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1901 Locomobile replica

Posted by IronChief 
1901 Locomobile replica
February 18, 2015 04:49PM
Getting the chassis back together painted and pinstriped. The seat is also painted and pinstriped ready for upholstery.

Next is the springs


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2015 04:58PM by IronChief.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
February 24, 2015 08:38AM
How to make new springs look old.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
March 11, 2015 07:41AM
if your looking for a convertible top I have one for sale it was from my locomoble replica which will no longer be used.
see photo

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
June 22, 2015 09:42PM
Here she is painted, pinstriped and ready for running gear.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
June 22, 2015 10:35PM
IronChief Wrote:
Here she is
> painted, pinstriped and ready for running gear.


My congratulations on what is truly a work of art! Your pride shows in the fine craftmanship displayed.

Best, B.
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
June 23, 2015 07:46AM
Really nice work.
Thank you for sharing.
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
June 23, 2015 01:44PM
Hmmmm......making new parts look old is almost exactly the opposite of most of my automotive endeavors.

I certainly hope you can attend the Berrien Springs meet this September so that we can appreciate the work in person, photos never convey as much no matter how good they are.


Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
June 23, 2015 02:31PM
Ron you are a busy boy. I've looked through all your Photobucket album - and am just amazed at the amount of work involved - brilliant!
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
December 14, 2015 09:40AM
Was able to do the leather upholstery. I don't know what they charge for this sort of thing, but it's not enough. That is a lot of work. I made some mistakes, that I was able to rectify, all in all, I'm happy with the way it came out. I'll stick to machining.


Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
December 14, 2015 02:33PM
Nice work Ron - looks correct and not too new.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
December 14, 2015 03:50PM

Thanks. I used what they call Distressed restoration leather.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 12, 2016 12:32PM
Muffler/tailpipe project:

Built a muffler from the information I could find. Also added a tailpipe to route the nasty exhausted steam oil out the back away from the chassis. Not sure if these had a tailpipe, but they need one. Also added a tube to vent the top boiler blowdown in to this same tailpipe to route it too out the back. The muffler has a coil inside to preheat the feedwater. Someone mentioned I have a lot of brass to do it this way smiling smiley

Wondering how this will behave. I'm thinking that steam injected into this pipe at high speed will induce a vacuum on the exhaust and act like a power boost..


Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 13, 2016 07:08AM
Beautiful coiling of that tubing!

Jared Schoenly
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 13, 2016 03:49PM
IronChief Wrote:

> Wondering how this will behave. I'm thinking that
> steam injected into this pipe at high speed will
> induce a vacuum on the exhaust and act like a
> power boost..
> -Ron

Stack blower - mind it doesn't lift the fire from the burner platesmiling smiley. I found such a thing very useful on my Stanley when the pilot flame went weak due to the venturi induced pressure in the mixing chamber caused by the main burner intakes.
A water coil in the steam exhaust is a very good way of preheating feedwater.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 13, 2016 05:36PM
Quote: "Stack blower"

I didn't explain it very well.

In the top of the boiler is an outlet just below the main steam outlet to the engine. The purpose of this is to get rid of excess water when first starting up or if too much water is pumped in under way, the boiler only holds about two gallons. As you know the boiler draws completely full at shut down. As I understand it, it's good to fire up with the boiler completely full as it prevents upper portions of the boiler overheating (like firetubes). In the past this just vented out the bottom. Now I have it connected to this engine exhaust tail pipe at an angle. I'm thinking (or musing) if steam from the boiler is injected in to this pipe at high velocity, it may create a vacuum on the engine exhaust and yield more power from the engine. Similar to vacuum pump on the exhaust of a compound engine.

I'll have to check it and see.

jschoenly, that coil was pretty easy to wind. It is 3/8" K copper wound on a 3" mandrel, then a piece of 3.5" ID X 4" OD tube was slid over that and then wound back the other way. No annealing or sand inside the tubing was used.

Thanks, Ron
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 17, 2016 11:50AM
The 1901 Locomobile also is a good performer. Check out this YouTube video of another 1901 Locomobile replica with its new kerosene burner. It starts out cold from the first light of its torch, and soon to spirited speeds exceeding 35 MPH. See it perform at: [www.youtube.com]
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 17, 2016 12:41PM
Quote "Check out this YouTube video"

That is the same Loco. The video was made about the middle of Dec,2014. It was 49 degrees outside and it fired up from cold in about 8 minutes. The boiler is very high output, really too big for the car at 19" diameter, I extended the body out two inches in the back (some of these were like that originally)to make more room for water to compensate. It's faster than I want to drive it as is. Not sure how fast, I've only opened it up and let it go once with 250 on the clock, and it was really moving. The engine exhaust just sounded like one big steam leak, my eyes were watering and then I realized it only has a band brake and I was sitting atop nothing more than a wood box with zero safety equipment, I let off it. It was still climbing.

Not unusual though, Locomobile claimed one of these steamers when ran properly could do a mile in 90 seconds, that is an average speed of 40 mph.

