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Cleaning out the vaporizer

Posted by IronChief 
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 10, 2018 05:02AM
Eureka!

Earlier in this thread I mentioned an old idea I had for an automatic vaporizer cleaning system, which I worked on, here and there, for many years up until the early 2000s. I ditched the idea when Jim Crank convinced me that a properly-tuned vaporizer would eliminate carbon and deposits in the vaporizer.

These discussions started me thinking about the idea again, and tonight I had a "Eureka!" moment. A number of old and new ideas came together into what I think is a reasonably easy to build and durable built-in automatic mechanical vaporizer self-cleaning system. It is much less complicated than my old ideas, and most of the parts are off the shelf, with the few custom parts relatively simple and easy to fabricate. I think that it would be far faster and easier to build this system, and to fit it to a road-proven Ottaway burner & Stanley-like pilot, and to get it all running well, than to design, build, test, and "de-bug" a different "R&D wild goose chase" type of burner from scratch. The extra designing & building work should pay off in the form of vastly reduced maintenance work down the road.

This self-cleaning vaporizer+ just might be the ultimate solution to the old vaporizing burner problems of vaporizer/jet deposits, vaporizer overheat, fuel quality/additives/contaminants, and frequent burner cleaning. It should allow the pilot and the main burner to run reliably on easily-available, convenient-fueling, low-cost regular unleaded automotive gasoline.

Oh, and the deposits removed from the vaporizer, etc, all go neatly into a small cannister. Unscrew the can and dump the crud in the trash at long intervals. No mess on the road or garage floor.

It is a bit too complicated to describe here in a post of reasonable length, but I will keep you posted on progress. At this point, it looks simple and effective enough to incorporate in my first car-sized burner. I have been designing and blueprinting vaporizers, branches, jets, etc anyway; this self-cleaning vaporizer system only requires a few modifications and added features -- most of which have been successfully used in steam car burners before. Partial spoiler alert: it includes a "steam enema" and "Blazick jets", plus automatic jet pokers in both main and pilot jets. The "enema" -- I have to find a new name for that; "steam cleaner"? -- has an isolation valve and a vent valve, so that if the steam valve leaks it doesn't inject carbon-forming steam into the vaporizer while the burner is running. Most of the system consists of off the shelf parts and simple plumbing tricks.

I'm not sure if this system is patentable; it all looks like something that could have been invented, patented, and built a century or more ago. Maybe it was patented way back when, or at least some parts of it. No problem; my goal is to design and build a steam car that runs great, not to accumulate patents. smiling smiley

It is a pleasant surprise to find a promising-looking way to make this old, long-discarded idea work. I was expecting to settle for easy-cleaning vaporizers.

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 10, 2018 11:26AM
Hi Peter,
Please provide information about Blazick jets? I have not heard of this type of jet.

In the mean time, wait for it, wait for it...smiling bouncing smiley

Rick
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 10, 2018 02:29PM
Quote: "Blazick jets?"

Rick,

If I understand correctly it's basically a brass orifice fitting with several small passageways that go into a slightly larger passageway which is the orifice size. It's a filter. I use a brass screen, will hold a lot more before stopping up.

Here is a thread on it:

[steamautomobile.com]

-Ron



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2018 02:33PM by IronChief.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 10, 2018 04:19PM
Hi Ron,

Thanks for running the link to that thread. Those long-ago posts have been very influential in my burner thinking. I had forgotten which Forum it was on, and had not seen it in a while. Hmm, sounds like these guys were/are putting a lot of road miles on their well-tuned vaporizing burners between cleanings, even with fuels generally considered not ideal for vaporizing burners. My goal of 1500-3000 miles between cleanings doesn't sound so iffy after all. Sounds like maybe a plain old steam enema might be all that would be needed to clean 'er out; maybe automated if I wanted to get "fawncy". Possibly with some way to automatically blow out carbon-catcher screens.

Now I am already doubting the need for my perfectionist self-cleaning vaporizer.

The way some people talk, you'd think a vaporizing burner requires pulling over and spending an hour on your back under the car with a hammer and chisel every 50 miles.

