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Lamont boiler

Posted by dullfig 
Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 02:38AM
Hey Van,

Yes, someone has built a forced recirculation boiler very simular to the LaMont design, I believe it was in the 40s to 50s, the name Leslie comes to mind, but I can't seem to recall if that is correct. I do remember reading an article on the boiler and a seperate article on the engine, but I can't recall where, I will try and remember tommorrow to give you a link to said design. From what I remeber of the article it worked rather well, if it helps anyone reading this I also seem to recall the condensor of the experimental car being on its roof. I do remember three men being in the photo with the car too.

The boiler had a central combustion chamber with a number of barrell wraped coils around it, circulation/boiling tube, superheater then economizer. The combustion gas passed between outer tubes stacks up and dow, the outer tube stacks were held together tight with a band to keep the gas from going directly through them. Somewhat like the Leer monotube boiler but vertical.

As to the engine conversion, I just have one question to ask you.

Would you convert a steam engine over to internal combustion?

Caleb Ramsby
Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 09:58AM
Hi Mike,

I say "nitpicking", because minor issues were all I could find to comment on. No major problems that I can spot.

Putting the Lamont coil outlet a couple turns down the reserve drum should overcome the "spread out" and "water trap" issues. Next time the grade reverses, or returns to level, any trapped and spread water should return to the original water-level. Plus it looks like you have a "steam dome" under the separator at the sat steam outlet/throttle, to help keep water where it needs to be.

Agree on a single-path "slow spiral" coil. Especially for 1.5" nominal [note that magic word "nominal" folks, it has messed me up in the past] Sched 40 pipe, adding a lot of fittings and interconnections for multiple paths gets troublesome. I had some Baker boiler factory blueprints, and gave Tom Kimmel a copy for the SACA archives on his last visit -- he said the Club files had no such item. So SACA HQ is (now) the place to go for detailed Baker boiler data folks. Anyway, from those 'prints the Baker's outer reserve coil definitely looks like the adjacent turns were interconnected with welded-in passages. Yep, lots of extra welding work, and might actually add problems with water level on grades, not to mention stresses from pressure/temp variations. The aforementioned height/diameter/tilt issue, blithely ignored at one's peril. I think that Jim is onto something with the outside-plain-barrel-coil reserve.

Mike, how could I forget the hills in your neighborhood! They were even a challenge for my brand-new 2005-model gas rentacar [I dubbed it "the dirtiest car in Britain" after the birds had at it at Haslemere and in the New Forest] -- and that was no slouch in the power department. Scaling those hills provided excellent first-hand demonstrations of effortless Stanley hill-climbing power. If only the Gatwick rentacar agency had a Stanley H5 available! smiling smiley "See The Isles In Style". smiling smiley I think some of the grades we Stanleyed were steeper than 25%. There are many hills like that around here too, some even steeper [south end of Bandini Street, San Diego, for instance], so the "tilt issue" is always on my mind.

I also have early childhood memories of my Mom navigating the infamous "crookedest street in the world" [Google it] in San Francisco in a Mustang-engined (302V8) 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Country Squire (station wagon; Estate in UK I believe), which left an impression. Later family cars included a 1973 Ford Gran Torino wagon with the astoundingly vast and gas-gobbling [& early California-smog-controlled] "400 Windsor" V8 mill; see "The Brady Bunch" early-1970s cheese-classic TV show for a look at that road-battleship. I learned driving in that beast. Like driving a giant wet sponge, though it did have some pep with less than 20 kids on board. smiling smiley

The big thing with Lamonts is that circulator pump and its shaft seal and motor/controls. Get that right, and you're "in like Flynn". Very doable, but no "piece of cake" despite initial appearances. Rotor, then housing and high-pressure shaft seals, then plumbing and motor/controls. You can handle it no problem Mike, and a great project/performance, but for other builders (& aspiring builders) I dunno. Personally I went over it fifteen ways from Sunday back in '06 and ended up designing an innovative and "hot" natural-circulation teakettle instead. Blueprints now on shelf awaiting build/test.

Lightweight 1923 car for your new Lamont/steam plant? Hmm. Could this be a particular very rare/amazing vehicle which I saw in your shop in '05, whose uber-legendary (Italian? French?) designer might roll over in his grave at the idea of steam-converting it? Well, if so, a good "steamversion" might be easier [and far nicer-running] than tracking down [impossible] original parts for authentic IC restoration... not to mention a really unique and cool steam car... hope I'm not assuming/guessing too much here, wow that would be fantastic...