The plan is to get it registered and drive it occasionally. It is all back together, just need to do some tweaks to the burner. Lots of little jobs left to do on it, but I can do those later as there are other projects to focus on. So hopefully, it will be out for another test drive soon.

Thanks, Ron
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 26, 2016 06:50PM
Getting close to a test fire. -Ron

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2016 07:12PM by IronChief.
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 28, 2016 03:57AM
Howdy Y'all,

Great work all around.

Rolly, thanks for the link to the video. Words can hardly express my fascination and enjoyment while watching this unedited gritty "real steam car running" recording. I am working on something a bit different, but this gives me hope and whets my appetite for that first run around the block -- and beyond. All those nasty old "internet word wars" pale to insignificance in comparison. I now have all my machine shop & other tooling in my new place, and am starting to set up & organize the new workshop for serious metalworking. High hopes for the future.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 29, 2016 09:52AM

Thanks for the compliment. Good luck with your steam endeavors.

Drove the car finally this past Wednesday. Getting reacquainted with it and the new changes.


Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 30, 2016 03:48AM
Howdy Ron,

Thanks for the new video; I have to admit that I watched the whole thing, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Pure catnip. Yep, even in 1901, steam cars just ran and ran and ran. Good luck getting a run like that out of a 1901 gas car! A 1901 gas car would be, pull over, tinker & crank for 10 minutes, then another mile, then repeat. Or even a 1910 gas car. T'were my steamer, I'd be thinking "long-range touring time" instead of around and around the block, right about now.

And no worries about burner jets perfectly centered in mixing tubes/venturis, and perfectly coaxially-aligned/aimed. Obviously nothing remotely of the sort here, indeed, to an "OMG"/"WTF" degree, yet it runs just fine. So much for "incredibly perfect precision, or else disastrous failure". Apparently that approach merits a big ole "meh". To my surprise.

Though on the other hand, a bit of extra precision can't hurt...

Thanks also for your good wishes. I am working hard to make them come true.


Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
April 30, 2016 05:55AM

Glad you enjoyed it, only true steamfolk would endure all 38 minutes of that video smiling smiley. I was delighted to drive it again.

Mixing tubes, nozzles and poor aim:

This mixing tube is somewhat different than the ala Stanley types, it's externally heated. The vaporizer is coiled outside the mixing tube, below it are two Optimus Nova camp stove all fuel burners. These are ran on white fuel as it is the least problem for creating carbon- the nemesis of vaporizing burners. I installed a brass screen in the fitting exiting the vaporizer to the delivery tube, so no carbon granules can make it to the orifice. Heating the mixing tube provides two benefits, one is heating the combustion air for a more efficient burn and secondly, some post mix vaporization is happening as well. How much of each and the level of benefits? I'll probably never know, one could spend years on a test bed perfecting burners. Ofeldt invested 8 years developing this type of burner. My main concern is whether it runs reliably and well or not. And it's doing both. I'm of the school "if the car runs, stop fixing it"smiling smiley. Writing out of turn here as I have no experience with any Stanley Locomobile sealed combustion type burners, but I can see how directing the vapor down the centerline of the cold mixing tube would be important. Fuel vapor like steam condenses as soon as it comes in contact with any surface having a temperature lower than it's vaporization temperature. Not so critical with light fuels like gasoline and white fuel, but very important with kerosene, as it is more difficult to vaporize, and condenses far more easily. It's worth the bother though, kerosene has a much higher flash point in regards to safety and it's about 12% hotter - BTU per gallon. From main burner ignition and converting two gallons of cold boiler water to about 60 psi steam, is about one minute. If it gets much better than that, I'm going to start causing doubt about the electric starter. smiling smiley

I thought when I finished this car and after I got a few other projects wrapped up, I would tackle an early I/C car as some of those engines can be found at a reasonable price. A Winton or something similar. Then I heard one run. Pop Pop Pop and all the lights shaking at idle, top speed under 20 mph. I can see why at that time so many people bought these little steamers instead. They are fast, smooth and quiet.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
May 01, 2016 01:16AM
Hi Ron,

Recently I watched a video on Jay Leno's website of one of his splendidly-restored White Steamers jiggling its lights, windshield, etc at idle. More "headlight jiggle" than a "Charlie's Angels" TV episode. smiling smiley Well, that was "par for the course" back in the day. Early automobiles, that is.

Your comments on the Ofeldt-style heated-mixtube burner have the gears turning in my head now. That is a brilliant design; I did not know about that previously. If the Ofeldts ever passed up an opportunity to be ingenious and innovative, I must have missed it. My current "Stanleyoid" burner blueprints have a somewhat involved method for precisely centering and aligning jets coaxial to the mixing tubes. Interestingly, the mixing tubes are external to, and below the mix-distributing pan. Maybe the pilot(s) could be located below them, or instead of insulation they could be surrounded by hot-gas jackets connected to the firebox? Another "quick warmup" idea is dribbling a trace of firebox gas into the intake air. Yes, one could easily put many years into developing and/or tuning/refining a burner -- "stick with what runs well" seems the best approach. Same with other steam car components. Cut to the chase, and get 'er on the road.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
May 01, 2016 08:22PM

Here is a thread on the burner with drawings. Tony Grzyb built one like this with a Lane? or Ottaway? style vaporizer for use with gasoline and it works good, as a favor he made one for my car and I never could get it to burn kerosene. So I found a picture of the OFeldt and made it as close as I could to their design. Gotta watch heating mixing tubes, if it works too good, it will ignite the fuel. Been there, done that. Then I tried to place a thin tube inside with standoffs, which stopped the ignition, but restricted too much air - black smoke, kerosene likes big mixing tubes for lots of air. Too bad really, because it looked cool, but didn't work. I spent about 8 months making changes and trying different things.