Peter



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2018 04:20PM by Peter Brow.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 12, 2018 09:20AM
One thing in that thread that I took notice from Dave Nergaard is that it's possible to get bad kerosene and I think that is the case with my recent issue. I had a very similar experience, not much trouble to all sorts of trouble and the only thing that really changed is where I purchased the fuel. Searching the web for "bad kerosene" according to all the results, it never goes bad. Apparently it does and effects some uses of it. For instance, what I have will still burn in a lamp, but trying to boil it- convert it to gas results in excess carbon production. Possibly some additive or mold has lowered the cracking temperature. I haven't tried Diesel and I might. Gary Hadden, steamguy and a good buddy, runs Diesel on his gun burner and I rode on his car a few weeks and there were not any objectionable fumes from it. Good running steamer too, all automatic. Just turn the key and take off.

Anyways, anyone need a couple gallons of aged, slightly bad kerosene (low miles)?

Peter, I don't think anyone implied a vaporizer needs to be overhauled every 50 miles with a hammer and a chisel. The thrust of the discussion is that a vaporizer can be a very problematic component of a steam car burner. It sounds as though you have a very good design sorted out, good luck with it.

-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 13, 2018 02:29AM
Hi Ron,

The hammer and chisel comment wasn't aimed at you or anybody here; I have heard it in the past, usually from anti-steam-car people, as part of "what's wrong with steam cars" or "why steam cars disappeared" arguments.

I'm not sure if still happens, but a few decades ago I was advised to avoid small back-street gas stations, because they didn't sell much gas and the fuel sat in their underground tanks getting stale and absorbing water, often from leaky old steel tanks. The bad stuff would clog fuel filters and cause other problems. Now there are tighter regulations on tanks, and small independent gas stations have mostly disappeared.

The point being, fuel quality was an issue for gas cars at one time too. Still is, for cars that sit a long time, especially with old fuel in old steel tanks. If a tank or can of fuel is not sealed, then air can get in and atmospheric moisture can condense inside, usually settling to the bottom. Over the years I have had a number of steel gasoline and kerosene cans rust out at the bottom because of this, despite being stored on dry shelves, also a couple of old lawn mower fuel tanks. I am a big believer in plastic fuel tanks and fuel cans. Nowadays bad fuel doesn't corrode the tank. It just corrodes the fuel system and carbons-up valves and cylinders. LOL

Yeah, what do you do with bad fuel? I still haven't got my old VW running yet, and it has a tank full of 2-4 year old gasoline. Somebody said, just get the engine running, dump a lot of Gumout in the tank, and run it off, changing fuel filters several times if needed. Once I had a problem with Der Beetle konking out on the road. I'd get out, check everything under the hood, then try again, and she'd start right up. A few miles later, she konked out again; roll to the side of the road, and repeat. After a tow home, an old-VW buddy said to change the fuel filter. Problem solved. What happened is that the fuel filter was crudded up. During the stop-and-check, enough of the crud settled away from the filter element to allow fuel to pass thru again. Then, after a bit of running, the crud would get pulled back into the screen and plug it. Weird.

Thanks for the compliment/encouragement on the self-cleaning vaporizer. It is a work in progress. I found a way to plumb the "steam enema" to blow out (back-flush) the main vaporizer fuel screen; simple plumbing trick. Pilot screen, I know how to steam-clean the outside of the screen, but I'd rather blow steam from the inside of screen; IE, reverse direction from the fuel vapor flow. Will blowing off the outside of the screen remove carbon as well, or at least well enough, is the question. I think it might. I am thinking of an odometer timer to automatically run a cleaning cycle every so many miles for average fuel, and a "clean" button in case a batch of really bad fuel plugs up the burner sooner.

It's probably too soon for me to start working on cheezy 1950s-style trademark names for this automatic vaporizer cleaning equipment. Things like Auto-Kleen, Vapo-Skrub, Ty-D-Jet, Nev-R-Plug, Vapo-Rooter, Blowzitoutamatic, etc.. smiling smiley

In 2005 I got a ride in Jeff Theobald's 1919 Stanley. It had a fan burner, and it ran well and silently. No motor hum, air whoosh or fire thump/rumble. I couldn't even tell when the burner was cycling on and off. A really car-suitable fan burner needs variable firing rate and good turn-down ratio for good superheat/steam temperature control. Good flame distribution is important too. I haven't found anything like that commercially available, but I think it is possible to build on a custom basis. Looks like too much R&D time for me at present, though. Maybe in the future.

