Author Topic: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam  (Read 38368 times)

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2013, 09:41:41 PM »
There's a familiar sounding name! I'm staggered by your workmanship b85v.  :bow:

I sent for new piston rings, gaskets and oil seals -- guess that shows some confidence that there may be an end in sight for this project. I'd like to build a new steam engine from the ground up next time.

My shop facilities get closer to reasonably usable every day. A working mill and lathe, now, though they could use some more work to get them in good shape. The foundry is ready to do its first real pour. Up to this point it's been mostly rough work with torch grinder and files and brazing. And mostly without heat. But with real tools I hope to do better.

I think I'm going to enjoy making the eccentric for this one. The rocking valve will be interesting, too. Well so will casting again. Feel like I'm on the verge of  the good stuff. And the days are getting longer again.

Hope to see your work!

I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2013, 10:16:44 PM »
when do you think you will be casting??  I see bv85 found you, and you dropped the other forum...  I planed on doing that as well, too much uncertainity with its longjevity.  hmm no spell check..damn...   oh well, they have better smileys here   :clap:

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2013, 11:03:31 PM »
I hope to cast this coming week David. I will have to get my greensand back in condition, and wait for good weather, so not definite yet.

I'm thinking I need to make that long oval boss deeper and wider to accept bigger exhaust pipe. It's okay for the inlet, but I'd like more diameter for exhaust.

This one will be aluminum just for a trial run, and when the weather warms I'll do another one in CI. which will be the permanent one.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 11:34:52 PM by vtsteam »
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline black85vette

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2013, 12:05:03 AM »
There's a familiar sounding name! I'm staggered by your workmanship b85v.  :bow:

Hope to see your work!

Well I keep trying to improve and do the best I can.    I think this forum will be a good fit for your project.   I don't post here a lot but check in pretty often to see what projects are going on.

My engine build is over at www.modelenginemaker.com.   There are a number of us active on both boards.

Glad you found a place to post your project so I can keep up with it.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2013, 03:45:17 PM »
I certainly want to keep up with your as well!
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2013, 07:31:12 PM »
In between cutting and splitting wood, and putting the scraper blade on  the tractor today in preparation for a big storm, I managed to cast the new head in aluminum.

It was great to use greensand methods again -- although I couldn't use my fine facing sand, as it was frozen solid. But I did have my regular molding sand in condition after working on it for a few days. Kept it in a plastic box indoors. And rammed up the mold on the dining room table while my wife was out  :ddb:

I'd already started the charcoal in the new furnace, and I had the pour done in a half hour, start to finish. Cleaned up the mess, ran outside and split more wood with an innocent look on just as she got home. She did figure it out though. Missed a little bit of sand.....  :wack:


Great to finally have a part to work with now!

I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2013, 09:22:16 PM »
Looks good. Now you'll have something to work on while your snowed in.
 :clap:

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2013, 09:59:34 PM »
That's why I rammed it up ASAP on the dining room table!
I'm not as dumb as I look.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline DavidA

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2013, 05:32:44 AM »
I was wondering.

As this is a vertical engine,  how are you going to get the condensation out ?

Dave.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2013, 09:10:15 AM »
Hello Dave, if you mean for starting, there will be a stopcock in the head as usual on a non D-valve engine since the steam valve can't lift off of its seat.Or do you mean steam migrating past the rings into the crankcase?
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline DavidA

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2013, 09:50:39 AM »
I meant for starting.  Looks as if you have it covered.

Dave.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2013, 09:59:39 AM »
Thanks Dave, but you got me thinking.  If instead of a stopcock it was a spring loaded pressure relief valve plumbed back into the steam outlet pipe, it would be automatic. I wonder if that would be better? I guess the stopcock might be better. Water locking on startup isn't the only reason you might want blow off steam.

I've also thought about condensation in the crankcase. Maybe the steam line could run through the oil and the oil temp kept above 100C. Crankcase would best be lagged as well as the cylinder, then, I suppose.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2013, 01:35:52 PM »
Snow is coming down and I'll have to start plowing shortly. But got the underside of the head milled and the bosses milled on top.