Hi Caleb,

Interesting reference to the "lost generation" of 1930s-through-1950s steam car developers. Today most steam folk know about the pre-1930 "classic" era, and the 1960s-1970s "clean air car" era, of steam cars, but not about the extensive experimental steam car work done in-between. Both the iconoclastic "young bucks" of the 1960s-70s era, and the devoted fans/preservationists of the pre-1930-era production steam cars, seem to have written-off, ignored, and/or forgotten that hapless 1930s-50s "in-between" era. And almost all of the equipment from that time has been lost. This is an intriguing steam car historical niche for an ambitious steam "newbie" to specialize in, should anyone be looking for an obscure and neglected techno-historical specialty to explore. Who knows, significant work may have been done then, and lost/forgotten.

Caleb, the name Leslie rings a bell for me too. I think this was mentioned in the SACA Bulletin, some time within the last couple years. I recall photos of smiling young fellers in zoot suits, standing next to 1940s-era cars converted to steam power.

Forced-circulation boilers on the road? Let's not forget our good friend and fellow SACA member Tony Grzyb, with his "build it, run it, and find out" philosophy and nice-running forced-circulation-boiler steam motorcycle. He independently developed his plunger-pump-circulated boiler before ever hearing about Lamont's work, in fact even before George Nutz published his Lamont paper. I well remember hanging out at the Gingerman racetrack in southwest Michigan, at the summer 2005 SACA "Nationals", with Tony enjoying endless solo laps around the racetrack grounds on his steam motorbike in the distance while everybody else was kicking tires and talking about steam theory and other machines. Next Nationals I get to, I'm hanging with the T-Man.

As for IC-engine steam-conversions, somebody once said "radically different working fluids require radically different expanders". Oh, wait. That was me. smiling smiley

Andy is right, lots has been written about converting IC engines to run on steam. Serious understatement.

New folks, please take the time to check out the HUGE amount of archived/older posts in this Forum. You'll find lots of "treasures" in those older posts from 5-10 years ago, or more. Folks who have been studying/building/running steam vehicles for many years, or even many decades, often (and very understandably) get tired of repeating themselves again and again on various topics, and they give up on it. But if you, dear reader, will take the time to scroll back to the lively and often friendly discussions from many many years ago, which are archived here, then you will find all sorts of fun, fascinating, and useful insights on all sorts of steam-technology topics.

From my own experience, I can say that researching the steam literature, both internet and print, takes a lot of time and effort. But hidden here and there in the literature, often in unsuspected and surprising places, and often in unassuming and easily-overlooked brief comments, you will find useful pieces of information -- "gold nuggets" lost and hidden in huge amounts of worthless gravel and sand -- which may transform your thinking, your ideas, and your projects, from a "kooky amateur dud" into a great-running, and perhaps world-changing, success.

Best wishes and abundant success to all!

Peter Brow

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/30/2011 07:15AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 11:19AM
Hi Caleb, no I would not convert a steam to combustion. If I wanted a combustion engine I would buy one used and be done with it. A Steam car on the other hand would be difficult to procure, the only one I've managed to dig up that was built within living memory was the Barret, and from what I read last it faced a number of engineering challenges.

IC engines are everywhere, and it would be significantly easier to convert one to steam than it would be to custom make cylinders, fabricate steam chests, etc etc etc.

For the mayo thing, does that happen with steam oil meant for such use?

"radically different expanders" - I'm interested in why you say that, could you please "expand" on that (pardon the pun)

Gathering information on Steam automobiles is a frustrating endeavor to say the least. It's akin to searching for a needle in a metaphor.

My grandfather (God rest his soul) knew so much about electrical theory, but died before I was old enough for him to pass it on to me. That's what I feel about steam, I believe it has to much potential, but the knowledge is so incredibly scattered. If I want to know anything, even the slightest detail, about an IC engine it is a simple matter of a google search. To find out anything about steam you must dig through "huge amounts of worthless gravel and sand" to find "useful pieces of information"

I lament for the future of steam technology. What kept it alive in previous generations was the love of enthusiasts. Today I know of no young people who carry the same love of steam that I find here.
Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 02:08PM
Hey Van,

The Barrets engine was an IC to steam conversion and a lot of its issues came from that very fact.

The only two availiable powerful steam engines I know of for car use out there are the old Bryan engines or a new Stanley engine from the Goolds.


As for the young thing, I am 31 and sure don't feel old yet, it is closing in on a decade since the steam bug bit me.

The SACA sells a lot of information on steam cars.