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 13, 2018 06:20AM
Hi Ron,
Thanks for the Blazick Jet explanation and the link. I really like the Jim Crank part to the Gentlemen of the Forum.

Hi Peter,
Let's take a look at this Eureka idea? Hence why I state...wait for it, wait for it!

By the way, if everyone says it won't work, do it. If nobody comments, not a good idea. Just saying...
An example of this is that Ron says that the wire I might use in my steam generator coil will block the flow and it won't work. This is my permission to go for it. See the last picture of this concept.

I have attached some pictures of my once pass vaporizer for my "Gentleman Speedy Roadster" that I'm building. I go right to guns with this design. The correct vaporizer design cures the issue of carbon as Jim Crank said. Note that the propane bottle in the picture is for the pilot light. The burner is running on gasoline in the picture with the propane bottle in it. It runs very well I might add.

Hope this helps my friend,

Kind regards,
Rick


Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 13, 2018 08:46AM
Quote: "Ron says that the wire I might use in my steam generator coil will block the flow and it won't work."

I don't think I wrote it will not work? I think I wrote it will limit natural circulation, provide a means for boiler debris to get caught and stop up a tube. It may work just fine, hopefully it does for you.

-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 13, 2018 09:56AM
Over the last 34 years of steaming our Stanleys, we have had very little trouble with the main fuel pilot vaporizer. As a newby with Stanleys, I have had several vaporizer failures while using gasoline and kerosene as a main fuel. Since the my early days, I have switched to a good quality of Kerosene and I have had zero problems with the vaporizers ever since. With our 5 Staneys, we have put close to a combined 100,000 miles on them. The secret is to match the length of the mail fuel vaporizer with the fuel being used. For our pilot fuel and for firing up from cold, we use Hexane. I buy both our Kerosene and our Hexane by the 55 gallon barrel. I do use a stainless steel cables inside our main fuel vaporizers. I pull the cable for cleaning about every 400 miles. I rarely every have a main fuel blockage because I use the Blazick self cleaning jets. I make the Blazick jets for our own cars and they work very well.


Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 13, 2018 02:09PM
Pat, If I understand correctly, you only use straight Kerosene now instead of 50/50 mix? Maybe I need to get a 55 gal drum and get it fresh from the refinery. Or I may try some Diesel fuel straight. I like the Kerosene, the fumes aren't bad and its very reliable normally, and too it's about 12% hotter burn, Diesel is a few% hotter.

I don't mind popping the screen out and cleaning it every few days of running, the last few times I ran it was a matter of an hour or two - impractical. Similar to what Dave Nergaard has written, very similar experience.

Getting back to the using boiler water for vaporizer heat, coincidentally, Gary H called me and was telling me about the Winslow (apparently Winslow worked with Doble on this) external vaporizer that uses boiler water. One thing about that type of vaporizer, steam pressure and temperature go hand in hand, so pressure would have to be maintained high or within vaporization range of corresponding temperature to have reliable vaporization. I'm not sure water would naturally circulate through an unheated external vertical water column with vaporizer within by itself. I like my IBV or internal boiler vaporizer better smiling smiley

Ken, what do you know about this?

-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 13, 2018 09:23PM
Ron, I still use straight Kerosene in all of our Stanleys. Watch that they don't try to sell you stove oil as being Kerosene, because stove oil has a lot of crap residue in it. Stove oil is not Kerosene. There is a large gap in the heat difference between Hexane and Kerosene. Hexane is a cool reliable fire and it is barely hot enough when used for the firing up valve, to get everything hot enough to switch over to 100 %kerosene for the main fuel. When parked for lunch or for any other reason, our pilot lite is always left burning. When departing lunch, before turning on the main fuel, I always give the firing up valve just a crack for about a minute before turning on the main fuel. Kerosene works excellent when hot, but can run too rich when cold.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 14, 2018 03:58AM
The magic word to know for "good kerosene" is "K-1". If it ain't marked/sold-as K-1, then it's no good for vaporizing burner purposes.

The magic source is fuel suppliers located near airports for jet planes. Shop for "jet fuel". A supplier who fuels jets should have no problem filling up your 50-gallon barrels. Some will even fill 5-gallon barrels.

