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Locomobile 1909 Model L Restoration


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Hello AHA,  Tell me more about the home-made bent rod spring clip.  What had the owner engineered for his Locomobile?  I am trying to figure out what it could possibly have been used as an application.  Years ago, I was offered the opportunity to ride in and help repair a fuel leak on an early Model 38 Locomobile.  Even though the 38 was the smaller companion car to the big brother 48, the 38 is most surely no baby.  That experience, I had with the Loco 38, was a charming and unforgettable memory.  Now to the real story, I am glad that I have been patient as I have trudged along the long path to build/restore my Locomobile.  I have met some delightful people and certainly have some nice memories and experiences to savor.  If we allow it, this is only a hobby and can be very rewarding especially if we try to keep the business end (money) at bay.  If you have any ideas or pictures of well done Spark plug wiring looms, I am ready to take a look if you will post a few pictures.

Al

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Really, I have no experience with Locomobiles, just that one time on the show field. The spring clip (probably the wrong word) was the part that holds the rear differential spring to the frame. I was just amazed that someone had bent a piece of threaded rod to hold the spring to the frame on such an expensive car, AND, was not embarrassed to show it on the Hershey show field in that condition. It really took me aback.

 

I cannot speak to your wire loom problem other than to say that I used some black paper and West System epoxy to build a timer cover for a 1900 era motor one time. You could use any round object like a styrofoam round as a form, then build up sheets of paper untill you have what you need. Once it dries, you remove the form and viola, you have your part.

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Do you know if the material you refer to comes in red?  I have seen some early wiring looms that are red and look like you have just described.  I will do a google search and see what I can find out about the West System Epoxy.  Thanks for your thoughts.  I would then need to come up with a viable and early appearing bracket to mount this loom.

Al

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The West System comes clear but I believe it can be tinted. The thing is though, the paper absorbs the epoxy and you don't see the epoxy, just the color of the paper. You will probably want to sand down the outside surface which again will remove the clear down to the color. Some cars just used flat metal stock for the support. It was bent to a 90 to go under a bolt at the bottom and then curled around the tube at the top. Of course I can't speak directly to Locos. The thing is, West System is non conductive, so its perfect for fabricating electrical parts.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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A kind Locomobile enthusiast has shared a few pictures of an original wooden spark plug wiring loom.  I will share the pictures here as I can see that, even though this wooden loom is from a 6 cylinder Locomobile, a new duplicate can be configured to work properly for my 4 cylinder Locomobile.  I hope to soon receive pictures of the cast brass brackets that are used to mount this item to the top of the Locomobile jug.  Enjoy....

Al

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I saw you were messing around with a Carter-BB-1 and I know they come in all shapes and sizes of jetting and throats, though there are a considerable number of people trying to use them on 1929 Franklin's (which I understand have a die cast wonder of a carb), as well as 30-34 franlklins and I have never heard of anyone being truly successful (they seem to not have the proper high end circuit at speed).  And, I saw this recently:

 

December 7, 2018.
Series 12 and 13 new replacement Zenith updraft carburetors.

Designed to replace the original potmetal Stromberg T-2 on all Series 12A and B, and all potmetal T-2, U-2 used to mid production Series 13. After many decades the original potmetal carbs are cracking and becoming unsafe to use as a result of intergranular corrosion. The potmetal used in the 1920's and early 1930's is porous. It is slowly corroding from within and expanding/cracking. 

These are new manufacture, diecast updraft carburetors have the correct size venturi and jetting for all Franklin Series 12A, B, and Series 130. Plus a model is available for the larger Series 135/137 engines. 

Features

  • Bench set and ready to bolt-on updraft that uses all the original hand and foot controls.
  • Simple and decades-proven design.
  • Original air filter fits right on.
  • Adjustable idle speed, idle air/fuel mix, and high speed fuel jet, that work the same as the tuning procedures covered in the Franklin Operator’s Manuals.
  • Fuel-proof rubber tipped float needle for leak-free sealing when the engine is shutoff.
  • Same 1/8 inch pipe thread as original fuel line inlet fitting.
  • Vacuum controlled accelerator and power enrichment circuits.
  • Dust seals an throttle and choke butterfly shafts.
  • Comes with new mounting gasket, nuts, and lock washers.


Note, these are not stationary/industrial engine carburetors, like many that are turning up installed as replacements in the past. With these there is no need to over-adjust the main jet too-rich for cruising conditions so as to compensate for being too-lean during acceleration and hill climbing because previous replacement types lacked those fuel circuits. These are specifically designed and sized with all the correct fuel circuits needed to smoothly handle all Franklin driving conditions with the proper air/fuel ratios. 

