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Projects I'm building a steam powered Model A

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

  1. Locomobiler
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 15

    Locomobiler

    "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."

    Jim,

    That is a 1.7:1 ratio. I'm running 2.5:1 16 and 40 tooth with 27" OD wheels. I can run 40 mph @ 200 - 250 psi, but it really needs second gear at that point as the engine doesn't sound like a piston engine anymore, sorta goes in to a high whine/turbine sound. That is the ratio the Locomobiles came from the factory with so that is where I will leave it. And too riding atop it at 40 mph with tiller steering and zero safety equipment is scary as hell, wouldn't want to go any faster. (attached a pic of it) Locomobile did build a racer that was 1:1 ratio and they could hit speeds of 70 mph, not much out the hole more than likely. Diverter valve engines don't breath very well - the intake passage is also the exhaust port, causing thermal issues. The reasons for the advantages with Uniflow designs with separate intake and exhaust routing. I would leave your gearing just as it is and try it. I think when you start making enough steam, you should get 50-70 mph without too much effort. Good job keeping the weight down.

    Trying to figure out max RPM and speed on paper with any engine/vehicle is about impossible. Steam although simple in concept is actually quite complex. And especially when speed and load are factored in. I'll resort to our favorite adage amongst my steam buddies when we question what will work : "Try it". To make it go fast gotta have three things: Enough boiler heat surface, large enough engine, and alotta heat.

    ""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."

    I noticed in one of your videos, the right side cylinder looks too far advanced. Locking slightly before TDC. There are numerous ways to set the timing and the majority of the modern steam engines I've encountered are typically out of time:) Most are simply set by eye - rotating the engine around and setting admission to open at TDC with the valve cover off. Some say before TDC, some say after - read on. Another way is putting a hose on the steam chest and blow into it and put the piston on TDC, adjust eccentric where it just opens at that point. I concocted and used that method and it works well. The best way is put the engine on a prony brake (easy to make) and adjust the timing to where it has the most power at a controlled inlet pressure. And use steam for this method as air and steam expand at different rates. The two latter methods have to be done one cylinder at a time not manifolded together.

    P.S. With those windows on the boiler casing and the right fire, it's going to look incredible at night. Probably get the fire department called on ya, but it will look incredible. :)
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  2. 340HilbornDuster
    Joined: Nov 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,320

    340HilbornDuster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thought I wasn't a Big Steam Fan Now...(I had a small Steam Engine with "META tablets"(always wondered why it had railings on it?) when i was little)
    But i really Like / appreciate what you're doing with this!
    It's a STEAM HOT ROD!
    It's DANGEROUS!... (I'm sure everyone have your best interest at heart...
    (& there's a bunch of steam guys here on HAMB!)
    It's WAY COOL!....(Partly Because it Dangerous!...)
    It's GOT STYLE!...(Not easy to make it look good with all that stuff on there!)
    Can't wait to see it with a Body one day...Single Seat Racer would look really cool!

    Keep those Pressure Relief Valves (Plural) Serviced / Tested!
    .....Bonneville Steam Class?
     
    Kume likes this.
  3. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Thanks Ron, I'm going to be testing a couple variations of my valve timing this week, I'll see if I can do the hose trick correctly. I've noticed that one cylinder is producing much more power than the other because I can open up the cylinder drain on one side and the engine keeps going, but if I open the opposite side, it comes to a halt. I've scribed marks to designate the current timing just in case I screw everything up I can return to home :)

    And yes, the windows are there to make a show at night...we'll see if they let me into Hot August Nights to show it off haha.
     
    Locomobiler likes this.
  4. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Thanks! Here's a quick and dirty rendering of how I think the body will end up. Did I mention I'm adding a second steering axle? Seems more steam-car-appropriate to me :)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. BurntOutOldMechanic
    Joined: Jun 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,349

    BurntOutOldMechanic
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NOVA 22153
    1. Virginia HAMB(ers)

    I've been quietly following this thread since it first appeared.....

    Waffle, your rendering reminds me of Professor Fate's ride, the Hannibal 8, in The Great Race.....
     
    ClayMart and wafflemaster like this.
  6. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 11,926

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

  7. 340HilbornDuster
    Joined: Nov 14, 2011
    Posts: 1,320

    340HilbornDuster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I dig it!!....Go for it! (Like a ELF F1 - Tyrrell P34)
     
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  8. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    They Tyrrell P34 is one of my all time favorite cars. I still have no idea what ELF does, but that car burned the brand into my mind as a kid.
     
  9. keywestjack
    Joined: Jul 14, 2013
    Posts: 87

    keywestjack
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Pittsburgh

  10. CNC-Dude
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 620

    CNC-Dude
    Member

    Larger automakers also conduct destructive testing to see how bad things really do go bad when/if they ever do. Have you considered doing a Mythbusters style failure test in a far secluded spot to see what can potentially happen in case a bigger than expected failure occurs?
     
  11. Locomobiler
    Joined: Mar 13, 2017
    Posts: 15

    Locomobiler

    Yeah that is a good indicator there is a timing issue on that cylinder. Using breath is safer to set timing than using low air pressure.