Find a supplier for K-1 jet fuel, and you're in like Flynn.

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 14, 2018 05:01AM
Hi Rick,

This is as close as I have right now to an understandable drawing of my automatic vaporizer cleaner. It is an extremely rough sketch.

I put it on SaberCat because it's a 4 meg smartphone snapshot of a page in my paper/pencil invention/tech notebook, and the SACA Forum file-size limit for attachments is lower. [Edit: SaberCat link deleted, photo resized and attached directly.]

This drawing does not include the pilot vaporizer, or the details on the "blow-out valves" marked with stars. Off the shelf valves for those look no good, so I am designing custom valves with 440C balls held onto 304ss pipe-nipple seats by standard die springs, which are pried off their seats by levers actuated by pull-cable/tubes during cleanout. Those are the automatic/remote equivalent of manually removing [4] pipe plugs before opening the vaporizer "steam enema". Note that steam enema feeds to the _outlet_ end of main vaporizer, and also, simultaneously, to main burner jet branches. Also note isolator and vent valves to prevent carbon-generating steam leaks into vaporizer while running, in case of steam-enema valve leaks in the future. Vent valve sends any leaks to the atmosphere. All valves [drawn as little circles] except the "star"/blowout valves are 1/4-turn ball valves, off the shelf. It is annoying that few quarter-turn ball valves are available in 1/8 NPT size, off the shelf.

Design work on the "star" or "blowout" valves is in progress; 440C balls, seats, and OTS die springs have been calculated and spec'ed. The star valves are where steam and carbon are blown out. They are "full-flow" for maximum effect.

While the burner is firing, all valves except the "fuel in" and vent valves are closed. For cleanout, the "fuel in" and vent valves are closed, and all other valves open.

Fantastically detailed 3-D rotatable/animated graphics of the system are in my head, but not converted to computer/internet-viewable drawings yet. Maybe it's a good thing that direct [& hackable] internet access to the graphics inside my brain are not possible? LOL

Not sure if it is good that I might bring a car thus equipped to a meet, and everybody yawns and says "So what; we already followed your sketch and put it on our oldtime and new-traditional vaporizer-burner steam cars. Works great, vaporizer/jet clogging eliminated, big deal." LOL

Hey, your burner vaporizer/jet building looks very similar to mine, with NPT threaded ells, tees, and 45 degree angles. Pretty close to what the Stanley Brothers, Ofeldt, and others used, actually. I am very happy to hear that you got this kind of stuff firing well; gives me more hope for my own ideas. Tho I ditched the early-Stanley branched fuel inlet/dual-vaporizer in favor of the later-Stanley branched vapor outlet/single-vaporizer, But Mike's experience-based comments on vaporizer pressure controlling/balancing liquid fuel flow into vaporizer tubes makes me think that either approach is workable.

Peter



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2018 12:42AM by Peter Brow.


Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 14, 2018 05:04AM
Aw crap, I think the link in the previous post failed. Well, OK, my self-cleaning vaporizer is still "top-secret" LOL
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 14, 2018 11:54AM
Peter,

To post my higher rez (smartphone camera) photos here, I email the photo(s) to myself and use the “image size” option in the email to lower the resolution to forum friendly >1 meg size. Then once the email is received, the photo is saved and ready to be posted. I use Apple devices for my email and photos, but I’m sure there is a similar way to do the same thing with any smartphone format.

Jamison


Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 14, 2018 01:54PM
For anyone using Windows to post photos.

RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool)
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 14, 2018 02:47PM
Another way to do it is download Windows Essentials for free from Microsoft for Win 7 and Win 10, it's a package of additional tools, then just right click on any picture and resize it.

-Ron



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2018 02:48PM by IronChief.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 14, 2018 02:54PM
Pat,

Thank you for the advice. Yes, Kerosene is difficult to vaporize, good on you finding a workable solution for it. When you say crack the firing up valve, is it running on hexane at the point to preheat the vaporizer over the main burner, before introducing the Kerosene?

Peter,

The pump is labeled "K-1", but who knows what it really is. I think I may try Diesel or start calling around for fresh K-1.

-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 15, 2018 12:22AM
Thanks for the computer tips, guys; it had been so long since I re-sized a jpeg that I forgot how to do it.

I have re-sized the drawing, and will edit it into the previous e-mail, which has comments and explanations.

