppose is what happens when we drive what we build.
    Good luck
     
  30. Homemade44
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 498

    Homemade44
    Member

    With your boiler especially with copper coils, you should be using this style burner, no heat should be impinged on the center drum(s) as it is a downcomer. Otherwise, the water doesn't know which direction to go. :) It can't be all up and no down.

    Ron, well said and correct.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.