The Contraption 2010

Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:43 am

Tiahaar, I hope to be moving around much more this year, so it should be easier to catch a ride. In 08, Captain GD asked me to come with him to kidsville and give rides for bit, too but the engine was so finicky that we never made it. I owe Spoon (DPW) cold beer for finding a can of carb cleaner that got us going again. Here's to a more traveling 2010!!


Oldguy wrote:Magnetos, I have not heard that word since my flying days. Procedure: Left, right, and then both switched on and off, during run-up at the end of the runway prior to takeoff.


Oldguy, would you tell me more about this? What exactly was this procedure for? I'd love to hear about it, if you'd be willing to share.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:50 am

Elliot wrote::D
Magneto ignition is still used on some types of race cars. These cars carry no battery and are push started. It does not take much to light them off once the fuel starts flowing.
:D


Some of the older Harleys had mags and they could really pop a spark. Mine had points and a condenser, which I still found to be quite reliable and easy to adjust if needed. I'm still holding out hope for stumbling across an old Knucklehead tucked back in somebody's barn somewhere.

And, no... as appropriate as it may be, by knucklehead, I do not mean unjon.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:39 am

LeChatNoir wrote:

Oldguy wrote:Magnetos, I have not heard that word since my flying days. Procedure: Left, right, and then both switched on and off, during run-up at the end of the runway prior to takeoff.


Oldguy, would you tell me more about this? What exactly was this procedure for? I'd love to hear about it, if you'd be willing to share.[/quote


To manualy advance and retard the spark.. Same as the model Ts or a 1939 Indian.. If you didn't advance way beyond tdc the old bikes would kick you over the handelbar.. Or the model T would rip your arm off when hand cranking.. The ajust as the engine heats up.. On planes they advanced on the run up.. Then retarded closer to tdc on the takeoff run..
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Postby Elliot » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:03 am

:D
In aircraft, I believe the pre-takeoff procedure would be to verify that both ignition systems work. You can fly on one system, but not on none, so you don't take off unless both work.

For serious magneto ignition expertise, the Joe Hunt Racing Magneto company is still very much in business and located in a suburb of Sacramento.
:D
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:52 am

That makes sense.

To manualy advance and retard the spark..


The Hercules hit-n-miss had a setting to retard the spark on start up and once it fired, you flipped it back to it's regular setting. I also seem to remember that on some early bikes, you could rotate the mag a bit to make it easier to start, revolve it back to normal advance once it fired up.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:21 am

LeChatNoir wrote:That makes sense.

To manualy advance and retard the spark..


The Hercules hit-n-miss had a setting to retard the spark on start up and once it fired, you flipped it back to it's regular setting. I also seem to remember that on some early bikes, you could rotate the mag a bit to make it easier to start, revolve it back to normal advance once it fired up.


Had an old cat. It had a Briggs&Stration on a belt drive for a starter.. First you would releive the compresion by opening petcocks at each cylinder.. Then start and warm up the B&S.. Pull down on it to tighten the belt around the fly wheel on the cat.. Once the cat engine was spinning, you streach over and close one petcock.Once one cylinder was firering on its own you release the B&S then close the rest of the petcocks. Getting the little gas rig to start below 0 was just an added joy to the good old days..
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Postby Elliot » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:39 am

:D
It's not very long ago that some motorcycles had a compression unloader valve operated by a lever on the handlebar.

And shop air compressors have an automatic pressure unloader device to ease startup.

Next we get to diesel engines that were started with an explosive charge -- kind'a like a shotgun shell aimed into the combustion chamber.
:D
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:59 am

Some models of the diesel engine that I'm using here, for extreme cold weather starts, have a removable plug in the head for the purpose of, "inserting an ignited paper roll into the combustion chamber..."
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:02 pm

Elliot wrote::D
It's not very long ago that some motorcycles had a compression unloader valve operated by a lever on the handlebar.

And shop air compressors have an automatic pressure unloader device to ease startup.


Since this engine is both hand crank and electric start, it has a decompression lever on the valve cover.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:05 pm

Elliot wrote::D
It's not very long ago that some motorcycles had a compression unloader valve operated by a lever on the handlebar.

And shop air compressors have an automatic pressure unloader device to ease startup.

Next we get to diesel engines that were started with an explosive charge -- kind'a like a shotgun shell aimed into the combustion chamber.
:D



John Deers were hand cranked way up in the 50s.. You had to open petcocks and addvance the spark.. Then spin the flywheel.. If you were real quick you could close the petcock near you.. Run around to the other side, lose that one and retard the spark.. Or the danm thing would die and flood.. If you flooded you have work to do.. Remove the plugs (2), spin the engine (to dry), light a match to the plugs (burn off gas), reinstall plugs and crank your guts out pulling on the flywheel..
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:14 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Some models of the diesel engine that I'm using here, for extreme cold weather starts, have a removable plug in the head for the purpose of, "inserting an ignited paper roll into the combustion chamber..."



