Ken G

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Everything posted by Ken G

  1. Just to say that I have a very similar carb on my 1925 Rover 16/50 (Stromberg OS-2); it looks very similar to your picture and it too has a bronze body. I haven't noticed any "warp" on the mounting flange, but I wouldn't expect the bronze to have deteriorated or warped in any way, so if there is curvature I think it is deliberate. However, be warned that the venturis inside are probably pot metal (at least, mine are), which will almost certainly have crystallized and swollen, with the result that it is impossible to remove them without breaking them (and they are very brittle). So if they are intact, leave well alone! If anyone happens to have had spares turned on a lathe, probably of aluminum or brass, I am interested! Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  2. A friend has just died. He owned a 1937 Daimler Light Straight Eight which is supposedly in good running order except that I hear there is a serious oil leak from the Wilson Preselect gear box and the car is standing on probably flat tires. However, it hasn't been out for several years. It is in a garage in Moraga, California, about 20 miles east of San Francisco. My friend's widow will probably want to sell. For the only other one of this model that I could find on the internet (it is very rare), on sale in Switzerland, the asking price was in the neighborhood of 50,000 dollars. Is anyone on the forum interested, or can anyone suggest how to go about finding a buyer? Ken Gundry, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  3. To reinforce my remarks of somewhat earlier in this string, the owner's manual for my 1925 Rover says: 1. Under normal conditions, provided that the lamps and starter are used a fair amount, the battery should be kept on charge all the time during the winter and about half the day-time running in the summer. 2. Always keep the left-hand switch pointing to 'D' when the head lamps are in use. (That is the charging position; D for dynamo). 3. If the car is used for long tours in the day-time it is quite unnecessary to keep the charging switch 'on' all the time, as this will cause overcharging of the battery and consequent reduction of the acid level. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  4. Nobody clearly explained the property of a 3rd brush generator. Once the engine is running at more than idle, the generator delivers substantially the same current (number of amps) irrespective of engine speed. The manufacturer's intention was that that current was sufficient to supply all that could be turned on (mainly lights, of course) and the excess current went into charging the battery. Thus if most of the driving is by day with no lights, the battery gets overcharged and boils dry. Hence there is normally a switch that turns on the generator, sometimes with two different current choices, with a position that disables it, so when you estimate that the battery is fully charged, you turn off the generator. At least, that is how it is on my 1925 Rover. Of course, this begs the question of how to estimate full charge! Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50, San Francisco
  5. As a postscript, my Rover has a three-terminal generator ("dynamo") and indeed the voltage goes sky-high if the battery is disconnected. I remember one journey in the 1950s when for some reason we had no battery, and my father briefly pressed the horn button; the Klaxon produced an extraordinarily high pitch! Thus any high resistance in the leads to/from the battery or in the battery itself will mean that the lights and anything else electrical will receive a higher voltage than intended (assuming the charging is on; on my car you have a choice of charge or no charge). Bulbs will not stand that. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  6. Have you tried http://www.thecarburetorshop.com? They have bits and pieces for early Stromberg carburetors. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  7. Just to echo others' comments, a vacuum fuel pump works fine (mine is an Autovac but it is very similar to a Stewart), provided there are no leaks in the vacuum lines. I once removed the vacuum-operated windshield wipers leaving the tiny pipe end open, took my girlfriend's 93 year old mother for a spin, and five miles down the road the engine stopped. No fuel! And yes, to make the pump work again, I had to prime it by removing the feed pipe and pouring gasoline in. However, enlarging on a point made by someone else, unlike an electric pump which obviously doesn't deliver fuel under pressure when it is turned off, a vacuum tank has fuel in it permanently, so the needle valve in the carburetor float chamber is permanently under pressure. Even if the valve is in good order, it is almost bound to leak slightly over hours or days, whereupon the chamber overflows. Thus it is very desirable to have a faucet in the gravity feed from the tank to the carburetor, and to turn it off when the car is left for any length of time. I have twice woken in the middle of the night, smelled gasoline, and had to go down to my basement/garage to turn off the faucet (and it was dangerous since there are two gas pilot-lights there too). Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  8. Ken G

