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LSR Steam Car

Posted by Mark Stacey 
Re: LSR Steam Car
January 15, 2009 03:06PM

I noticed in the picture of the boiler that the upper left portion of the evaporator was showing more oxidation than the rest. This could just be from an uneven heat path or is the saturated steam getting too hot there?

Best, --- Bill G.
Re: LSR Steam Car
January 17, 2009 08:38AM

A draft boosted Lamont that would take the record need not be any larger than about 36" in diameter and perhaps 4' long.
What our Lear turbine would have put out would have been the same as long as the pressure and temperature was identical. We ran 1200 psi @ 1100°F. Bob Barbor, who designed and made those turbines for Lear, said we had about 350 hp to play with.
What hurt Barbor's effort was that Lears had furnace brazed all the finned tubing to the headers and that started coming apart and leaking. They should have TIG welded the tubing together.

A turbine is just not the smart way to go, we only used one as I got eight of them in that pile of stuff, so why not use one, it had the power we needed.
Any crummy reciprocating engine that was big enough would have a water rate a lot lower than those turbines. Only at design speed do you get a decent water rate.

Old idea. Lears, if I recall, did try a multi piston feed pump, with each cylinder feeding its own coil. Also, the Yuba steam tractor did the same thing.
I think Lears used a variable stroke eccentric in their pump, or at least in one of them that I looked at.

A Bonneville racer need not be sophisticated, a brute force system is all you really need, within reason.

Re: LSR Steam Car
March 26, 2009 02:51AM
Latest on the British Steam Car Challenge


From the general tone of the article and the quotes it sounds really bad.

Quote "There are no guarantees that it will be successful but we will put our best endeavours into making it work."

I think the green whales in really bad shape.

I'm sorry Chuk but it is now up to you. We demand success!
Just kidding and not to put any pressure on. ;-)

Re: LSR Steam Car
March 26, 2009 07:04AM
Hi Folks

Like most of you I'm not a big fan of the SLR design but it is interesting to read the differences on how their problems have been reported. I think the most sensible report is at [www.portsmouth.co.uk]

Light Steam Power magazine printed a survey on the design of the Rocket, think it may have been back in the 50's.

Re: LSR Steam Car
March 26, 2009 12:00PM

From that report; Good thing Jim's car didn't use one of those "state of the art" boilers with 130 sensors on it. What they needed was some wire cutters and a box of wire nuts. If I was in a race, a boiler tube wouldn't be considered as overheated until it was burned all the way through. Then I'd think of packing up and going home.

Best, ---- Bill G.
Re: LSR Steam Car
March 26, 2009 12:14PM

I wish them luck. There are many good features in that car, safety for the driver being one of them. I believe their project got complicated by the fact that when it started, someone had a lot of money to invest. It is hard to simplify after the fact, cause no one wants to see the pile of unusable parts get any larger, especially the investor(s).

I also appreciate that they report their problems in public, that we may learn from their mistakes.

Re: LSR Steam Car
March 26, 2009 01:56PM

For sure, three sensors feeding the control system. Outlet temperature (1100°F), B.N.(1000°F) temperature and the pressure control (1200 psig). The KISS factor at all times, remember.
Never had one single problem there, nor with the burner.

The chassis is nice, the 'State of the art" steam generators violate every rule possible. Absurd, and twelve of them!! No water pump; but a pressurized tank?? A bad turbine design to start with. My guess is far too many academic people with not one whit of real steam car experience between them, designing the car in some pub.
A book two inches thick could be written on why this car is not a good design or good engineering to begin with. But why bother, they won't listen anyhow.

What is suspicious is that the driver is to be Lord Montagu's nephew. Could he be the moneybags behind this comic opera? I would bet over a half a million Pounds have gone into the car already. With half that we collectively could smash 200 mph with the hardware already known inside SACA. Hell, one of Harry's truck engines would do it easily in the right car.