I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2013, 01:50:22 PM »
Snow  Blah!! would rather roll in a pile of stainless swarf...

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2013, 02:08:25 PM »
11 to 19 inches predicted here, winds to 33 mph, wind chill -4F. And most of it at night, which means it will be drifted higher than the scraper blade by morning, and that makes it tough going.

Guess I'll plow at dusk and let it go over night, see what the morning brings. We're lucky I guess -- somewhat north of the main track and force of the storm. I hear Boston is going to get hit big time. Well, plenty of wood stacked up, and the 6 hp Lister Diesel generator is ready to go. Probably won't be able to get in the shed for awhile, so no machining. Maybe filing is all I'll do. And think about how to do the valve.



I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline DavidA

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2013, 06:13:27 PM »
Vtsteam,

Water in the crankcase could be a real problem.  don't most vertical steam engines have the cylinders and crank assembly separated ?

Dave.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2013, 07:25:01 PM »
Dave, the Westinghouse twin types didn't, and most racing model hydroplane singles don't.

So I will be curious to see what happens with this one, and also what I can do about it if it does become a problem. I think of this as a development project and a way of getting hands-on steam engine design experience.I always like trying things out for myself.  Plus it's fun. Plus it gets rid of one more junk engine by making something interesting out of it.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2013, 07:25:27 PM »
Vtsteam,

Water in the crankcase could be a real problem.  don't most vertical steam engines have the cylinders and crank assembly separated ?

Dave.

  Water in the crank case has been a problem on this sort of design.....My concern is the oil ring, there is holes in it and the piston.  I was thinking maybe replace the oil ring with an O ring or maybe a lip seal??

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2013, 07:33:25 PM »
That sounds like a good idea. I did order new rings, and they've arrived, but I haven't put them on yet. Maybe I should try it stock first just to see how bad it is...
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2013, 07:38:41 PM »
it probably wont be to bad with a bit of super heat once you get the block temp up. there was an interesting write up on this a few months back in the steam automobile club of America's publication "the bulletin" .

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2013, 07:44:41 PM »
I saw Bart Smaalders comment also re. his otter engine conversion:

Quote
The instructions for the Westinghouse engines (twin cylinder single acting like Otter) was to fill the crankcase with water and add some steam cylinder oil; this just worked really well for me and kept oil carry over down.


I just happen to have some steam oil -- bought a bottle of it at a small engine meet in Bernardston, MA a few years ago, and I've been looking at it on the shelf ever since!
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2013, 07:56:34 PM »
hmm, not so sure about filling the crankcase with water, just sounds like a bad idea  :loco:  You will probably never keep all the condensate out of the crank case, just do your best to minimize it.  Then again you could make a double acting cylinder and mount it to the deck of your block and use the existing piston as a cross head....But that probably isnt what you really want to accomplish on this project....

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2013, 08:04:33 PM »
I don't know, David, Bart Smaalders has many years experience with his compressor conversion steam engine in his boat. If he says he ran it that way and it worked well, I believe him. On the other hand, simplest is best, and I'll just try it with conventional oil filled crankcase first. I don't think it would be a problem to run some copper steam line through the sump. With the head stopcock open I bet the engine, including the oil will warm up in a reasonable time, if lagged well.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2013, 08:20:24 PM »
who is bart and do you have a link to his work?  It may work, but what about other problems once the engine is shut down? like things rusting up?  Im not knocking what he is doing, but keeping as much condensate out of the crankcase as possible seems like a better idea to me....  I would like to read up some more on what he is doing though.

Offline DavidF

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Re: Conversion of 4 Cycle Utility Engine to Steam
« Reply #49 on: February 08, 2013, 08:30:17 PM »
WO  WAIT A MINUTE!!!!   what if you filled the crankcase with a bit of antifreeze and oil??  the anti corrosion properties of the antifreeze would keep things from rusting and its also a mild lubricant and it could give a **** less if blended with a bit of water....
Hmm now thats interesting...