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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

The Neon Bulb Works!


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  #1  
Old 05-03-2005, 09:55:15 PM
W. Bittle W. Bittle is offline
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Thumbs up The Neon Bulb Works!

Guys:

In regard to my thread on the small neon bulb (NE-2) for checking ignitor mags - it works! Connected the bulb directly from the ignitor to the frame and it lights when the ignitor trips. Did not need a series resistor. Now, you might need one if you want to run the engine with it on. When lit the resistance of the bulb is low. It may weaken the spark to much without the resistor. Can't get mine started so I do not know - bulb disconnected. I think that I have a compression problem. The cylinder and valve surfaces were rusted badly when I got this IHC M and I tried to smooth them out. I may have to do a better job on the valves. There is compression now but I do not believe enough. I have gas and spark but no power. Not even a try. Timing it right on. Guess Mama has another quiet evening without the old iron turning in the garage.

We'll get it going soon.

Big swap meet in Canadaigua, NY coming up. Maybe some good parts there. Can't wait. Need a muffler for the old IHC M. Must have gotten lost off the old beast on the Bittle farm years ago.

Regards,

Wade
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:27:52 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

Wade,
Does the engine bounce back when you try to turn it over , or does it just mush thru the compression stroke ? If you give the flywheels a good yank, and they bounce back to BDC, then compression should be good enough. If the compression just mushes thru, have a friend pull the engine over the compression stroke, and you listen and see where the pressure is leaking from . Have you tried disconnecting the mag, and starting the engine on battery and coil? Let us know.
Andrew
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Old 05-04-2005, 02:43:44 AM
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John Hammink John Hammink is offline
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Default Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

Your neon bulb toy doesn't say much to me, the only thing what you're doing is to check the working of the ignitor. Just before the ignitor trips the bulb is dead and when it trips it glows. So your ignitor works, but more importend is how many volts your magneto is generating, the more volts the better the spark will be. Run the magneto with an electric hand drill or drill press at 500 rpm and the voltmeter has to read 9-13 volts, than you have a good magneto. It's like Andrew said, disconnect the magneto and try it with
a battery and coil, when the engine runs you switch over and could check if the magneto can make it. These LT mags needs some revolutions to generate a current, the better they are the less revolutions they need. Is there enough magnetism in the horse shoes? What about the ignitor points, are these flat and in good condition? Another importend point is the timing, when the ignitor trips the mark on the magneto shaft has to be in line with the mark on the mag.cover, at that point you got the strongest current. Check it all out and let us know the results.
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Old 05-04-2005, 08:55:59 AM
W. Bittle W. Bittle is offline
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Default Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

John, Andrew:

I have the timing right. I checked to make sure that all the marks line up when the ignitor trips. The points inside the ignitor look OK. I wiped them off with a clean rag then paper. I then blew out any lint.

The magnets are very strong in the mag. When I rotate it by hand with a wire dragging along the gear it produces a good amount of sparks. It also has a strong attraction when the rotor poles are aligned with the field.

I believe that the compression is weak. I can hear some leaking around the oiled cylinder. But I put new rings in and they are not seated, so I expect that. I can also hear some leaking at the intake and exhaust - that's no good! I have to get back in there and do some more work. I thought that I had everything in reasonable shape to start but I do not believe that I do. It just doesn't have that nice snort on intake and putt on exhaust that I like to hear. There were some pits in the valve seats. Darned chicken coop roof collapsed on it and the rain got into the cylinder through the carb. Old Uncle George said that he was going to get it under cover some day - but that turned into 20+ years (He was a God of an engine man though - sorry to see him pass on - he probably forgot more in his 85 years than we'll ever know about these old iron beauties). Was a real mess inside with rust and such. I even think a few critters took up housekeeping in there. I feel accomplished just to get it to the point where I can even try to start it. Everything that moved (I mean everything!) was stuck. I wonder if JB Weld would fill the small pits in the valve seats and make the valves seal better. Paul Harvey says it can do just about everything, and who else can you trust more than that . Holy smokes, they even show a guy gluing a tractor axel together with it on the package! The pits are small, but that is all it takes. I'm not sure how much heat JB Weld can take. It might work for the intake but it might burn up in the exhaust. By the time it burns up there may be some carbon build-up to take its place.

Any suggestions?

Wade - I really, really need some smoke and noise in the garage - help
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:13:23 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Exclamation Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

Quote:
Originally Posted by W. Bittle
I believe that the compression is weak. I can hear some leaking around the oiled cylinder. But I put new rings in and they are not seated, so I expect that. I can also hear some leaking at the intake and exhaust - that's no good!
You definitely have a valve problem if you can hear ANY leakage!

You will have to at least lap the valves. If you don't have the stuff to do it, you should be able to get valve lapping compound and a "twirling stick" which is nothing more than a wooden or plastic stick with a suction cup on one end. The suction cup is stuck to the head of the valve and the stick is placed between the palms of your hands to turn the valve back and forth sorta like the indian method of starting a fire.

Once you get the valves seated properly, your engine should run.

