alsfarms

Locomobile Model L engine in rebuild

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Here is a "before" picture of this engine before rebuilding.  We found no serious big nasty issues when it was taken apart.  The valves had worn way too deep so we invested in new guides and seats as well as new valves as needed.  We put new valves in each exhaust port.  The valve system and cams are as good as the design will allow for this vintage engine.  The second picture shows the ports (blanked off) that originally ran the "Make and Break" ignition system.

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Al

suggest you drop the carberator level down so the bowl level is below the bottom of the frame if you are planning gravity feed . Also open the inlet to the float bowl to about .115 /.120 diameter.  If you will run a fuel pump then this will not matter.   But dropping the carb level should also  give you more installation space 

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Hello Bob,  Thanks for your comment and suggestion.  I can see where space is a premium, when it comes to getting the carb. to fit in the minimal space available.  What carb. are you running on your "48"?  Do you happen to have a picture of the carb. install on your car you could post here?  I am very happy with the end product and installation of the Delco Dual spark 4 cylinder unit on my engine.  I am expecting GOOD things out of that distributor!

Al

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The picture is of an auxiliary oiling system oil pump installed.  It is now set to run 25 PSI to the bearings, cams and front gear chest.  This is a design that was designed and build by Dave H. (who has now passed on).  It is a nice unit and is located just in front of the flywheel.

Al 

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Here  is a couple of early Locomobile brass items that will be used on this Locomobile project.  The small tag is used for serial and car ID.  The longer brass threshold trim is for use under the doors. 

Al

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New update on the Locomobile engine rebuild, per this forum.  Here is a short recap.  Last fall the attempt was made to install a small starter/generator.  The plan was to use the unit to start the car then use it as a generator to top off the battery while the car is running.  I chose to run a belt from the starter to the OD of the flywheel.  This first attempt was a complete failure.  The little modern style starter/generator did't have enough testosterone to crank the engine.  I also own a couple of early 20's Dodge Bros. cars and are familiar with the  starter/generator they use.  A spare DB starter/generator unit was offered to me so I purchased and had it shipped home.  It is now mounted, in a temporary fashion, to my engine flywheel as in the first attempt.   This second trial (DB starter/generator) has passed the test as it cranks over the Locomobile engine very nicely.  Also, the full pressure oil pump arrangement works properly and will hold 20 PSI.   The rest of the good news is the Delco dual spark distributor works like a champ and provided a short run of the engine!  Now, we need to understand why the Carter BB-1 is not fueling the engine.  The float bowl (needle and seat) will allow fuel in but I can't get fuel from that point up the manifold and into the engine.  Does anyone have thoughts or ideas?  When I can get a steady run, I will provide a link to the video clip for everyone to enjoy.

Al      

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The Locomobile engine  has new rings, valve seats, guides and etc.  I don't think I am loosing vacuum past the valves or rings.   Sat.,  we cranked over the engine using the D-B starter generator.  On the test stand it works great.  I will have the means to have a silent starter and also a generator in one nice package.  We modified the drive pulley to be compatible with a modern serpentine belt and adapted a spring tensioner to help track the belt and keep it tight.   That will allow me to use a battery to run the Delco dual spark distributor and tend the battery while driving the car.  The full pressure oiling system worked like a charm.  The tube that is pinched off, above the funnel, will run to the drip sight gauge mounted on the dash and verify that everything is being lubed properly.   We hooked up a hot wire, primed the petcocks and in less than two revolutions the old girl barked to life.  Right now I am dealing with a carb. problem, however.  Jon (Carb King) has made several suggestions and at this moment I do not know for sure if I will be staying with the Carter BB-1 or using a Stromberg SF-3.   I have a friend, with the same model Locomobile, that has been running great for about 10 years on a cast iron BB-1, decisions....decisions.  It was very exciting to hear the engine run after so many years of inactivity!  Another early Locomobile has the breath of life!  I need to get going on the chassis now, in a serious way.  Many of the other important items and sub systems are already completed and could be installed on the chassis when it's the right time and needed during assembly.   This project has been quite a marathon!  Here are a few pictures that show where I am at with the Locomobile engine and NEARLY a good first run, dang carburetor.

Al

PS: I am finally getting to the fun part of this restoration!