They also have a massive selection of old Bulletins that can be downloaded from this website for free! Every issue is packed with usefull information.


Caleb Ramsby
Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 02:33PM
Hey Caleb,

I thought the barrett had a custom V engine designed by someone named Wally Mounster?

Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 02:50PM
Send a few of the Bryans my way,,haha,,,As for other steam engines,,they are available,,I had a piston valve 4x5 up for sale for about 6 months,,it had balenced intake valve,,,there were 6-10 stanley TYPE engines sold last year,,,I still have a 3x4 piston valve in good shape on deck,,,and a 20hp Stanley engine in not so good shape
Many people want a guift horse,,,and are likely to end up with a major casting kit,!!! of which to reman'f an engine,, Many do not like the Stanley engine,,,BUT,,,we now know its shortcommings,and faults,,,BUT it gets the ball rolling,, and will send a 4000# car on its way,,
Many people in traffic have tried to pass Mr Nergaard in his old '22 Stanley,,,only to find he was out front again,,,haha,,
His mpg is good,,and there is no oil in his feedwater,,,,He has written papers on this, few people read,,,,,,so,,,,we still have oil/feedwater problems posted,,He has also devised a bracket to cut the frame rod bending problem,,,and uses the engine to near max limit ,limit only of steam supply,,as a result has broken several cranks,,but he does not slack on his testing,,,Davids Noble Beast,,,Dave drove to the SACA /Northeast meet in Dec and Dick Wells drove his White 20hp,,1910 touring,,, yes,,,last month,,not 30years ago,,Cheers,,,Ben
Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 03:25PM
Peter Brow Wrote:
> Hi Mike,
> Lightweight 1923 car for your new Lamont/steam
> plant? Hmm. Could this be a particular very
> rare/amazing vehicle which I saw in your shop in
> '05, whose uber-legendary (Italian? French?)
> designer might roll over in his grave at the idea
> of steam-converting it? Well, if so, a good
> "steamversion" might be easier than tracking down
> original parts for authentic IC restoration...
> not to mention a really unique and cool steam
> car... hope I'm not assuming/guessing too much
> here, wow that would be fantastic...
> Peter Brow
> [www.angelfire.com]

No Peter not that one but another rather more peculiar car - a 1923 GN. One of these was converted to steam in the 1930's by Alex Moulton who achieved fame later by designing the rubber suspension of the 1960's Issigonis Mini, and the Moulton bicycle. The Moulton GN still exists - pictured last year in The Steam Car Magazine. Dr Moulton himself is still on the go. We have a GN on the shelf and if I can convince myself that I can solve the pump seal problem and make a nice light Lamont generator I propose to fit a 1911 Model 60 Stanley engine, under the floor, driving by chain from a countershaft drive off the Stanley crankgear. The GN also had chain drive with three sets of chains engaged to choice by dog clutches on the countershaft. It looks a complete natural to instal the Stanley engine but it depends on me being convinced it will work!smiling smiley

GNs were not noted for their reliability and my chums who know of this say I must have flipped.hot smiley

The "legendary designer" did of course build a steam car. He also made a superb straight eight steam railcar engine which is in the French National Railway Museum in Mulhouse.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2011 05:10PM by Mike Clark.
Re: Lamont boiler
January 24, 2011 05:56PM
For a car sized Lamont, what would be the pump requirements? ie: flow volume, level of robustness, power consumption, anything else I can't think of.


Edit: Also I had a question about boilers in general, pertaining to water tube boilers, are the water tubes ever directly exposed to exhaust gases?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2011 06:08PM by vandallas.
Re: Lamont boiler
January 25, 2011 08:28AM
Hi Mike,

How did I overlook our mystery carmaker's steam work! I was just reading about it a couple months ago...

The GN [General Notors? smiling smiley ] car sounds interesting. I never heard of it, and will look it up.

Many years back I planned to mount a Stanley-type engine solidly on a VW chassis and drive the vehicle through a VW transaxle with an extra gear to compensate for the drive ratio. Among other issues that turned up later, the inherent frame flex/shake of this type of engine made me glad that I never built that drivetrain as designed. It probably would have shaken my teeth out. In Stanleys of course the axle-mounted engine is isolated from the chassis, and the wheels/brakes act as giant flywheels; both features keeping that engine flex/shake away from the chassis.

But it just occurred to me that with special engine mounting and/or a flywheel, a non-axle-mounted Stanley [or similar] engine might run very nicely. Your chain drive idea could easily be part of that...