    Tire sizes

    Ivan, Thank you. I don't think I am encouraged to try the wrong sized tires until or unless I am forced to it, and I doubt that I will be in my lifetime with the few miles I put on the car. However, something else has surfaced in the past day. One of the other cars of this model, undergoing restoration in New Zealand, has 21 inch wheels, and they appear otherwise identical in design so I think they are original. I can only imagine either that Rover offered the option or that the smaller engined 14/45 had the smaller wheels and the larger 16/50 (my car) had the larger ones. The point is that current lists at least show 5.25-21 as available, so eventually it might be a matter of finding someone who has 21 inch wheels lying in their barn. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  9. Ken G

    Tire sizes

    I guess this is a silly question, but I'll ask all the same. A friend and I both own Rover 16/50s from the mid-1920s (two of only a handful of survivors, and mine the only one in North America). We are in touch with several other people who are restoring this model. The cars have pressed steel "artillery" wheels of 22 inch diameter. Originally the tires were (I think) 5.25-22, with tubes of course. Today the only available 22 inch tires are 6.00-22, which fit on the wheels. They obviously have a slightly larger outside diameter, which increases the already wide turning circle (by the need to change the stops on the steering), and the carrier for the spare wheel needs modification to accommodate the extra width. Is there any chance that smaller or larger diameter tires, say 5.25-21 or 5.25-23, both of which are available, would fit the 22 inch wheels? Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  10. Dave, Have you tried http://www.thecarburetorshop.com? They have information and I think in some cases parts for a large variety of antique carburetors, and although the list of brochures available does not list UR2, they may have it or something very similar. You might also try Jon Hardgrove at tech@thecarburetorshop.com. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 with a Stromberg OS-2 (San Francisco)
  11. What about NoVa, the name that had to be changed for Spanish-speaking markets? I have always been surprised at Mustang, a wild, untamed and therefore unpredictable horse. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (no problems with that model name!), San Francisco
  12. I'm sorry, Ron, but that is not the whole truth. Yes, if the problem is an intermittent or permanent open-circuit, simple resistance tests will reveal it, and hot/cold tests might be more revealing. However: a) The present problem might well lie, indeed is more likely to lie, in the secondary, that is, the high-voltage winding, and that would not alter the resistance of the primary (low-voltage) one which would be correct. A short-circuited turn (as I say, more likely on the secondary) would have negligible affect on the resistance measured with a meter (of either the primary or the secondary). I think the simplest solution (if it hasn't been tried already) is to try a different coil, perhaps even to borrow one, although as I recollect coils are not very expensive. As a side comment, cars in Europe have operated on 12 volts since probably the 1930s (my 1925 Rover is and my father's 1934 Morris Cowley was 12 V), and so coils intended for 12 V operation without ballast resistors are commonplace (I had to change mine on a 1968 Mini). Using a lower voltage coil with a ballast resistor which is short-circuited while the starter is operating has the virtue of providing a fatter spark during starting without over-heating the coil in normal running, but my suspicion is that the practice arose first because in the US at least it allowed existing 6 V coils to be used in the new generation of 12 V cars. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  13. I know nothing about Cadillacs and prefer magneto ignition (!) but an ignition coil is nothing but a large-ratio transformer. If the internal insulation has broken down, either on the low-voltage side or more likely on the high-voltage side, it might have a short-circuited turn. That would greatly reduce the spark, although perhaps you would still get enough for the engine to run, but it would almost certainly lead to excessive dissipation i.e. heat in the coil. It would be interesting to know what the average current consumption is (measured with a good old-fashioned analog meter because the digital ones give useless answers on currents that are varying rapidly). It should be no more than two or three amps. If it is significantly more, the coil is faulty. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  14. This seems so simple a need, and yet I cannot find a supplier on the internet. My Rover needs 6 US gallons, yes gallons, of oil (common to the engine, gearbox and clutch). I am getting tired of buying oil in quarts at the quart price (have you tried emptying 24 little bottles!); I used to be able to buy 1 gallon bottles, but even they appear to be longer available except in 10-30. I want to purchase a drum of 20-50 oil; I see that 60 liter drums exist, but the distributors will only sell to dealers. Can anyone suggest where I can buy a drum of 20-50 at a reasonable price, either across the counter or mail order? Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  15. Look also at page 25 of the downloadable catalog for the Restoration Supply Company, http://www.restorationstuff.com/Catalog/RSC%20No23%20web3.pdf. They have copper crush washers in a wide variety of sizes. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  16. I recently met briefly an old lady, alas since deceased, who owned several antique cars including a 1911 Hudson. Only a week or so before she died, she gave me, via a friend, the name and telephone number of a local man who could work on the engines of antique cars. I think the time has come for professional help in solving my oil pressure problems, probably involving removing the gearbox and clutch; I am not equipped physically or mentally to do that in my garage. Has anyone any experience of Curtis Mann in Walnut Creek (about 25 miles east of San Francisco)? Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  17. On carburetors, my 1925 Rover has a Stromberg OS-2. Fortunately that seems to have a bronze main casting, and only the two venturis are pot metal. They have swollen and cannot be removed without damage. On my spare old carburetor, I took a hacksaw to the small venturi, eventually got it out, smoothed the sawn edges, and glued it together with epoxy, but I haven't tried it on the car and have no idea whether epoxy would withstand gasoline. Does anyone know? Indeed, does anyone know whether it might be possible to cast new venturis in fiberglass? (I know they could be turned on a lathe, but I haven't got one and am not competent anyway. On vacuum fuel pumps, the Rover has the British Autovac which from drawings looks very similar to the American Stewart (I assume that is what Dan has). It is important that the air vent on the top be kept open, and if it was making audible noises, I would suspect a partial blockage. However I can confirm that a leak in the feed to a vacuum windshield wiper (or in my case the temporary removal of the wiper motor without blocking the very narrow gauge pipe) will stop the pump from working. I found this the hard way when I took my girlfriend's 93 year old mother out, and the engine died after about 5 miles, one pump-full of fuel. Most embarrassing! Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  18. It might be worth pointing out that Mark Shaw's comment is true but he doesn't go far enough. 6 volt cables need four times the area of cross-section, not just twice, in order that the voltage drop be the same fraction as in 12 volt systems. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (12 V from new!) (San Francisco)
  19. I cannot resist re-posting the instructions from the instruction manual of my old Rover. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco) DECARBONIZING ENGINE BY OXYGEN PROCESS. The engine can be decarbonized without removing head by making use of the oxygen process. A cylinder of compressed oxygen is necessary, also a strong flexible tube with a metallic nozzle of suitable length and shape to allow it to be inserted through the sparking plug holes, and to be turned round inside the head so that the stream of oxygen can be directed on to every part of the combustion chamber and piston top. A piece of 1/4 in. external diameter copper pipe, curved about 3 inches from its end, is suitable. First turn off the tap on Autovac (the fuel pump) controlling supply of petrol to carburetter, and run engine until carburetter is quite dry. Remove bonnet completely by lifting away from radiator and from clip on clash. Protect wings and dash with suitable coverings, as the carbon leaves the cylinders in the form of burning granules. Next rotate the engine until the exhaust valve of. No. 4 cylinder (farthest from radiator) is just closing. (The position of exhaust valve can be seen through sparking plug hole.) The piston of No. 1 cylinder will now be approaching top dead centre, and, when exactly at top of stroke, No. 1 cylinder will be ready for decarbonizing. Now turn on oxygen until a fairly powerful stream emerges from nozzle of pipe, and direct this stream at sparking plug hole for 30 secs. Then touch edge of sparking plug hole with a lighted taper, and the carbon will immediately catch fire. Gradually work the nozzle all round the interior of the combustion chamber. and on to piston head taking great care not to allow it to remain in any one position for