Peter



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2018 12:40AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 15, 2018 08:59AM
I am considering eliminating the carbon blow-out plumbing to a carbon trap, shown in the drawing, because the amount of carbon dust dumped into the environment should be extremely small, even with very bad fuel. Another possibility is to plumb the vaporizer-blowout hoses to the condenser, to recover the carbon blow-out steam and avoid a puff of steam exiting the car. Carbon would stick to the oily innards of the condenser, then get flushed into the floating oil film atop the water level in the tank, then lodge in the cylinder oil recycling filter for tidy disposal. Either way, no "carbon collecting cannister" to build/install or clean out at intervals. Just change the oil filter at intervals, just like an IC-engined car.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/15/2018 09:01AM by Peter Brow.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 15, 2018 09:28AM
Hi Rick,

"if everyone says it won't work, do it. If nobody comments, not a good idea."

Of course it is possible that a good idea might just fly over everybody's head, or maybe everybody is too busy touring, or working in the shop or at the drawing board to comment. As for naysayers, well, if their criticisms are off base then it is possible to either ignore 'em or take the approach of "Oh yeah? Well, I'll show ya different!" I do try to give criticisms and different opinions a fair shake first, though. Sometimes I am mistaken and need to change my thinking & actions; often when I least suspect. I'd rather do stuff that really works than pretend to be right when I'm not. Seems to be an unusual approach nowadays, judging by the news. That being said, I'm still "opinionated as all get-out". LOL

Peter

-----------------

"Be sure that you are right, then go ahead" -- Davy Crockett
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 15, 2018 09:44AM
Peter, In your sketch above, I know, here he goes smiling smiley.. If there is a screen at the exit of the vaporizer, anything small enough to go through a properly sized screen, will go through the main burner orifice. The first time I ever had the burner orifice stop up is when the screen was damaged. Prior to that it was just clean the screen occasionaly (Occasionally Until the last load of Kerosene that is).

Ken Helmick at Old Car Festival suggested a sock filter, Over the winter, I'm going to make a top hat filter I'll call it, Like a sock screen filter , but instead a top hat shaped thin filter element machined from bronze and numerous holes a bit smaller (like .030"winking smiley than the orifice on the end and circumference. That is one problem with the bronze screen I'm using, it only has .006" opening or weave (and .040" orifice), very fine and it catches everything, plus it's in an inline brass fitting and it has very little surface area. Much of what it catches would just go through the orifice anyway. It will be in a brass housing with copper sealing washers and I plan to make a proper delivery branch. Big wide wrench flats to make it easily field-serviceable.


-Ron
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 15, 2018 11:15AM
Hi Ron,

"You bet your bippy" there's a screen between the vaporizer outlet and the branches to the jets. I still have to look up the mesh size for that; first try will be #70 jets, according to Ottaway's specs for a "20hp" [4+gph] burner. My idea is to put a union at vaporizer outlet, with the usual ring gasket replaced with 2 thinner ring gaskets with a disk of stainless wire screen between 'em and hi-temp sealant filling the mesh in the ring zone so's it don't leak radially/sidewise. The vaporizer outlet is an off the shelf 1/8" nominal NPT cross fitting [for 0.405" actual OD steel pipe] with branch outlets to either side and the steam enema inlet in-line with the vaporizer inlet, so the enema steam blows the carbon out of the screen, and backwards thru vaporizer along with any carbon there, to a carbon/steam outlet next to fuel inlet during cleaning. Everything just screws together from hardware store parts; just a few simple mods here and there.

At the same time, enema steam blows out any smaller-than-jet-bore carbon that lodges in the branches and jet cross-fittings, downline from the main vaporizer screen.