Hi Van,

For my own project anyway, and possibly other projects with relatively limited resources, I think that steam car engines with double-acting cylinders, piston or D-slide valves, and insulated cylinders thermally isolated from the crankcase -- among other radically different [from IC] features -- log more road miles and perform better than steam-converted IC engines and "IC-like" steam engines. With a larger budget, top professional engineers, and/or some hard-to-quantify [or unknown to me] project/design advantages, then IC-like engine design features might give better results on the road.

I hear ya on saving design/fabrication work by converting IC engines to run on steam. It is a very attractive idea. Personally, every time I tried to figure out how to do it, my efforts to solve the problems reported by others always led me to more work and expense overall than building a simplified "classic" steam engine. Alas, I had to get pretty deep into design attempts before this showed up. Before arriving at my current plans around 2000, I "flip-flopped" between the "scratch-built classic" and "IC-style or IC-conversion" approaches many times. Most steam guys seem to brainstorm many different things before settling on one to build. Comes with the territory.

It is a huge topic, vastly more complex than it appears at first. If the steam bug bites hard enough, it can turn into a lifelong learning process.

Yes, finding accurate and useful information on steam cars can be very difficult, but on the bright side, it has become much easier with the internet. I learned more in my first few years of internet access than I had learned in my preceding 20 years of print media. People discovering steam today have it a lot easier. A lot of difficult critical thinking and "reading between the lines" is often needed. I share your concern about the loss of steam knowledge and steam equipment.

Lamont circulator pumps move 5x as much water, or more, by weight, not volume, as the steam generated in the boiler. See Keenan & Keyes Steam Tables for density of water at high pressure at boiling point -- lower than room-temperature water. For a steam car Lamont, centrifugal pump shaft seals and pump rotor housings need to resist high rpms, 500psig or higher, and temperatures of ~470 degrees F or more, and pressure/thermal cycling from ambient to maximum. Seals and housings must be very strong for safety. Component flex under load and differential thermal expansion during both operation and on/off cycling, can be issues. I ran into all sorts of things.

George Nutz used about a 5 psig pressure differential between pump inlet and pump outlet, and this will vary depending on the flow resistance in the evaporating circuit -- depends on bore, length, bends of tube/effective-length, flow rate, and other factors. Circulating-pump horsepower can be minimal, as George has demonstrated and reported in his paper and in many fascinating posts on this Forum.

Boiler tubes in water-tube boilers are indeed exposed to exhaust gases -- and often to intense radiant heat from the fire.

For condensing steam systems, I plan to use only non-detergent and non-compounded oils throughout. Detergent and compounded oils emulsify with water in both crankcases and water tanks and are harder to separate. Result: "mayo" to explode out of crankcase, clogged condensers, and cloudy feedwater to foul boiler. Compounded special steam cylinder oils contain tallow and other ingredients which break down into acidic byproducts and corrode/contaminate almost every part of a condensing steam car powerplant. Compounded oils are formulated for use in _non-condensing_ steam systems. All condensing steam car manufacturers advised against using compounded oils in their cars. Modern experimenters like Barrett used non-detergent synthetic oils, 30W or 40W. Doble used 40W non-detergent petroleum-base motor oil. Mobil SHC634 ND synthetic oil is reported to give excellent results in condensing Stanleys. Inexpensive petroleum-base non-detergent motor oils are also available.

Hi Ben,

Personally I very much appreciate the importance of David Nergaard's extensive on-the-road real-world experimental work. I follow all of his reports with great interest, and have made many important design changes in my own project based on his results.

Re: Lamont boiler
January 25, 2011 09:28AM
Hello Peter,

Thanks for the info on water tube boilers. Much appreciated.

Could you name any specific problems? I was planning on pure cylinder oil within the crank and head case so the "Mayo" problem can be avoided.

The crank case problem: assuming steam oil can withstand working engine temperatures, just pack insulation around it and accept the losses as a fact of life. Ditto for the head. The stock oil pump will serve to supply oil to the crank and head.

As for the engine block being designed to channel heat away, why not use said channels to divert a portion of exhaust gas through the "cooling" channels. From my understand the burning of liquid fuels in this environment produces as close to complete combustion as is entirely possible, therefore carbon buildup within the channels should be minimal. Further packing of insulation around the block should minimize energy loss.

I am curious if the gaskets are up to the job of sealing against exhaust, steam, and extremely hot oil. If not, suitable replacements are sure to be found somewhere.

