Barnbikes

1907-08 transmission?

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Been staring at this picture for a couple weeks now and trying to wrap my head around it.

 

Guessing the tank in front is gasoline. Tank under his feet is probably oil. Engine looks water cooled but I see no cooling tank.

 

There are 3 pedals by his feet but see no transmission (direct drive?). Could the 3rd pedal be oil pump?

 

Engine looks like 2 v4s bolted together (cylinder spacing).

 

Steering looks like moving axle.

 

I have dreams of reproducing this but I have to make it workable. Did anybody make a transmission built into the rear axle?

 

Thanks,

Jon

v8biketires.jpg

v8biketiresengine.JPG

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Do you have any idea what brand of car it is?  My first impression would be Oldsmobile.  I doubt that is correct, but stranger guesses have been right.

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Numerous cars had transaxles, the most common early cars were Overlands......that's a very strange vehicle in the picture, so strange that my first impression was it was a mocked up race car for a photographer...the guy sitting in it surely doesn't look like he's ready to set any land speed records....then, looking more, there are a lot of details that probably wouldn't have gone into building a prop, such as the longitudinal truss rod.  Then, looking more, what's on the front of the car hanging, a gas tank?  If so, would need to be pressurized, and don't see a hand pump....and is that a BRAKE on the left front wheel, riding against the tread of the tire?  Wow.

 

Lots of questions on this one.

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Driver is suppose to be  Ray Harroun (First Indy car winner).

 

The more I look at the frame rails the more they look like wood. Looks like black paint behind the front wheel.

 

What was the sprocket on the outside of the rear wheel for?

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22 minutes ago, Barnbikes said:

Driver is suppose to be  Ray Harroun (First Indy car winner).

 

The more I look at the frame rails the more they look like wood. Looks like black paint behind the front wheel.

 

What was the sprocket on the outside of the rear wheel for?

 

I think the frame rails are actually angle iron.  The view of the racer appear to make it look like a wood frame.

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Well, the guy sure didn't look like a race car driver, but by golly, it IS Ray!  I sit corrected.

 

A fascinating photo, hope someone comes up with the rest of the story!!

Ray driver.jpg

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See the 1910-11 Regal Underslung racer with a transaxle for only $15K I just posted above on the Horseless Carriage forum. Build the real thing! George Albright:   

 

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That would probably have been Harroun getting ready for the 1907 meet at Ormond.  120 mph in that puppy!  You've got some real excitement coming...

 

"Freak" was a word that was in general use for cars that were prepared specifically for speed attempts, and not intended to be roadworthy.

 

This car ended up being nicknamed the "Sneezer", and apparently that wasn't meant to be flattering.

1907-01-19_NYTribune.jpg

1907-01-26_DaytonaGazetteNews.jpg

1910-11-27_ChicagoTribune.jpg

1966-05-30_KokomoTribune.jpg

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Holy Speedcar, Batman!  120 mph in that contraption?  Harroun was fearless for sure, I can't imagine that thing at 40 mph, much less three times that! 

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Fantastic photo, by the way.  And I have to agree - no suspension, toothpick frame, spoon brakes - some people must have been a bit more cavalier about their personal well-being, way back then.

 

PS. Forgot one attachment...  Was there some rudimentary rack-and-pinion going on for the steering?

1907-01-24_Automobile.jpg

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Hey there, are you trying to reproduce this racer? Have you figured out the motor? I don't think there was a transmission. There is a model D schebler carb between the cylinders. It is direct drive to the rear wheels, probably with no differential, and bicycle wheels. If you had the motor, it would be an easy build. The car didn't have to steer; it just had to go straight. Did you notice the size of the flywheel? The steering is gear driven. The yokes at the end of the front axle indicates traditional steering. The sprocket on the outside of the rear wheel is a skip link bicycle sprocket

 

Men in those days always wore ties. The racer was pushed off to start and probably raced from a running start. There should be further information on the web. There is a guy in England that racers a replica racer using a period motor. His car has no differential. It would be a neat build.

 

One last point, the subject of this thread really should be changed to reflect the subject.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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OK, I have gone back over this information and am convinced the frame rails are Ash. The motor is most likely Harroun' s own design. It is overhead valve with atmospheric intake. There are no fins for cooling on the cylinders. The magneto is gear driven off the front of the motor. The front axle is most likely Weston Mott. The wheels are bicycle with bicycle tires. The front tank has to be gas, though you wouldn't need that much gas to go 1/4 mile. The fly wheel is way light for the period, which means, the motor would be able to turn up RPMs rapidly. I'd like to build this car but I already have something similar under construction.

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What I don't get it is how a guy like Ray Harroun could come up with the money to build this car. It is 100% shop built. I understand the idea of raising capitol and I guess it is just a matter of being well connected. I heard where someone has set up go fund me pages for the laid off government workers, who only just now missed a paycheck, and has already raised a substantial sum of money and they will get back pay once this is done. I guess I don't fully grasp the generosity of folks.