For more info contact,
Paul Fitzpatrick
Email: airiscool@frontiernet.net
607-674-9432

Parts

Parts

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Hello John,  Thanks for the reference to the Zenith carb. as an alternative to the original and also the use of a BB-1.  Yes, I agree, the BB-1 does come in many flavors for sure.  What is the average CID of the Franklin engine?  As per above, I have tried to fit a Zenith 63AW-11.  That carb. just would not fit into the space available on the Locomobile.  I want to read and research on the carb. that you listed above and see if it has a smaller foot print than the 63AW-11 that I tried.  Even the BB-1 is a SNUG fit.  The nice thing about the later BB-1 carb's. is that they do have an accelerator pump to make them a decent driving and reliable carb.

Al

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is another acquisition for the Locomobile.  This is the hand pump used to build pressure in the tank if that is the system to overcome the issue of gravity fed cars.  I think I have located the pieces needed in order to plumb this pump into the system.  I did have to locate a BSPP 1/2" fitting to go into the bottom of the pump.  I will then drill and tap for a 1/4" MNPT street elbow to head towards other air system  parts, (and finally the tank).  I will post other pictures shortly.

Al

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On 1/27/2019 at 4:21 PM, alsfarms said:

Hello John,  Thanks for the reference to the Zenith carb. as an alternative to the original and also the use of a BB-1.  Yes, I agree, the BB-1 does come in many flavors for sure.  What is the average CID of the Franklin engine?  As per above, I have tried to fit a Zenith 63AW-11.  That carb. just would not fit into the space available on the Locomobile.  I want to read and research on the carb. that you listed above and see if it has a smaller foot print than the 63AW-11 that I tried.  Even the BB-1 is a SNUG fit.  The nice thing about the later BB-1 carb's. is that they do have an accelerator pump to make them a decent driving and reliable carb.

Al

236 cid  in the 1928 and I think 274 cid in the 1929.  Again, the problem with the BB-1 is that no matter what type of one you put on a Franklin it is not suited for full array of driving ranges (aka you are unhappy with the car and really causes more problem than it solves). As a sidenote:  Paul is incredibly "smart" - worth your time to talk with him.

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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Hello John,  Thanks for the reference to John Fitzpatrick.  Is is very knowledgeable about the replacement Zenith carbs.  He an I are in a discussion about his carburetor alternative.  My Locomobile engine is just a bit larger than what he suggests the Zenith carb. is designed for.  It should still be a good choice as the "T" head is a low RPM engine especially when comparing against other engines.  I will make other updates here if something comes of this carburetor talk.

Al

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John,  John F. does not have a real good solution for my project as the Locomobile is of a larger CID than what Zenith builds a carburetor for currently.  Back to the drawing board for a Carburetor resolution.  I will post a few pictures of where I have been and what I now currently plan to rebuild for use on the 300 CID Locomobile engine.  First, is the Original Locomobile Carburetor, (all brass).  Second, is an early all cast iron Carter BB-1 ( a bit undersized).  Third,  is an older Zenith 63AW-11, (NOS) proper CID sized but physically to large to fit into my space available.  Fourth, is the latest generation and larger Carter BB-1 289-SD and proper sized for the 300 CID Locomobile.  This carburetor number four is my current choice to spend time on to make my engine perform as good as possible.  Later it is my intent to refurbish the original Locomobile carburetor and make it a runner also.

Al

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Next in line with the manual hand pump to build pressure is the dash pressure gauge,  This gauge allows the driver to verify that the fuel pressure system has enough pressure (but not to much) in order to push fuel up to the carburetor.  The pressure is generally set at 2 PSI.

Al

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Next in order to start a car, that does not have a working gravity system do deliver the fuel to the carburetor, is the hand pump.  The hand pump should only be used to build the initial pressure, at the gasoline tank, and used to get the car started.  After that point the rest of the fueling system should take over and provide the needed 2 PSI to keep the fuel under pressure and moving toward the carburetor.  This is the hand pump, all brass.  I am currently trying to decide where to locate and mount the pump for the best appearance and convenience.  Any ideas from those of you that are using a hand pump?

Al

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Edited by alsfarms
correction (see edit history)
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The next piece of the pressurized fuel system for the Locomobile is a Gray-Hawley pressure regulating valve.  The attached pictures show this unit and shows how to plumb it into the fuel system.  It allows for a source of compressed air to be pulled from an engine cylinder then reduced to the working pressure of 2 PSI that will be routed to the fuel tank.  This unit also has provision for a cooling circuit that pulls cooling water from the radiator system.  The third option on this unit is to allow for a charge of priming fuel to be made available to the cylinder for starting.  By cooling down the compressed cylinder air it is safe to send the 2 PSI air to the tank to force fuel to the carburetor.  This is a very interesting piece of early engineering to accomplish getting fuel to the carburetor with really no moving parts other that the reciprocating motion of a cylinder.