When the WC Allace was to cold to start.. We would burn a pan of corn cobs under the crankcase.. Same with the model A.. Warm it up with cobs, start it up and push start the newer cars to start..
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:34 pm

Shake it up and break from the norm tonight... Less talk, more photos.

New throttle linkage this weekend, working much like a tractor. One master throttle lever that sets and holds a setting (Engineer controlled) and a secondary throttle control via foot lever for the driver.


The linkage (one rod up to master control, one rod forward to driver):


Image



Foot lever:


Image



Side view foot lever:


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Postby Elorrum » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:50 pm

Elliot wrote:Next we get to diesel engines that were started with an explosive charge -- kind'a like a shotgun shell aimed into the combustion chamber. :D


now, I'm finally understanding The Flight of the Phoenix thanks.
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Postby Elliot » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:59 pm

:D
Oooo... with James Stewart...? Great movie! I believe an aircraft engine would have been a gasoline engine.... Wonder if the movie people took a bit of liberty with the technical details, just to make it more exiting? But then... maybe that method was used with some gasoline engines also?

Anyroad, fun that you remembered such detail from that old movie!
(Hey, it's Hollywood -- of course it did not start until the last shell!)
:D
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Postby Tiahaar » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:37 pm

Here it is! Coffman Engine Starter
Wiki makes mention of the Phoenix movie too. I want a starter like that for my diesel bus engine heheh.

The contraption is looking ever awesomer LCN! I spotted a couple red-glass lanterns in a shop here but alas they have them at 'antique collectable' prices...$48 and $75 respectively.
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Postby Elliot » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:45 pm

:D
How 'bout that -- "shotgun" starters really WERE used on gasoline engines! Wondermuss!
:D
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Postby Tiahaar » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:47 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh1lxbelxVI[/youtube]

a short fun tractor start method :D
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:53 am

Tiahaar wrote:The contraption is looking ever awesomer LCN! I spotted a couple red-glass lanterns in a shop here but alas they have them at 'antique collectable' prices...$48 and $75 respectively.


I found one on ebay the other day for a bit more than I'd like to have paid for it, but certainly less than "antique" price. It looks like someone has, at some point, repainted it with a cheesy looking high gloss red paint, but no primer base coat so it probably doesn't have all the 'antique" value either.

Perfect. That way I don't feel bad about it getting all playafied.

Going to attempt to get some video this weekend.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:07 am

Here it is! Coffman Engine Starter
Wiki makes mention of the Phoenix movie too. I want a starter like that for my diesel bus engine heheh
.

Hey, wow, Tiahaar! Thanks to that Wikipedia link, not only did I learn about the Coffman Starter (which I'd not known about previously), but also that the basic idea behind pump starting The Contraption was an actual mechanism at one time, that being an "Inertia Starter".
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Postby gyre » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:41 pm

If those lanterns are real railroad lamps, they are worth much more than $75.

How do you guys not know about these weird starters?
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:12 pm

The two I have now are actual Dietz lanterns made for the railroad as caution lights. I think I read somewhere that they were used for highway warning lights as well at some point. They usually go for $45 or more at antique shops, but I've less than that in both of them, thankfully.

Both have fully intact red glass lenses which is a nice.
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Postby gyre » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:30 pm

I have a couple of the lanterns the railmen used from the caboose and so on.
They have the round wraparound globes in red glass.
They are fully galvanized too.

A large number of my family on one side were railroaders.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:35 pm

Update Time!

Been a busy weekend with not every project being playa related, but that's ok.

Keeping it brief again, the latest additions are a left foot operated clutch pedal for the driver along with it's linkage. This opens up the lever that was operating the clutch previously to act as the gear shift. The transmission and shift linkage was finished and installed for testing and all looks good so far.


The clutch pedal:


Image


The chain-gang transmission in place but without the final-drive belts mounted:

Image


And here's a video of the transmission in operation with the flywheel in motion (via the hand pump, not the engine). In this video, it is being shifted from first gear to second, and then lastly into neutral (the metallic noise you hear in the background is the lever locking into place). Note the change in the rpm of the shaft.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEzSWfTNj_Q[/youtube]
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Postby Elliot » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:39 pm

:D
Cecil B. DeMille could not have made a prettier movie!
:D
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Postby bigbluedoggy » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:00 am

Such beautiful stuff! I have machine envy!
Don't go complicating my reality with facts.

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Postby pinemom » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:21 am

Very nice LeChatnoir...
can feel the warmth of your workshop from here!
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Postby gyre » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:50 pm

Contraptioneering?

http://jalopnik.com/5497042/how-a-500-c ... lly-racers

This guy was not actually competing directly with WRC pro cars.
His time would have put him 24th in the pro group.
Not bad.
Impressive even to finish.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:48 pm

Definitely contraptioneering of a specific sort. Cool story, gyre.
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Postby karine » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:48 pm

:D
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Postby bigbluedoggy » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:29 pm

Went to the new monthly screening last night for LA Greeters and this month's movie was Burn on the Bayou. I saw two of my favorite people in there! You guys rock!!!
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