It amuses me that to this day, they will not acknowledge that my car holds the steam car record. Well, who cares.
Like Scott, I wish them luck; but gave up holding my breath years ago.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/26/2009 01:59PM by James D. Crank.
Re: LSR Steam Car
March 30, 2009 07:35AM
Howdy, in Bonneville Salt Flats racing , there are two records obtainable, first is the BNI National record, and then the FAI international record, with two different methods of a return run, bni (bonneville nations inc) allows for a record run to be backed up on the following morning, FAI (/Federation Aeronautique Internationale) requires a one hour turnaround... and both allow for a push start..and that push can be as fast as you can get.. I've personally seen 100 mph pushes in first 1/4 -3/8 mile in the 2 mile runup to the timed miles. FAI does not officially cover Speed week, but can be requested to "certify" a set of runs (expect to pay big $$$ for this service), however this means that the track needs to be clear in both directions, and due to the number of people running at the Salt during speed week, ( around 5-600) this is difficult. Possibly, the British team will "rent" the Flats either before or after Speed week, and do FAI runs... this will allow them a period of time to do testing during speed week, then do international records later...now somebody is gonna say "push start to xx mph aint fair"... but it is allowed for Land Speed Records. that said, the Salt will determine the outcome, we have not had good long salt in many years, the track in 1965 was over 12 miles long, we are lucky to get 7 good miles of salt most years... this means that the FAI requirement of "average two way top speed over the same measured mile" is a lot more difficult. BNI requirement is average two way top speed over the same relative mile, or on really bad salt conditions, one can make the run in the same direction (and so run the same mile) with your run early the next morning to "cancel out" wind direction... I hold a current record at the Salt in H/GCC (dodge colt 1500cc) at 144mph, and briefly held a record with a BSA Victor at 107mph... all of 15 minutes briefly... as to steam stuff I am still slowly working on my locomobile engine rebuild.... and gathering "stuff" to build a version of a steam car...

John Robinson, Retired Mechanician
Land Speed Record Holder
Bonneville Salt Flats
Steamboater, skydiver, mechanic,welder, machinist
Ice Core Driller, Antarctica and Greenland
Re: LSR Steam Car
March 30, 2009 01:34PM
Hello Jim and John,

I think I read somewhere:

That this "underfunded" project was being supported by Montague money. Well if money comes the way of any one of 4 or five of us associated with SACA the record will be reset and they'll listen then. Until then your cars record is the one to beat.

John it seems that with all of the activity during speed week that the week ought to be extended some. Over 100 on a motorcycle is fast. I did that going downhill on an old BMW when someone coming head on in a Mustang convertible decided to play chicken or was really trying to kill me. I figured I'd take the S. O. B. with me. He chickened out first, but I lined up dead on him and he moved even further over. That gave me the room to slam the bike over and pick it up again. Missed him by about a foot. It's amazing what adrenalin can do. Everything was so close and so fast that he must have thought I just disappeared and went through him or something.

I would think that during speed week, with that many people running and the course so short that that the salt would be in rough shape. I'm surprised that by now they haven't just put in a road bed or some kind of trough under the salt to control the moisture better. I'd be fun to get there.

Best Regards,----- Bill G.
Re: LSR Steam Car
March 31, 2009 02:59AM
Hi All,

I was at the test run last week, the computers shut the car down because a sensor indicated that one of the boilers had a pilot out, this was corrected, the next test a problem came from the water feed system, this could not be fixed in the time available, a disappointing day.

All these faults have been fixed, I have been invited to see a test run tomorrow, I understand successful test runs have been going on all week at Thorney Island (Government Airfield) watch the Steam Car Club web site for news (www.steamcar.net), all the best, Jeff.
Re: LSR Steam Car
April 01, 2009 11:34AM
Hi All,

What an exciting day, the car made two runs, accelerating under difficult conditions, using a track that required the driver Don Wales to dog leg around poor surface conditions, (See video on steamcar.net) the car still managed 72mph on the first run and 80.8 mph on the second run, Telemetry computer readouts indicated steam temperature at 300C – 572F and pressure at 507.6 psi.
The crew and all involved were overjoyed.

All the best, Jeff.
Re: LSR Steam Car
April 01, 2009 09:13PM
Thanks Jeff,

80 MPH is looking better. Good to see it.

Best ,--- Bill G.
Re: LSR Steam Car
April 05, 2009 05:03AM
Hi just back from having huge fun at the Australian Steam car tour at Huskinson and now catching up. The speeds out of the LSR car sound really encouraging. Like I've said I don't understand the choices in the design but it looks like it's finally coming together. Two thumbs up to the team.
Nice if the car could run at one of the better UK venues to really work any bugs out at higher speeds for longer durations.
Re: LSR Steam Car
April 05, 2009 10:38AM

Did anyone you know mention to them that a chassis dynomometer would save a huge amount of time and money? Their turbine's output is low enough that any sports car shop so equipped could handle the load easily. There are portable ones for rent too.

Re: LSR Steam Car
July 23, 2009 03:53PM

Echoing Jim's comment from April. A chassis dynomometer seems a really good idea, a really really good idea.
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File Name File Size   Posted by Date  
Bryan Engine photos.jpg 84.6 KB open | download Rolly 10/18/2007 Read message
1924 Stanley.JPG 59 KB open | download Rolly 10/22/2007 Read message
P1010001.JPG 59.9 KB open | download Rolly 10/24/2007 Read message
harryspts.pdf 18.8 KB open | download Andy 10/24/2007 Read message
Thorney runway.JPG 87.3 KB open | download Greg Walker 12/05/2008 Read message