Al

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Here is another piece of the puzzle as I put together a substantial fuel delivery system.  This attached piece is an all brass gasoline sediment receiver.  Like the other items shown here, I will be cleaning and verify proper working order before I install.  This particular brass sediment bowl has been Nickel plated.  That will be removed and the brass polished.  Has anyone seen another sediment bowl of this design?  The number B 2050 is cast into this piece on the horizontal inlet.

Al

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Here is another piece that will be placed in the fuel pressure system.  These attached images show two sides of a 1/8" pipe thread shut-off valve.  This may be a modern piece but it has the flavor of a style that would be appropriate for a 1909 car.  This shut-off valve will be in line to isolate the engine from the pressure system, when using the hand pump to build the needed 2 PSI in the tank to start the car initially.  Once running, the handle side of the valve, seen from the drivers eat and located on the dash board, can then be opened allowing engine compression pressure into the pressure system to maintain the 2 PSI requirement in the fuel delivery system.  The handle side will be visible and operated from the drivers seat.  The back side of  the valve is what will be visible on the engine side fire wall.  One note, I will design and have a custom brass handle cast to replace the die cast handle shown in the image.  The brass handle will be larger and be styled after a more correct vintage handle I have.  This shut-off valve is just one more piece of the pressure fuel system puzzle.

Al

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While going about the business of putting together an order list of fittings and small things needed to plumb in the fuel delivery system,  I have encountered an issue with obsolete fittings.  The attached images will let you see what I am dealing with.  The back side of the Locomobile script air gauge has a 1/2" fine SAE male thread.  I need to connect with a "Tee"  fitting with flare fittings to allow fitment into the tubing system.  The problem is I can't locate a "Tee" fitting with the correct female 1/2" Fine SAE thread.  This image shows the back of the gauge with the "Tee" fitting, male thread exposed. 

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Edited by alsfarms
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This picture shows the female thread that I will be drilling out, then inserting a 1/2" female Fine SAE threaded insert bushing, (homemade) and then soldering it into place.  I will then have the correct "Tee" fitting, with all the correct threads.  I did not want a big "dog knot" of fittings to adapt to what I needed, which was the other option, (unacceptable).  If anyone has a brighter idea, speak up.

Al

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Hello Al,

 

At last I have found your posts! I now have the three pages to catch up on!

 

Thanks for the 'hallo' from you via Joe. Joe Puleo came to visit yesterday and stayed the night so it gave us a good chance to have a good natter about old cars and engineering. He is the first person I have actually met via the internet.

 

Mike

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Hello Mike,  Did you and Joe get all the engineering issues resolved?  🙂  The internet is, in fact, a good medium to let all us crazies to network with each other quickly.  I forced myself to join the modern world and use this internet to a much better extent.  I do remember how slow it was to post a "snail mail" letter ask questions, make comments.  Then wait for a couple of weeks only to do the same process again and again.  SLOW is the word!  I used to keep a log book of who I had letters out to  and who I expected letters from so I didn't double up after a few months.   Sometime, in the future, I would like to come to England and search out my, and my wife's, ancestral homeland.  (I also have friends and relatives to visit).  What is your latest development on your project.  While my Locomobile is getting the fuel delivery system designed and sorted out, I am also looking into getting new main leaves build for all four of my springs.  These are actually new built springs, but the builder, 10 years ago, didn't do a good job forming the eyes.  They are just not going to work!  The rest of the spring stack will be beautiful, tapered and rounded just as they should be.  I will follow up with pictures.  Have a good day.... and thanks for your response...

Al

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Here is a picture of the first step in the modification of the "T" fitting for the back of the air pressure gauge.  The female threads have been drilled out to 9/16".  I am not sure that I will have enough wall thickness to build the threaded sleeve.  I am going to give one more try with a 4 flute end mill and go larger to 5/8".  That will make the wall thickness of the "T" fitting thin but will leave me a bit more elbow room for machining the threaded sleeve.  This is an ongoing project until I get a suitable fix that will allow me to properly thread the "T fitting onto the back of the air gauge.  Some simple little issues can sure grow legs and run around making trouble!

Al

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Edited by alsfarms
correction (see edit history)
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Before I get to my next part of the fuel delivery dilemma, I will shift gears and show a nice original piece of literature that I have just purchased.  The image shows an original 1909 Locomobile Model 30 and 40 Service and Operator manual.  It does not take much of a search to locate copies of , what is referred to as a "Locomobile Book".  These books are basically sale related publicity books and were printed for a run during the early years of Locomobile.  I have a couple of these "Books" and while they do show some pictures and give some information they are not intended to be a service or operators manual.  I am very impressed with this new acquisition.  I may show a few pages here as time moves along.  I have also decided that as rare as the actual early Locomobile automobile may be, proper era literature is even more rare! 

