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Old 05-03-2011, 02:50 PM
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fishguts fishguts is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: southeastern MA
Posts: 313
Default Re: Something new and kinda sorta 100 years old looking

Made steam today! Real quick, too. This thing can get up a head of steam in about 60 seconds. That was a big surprise. Everything checks out pretty good, but engine isn't running yet. Here's the list of issues that need resolved:

1) Still has a leak at the sediment bowl and a small one at the pump. No big deal, but I need to tend to those.
2) Head leaks out the back, not a big surprise since it was milled with a hand file! But I do believe I can seal the head with some form-a-gasket as it probably won't go over 300 degrees.
3) It appears my water shut-off solenoid is not doing its job, so I'll have to trouble shoot that. Maybe I need a better water level sensor or something, not sure yet. The nice thing is, the 100 psi water pump puts out well over 100psi and is an excellent cold water pressure check for the entire system. The bad thing is, it's setting off my pop-off safety valve which means something isn't right because the level sensor is supposed to trigger the solenoid to close when the level gets halfway up the boiler.
4) Now here's a real head scratcher for you. I can spin the motor over easy by hand with the flywheel and can turn it through several revolutions to clear water out of the cylinder in anticipation of steam, but as soon as I get a little steam going (and things really aren't heated up much yet), something inside the engine stops it dead. I can reverse the flywheel maybe 90 degrees and it hits solid again. It feels like a dropped valve. But after I turn everything off and the pressure is dropping, I can spin the engine freely again. Weird. Well, I'm going to pull it apart anyway, but anyone want to hazard a guess as to what would cause it to do that?

For now, I'll just mop up the oil and water and take it to the steampunk show this weekend as part of our display. next week, I'll pull the head off and have a look.

Last edited by fishguts; 05-04-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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