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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. in addition to the `30 ford roadster with a Stanley Steamer motor i mentioned in my first post, i had a steam powered 1900 Locomobile. it operated around 150 PSI and had no automatic water level control ...the Stanley did ...and you had to keep an eye on the sight gauge and pull a lever to work a pump. it had an original fire tube boiler so it was able to be licensed in the state of Minnesota. the Stanley powered A had a homemade water tube boiler. even though it was hydostated to 2000 PSI the state would have nothing to do with it. both cars burned fuel oil
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
    simpsonrl likes this.
  2. Rube Goldberg would be proud. I'm watching with great interest. I love this kind of offbeat shit!
  3. modeleh
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 380


    I would recommend going with a fire tube boiler from Don Bourdon. I built a similar copper tube boiler like yours for my portable hot tub but I'm not producing much pressure. Remember there is some weight of water in your coils and bouncing up and down on the road under pressure may lead to problems of the wrong kind. I think a proven robust design like the Stanley or Locomobile boiler is the way to go here.
    Fred Marriot was running around 1200 psi if I recall correctly, from a voice recorded interview done in the 50s. It's on YouTube and very interesting.
    You should also have 3 ways to get water into the boiler, a primary injector, a backup injector, and a hand pump.
    You may also want to consider a condensing system like the later Stanleys had.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
    The37Kid likes this.
  4. CoolYourJets
    Joined: Dec 16, 2016
    Posts: 172


    I can't picture how that engine is going to fit in the compartment and have a belt (?) drive to the rear end. Any sketches you can post?

    Very interesting thread. Please keep us posted on your progress!
  5. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,418


    Everyone is concerned about safety. How many people in here ever drive an old roadster over 100 mph without a roll bar, helmet or seat belt? How many " tipped the can " to make more hp without regards to safety?

    The op obviously has studied this for quite a while before attempting to build it. More than a lot of people did on their projects. This is traditional as hot rodding gets. Build it your way because it is what you have to build with or an idea you have .... Just to different. Ed Roth wouldn't have gotten far if not for that part.

    Sent from my LG-H343 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Tanoki, just Mike, kiwijeff and 4 others like this.
  6. Danny, I have no dog in this fight, and this post isn't meant to be an attack/slight on you:
    While many of us recognize that this is not a traditional build, in the normal sense of the H.A.M.B., I believe you're drawing flack as you were the one to point out that it's not traditional, and then double down on your stance by copying and pasting the rules on the board. Comes across as board policing.
    Since neither of us are moderators, lets just leave it for the moderators to see and decide as they will.

    And for the record, I imagine I'll lose a gas cap or two, once I finally get something on the road :) Had to reach out the window and tighten the cap at a stop light once, but never did lose the cap on my 60.
    slimcat7m3, bct and turboroadster like this.
  7. I thought you were trying to lighten things as much as possible to offset the boiler weight? You need a smaller bell like this! :)
    RunBell Running Finger Bell.jpg
    slv63 and wafflemaster like this.
  8. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    from Reno, NV

    This skips a few steps in the build, but here's the rough placement in the chassis (video below). Driver will be seated over the rear axle, behind a very long hood containing the engine, firebox and water supply. Overall design goal is something like a Miller indy car or one of the Vanderbilt Cup cars from the turn of the century.

  9. Lookin' GOOD!
    BTW..... Nice big shop!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
    BradinNC and wafflemaster like this.
  10. Glenn Thoreson
    Joined: Aug 13, 2010
    Posts: 78

    Glenn Thoreson
    from SW Wyoming

    If you haven't found it, here's a website that may interest you:
    It is nothing but want ads for antique gas and stem engine and associated stuff. Good luck with your project!
    wraymen likes this.
  11. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,604


    Very interesting thread, I don't know if I would have the stones to sit behind that thing but I bet Henry Ford heard the same line. Good luck and don't forget to wear your kevlar jock strap.
    lbcd, kiwijeff and wafflemaster like this.
  12. CoolYourJets
    Joined: Dec 16, 2016
    Posts: 172


    Ok, that's insane. I'm totally impressed.
    lothiandon1940 and wafflemaster like this.
  13. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,939