Al

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I will now show the latest headache I have with the fuel delivery system.  The shown image is of the bottom threads on the brass hand pressure pump.  I had determined that the threads must have been BSPP.  I purchased a reducing bushing to allow me to adapt the manual air pump to the fuel pressure system.  I have learned that the fitting is not BSPP after all.  I am going to try an SAE fine threaded fitting tomorrow.  If that is not correct, I will be custom machining a brass reducing bushing for that location and application.

Al

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Note:  The above shown threaded fitting is a straight thread, not a pipe thread.  The seal is with a gasket located in the bottom of the female threads and will make up with a flat gasket face on the end of the male fitting. 

Al

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The pressurized fuel delivery system, used on the Locomobile, requires the use of two 1/4" brass check valves. The first one is used to allow the manual pump to pull outside air into the pump barrel, that check valve #1 is to open when the pump handle is pulled loading the pump barrel. The second check valve #2 is used to close and stop the pressure flow from the fuel tank while the manual pump is pulling in fresh air. Then when the pump handle is pushed down the #1 check valve closes and stops the air flow back to atmosphere and the second check valve #2 is pushed open to allow the pressure to be pumped into the tank. This will work nicely, but, I need to open up the check valves and replace the stiff springs with ones that will cycle in at a much lower working PSI. More on that later. Here is an image of the check valves, nice and tidy.
Al

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I did some exploratory surgery on one of these brass check valves.  The attached image shows what I found.  These are very simple check valves and are well suited for my intended low operating pressure use.  I just need both of these valves to cycle at a lower, than the 90 PSI that the current spring allows.  More later on my resolution.

Al

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Edited by alsfarms (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, alsfarms said:

 I need to locate a lighter duty spring to replace this one with.

 

I'll have a word with my daughter, she has small springs made by a UK company. I have also seen a U-tube video of making springs on a lathe in a home workshop using piano wire. Mike 

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Hello Mike, I had given a thought to winding a spring on my Southbend, but decided it simply was not worth my effort to set up and mess around with it.  Does Rochdale Springs do retail or wholesale?  They do look like a good source for springs if they will deal with we small time "onesy- twosy"  buyers.  Thanks for your post.  (What does you daughter do that requires springs?)  I have had a couple of other possible remedies for my check valve dilemma suggested.

Al

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Hello Al,

 

Fay, took over part of my business when I retired in 2004, Jaymic Ltd. www.jaymic.com specialises in parts for the BMW 2002 & CS model cars of the 1960' and 70's. Springs that are no longer available from BMW she has remade. I know she has distributor advance springs remade, but probably other springs as well. She runs the business from the other end of our barn that we converted into a house back in the 1980's. I doesn't cost anything to ask if they will supply you a couple of springs! They may send them as samples - you never know your luck.

 

Mike

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A fellow old car friend, from NY, was good enough to provide me with a pair of lighter gauge springs to try in my fuel delivery pressure system check valves.  Here is a picture to compare the black original spring on the right with the lighter gauge gray spring on the left.  It does make a difference but at this time I am not sure that it is light duty enough to allow cycling at 2 PSI without sticking.  This project is actually fun to work out the dynamics, that I need, to end up with a working solution to my fuel delivery needs and function at 2 PSI.

Al

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I was in the shop today, staying out of the rain, and decided to dig out the new springs I had built for the Locomobile.  I am very happy with the secondary springs, proper round end shape and nice smooth tapers.  They will look nice.  I have already rebuilt or built new all the spring shackles for both the front axle and rear axle.  I have even built new grease fittings for all of the frame grease points with the screw on brass caps.  I am not yet finished with the caps, but when I set down and focus on the caps it will probably only take me a day or two to finish them.  The shackle bolts and grease fittings look like exactly the originals I have,  but internally I built them to take a modern grease zerk for ease of lubrication and cleanliness.  All of these parts, less the brass caps, are made from 4140 steel.  I will have them all heat treated to "toughen" them before I put them on my car.  I will try to get a few pictures of these items shortly.

Al

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Upon close inspection of the main spring leaf eyes, they are certainly not perfect!  I was almost to the point of having another set of main leafs built.  However, I decided that I can probably push out the existing deformed steel bushings, ream the spring eyes out 1/16" then machine some custom deluxe homemade steel bushings with a good fit in the spring eye and provide a proper fit on the new shackle bolts I have built.  My isn't this hobby fun!  I will try to post a few pictures of the progress on the chassis and suspension of the Locomobile tomorrow, (while I continue to sort out the fuel delivery system).

Al

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