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Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?


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  #1  
Old 10-29-2010, 06:55:32 PM
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Default Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

I got the Piston to move about 2 1/4 inches in my Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells half breed today. Unfortunately it looks like the reason I can not move it any farther is because of the mouse droppings/acorn shells mix that apparently fills up the back 3/4 of the cylinder. The piston moves very freely back and forth for the first 2 1/4 inches so I am thinking that to remove the blockage I probably should remove the piston and clean it out properly. The question is how to do this properly. I have seen several piston rods on cross head engines that are torn up pretty badly with a pipe wrench but I don't want to do that. There is a nut on the cross head that needs to be loosened (after counting the threads) and then the thread from the piston rod unscrewed from the crosshead. But do you rotate the piston to get the piston/rod assembly out? I don't think I can rotate the cross head assy in the gap between where the crosshead rides and the back side of the cylinder. There is a big nut on the other end of the rod on the top of the piston that I can get on with a big socket and breakover bar. Is this how it is supposed to be done, or is there another simpler way to do it that I am missing?
Here are a few pics of the problem.
The "stuff" with the green background is what is washing out of the charge side of the cylinder.
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:08:56 PM
Tom Weatherford Tom Weatherford is offline
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Talking Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Ray
The nut on the piston end is a jam nut. the piston rod screws into the piston and the nut jams it from coming off. I would suggest either a strap wrench,grind a flat just ahead of the threads on the crosshead end and turn with large adj. wrench. If you have a lathe bore out a large nut the size of the piston rod,split the nut then tack weld it just ahead of the threads on the piston rod crosshead end. Then if the jam nut on the piston end is tight you might be able to use that nut with big socket to turn piston and piston rod out of crosshead.
One of these should work. Put heat on the crosshead before starting will help also.
Hope this helps
Tom
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:16:51 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

I've had a quite a few McEwen Bros. and Clark & Norton 'breeds over the years. I always removed the piston by loosening the jam nut on the crosshead first. I usually take a center punch and mark the piston rod and the crosshead. This gives me a measurement to work with when I reinstall the piston. Loosen the bolts that tighten the packing gland at the back of the cylinder and back the moving half off the packing. With the head off, and piston all the way out apply a large socket and breaker bar to the piston head nut. The combustion chamber end of the piston rod is usually center punched around the perimeter of the threads to stake the piston rod nut from coming loose when running. Steady pressure will turn the whole piston assembly out of the crosshead and cylinder. Some McEwen Bros. and most all Clark & Norton Mfg. engines have pinned rings. 3 at the head end and 1 on the end of the piston skirt. It will take quite a few turns on the wrench to get clear of the crosshead. Once you are clear, you can rotate the crankshaft 180 degrees to give access to the packing gland. Remove the moving half of the packing gland and discard the old piston rod packing. It's full of rust, dirt, water and all sorts of junk. Believe me, you don't wanna use it again! Rotate the piston so the deflector vane is facing up towards the intake chest. This will line up those pinned rings to solid, port free areas of the bore. Using a good sized suitable length of bronze rod you can easily get the piston driven out to where you can manhandle it out of the cylinder. Any questions? Feel free to ask me! Hope this helps, -Brian, in Wellsville, NY. Home of Clark & Norton and McEwen Bros engines.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:30:55 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

When you loosen the piston from the cross head, CAREFULLY count the turns needed to remove it. When re-installing be sure to turn back in exactly the same amount. Any difference will affect the engine intake and exhaust timing.
Andrew
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:25:55 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Tom,
Thanks for the info, I had not thought of the split nut. I have a machine shop to work with so I can do that if I have to. I think I am going to try the big nut on the piston end first, if that does not work then on to plan B
Bryan.
Thanks for the info, sounds like you have been there with these engines. I just looked at the nut on the piston end and it looks like it is staked, so I should have no problems just unscrewing it using that nut. I will definitely get the old packing out of the way too, I am afraid that Mickey Mouse's relatives have turned it into something that I don't want in the engine when I try to fire it up again! When you say to put the defllector toward the intake side, that means that it should be like it is in the picture, right? I would not have known about the ring ends hanging, you saved me from a screw up there!
Andrew,
Thanks for the info about counting the threads, it would be something that would be too late to do if I don't do it up front!

I think I have the info I need to get the piston out tomorrow. Hopefully I can get it done without tearing up something or buggering up the shaft where the packing needs to ride.
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:09:16 AM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Hi Ray,

Yes. The deflector vanes should be facing up as in the pic.

A lil note about using the bronze rod. I don't hammer on the bronze rod. I use the crosshead to push the piston out. Insert the rod and butt it up against the piston rod. Then rotate the flywheel to bring the crosshead up against the other end. Turning the wheel will push the piston out of the cylinder.

Andy, You are right about measuring the distance on the crosshead and counting the turns to remove it. I mark the piston rod close to the threads and on the crosshead with a center punch. Then I take a set of dividers and set the points into the punch marks. This gives me an accurate reset point.

I have had 'breeds that were all apart when I found them. (I've never had a problem putting one back together and making it run.) Piston placement via this rod affects two things. Understanding these two things will let you make any of them run right the first time.