    Two steering axles, that is pretty wild. I like it.

    Just a thought on the windows. Dark tint behind vertical louvers would look good. Would make the flame look dark blue.

    -Ron
     
    Frank4000 likes this.
  12. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 2,653

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    As much as I love the build the 2nd axle to me is jumping the shark. But its your car...
     
    cretin and kidcampbell71 like this.
  13. Jay Evans
    Joined: May 6, 2017
    Posts: 5

    Jay Evans

    Gratuitous extra wheels might be a bad idea. wheel.jpg
    Double front wheels is a very bold design. My fear is that it would detract from the steam part of the build, and that would be a shame. Sort of like putting an day glow frame on the Mona Lisa. The questions would be, why four front wheels, why aren't they on the back etc, etc. Wouldn't you rather they asked about the flames inside the glass, subtle, but so cool!
    The steam build is so remarkable it should stand on its own merit.
    Perhaps the double front wheels could be your next build?
    I notice you are in Reno, I'm not far and get there from time to time. I'd visit if allowed.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  14. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,115

    gatz
    Member

    ...and, the front-end steering geometry would be a nightmare
     
  15. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Or a challenge, depending on how you look at it.
     
  16. shadams
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 1,488

    shadams
    Member

    Looks killer! I like the doubles in front, makes it look even more interesting.
    Is that a Pantera in the background? Havent seen one of those in a while.....
     
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  17. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    Thanks! Yep, that's my 73 Pantera. 351C with 180 degree headers. Sounds amazing.
     
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  18. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 11,926

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    yes, and make the second set a different height;)
     
    wafflemaster likes this.
  19. i mention in an earlier post on this thread that i built an actual steam powered Model A Ford roadster 30 years ago with my father. we used a Stanley motor in it , and my father had put a Stanley motor in a Willy's Jeep in 1953...the year i was born

    these are s0me crappy pictures , the best i could come up with . the first one is of the Willys and i believe a 1921 Stanley Steamer. you can see the boiler where the engine should be and what i think is the firebox hanging down. i barely remember those cars

    the last three are all i could come up with the Stanely Steamer powered Ford A Roadster

    steam 001.jpg steam 002.jpg steam 003.jpg steam 004.jpg
     
    Tuck, Tim, powrshftr and 8 others like this.
  20. Wow. This thing is friggin' awesome.

    Here's to the crazy ones.

     
    e1956v, keywestjack and wafflemaster like this.
  21. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    wafflemaster
    Member
    from Reno, NV

    I finally added a much-needed improvement...floorboards and footrests! The car feels almost "comfortable" now haha. I'll be making some chain guards next, I kinda want to keep my legs/crotch intact.

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

    Locomobiler

    Jim,

    I would add some rear springs to it at least, Witmer coach in PA has full elliptical same as under mine for $65 each, part # 14-352. They are 30" eye to eye and around 8" tall and will support around 600 pounds each.

    Having more traction in the front and no suspension in the rear to hug the road surface, I would be concerned about losing the back end easily in curves on wet pavement. Jarring the steamplant and mechanical components isn't a good thing to do as it can cause things to fatigue. Beyond that from a comfort standpoint, railroad tracks would be a bit unpleasant.

    Used to ride hardtail motorcycles and there was always something cracking and loosening(including me) :).

    Mount them outboard of the seats, just a suggestion.

    -Ron
     
    powrshftr likes this.
  23. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,858

    El Caballo
    Member

    You could have used the Pantera... ;) As a space shuttle tail-gunner, I approve of this project.
    333.jpg
     
    slv63, Stogy, Kume and 1 other person like this.
  24. who is this Muppet?

    Interesting build. Far more useful that than 72 comments falcongoober made on the "how to hold your shift knob" thread.
     
  25. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,858

    El Caballo
    Member

    George isn't around here anymore to see the comment, so I guess it doesn't matter.
     
    Old wolf likes this.
  26. TurnpikeCruiser
    Joined: Jul 28, 2014
    Posts: 47

    TurnpikeCruiser
    Member

    I just read this thread from start to finish and I'm very impressed. This is an amazing build.

    I will definitely be watching for updates. I think the styling will work well for the car, even the dual front axle should you choose to go that route. It reminds me of the lead truck of a locomotive. How about a cowcatcher perhaps?

    I'm a steampunk myself, I've always had a fascination with steam. We have a 1/2 scale steam tractor in our family that's just awesome to operate. My brother and I have discussed on many occasion building our own steam tractor or steam car but money and time quickly shut things down. I will live vicariously through your thread.
     
    powrshftr likes this.
  27. CNC-Dude
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 620

    CNC-Dude
    Member

    Where did he go?
     
  28. frank spittle
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,361

    frank spittle
    Member

    He sure contributed a lot here. Most comments I agreed with but not this one. It was his last post I remember.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  29. keywestjack
    Joined: Jul 14, 2013
    Posts: 87

    keywestjack
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Pittsburgh

  30. He was banned. There's another thread or two on it. He had his issues with the HAMB, and pushed things a little too far from what I understand.
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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