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Update,  I had sized a suitable alternative carb., based on flow rates for the size engine the Locomobile is and came up with a Zenith 63AW-11.  I purchased and was concerned that though the carb. was sized correctly, the physical size was simply to large.  This carb. will not fit.  If anyone needs a very nice updraft  carb. proper for a 280 to 340 CID engine, drop me a note as I have this NOS Zenith that I would sell.  We are back tinkering with the Carter BB-1, which is under gunned but should run the car.  I may be onto another and better fitting carb, update later.  Here is the picture of the "spare" NOS Zenith 63AW-11 carb. This carb. does have a vacuum activated accelerator pump which makes a very good option for one of our antique automobiles.   This carb. is listed as a "universal" type as it can be actuated from either side of the carb.

Zenith 63AW-11.jpg

Edited by alsfarms
spelling (see edit history)

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Here is a picture of the "under gunned" Carter BB-1 cast iron carb.  This is a nice unit but is better sized for an engine size of 200 to 250 CID.  I hope we can get the gremlin out of this carb. so we can get a good run on the Locomobile engine shortly.

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Update,  I had sized a suitable alternative carb., based on flow rates for the size engine the Locomobile is and came up with a Zenith 63AW-11.  I purchased and was concerned that though the carb. was sized correctly, the physical size was simply to large.  This carb.simply will not fit the space available.  If anyone needs a very nice updraft  carb. proper for a 280 to 340 CID engine, drop me a note as I have this NOS Zenith that I would sell.  We are back tinkering with the Carter BB-1, which is under gunned but should run the car.  The engine now runs nice at low RPS's, with the current BB-1, but not at higher RPM's.  The next BB-1 I have and plan to fit up is a later series BB-1 289SD.  More on that subject later.  The early Dodge Bros. starter Generator works nice to start the car.  This arrangement is very quiet.  The additional plus is I have a system that will keep a charge on a battery. More later, it has been a long hot summer.

Al

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On 3/7/2018 at 6:24 PM, alsfarms said:

Its time for another update on the progress of the Locomobile engine rebuild.  This picture shows the temporary starter system that does not work.  This first try didn't have enough  lead in the pencil" as my Dad used to say, to crank the engine.  I am going to try a Dodge Bros. starter-generator  to see if it has enough twist to roll over this Locomobile engine for starting.  I will attempt to use a similar version to work as a  drive, as shown in the pictures, and hope it will work as a starter and generator.  More pictures later.  Any thoughts or experience on the idea of starter-generator are appreciated.

Al

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Have you thought about fitting a ring gear and ...

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Hello John,  Yes I did consider that ring gear modification option but am more fascinated with using a more period correct technology as in the "early Dodge Bros." starter/generator.  A better picture is attached.  When I install the engine, back in the chassis, I will find tune the mounting bracketry that will hold the starter generator.  First, it probably does not matter all that much but I was not quick to make a permanent cut scar on the flywheel needed to mount a ring gear.  Secondly, my lighting and Delco dual spark distributor require a battery, in this case 12 volt.  The Dodge Bros. starter/generator is 12 volt, another good fit for my needs.  While running I have the blessing of a charging system to tend the battery.    Lastly, to hear this Locomobile engine start, is is quite fun.  When the starter circuit is engaged, it is QUIET while the starter/generator rolls over the engine.  You really don't hear anything, then the engine is simply running.  It is not big issue but with a ring gear fitted, these old cars sound like a late model car when started.  However, with all these pluses, I do realize that I will need to keep the flywheel dry, I can have no oil flinging around to oil coat everything.  The serpentine belt may not be able to grab the flywheel to get a start.  That  "oily thing" may be a condition that I contend with.  The engine does have a late model rear main seal installed so it will minimize the oil slinging around.  I also am not allergic to starting the Locomobile with the manual crank either!  ?  

Al

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I just realized that the picture from my phone, when carried over for posting here, has clipped off the area where the Dodge Bros. starter/generator is mounted.  I will post a better picture later.

Al

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Next project is to build a spark plug wire loom that is appropriate for this type  car.  Can anyone share pictures of a car they have or of a car they have seen?

Thanks,

Al

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Its been years ago now that I was at Hershey when the showfield disbanded. There was an old guy there with a Locomobile. It was a huge car, probably a six cylinder, and unrestored. The hood was closed so I couldn't see the engine. I was amazed to see a piece of threaded rod bent to form a spring clip on the rear on such a prestigious car. Anyway, when he went to crank the car, it took one slow roll of the crank and it fired right up. First I was amazed that he cranked the car himself, then second, he made no attempt to spin the crank, just slowly rolled it.

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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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Nice idea you have shared.  The vintage of my car may only be more suited for some form of machined or cast mounting hardware.

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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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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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