I am researching whether to change the differential ratio to support a much slower rpm engine, or whether it would be easier to change the gearing ratios within the transmission.

The poppet valves will operate to exhaust expanded steam into the stock exhaust manifold, and will be exhausted to the atmosphere using the stock exhaust system. (sans cat converter, muffler)

My design is fairly straight forward. (As far as my limited knowledge is concerned) I would appreciate a devil's advocate to point out any little thing that has escaped my notice. Feel free to indulge in as much nitpicking as you feel appropriate.

Many thanks,

Re: Lamont boiler
January 25, 2011 02:57PM
Hey Van,

I found the article I wrote of. It is in Volume 21, Number 5 of the Steam Automobile Bulletin.

They used an Oldsmobile 8, 1936 model, with a from scratch inline 6 single acting steam engine with the cylinders cast in pairs, then later they switched over to what is most likely the Derr V-4, also single acting with cylinders cast in pairs.

The Barrett engine used a lot of VW engine components for its construction. From what I can recall(my notes are. . . errr somewhere) the heads were custom but they used a VW crank, connecting rods, cylinders and I don't know what else from the VW.


Oops, I was just mentioning the "new" type of engines, the old Stanley engines should work just as well now as they ever did!


There were a number of steam car endevours firing up just before the outbreak of the second World War and I believe the material shortages and complete shutdown of auto manufacture have a lot to do with their stopage. It is a shame really.

Caleb Ramsby
Re: Lamont boiler
January 26, 2011 01:22AM
Barrett's steam car used the basic Volkswagen engine hooked up to the VW transaxle just like Volkswagen used it. Where Barrett changed the VW engine, it was with the "removable individual piston cylinders". He discarded two of the four cylinders entirely and the other two he replaced with steam cylinders and their supporting steam hardware. With only two single acting cylinders, he had to use the VW starter to get the engine started in the right direction. Near his end, Barrett had Wally build Barrett a V 2 steam engine. I do not know where this engine ended up or into what chassis it was destined for. The Barrett Steam car was not designed at all to handle this last V 2 engine. On our tour here in
Northwest Washington state, Peter Barrett was broken down for a day while he had a new replacement drive belt sent in for his car. His car kept throwing the belt, eventually ruining the belt. It was an alignment of the belt problem rather than a steam problem. His centrifuge on his car always worked excellent.
Re: Lamont boiler
January 26, 2011 05:58AM
Tom Kimmel, intrepid SACA president has a Barrett engine and Barrett's Mounster designed V-2 in his collection. The annual SACA meet is held at Tom's place in Berrien Springs, MI where his entire collection is on display. Tom will happily give you a tour of the display and answer questions...even if you didn't ask them!

Re: Lamont boiler
January 26, 2011 06:26AM
Hi Van,

No problemo. Check out the Babcock & Wilcox book, older editions, for info on the fascinating subject of boiler design, covers all the basics and far beyond. Kent's Mechanical Engineer's Handbook, 1936 edition, is good too.

A lot of things in a project like this are very vehicle-specific. You are considering converting a BMW. If I am not mistaken, these use (used?) the same oil supply -- and very special(/pricey) oil -- for both crankcase and transmission? Water content of oil might cause problems with the tranny -- especially corroding antifriction bearings.

Even if you avoid mayo with ND oil, and use a steam loop in crankcase or a Barrett centrifuge (tested blueprints available) to remove water, there is still water in the oil & crankcase. There will always be some in there, working away at rings, bearings, cams, and so on. Doesn't take much to accelerate the corrosion rate of various IC parts which were not designed to operate in a wet environment. Some post-run engine dry-out procedure/equipment might minimize this. Water can settle out in strange and unsuspected places.

BMW head gaskets and custom gears/drive ratio? Good questions! smiling smiley

Another issue is that in-line engine blocks, and/or multi-cylinder heads, can warp at steam engine temperatures, bending the whole engine. Hot top, cold bottom, differential thermal expansion. This is one reason why Barrett and many others chose to convert aircooled VW engines. Cylinders in those are separate and removeable rather than cast several into one block, and for a "steamversion", each jug can be given a separate cylinder head. Harry recently mentioned that this is why his engine has separate cylinders and heads. Barrett and others tried straight-6 Mercury outboard engine conversions back in the 1960s and 1970s, and had engine-bend problems from differential expansion of top and bottom of the long head/block.