However, I think I get your point; blowing out the branches might be "gilding the lily" if the screen setup is good. So maybe I can eliminate the 2 blow-out "star" valves next to the main jets. Which would simplify things a hobunch. Ah, I had not thought of that. OK, rethink time. Thanks. I might just do that. I gotta run it thru the mental mill to be sure. That feature is a leftover from a previous idea, based on some extreme-fuel-contaminant assumptions which might not fit real-world reports/experience with these kinds of burners. Simple is good. smiling smiley

Just in case, the main jets will be Blazick type. Outlet ends concave-coned like in the Cruban burner, to simplify poking out, again, just in case. Poker snaps into a spring clip on burner case for handiness and to avoid a situation I ran into with a British Stanley, where a poker hanging on dashboard at foot level ended up poking/stuck in the sole of my work boot [at least I knew not to wear sneakers or shoes]. smiling smiley

But with a good screen arranged for easy regular back-flow blowout, Blazick/Cruban jets might be overkill too. Maybe just drill & tap for off the shelf Holley carb jets, like Ottaway recommends. I have some in shop already; the outlet-side screwdriver slot would help guide a poker for "just in case", which is probably unlikely anyway. Hmm and hmmmmm...

Top hat, tube, dished, sock, etc screens are the way to go wherever possible IMHO. My current drawings for the pilot jet show a 2-layer rolled tube of stainless screening, with one end rolled onto a round threaded OTS standoff that screws onto the inlet end of jet, and the other end on a disk with a close-fit coned hole in center for the jet wire to pass thru. Close-fitting sleeves made from 3/8" OD stainless tube secure the ends of the screen roll to the standoff and disk; pressed-on with JB Weld [good to 450F+] to seal and glue it together. Basically a neat tubular screen with loads of surface area, to run a long time between cleanings/replacement without plugging up. I forget the mesh size at present; all spec'd up with McMaster p/n's in the notebook.

Yeah, too fine a screen is as bad as too open a screen. Don't sweat the small particles, so to speak. They'll shoot right thru the jet. Probably stay suspended in the fuel/air mix and burn above the grate to boot.

Your & Ken's vaporizer sock filter idea sounds great. I'm starting to doubt Ken's loyalty to "infernal combustion". LOL. Visualizing it, I think that will do the job just fine. Way to go man... uh, y'all...

Well, lots of "food for thought" here...

As the computers say in Star Trek, "working"....

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 15, 2018 08:18PM
Ron, When parked for lunch, the only fuel valve left turned on our Stanley is the Hexane pilot light. Upon departing from the lunch stop, cracking the firing up valve open for about 45 seconds (supplying hexane fuel to the main fuel vaporizer), is enough to give the immediate heat to the main fuel vaporizer which it needs. There after, the main fuel kerosene valve is opened a half turn for running the main fire. Diesel is a poor replacement for Kerosene. Mixing Diesel with gasoline would be the better choice as a fuel, as long as there isn't any water in the gasoline. I wish that I had met you Ron as you are my type of steam car guy. I have months to live as I have stage 4 esophageal cancer. My life has been a fun ride. No regrets....
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 16, 2018 08:50AM
Pat,

I'll heed your advice on the Diesel fuel and forgo the vaporization experimenting. It's great to hear some real operating experience and technique used, I learn a lot from it.

-Ron

You're my kind of steam car guy too, you find realistic workable solutions and try to do the best job of it, you're a do-er, you take care buddy.
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 16, 2018 12:04PM
Hi Pat,
I heard about your condition at the SACA Meet and so nice, very nice, that you are still giving out great advice based on true experience. I might say that you're kinda my hero and wish to emulate you with may steam cars.

Thank you for the advice you gave me on my burner (pictured above). It is a big part of it working so well.

So sorry about your condition! Wish you all the best! However, it seams you're working like Roper. I think you know the story of his last ride setting the record on his Steam Bike. It's the essence you portray to me.


Hi Peter,
I say Build It! You'll see what's going on with a working prototype. Some advice is you may use compressed air as your wet steam source. Also, I use a propane bayou burner as a flame source. Of course there are several options for a flame source. I have an extra burner...I'll ship it to you if you want?


Dear Ron,
I agree, using you in that instance is a poor example. Quoting Robin Hood, "There are no perfect men, only men with perfect intentions". My intention is to get Peter to build on his ideas. I'm like Pat, your my kind of steam guy also.


To All,
I use Paint Brush to size my pictures...it's easy!


Best regards,
Rick
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 17, 2018 03:00AM
Hi Pat,

Time flies, so now is the time to thank you for many years of great steam car advice, information, and tips. You have helped out many people in the steam/car hobby, more than you might suspect. And your posts will live on forever in the steam literature. Thanks also for your many informative and delightful tales of classic steam car adventures on the road; I have always enjoyed them, and I think that I, like many other folks, will re-read and continue to enjoy them many times in the future. "Fun ride, no regrets" is the way to go, so to speak. Words to live by. Thanks for that too; much appreciated.