First is port timing. The piston on a Clark & Norton just wants to clear the back of the intake port at bottom dead center. This setting will give clearance for the piston skirt at the backside near the cylinder mount. Ray, If you remove the cylinder from the frame pay close attention to the thickness of the gasket in that joint. Replace it with one of the same thickness.

Second mainly deals with compression ratio. If the piston is set outward, a higher compression ratio is obtained. Likewise, setting it back lowers it. The compression ratio will affect hot tube ignition more than it will a spark ignition system. We all know that compression of the fresh charge up into the hot tube is what causes it to work. Hot tube ign. can be affected by several things like fuel/air density, compression, area where tube is heated, length of tube, overall temperature of tube, temperature of engine proper, etc. Most Clark & Norton 'breeds have a 6" tube for 1/4" NPT. I have run them with the compression lowered by piston placement. They hit more often when this is done but power is less as a result of the lower compression. Most times they will start on a 6 tube but really need a 5 tube to bring out the best. Hope this helps you. I've tried not to ramble on or get off on two or three things at once.
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:50:10 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Piston set up sounds very similar to the Oil City/South Penn our engine club rebuilt. Seems that the only difference is that the OC/SP piston is non directional. The deflector skirt goes all the way around on the O.C./S.P. piston. Timing the ports seems to be the most critical setting point on them. We found about half a 5 gallon bucket of mouse debris in the rear half of the engine cylinder, on our engine, luckily, the stuff did not do much damage to the cylinder - it cleaned up easily with a ball type cylinder hone. (11&1/2" bore)
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:43:15 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Thanks for all the help, I got the piston out without any trouble at all. There was almost a whole bucket of "mouse Stuff" inside, and diesel did not soften it a bit. Here are some more pics. Hopefully I can get it cleaned up and running soon. One thing I noticed when I took the head off, it looks like the head gasket is leather. Has anyone seen this before?
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:38:10 AM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Wow. Wonder how many generations of mice called that cylinder home! Some of the 7-1/2" bore Clark & Norton 'breed cylinders have a recessed step on the back of the cylinder bore like the one in the attached picture. You may end up removing the cylinder to clean this area. The recess is there to mate the bore to the bed. This allows a greater degree of precision in maintaning the bore to crosshead center line relationship. The cylinder shown in the picture was from Clark & Norton conversion #24, which was on a Farrar & Treffts 1870s hog trough style bed. It has a salvagable bore but has freeze cracks on the outside of the water jacket. Your cylinder shoud have a number under the "Wellsville, NY".
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:43:24 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

There must have been some wild mouse parties in that cylinder! This is a 9 inch bore cylinder (by 12 inch stoke), but it does feel like there is some kind of a recess in the very back of the cylinder before it gets to the bed. I at first thought that the info under the name was some kind of a date (November 1 of 1901?) but after communicating with Troy S it looks like I have NO 101. I was sure hoping it was going to be a Farrar and Treffts bed it was on when I first heard about it, and the first pics did not completely show the bed, so I did not find out that is not what I had until I had already bought it. Oh well, it is still a nicely proportioned half breed, I am really looking forward to getting it running. I don't know if everyone heard the story of this one or not, it came from Andover, NY very close to Wellsville. As I was driving back I was on I-86 west of Olean on my way to sistersville when the clutch fell off and bounced down the interstate. The clutch didn't hit anyone thankfully, and I retrieved it, but it has some pretty serious notches broken off the clutch pulley. That is interesting about the 7 1/2 inch bore version, it sounds like I need to find another Clark and Norton to keep this one company.
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Last edited by Ray Ethridge; 10-31-2010 at 03:21:30 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:01:46 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Hi Ray,
How's the half breed project coming along? We're wondering what else you have found -Brian
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:49:29 AM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Hi Brian,
That "mouse stuff" is one of the toughest materials that I have ever tried to remove. I can't seem to find anything that will cut it. I can't even get under it with a knife and cut it off. I am planning on getting after the inside of the cylinder with my 7 inch grinder with a wire cup wheel to see what that will do for it. I won't be able to try it until next weekend though, I am on my way to an engine show in Mississippi. I can chuck the piston and rod up in my lathe and worry it off the rod with a lathe cutting tool (I hope!) but I don't think I can chuck the cylinder up in my lathe so I am going to try to get it off with the wire cup wheel. Once I get all this stuff cleaned up I am just about there though, the valve is in pretty good shape as well as the bearings. I don't expect any more problems. I just gotta make a few gaskets and plumb it and fire it up.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:43:56 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

You might want to wear some kinda mask when you try to get the poop out. Breathing in the dust from it might be bad news for you.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:08:23 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Good idea Vernon. I would think that vaporized/dust mouse droppings would be some pretty bad stuff to breathe
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:33:50 PM
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Default Re: Clark and Norton/Struthers Wells piston removal?

Muratic acid? It should eat everything within 60 seconds. Buts its some nasty stuff! Gas mask's from the army surplus store comes to mind...
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