    Atwater Mike

    Applause and KUDOS! Great achievement! It will work...
    And......Lots of steam will be emitted, no doubt you may attract attention from the local constabulary...
    I had a '50 Ford coupe that developed a knock, (piston speed) Temp gauge rose significantly. There was steam aplenty exiting my right exhaust pipe...Siren signaled me to pull over.
    Policeman walked up and asked, "What's all the smoke for?" I said, "That 'smoke' is steam...I just had a problem with a head gasket, or something related..."
    The cop wrote a ticket for excessive 'smoke'. (California, 1962: Cali was getting way into 'smog issues')
    Went to court with my piston and wrist pin that had 'sawed' its way thru the cylinder...Judge called me up and I said, "Not guilty, for reasons I can explain in 30 seconds."
    The judge was all ears, and when I told him that the smoke was STEAM, then I found on the teardown, I inferred that he had a cop that didn't know smoke from steam...everybody in the courtroom laughed, the judge laughed too, and uttered "Case dismissed!"
  14. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,437

    from Ks

    Push the button Max !!!!!!:D
    TNgizmo and wraymen like this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 7,972


    To HRP and waffle guy, I applaud both of you. Danny, your input as to topic is surely welcom and I know the spirit from which you brought it up. I think most of us get that so hang in there and thanks. Waffle dude, this is a bitchin persuit, way out of the box but that's what's so kool about it. Even cooler, taking note of the knowledge base here, guys with heavy industrial and commercial certs that are willing to offer support and ideas as well as safety. Where else would we find that? Best of luck and can't wait to see it moving. Give it good brakes, you may need em:eek:
  16. Jerrybigbird
    Joined: Oct 10, 2015
    Posts: 178

    from Montana

    Well I for one love it but if I could over build the fire box I would ...kinda get that scattershield effect
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  17. e1956v
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,465

    Alliance Vendor

    You almost steamed your clams in the video, be careful.:eek::D
  18. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280


    Super interesting idea and I'm excited to see where you take it. Growing up where I have in Minnesota, I've seen lots of vintage Tractors and steam powered machinery, and it is all very neat.

    I'm hoping it all works as planned and that it is as safe as you hope it to be. Don't be scared to post your failures as well as your victories! If some part isn't working or you need to go back to the drawing board, it will be a good example for anyone interested in what it takes to safely operate a steam powered machine

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  19. wheeler.t
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 282


    I've been following along not saying much and didn't think much of the idea until I saw the clip of the car move under its own power. That's insane. Way to go.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    wheeldog57 likes this.
  20. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,418


    LeoH likes this.
  21. DylanHill1931
    Joined: Nov 7, 2016
    Posts: 185

    from Va Beach

    Ummm...That's so badass
    kidcampbell71 and clunker like this.
  22. AKCJ
    Joined: Jan 9, 2014
    Posts: 16


    I've been around a few steam cars. Steam power is so addictive!
    Check out flameengineering for propane burner info & parts. They helped on one of our gas burner projects that we now have a patent for.
    Cool project!
    wafflemaster likes this.
  23. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    from Reno, NV

    Yes, a fire box/scatter jacket has been on the drawing board since the onset of this project. I figure that if my home BBQ can stay at 500 degrees for hours on a small tank of propane, a box around my boilers will keep them nice and toasty with minimal flame height. I'm planning on insulating it with some high-tech ceramic insulation for maximum efficiency. I found a few wood stove glass inserts so that the flames will be visible. Should be an interesting sight at night :)

    tb33anda3rd and lothiandon1940 like this.
  24. wafflemaster
    Joined: Jan 10, 2014
    Posts: 57

    from Reno, NV

    I agree and I was able to source a Jerguson 16-R20 armored gauge today. Very robust indeed.
  25. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,529


    Reason number 9,371 why I love the HAMB. The knowledge and expertise on here is amazing
    kiwijeff and lothiandon1940 like this.
  26. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    from Earth

    One day I was driving the car in my ava and I was stopped at a light. A soccer mom in her minivan pulled up to my right. She lowered her window and asked "Who makes that?". "Mazda". I replied. She nodded knowingly and drove away.
  27. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,629

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Wow! This is so cool-
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  28. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,438


  29. studebakerjoe
    Joined: Jul 7, 2015
    Posts: 678


    Wafflemaster if you haven't already you should post this up over on the steam automobile club of america forum. Im sure they'd enjoy seeing your project. Good luck and have fun. Joe
  30. LOL, thought the same thing.

    Good stuff wafflemaster, I'm hooked.

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