more than a moment, until no more carbon emerges. During this process, the operator should stand well out of the path of the burning carbon. When no more carbon emerges, the oxygen should be turned off, and a stream of compressed air should be directed into the combustion chamber just cleaned to remove any fragments. (A few strokes from a powerful tyre pump will accomplish this if no compressed air is available). To prepare No. 2 cylinder for decarbonizing, turn engine until exhaust valve of No. 3 cylinder is just closing, and set piston of No. 2 cylinder on top dead centre, proceeding as before. To prepare No. 3 cylinder, set piston on t.d.c. with exhaust valve of No. 2 cylinder just closing. To prepare No. 4 cylinder ?. etc. ? The entire operation can be carried out inside of 30 minutes and a 10 cu. ft. cylinder of oxygen should be sufficient for one engine.
  20. Mr_Tip If you use RTV for an oil pan (and I think I would recommend it), beware of following the instructions that come with the tube. They want you to use far too much. Assuming the surfaces are reasonably flat, a fairly thin smear applied with the finger is enough. If you put on a continuous bead, as the tube indicates, some will squeeze out. On the outside that is merely unsightly, but it is potentially bad news on the inside because some can then be carried away and jam up narrow oil passages. I haven't yet resolved my problem of oil being retained somewhere, lowering the level in the oil pan when the engine is running (but not ten or twenty minutes after it has stopped), but I suspect a blocked oil passage from this cause. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  21. ply33, Many thanks. I hadn't seen anything like that in the local parts store (Kragen in California) and it hadn't occurred to me that there might be a comparatively modern application for such things. However, since posting my query, I have found a website (Summit Racing) that actually stocks and sells such reservoirs. They also sell the valves separately, so I could find some suitable vessel and turn it into a vacuum reservoir. I haven't yet calculated the capacity to estimate whether one of the summit ones would actually do much good. I think my car is noisy enough that clicking from a valve under the dash would not be a problem! Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  22. My Rover has a vacuum windshield wiper operating on suction from the inlet manifold. At present it is very tired and needs manual assistance, despite my attempts to improvise new leather cup washers, but I have now obtained a new set and expect they will improve matters greatly. However, an inherent problem in such systems is that when you open the throttle the wiper slows or stops. I have come across the occasional reference to the use of a reservoir, a tank to "store" vacuum to tide you over periods of acceleration. I assume that such a tank needs a valve at its input to maintain suction when the pressure rises in the inlet manifold. Does anyone know where I could buy a functioning tank with its valve, or alternatively a suitable valve that could be used in connection with an improvised tank? Google has not revealed a source! Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  23. Sorry, chaps, but that is a bit tame. How about this? In the back is me before I grew a mustache. I have the car (not the trailer) in San Francisco now; I drove 50 miles yesterday in it. Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  24. Ken G

    Pin beading

    Having said what I did a few days ago, I realize that if 1/4 inch diameter aluminum rod is available in the alloy that I have used in strip form, it is fairly hard and springy, but you can heat it and for a few hours it becomes malleable. Cut half-round, drilled in the flat side with small nails epoxied head-first so to speak, it could form a very reasonable substitute for the real thing (at the expense of a lot of labor). I may have to consider that. I would of course prefer to find a source! Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)
  25. Ken G

    Pin beading

    Thanks, Joe, but I feel the real thing must be available. Also, I'm not sure how easy it would be to come by appropriate material. 1/4 inch brass rod would I think be resistant to the required bending, and I don't know whether you can buy 1/4 inch copper rod. And of course, I would have to insert all the pins. One of the points about pin beading is that the heads of the pins are buried in the underside of the strip, so when the strip is covered with leather and you use a hammer (or better, a mallet) the load is evenly distributed. If the pin heads were on top of the strip, even if they were recessed, it would be difficult if not impossible to hammer them in without damaging the leather. So I am still interested in a source! Ken G, 1925 Rover 16/50 (San Francisco)