By the way, you can use NE-2 lamps as a 'sort-of' voltmeter. They fire when the voltage across them reaches around 60 Volts. (after they fire, they act like a short circuit as long as they are glowing) Keep Connecting 'em in series just until they will no longer light. Multiply the number of bulbs times 60 to get the -approximate- voltage.

It would still be a good idea to put a 47 K resistor in series with the lamp(s) to keep the high current from quickly blackening the inside of the envelopes.

Take care - Elden
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:13:59 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Exclamation Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

Quote:
Originally Posted by W. Bittle
I believe that the compression is weak. I can hear some leaking around the oiled cylinder. But I put new rings in and they are not seated, so I expect that. I can also hear some leaking at the intake and exhaust - that's no good!
You definitely have a valve problem if you can hear ANY leakage!

You will have to at least lap the valves. If you don't have the stuff to do it, you should be able to get valve lapping compound and a "twirling stick" which is nothing more than a wooden or plastic stick with a suction cup on one end. The suction cup is stuck to the head of the valve and the stick is placed between the palms of your hands to turn the valve back and forth sorta like the indian method of starting a fire.

Once you get the valves seated properly, your engine should run.

By the way, you can use NE-2 lamps as a 'sort-of' voltmeter. They fire when the voltage across them reaches around 60 Volts. (after they fire, they act like a short circuit as long as they are glowing) Keep Connecting 'em in series just until they will no longer light. Multiply the number of bulbs times 60 to get the -approximate- voltage.

It would still be a good idea to put a 47 K resistor in series with the lamp(s) to keep the high current from quickly blackening the insides of the envelopes.

Take care - Elden
http://home.cybertron.com/~edurand
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:24:24 PM
W. Bittle W. Bittle is offline
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Default Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

Elden:

Yep, got one of those hand crank valve grinders. Works them back and forth like a washing machine. A ZIM. Have a Carborumdum compound with coarse and fine grits. I think Dad used in on the old flat head 6 in the Studebaker. Also used it on the old '65 Chevy when I was a kid. I have it now that Dad is 79 and wants to stay away from the insides of engines . However he can't help but get into it if he comes around when I'm up to my elbows in grease. He use to start and run a 12HP York on the farm when he was a kid. That is a beast. Still in the family. I helped crank it up last Sept. at the Westminster, MD show. Really nice sounding engine.

I ground the valves once on this M but I think I did not get them done well enough. It is not too hard to get the head off and try it again. Yes, any leakage there is bad and I will have to fix it. I did notice some pin-head sized pits in the head surfaces but thought that they would not be a problem since they did not extend across the entire seat surface. I believe I have to pay more attention to them.

Curently the neon bulb is not being abused too badly. It has only been used in pulsed mode for 10's of cycles. I chose to not add a current limit resistor for the sake of simplicity and just to see if it would work. For a continuous run light I would have to add the resistor to keep the current at a reasonable level. It does light bright when the engine is turned over fast. Also, both electrodes have a plasma around them indicating that there is a nice ringing waveform across the ignitor as expected. Thinking about it, the neon bulb may light right after the arc at the points is extinguished - assuming the arc at the points is also low resistance which would be in parallel with the bulb.

Thanks for the help.

Regards,

Wade
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Old 05-04-2005, 06:09:43 PM
DICK STAATS DICK STAATS is offline
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Default Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

Wade, You Say You Installed New Rings---how Were The Ring Grooves? You Might Be Leaking Compression In The Grooves. If So, Not Good. Ring Clearance Should Be .002-.003 Inch.
Dick In The Bitterroot, Mt.
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:30:55 AM
W. Bittle W. Bittle is offline
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Default Re: The Neon Bulb Works!

Dick:

Thanks for the input. I did not check the ring clearnace nor end gap. The piston was in fairly good shape when I took it out and the rings fit in the grooves very nice - not much slop. I'm hoping that is it OK though. The original rings were not that worn either. The rust and such was mainly in the cylinder ahead of the piston. I lied when I said that everything was stuck. The piston was actually free but could not move very far. It was in the full back position when I found it.

I'm going to go after the valves first. I gave her a turn this morning when I was leaving for work and, yes, it will not just freewheel past the compression stroke - stops and bounces back. There is some compression there and you have to make an honest effort to turn it past the compression stroke. I just do not think enough. I like to hear that snort and putt sound and I'm not getting that too well. Also, I can definitely hear it leaking at both the intake and exhaust when putting my ear up close to the carb and exhaust pipe during the compression stoke. That needs to be fixed for certain. I am a little surprised that even with the compression I have I cannot even get a weak puff out of her. I know that I am getting gas in and I believe that I have spark. I do not have a coil and battery setup to bypass the mag. I see the benefit in having that. May have to wind up a coil on the lathe. Still have a bunch of magent wire left from building a magnet charger last year for a WIKO EK.

I have to keep in mind that compression is just as important as spark and gas. All three have to be good for it to start well. I have found this in the past when working with other engines that had leaky valves and such. Low compression means extra hard starting.

Regards,

Wade
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