What fixed it for kerosene,

1-7/8" Mixing tube
Tube on the outside to shield the direct flame
72" of 1/8" sch80 pipe wound for the vaporizer on the mixing tube.
Adding a second pilot light for more heat.

The trouble with burners that rely on secondary air through the bottom of the burner pan, they may work great sitting still, but once subjected to 50-60 mph air speed (40 plus 20 mph headwind) on the outside everything turns to crap. Don't ask me how I know - very annoying to see it at idle burning nice and blue and then take off only to look back and see a thick plume of black smoke billowing out - burning yellow - too much air cooling the vaporizer off and goes to liquid in the tube. What is not in my drawings and I just added and it seems to have helped is vertical vanes in between the branches that act as a stator to straighten the airflow and direct it up, opposed to it swirling around and wreaking havoc with the combustion and flow of the flame.

That's one of the reasons it's firing up much quicker now, When I pulled it apart after fighting the burner most of that year, there was about a quarter inch thick layer of carbon all over the boiler tubes. I've heard that 1" of carbon is equal to 17" of fiberglas insulation. Can't have black smoke.


One idea I had for heating air in the mixing tube: Build a bundle of 1/2" M copper tubes silver soldered together in a honeycomb arrangement. About 3" long. Silversolder two copper plates on each side of the bundle and have them exit the mixing tube through the sides and over the burner flame. The plates would be heated and then transfer the heat to the bundle, air being drawn through the bundle would be heated plus some post mix vaporization or condensation prevention. The area would be restricted so the mixing tube would have to be larger in that section. Mixing tube would need a removable section to install this. Like most of my "great" ideas, it was probably patented a hundred years ago smiling smiley


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2016 07:25AM by IronChief.
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
May 03, 2016 02:04AM
Thanks for the link, Ron. That burner thread was active at a time when I was too busy with moving, house repair, etc, to follow the Forum. A lot of stuff from back then, I still haven't had time to read. Now I understand how your burner works. Fascinating design. I will be studying & brainstorming it; may even do some experiments.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
May 03, 2016 12:28PM
After being through development on a burner, I wouldn't even start another without building a test bed first. Making changes and testing them on the vehicle is a long an arduous task.

A bench with a mock boiler bottom with thermocouples to map the heated areas/millivolt meter with multi-selecter switch. A high velocity furnace type blower to mimic outside air velocity. Some pyrex glass ports to visually look at the fire, maybe some cheap video cameras with USB output for visual on a laptop. Small Pilot and main fuel tanks with regulators and gauges. Get it perfected there and then you'll know what you have. Under the vehicle testing is just poking and hoping, testing void of outside air current really doesn't tell one much. All on wheels so it can be rolled outside.

Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
May 08, 2016 06:11PM
Hi Ron,

Those are great ideas. I definitely want the burner running well, under as close as possible to on-road conditions, before installing it in the vehicle.

One possible way to avoid wind-draft effects is to enclose the air inlet(s) to burner in "air boxes" and feed them via a duct from one of those baffled roof caps for natural-draft gas space & water heater flues. Designed to avoid wind creating excessive suction or back pressure on the exhaust stack, which can blow out the pilot light or cause other problems. Storm winds & gusts can reach highway speeds.

Later Stanleys had a simple factory-installed sheet-metal "windshield" near the mixing tube inlets, to avoid "ram air" & turbulence effects.

A Pyrex [Borosilicate] window to view pilot & main fire is a good idea. So is a "webcam" to look at gauges, thermometers, fire windows, etc under the hood. Webcams are getting very small and inexpensive, and some can work wirelessly. A laptop computer or smartphone with reasonable-sized screen could be put on/under the instrument panel to act as a display for tuning tests. Maybe even with voice command to switch view between 2 or more cameras. I'd put the "cams" in insulated boxes with glass fronts and cooling-air ducts, for use in hot zones. All sorts of possibilities in this department.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2016 11:01PM by Peter Brow.
Re: 1901 Locomobile replica
May 10, 2016 07:07AM

We used a small video cam looking thru a window into the burner on the Streamliner that we ran at Bonneville, and it worked flawlessly. I used it to adjust the fuel mixture to the 4200 foot elevation on the Salt Flats. After installing the air/fuel ratio meter, it was still useful as a backup tuning device.
As Peter says-t'was a very inexpensive addition-including the small 3X5 inch screen-which was installed in the center of the steering wheel. I think we only had $30 invested in the whole setup!

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