Pumping exhaust gases through the coolant passages? Maybe. Possible problem: while warming up engine, exhaust condenses in there, leaving corrosive residues. Some North American fuel has sulphur in it, meaning SO2 and [with H2O] sulphuric acid. Run the fire hot enough, and there can be NOX and [+H2O=] nitric acid. And burner hiccups depositing carbon are not unknown in experimental work. Also separate blower for that, need blower rotor/housing good to 300F at least, and another HP loss and more equipment to buy or build, squeeze-in/install, and work out drive means for. Only about 10-20% of the fuel energy is still left in the exhaust gas anyway, not sure how helpful that would be when warming up a big gas-engine block (lots bigger and lots slower to heat up than a couple insulated steam cylinders) -- especially with engine and boiler running at low load/developed HP most of the time under road conditions, and with a high expansion ratio.

You might even end up with the cylinders _heating_ the exhaust blown thru the coolant passages, and exhaust gases _cooling_ the cylinders/steam. Cylinders/heads, towards the top, will run hotter than boiler exhaust gases, if the boiler has a decent economizer and if the engine has high expansion...

Correct, with a big enough boiler and fuel budget, the heck with engine heat loss and efficiency. But will enough boiler fit, and if so where? I'm not suggesting it won't, just that it needs looking at.

Custom camshaft and/or custom cam drive if it will fit, to open/close each exhaust valve once per revolution, instead of once per 2 revolutions as in a 4-stroke IC engine. Solenoid injector valves for high-pressure superheated steam are not off-the-shelf, a whole R&D project all by itself, venturing far into little-explored territory. Though possibly Jeremy Holmes could help out there.

Does your BMW engine have an aluminum block and head? If so, will those handle steam engine temperatures? I don't know of any aluminum IC conversions which propelled a car. All the VW-engine converters I know of, replaced the aluminum heads with custom steel heads -- and used iron cylinders.

Barrett's last engine had thin titanium disks bolted onto the crowns of stock aluminum pistons, with sealed air gaps machined into pistons beneath the disks. This was to prevent crankcase splash from cooling the steamed surface of the piston crown from the underside. Baffles to keep oil splash off the insides/bottoms of pistons, with slots for conrods to go through, have been mentioned. Also Barrett probably didn't want 800F steam contacting bare aluminum piston crowns.

Barrett also used stock iron VW cylinders in that engine, with the fins machined off. It was a counterflow engine, with separate OHC poppet valves for intake and exhaust. His earlier engines had custom unaflow cylinders and bash valves, but reportedly he got fed up with the short service lives of bash valves.

Well, those are a few of the (re-)design issues which I have picked up from people who have been involved in IC-to-steam engine conversion projects. I still find it fascinating, and it is certainly controversial and challenging. Lots of guys have had many years of fun, and learned a lot, with these kinds of projects. I learned a lot just trying to design one.

I should probably hand off the question-answering on this topic to the guys who have actually built and run steam-converted IC engines. They know a lot more about it than I do.


Hi Caleb,

Definitely a shame. On the bright side, WW2 resulted in many kerosene-powered Stanleys being rescued from junkyards and sheds and returned to service, providing useful transportation and a morale boost during a time of severe gasoline and tire rationing. They "did their part for the war effort".


Re: Lamont boiler
January 26, 2011 07:11AM

Thank you so much for your input.

I am very interested in Jeremy's design, custom solenoids would greatly cut the cost. However if need be I have located several suppliers who could provide commercial solutions.

The head of the M20B27 is steel I believe, but that is a very good point, i hadn't considered engine block warp.

I am working on the boiler problem so that is occupying the majority of my time. I have a rough design worked out and will be building a prototype in a few days.

A custom cam is not needed, I have solved that problem with a simple solution. Both intake and Exhaust valves will open during the upstroke of the piston.

Going in to this problem I had kind of assumed I would have to completely replace the pistons. If I could make it work however while only taking a minimal loss of efficiency then that would be the more desirable outcome. Is it possible to change out the rings on the stock pistons to achieve a similar result?

Will steam oil work at engine operating temperature? I am counting on the much lower RPMs to counter the high engine temperature. of course achieving similar car motion to its stock IC set up will mean dramatically increasing the amount of torque the crank case experiences. Should I be worried about if the crank can withstand the forces generated?

That is a good point about buildup within the coolant passages. As for the blower, that is also very good point, I will look in to it.

Re: Lamont boiler
February 02, 2011 11:16AM
Hi All:

I was just thinking that with the lamont you can do something else too. since you have a circulation pump already, and liquid water, you could circulate the water through jackets on the cylinder too. would be an easy way to keep the cylinders warm

depending on the design of your expander, you could even have the heads of the cylinders inside the external tank.