Hi Rick,

Not in the mood to get too chatty now, because of recent sad news and having just watched "Elizabethtown". But sure, PM me and send me a burner. Just be advised that if things get crowded in the shop here, I may ship it back with Blazick/Cruban jets, "Auto-Kleen"/Ottaway-like vaporizer system, my latest "P10" pilot, and/or who knows what other mods. Yes, compressed air for vapo-clean where boiler steam is not available, is an idea that has occurred to me. I have some bigass air compressors, tubing, tanks, valves, and fittings which can be screwed together to run a car-sized vaporizing burner, plus propane torch, so it will get fired. Also just got a 37 degree flare tool for hi-performance tube ends/fittings. And McMaster is just a point and click away. I can get some "turn on camera and record" edit/music/graphics-free smartphone HD videos to YouTube to show experiments and results.

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 18, 2018 04:57AM
Hi Peter,
Two options for the burner. One is the Bayou and other is the multi-nozzle?
Thanks,
Rick


Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 19, 2018 03:46AM
Hi Rick,

On second thought, I need to finish the pilot burner which I have already mostly built. It is a good shape and BTU output for preheating an Ottaway-style vaporizer, and it is very nearly an exact clone of the Stanley pilot, so it should work well. Slotted grate, mixing tube, and vaporizer all machined and assembled, needs jet & wire, and while I'm at it the automatic cleanout valve, which is only slightly extra work and should make it much more reliable and easier to maintain. Another burner in the shop would just tempt me into a sidetrack.

Thank you for the burner offer though; I do appreciate it.

The extra time that the cleanout valve is taking to design & blueprint should pay off when I make identical valves for auto-cleanout of the main burner vaporizer. BTW, I decided to keep the cleanout valves at the main burner jets, just in case some of the fine carbon, downstream from the main screen, builds up in the branches and then dislodges in batches big enough to clog the main jets. I do not know whether the vapor speed and turbulence in branches will keep all of the post-screen carbon suspended in the fuel vapor to go out the jets immediately. Especially at low firing rates. But with the branches regularly blown out along with everything else, it's not an issue. These automatic valves should not be expensive or difficult to build, so if the "extra"[?] 2 valves at the main jets turn out to be not really needed, then it is only "slight overkill". I like the idea of keeping all the fuel vapor plumbing clean as a whistle.

Imagine self-cleaning pilot and main vaporizing burners which run 100,000 miles or more without ever clogging or needing manual cleaning, even with bad fuel.

Not necessarily for original antique steam cars, which are and should be kept as original as possible as a matter of accurate historical preservation and good stewardship of our automotive heritage. But for new steam cars, it is a worthy goal.

Peter
Re: Cleaning out the vaporizer
October 19, 2018 11:51AM
Hi Peter,
OK...I'll hang on to them, put them in storage. My wife and I sold the house and going to downsize on living space and up-size on workshop. Mathematically, from a 5 to 1 ratio to a 1 to 5 grinning smiley Hoping I can maintain the marriage...

Just a quick thought about replicating and restoring. The difference is value. Replication is to create and improve on an existing design and have it look like a certain model or version of a Steam Car. My replication is a Stanley model H where I'm using a modified model T frame, Ofeldt boiler (my design) and Stanley 10 Hp engine (~1905 3 X 4). The frame is modified to be same size of a Stanley EX (uses the 3 X 4 engine) w/30 inch wheels, shorter than that of the original H (33 inch wheels). I think you get the idea. I do this because I enjoy engineering solutions and improving on existing designs along with having a fun vehicle to run around in. However, I would be lucky to get $10,000 for it when I pass away.

Restoring is to re-make or fix up to be like or close to original. I went up to visit Coulburn Benson in Maine to look/measure his 1908 Gentleman Speedy Roadster, model H (color is Red). When I saw it, the boiler was scorched and it needed miscellaneous fixing. Someone bought the H from him and restored it to a very marketable condition. I checked with the broker selling the car, verified it was the very one I thoroughly climbed all over and requested the asking price...$200,000.

In summary, It depends on what you are after and realistically, what one can afford.

Thanks,
Rick
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