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OK, I think I have this car figured out. By 1907 there were 7 years of broken cars to rob parts off of. The front axle and wheels on this car are similar to many of the early cars, the frame is ash and the rear end could easily be adapted from any number of cars. I say adapted because you can see a small square box surrounding the axle from the side view of the car. The drive shaft runs between Rays legs. There are two radius rods that run from front of frame to back of frame on each side of the motor for strength. Several saddle cross members run across the frame to support the motor and controls. The motor uses a standard 4 cylinder crank but with two rods per journal. There is a center main which explains the jug spacing. The cylinders are simple jugs with no water jacket and valve cages in the top. Crankcase is cast aluminum. The crank and cam and valves are most likely out of the same type motor. Oil was put in the motor before crank up and the rods splashed it around inside to lubricate everything but the oil would be forced out of the motor as the pistons pressurized the crankcase on the down stroke. This plus the lack of cooling made the motor "blow up" after each run. The large pedal under Ray's right foot is the brake,  the other is the throttle, and the final pedal would be to pressurize the gas tank. By robbing parts from different cars and those junked, Ray had very little money invested. The piston size is small, perhaps no more than 2". This plus the size of the flywheel would allow the motor to turn RPMs quickly.

 

We have to remember we are very early in the racing circuit. Later on there were wrecks and people died and some people stopped racing. I remember doing some pretty stupid stuff when I was younger but as I realized the potential consequences, I got smart.

 

I am amazed at the simple engineering that went into the making of this car.

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I don't think it's a magneto, but a timer as it runs directly off the end of the camshaft, and there could be a battery and coil incorporated in the torpedo tank at the front. That'd be why the plug leads go from the plugs to the conduit to the coil then back to the timer, rather than with a magneto where you'd just run the leads directly to the plugs. Most magnetos at that stage were the rotating armature type, and with an eight-cylinder it would need to  run at crankshaft speed, rather than camshaft speed. I agree that there probably wasn't a transmision and would have been single geared as it was built for speed. There was a vauge reference on the Hamb forum that this engine still exists.

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Craig, I'm not that knowledgeable on these things but it looks to me that the magneto is gear driven off of the cam, but I guess you're saying it is the other way around. If the car is pushed to start, there would be no need of a coil or battery, correct?, thus further lightening the car. It is a strange looking contraption. Upon closer inspection I would have to agree. It s a timer. You can see the studs sticking out around the circumference.

 

I found the reference on the HAMB site and tried to contact the person claiming the motor exists but was unable to do so. It is probably in the Gertler collection. I would love to see pictures of it today.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)

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It isn't a timer. That would require eight vibrator coils to fire the plugs. The wires go from the black component forward to the tube and then back to connect to the cylinder tops. Thanks to the OP for an interesting thread.

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Alright, the wires go from the spark plug tops into a conduit over the motor, coming out of the conduit well forward of the motor and then back to the magneto looking contraption mounted at the front of the motor. I assume the wires are thus routed to keep them from getting hung up in the large gear, presumably attached to the front of the cam. I believe what might appear to be a coil where the wires come out of the conduit is actually the frame rail at the far side of he motor. If the car was pushed to start, then it would not need an external power source, coil or battery. The magneto would create spark at a certain RPM. Once the car was running, the motor would run on mag, as most all early cars do. Still, you can see the plug wires come off of studs positioned around what would be one of the magnets of the magneto. I think someone said this is the first V8, which means that Ray would have to fabricate something to fire this motor. I love early cars but don't remember ever seeing a magneto/timer like this one.

 

I have a car that is thus wired. It originally used a battery and coil to start but then ran on mag. I converted it to impulse drive and now start and run on mag, no coil or battery involved. I'm trying to figure out how this could possibly be wired and I think I have one option. The question is, could a 4 cylinder magneto be modified to fire an 8 cylinder motor? The answer is yes. What you would have to do would be to remove the points and wire the contacts direct. The magneto would fire all eight wires constantly but the cylinder only fires on the power stroke. Fascinating.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)

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I found another picture on All Car Index. Maybe one of you tech savvy guys can post it here. Search for Harroun.

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Here's another photo that supports the theory that it was push started. He had a bad day, with the article saying a cylinder blew off!

 

 

image.jpg

Untitled-RH.jpg

Edited by Craig Gillingham (see edit history)

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Quote

It isn't a timer. That would require eight vibrator coils to fire the plugs.

Good point, although I still doubt it's a magneto, and I doubt an eight-cylinder magneto was available at the time. I thought it may have an ignition system similar to what was used on the 1906 V8 Curtiss motorcycle, which had a battery and a timer, although I don't know what sort of coil system it used.

 

 

Curtiss_V8_engine-1906.jpg

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