Re: Lamont boiler
February 02, 2011 11:43AM
I think that would cause a loss, from what I understand the lamont circulation is only heated enough to seperate the steam from the water. Seperated steam is then superheated and used in the cylinders. The circulating water might end up leeching heat from the circulating water, not vice versa.
Re: Lamont boiler
February 03, 2011 05:40PM
hey, with a heated cylinder wall, wouldn't the steam expansion be closer to isothermal? wouldn't you get some kind of improvement in water rate with that? just wondering

Re: Lamont boiler
February 03, 2011 06:08PM
Glad you noticed Ropers interesting idea,,Now try to figgure how it weighs 100#,,,,I was really suprised,,,,Genius of light weight,,, ;=] Ben
Re: Lamont boiler
February 03, 2011 11:03PM
not familiar with that one. can you give me more info?
Re: Lamont boiler
February 04, 2011 07:11AM
Stumpf prefered a steam jacket around the head and upper part of the cylinder.
Another way is Bill Ryan's hot head gokart, I believe it was quite lively.


Re: Lamont boiler
March 02, 2011 12:17PM
George correct me if I am wrong. But isn't a LaMont more sensitive to sizing then a plain monotube, That is a monotube can be driven harder for more steam. Or should I say over driven as in the turbo fan on a Doble as Jim has talked about many times. How would a LaMont react to being over driven.

Could a simple mono tube be smaller to handle normal driving condition with a boster for hard acceleration as in the Doble. Would a LaMont be able to operate like that.

As you know I lean toword the nonrecirculating boiler simular to the LaMont. Where you simply hava a monotube feading the stand pipe below the water level. Water level is controled by fuel to feed water ratio to get superheated or wet steam going into the stand pipe.

Re: Lamont boiler
March 02, 2011 02:01PM
George, I've sent you a private message. I hope it gets to you.

Everything I have read about lamonts and monotubes indicates that for similar outputs the lamont is smaller and weighs less. The recirculation allows it to be pushed hard without worry of burnout while the separator tank on a lamont gives it more reserve thus making it easier to control. But I await georges input as he has actual experience and I've just got some book learning. And real experience is by far the best. smileys with beer
Re: Lamont boiler
March 02, 2011 06:05PM
The problem with miniature boilers(auto boiler) is that the standpipe has so little downcomer pressure(.4psi/foot height) that it cannot be depended upon. When the Lamont circuit is designed to do all of the evaporation heat transfer it can be ferociously fired with great safety without requiring extremely fast contorl systems. The monotube can be forced for high outputs but I would not depend upon it for full time high output purposes. Auto boilers are rarely required for anything near full output but boat boilers are. The Teel boat boiler(paper on stanleysteamers.com) show the comparative heat transfer of 4 boilers and the greater heat transfer/sqft and smaller tube length required for the Lamont and the Lamont is afull output boat boiler. If the Doble were perfectly set up with massive feedwater oversupply it could momentaritly evaporate 20-25#/sqft/hr but probably on the ragged edge. The Lamont is capable of quite a bit more with good safety and never have the achillis heel problem of crap building up in the tubes at the end of/start of dry steam section leaving all its minerals loading up on that tube section. For instance Lamont ran sea trials using seawater as makup water up to 4% solid contents(boil a quart of such water in a pan on your stove and you would end up with 1.25 ounces of crude on the bottom of the pan for one quart! The pure monotube never got rid of this problem. I dont understand your statement of desiring a "nonrecirculating boiler similiar to a Lamont"?? A good study of all of Abners notes and frustrations taking one thru his years in England show his struggle with protecting the Doble monotube. Once again take a look at the Williams monotube picture in one of the SACA magazines that Tom Kimmel had cut apart and you can see a few tubes half or more clogged with salts and minerals creating hot spots and eventual tube failure.
I am sure there are designs that could be better or will be developed but at my age of 73 the Lamont is my favorite overall.
Re: Lamont boiler
March 03, 2011 11:17AM
HI George

In your LaMont Paper The Doble wasn't using the exhaust turbo boost. Right,

The Doble was producing about 2/3 the steam per square foot as a LaMont.

I think you are saying that the Doble (monotube) could have more output with the exhaust turbo. But basicly poor controle.

I agree the sediment is the big problem.

The oncethrough boiler using a stand pipe was used to make process steam. I don't know if it had the same build up problem though. Sense it would have liquid flowing through the evaporation region at times that might wash out the crid.

Re: Lamont boiler
March 03, 2011 03:19PM

Before George chimes in.
When we laid out that Lamont for the Stanley there was no draft booster in the plan. The normal Doble White Flame steam generator is 1200 lbs/hr on only the electric blower motor. The draft boosters double that.
The control system of a Series E or F with a draft booster usually controls with no problems at all unless someone who doesn't know the Doble and insists on playing around with it starts tinkering in the control box. Same goes for a White, set it like the factory set it and keep your sticky fingers out of it. (Goes for SU and Weber carburetors too.)
The only thing you notice is that the pressure On-Off happens a hell of a lot faster and when the booster is set up just right, the gauge needle only quivers at the top pressure. Charging up the Mt. Rose road to Lake Tahoe from Carson City once, unhooked and the throttle flat down, the temperature never varied one bit. The pressure gauge stayed glued at 1200 psi. Both the draft booster and the fan turbine were screaming their heads off. That is just what they should and can do. Some kid in a very hot loaded Pontiac Bonneville thought he could catch us, WRONG.

However, it takes many test drives to get the three temperature contacts just right and then fiddle with the normalizer orifice so it doesn't flood the superheater or let the temperature go down either; but just holds it steady. Then if it has a draft booster, you really spend time getting the settings just right.
I don't know why you guys are so afraid of the controls for a monotube. When you know the basics from long experience working with them and what that particular one wants, it is very easy to design and set such a control system and make it work perfectly all the time. There are basic principals you need to know and follow; but with that nailed down there are no problems.

Sediment itself is not such a problem, that carbon and oily gook from the cylinder oil definitely is. Have to burn or clean it out about once a year with the car in regular service.
One uses the foot blowdown valve on the bottom of the scale trap quite a bit to keep the crud flushed out. Fun on a cold foggy day too, you really lay down a huge cloud, keeps the idiots from following too close too.

Re: Lamont boiler
March 03, 2011 03:30PM
Hi Andy,

I can't see that flow in a once through boiler will prevent encrustation. Gas turbine guided missile frigates use waste heat boilers in the gas turbine stacks to heat steam for the galleys, laundry, space heating, local water heaters and other hotel services. These are once through finned tube monotube boilers. I saw the tube nest from one such monotube that was a victim of willful neglect to maintain water chemistry, this wasn't salt water, either, just sea water distilled into potable water. The build up in the tube walls was such that maybe you could push a pipe cleaner through, not much else. As the buildup accumulated, the flow had to speed up and become more turbulent, but the buildup kept accumulating. A once through boiler is sort of a black hole, anything that goes in which doesn't vaporize or stay fluid is going to become resident. Same seems to be true for every fire tube boiler I have ever seen and even naturally circulating express boilers with superior chemistry control can sometimes show a little accumulation. The only real message I can give from the inspection of boilers with serious numbers of operating hours is that if you don't want something coating the insides, don't admit it in the first place.

Re: Lamont boiler
March 03, 2011 03:39PM
My thought is that the stand pipe makes controling the steam generator a lot more stable in all conditions. With the once through I think about all you need to know is the pressure in the stand pipe. Sense the contants are at boiling temperature, pressure tells you the temperature. I would put a temperature senser on the line to the stand pipe to tell if you have saturated mix of steam and liquid or superheated steam going to the stand pipe. But the back and forth of having liquid and superheated steam would keep deposits cleared out. What does dropout would be flushed into the stand pipe.

Jim you might have an idea if this would be the case with deposits. The artical I read on this boiler didn't go into such problems.

Re: Lamont boiler
March 03, 2011 06:46PM

If I remember George correctly, like any steam generator the Lamont does need to be blown down. BUT, the crud seems to settle in the bottom of the drum, so putting a blowdown valve there would be a good thing. Of course and as has been said too many times in these posts before, clean and treated water is always a good idea.
Any boiler or steam generator needs to be cleaned out once in a while, unless you use distilled or deionized pure clean water like Harry does.
I had to put ditch water with the inhabitants removed in my White once and it didn't seem to mind. Blew it down hard from both ends and drained the water tank as soon as we found a clean source though.

Re: Lamont boiler
March 03, 2011 06:53PM
So the components of a lamont must be fairly standard correct? What will change the most is the tube and gas flow layout.

Can someone point me to what brands of components I should be looking at? anything from type of fuel atomizer, to circulating pump, etc etc.

A space 2' wide, 3' long and 3' tall. What kind of steam output could be expected from a lamont that size?

Thanks a ton,

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