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Oil Field Engines

South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine


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Old 02-10-2018, 10:00:55 PM
knuckle head knuckle head is offline
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Default South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

I recently traded for a large engine I was told was a South Penn engine. The flywheels are 69" in diameter and it has hot tube ignition. It was used in West Virginia for crude oil pumping. There is no name or stamped number that I can find, only cast in numbers such as FD2 in the flywheel spokes. I'll try to post pictures of the numbers. Bear with me I'm new to the site.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:12:48 AM
W.P.Klein W.P.Klein is offline
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Default Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

Welcome K.H. You have come to the right place to get answers. The gents here have a wealth of knowledge. - except maybe for when it comes to understanding women and for that we have a few knowledgeable gals who occasionally join in. Bill Klein
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:32:06 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

My engine club owns an OCSP engine, and I wrote an article in The Gas Engine Magazine about its restoration, starting in the Sept. 2009 issue, and running for the next 5 issues. You can read the un-edited version on GEMs website 'The Oil City South Penn cross breed engine'. If your engine came from WV, it may have come from the same area our engine came from. Our engine came from Fargo WV. Need any help with it? I can answer a lot of operational questions. others may have parts sources, I know John Burns had hot tubes and chimneys, but do not know if he has them now. We did our resto in 2009 - nearly 10 years ago. if you look carefully at the top of the cylinder, there should be a number stamped in. The numbers will be about 3/8 high. Are both your flywheels the same - heavy with counter weights in the rim? If so the engine is south penn. If one wheel is lighter with a hollowed center for balance, that would be the original Oil City steam flywheel. Is it is original, is it welded to the crank? It seems 8 of 10 are. The power applied against the crank is much greater with the gas cylinder, than the push provided with steam. The added power usually wallers out the crank gibb key, and the field fix (with gas welding) was to weld the flywheel to the crank! That is what was done to our engine, way back when. Original steam power - around 15. On gas - 20 HP+, with a very different torque curve!

Welcome to the stak!
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:01:52 PM
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Skidmore Skidmore is offline
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Default Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

Built in Clarksburg WV. No fancy brass tags ever installed on these engines. Just the serial # stamped on the cylinder flange at the top. Several of theses engines still in the woods.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:25:40 AM
knuckle head knuckle head is offline
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Default Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

Thanks for the reply. I'm just starting my quest. Did the South Penn have a fly ball governor? Engine has been sitting in the same place for 25 years, in other words stuck tight. Build a fire under it to unstick or a more sane approach? I'm not suggesting piling cross ties under it but a couple of BBQ grills to heat up the cylinder. I'm building a engine mounting stand and a custom trailer to haul it all.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:52:57 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

Read my article in GEM! (see post # 3) We freed a stuck piston by removing the head and sticking a #6 plumbers acetylene turbo torch in the water jacket, directing the flame at the cylinder. Just heating the outside of the water jacket won't do it, the cylinder will not get hot enough. DO NOT USE Oxy Acetylene! You might get away with a rosebud tip, but that's a waste of gas, and maybe too hot. We did the job with a Turbo Torch, and a plumber's B tank Certainly, DO NOT use a cutting tip!

The engine did not use a governor. It depended on the fuel supply for governing. As the engine speeds up, the fuel supply (gas) remains constant. and the air flow thru the intake increases. Eventually, the mixture becomes too lean to support combustion, so the engine stops firing and slows down. When the fuel/air mixture regains its combustabilty point, the engine again fires, and begins to pick up speed. The cycle then repeats. The more the engine is loaded, the more often it will fire. The engine was rated at 180 RPM. We run ours at about 100, for show purposes. Just idling, our engine will 'hit' nearly every time the engine reached TDC. You will need a 'diamond' or other type of gas valve to regulate the flow of gas. You will also need an 'accumulator' - a reservoir that holds about 1 to 2 cubic feet of gas at low pressure, for the engine to run properly. it will be very hard to try and run directly off a regulator. We run on hot tube ignition. Speed is controlled by the amount of gas available. We run our engine on propane, as NG is not available where we have our display. Some OCSP engines ran on spark ignition, supplied by a WICO OC magneto.
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:40:10 AM
knuckle head knuckle head is offline
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Default Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

I plan to use propane, will a regulator from a BBQ grill work @11 WCP? Could a used fire ext. be used as a 'accumulator' You referenced a 'diamond' valve for gas flow, is that a brand or type?
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:44:27 PM
Kirk Taylor Kirk Taylor is offline
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Default Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckle head View Post
I plan to use propane, will a regulator from a BBQ grill work @11 WCP? Could a used fire ext. be used as a 'accumulator' You referenced a 'diamond' valve for gas flow, is that a brand or type?
A bbq regulator and a fire extinguisher are what I used on my South Penn. They worked fine. I did, however, use a higher-pressure regulator for the hot tube burner. If you have an original burner, you may be okay with the bbq regulator. The only way to know is to hook the burner up an see what it does. The engine intake may drop the pressure to the burner; a second regulator feeding the burner would remedy that.
The term "diamond valve" refers to the shape of the port in the plug part of a gas cock. The diamond-shaped hole allows for easier adjustment of the gas compared to that of a rectangular hole.
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:25:29 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: South Penn Oil City Boiler Works Engine

For our engine, we run 2 regulators! They are fed off a double headed fitting that is attached to the propane tank. We use a 100 pound tank, or larger (depends on who supplies us) One feeds the hot tube burner. The burner has its own valve, after the regulator, that controls the gas flow. The tube is lit, turned a bright red to orange heat and the engine is started. Once the engine warms up, the burner can be throttled to a mid to dull red heat. Our engine has an accumulator made of 4" type K copper, about 3 feet long. Supply is 11" WC to the accumulator, from the regulator, and fed thru a 1/2" flex hose, made for a fork truck supply, into the reservoir, then out with 1' pipe to a gas valve. From there, it goes into a 1x3/4 inch bull head tee (1' to the side, 3/4 at the ends), and then to 2-3/4' flex gas hoses to another bull headed tee, then to the 1" gas connection on the intake. This was done for several reasons. 1) as we were unfamiliar with the mixer, we had to remove it several times. The hoses made the job easy. 2) gas flex hoses restrict gas flow. The idea behind the accumulator is to supply a large volume at low pressure - one thing a grill regulator cannot do well by itself. if we had used a single gas hose, the flow would have been restricted enough to cause fuel starvation, at speed. The gas valve in the system actually controls speed. if you are going to use a tank smaller than 100#, i would use 2 seperate tanks - one for the hot tube (can be a 20 pound grill tank), and the other a 40 pounder minimum for engine fuel supply. As others have noted - evaporating propane chills the remaining liquid, to the point of stopping gas flow if demand is high enough. Between the hot tube and engine requirements, a 40 will not run the engine before long before you run out of gas. Even with the 100 pounder, the cylinder will chill enough to stop the engine after about an hours running! During a hot humid summer day, we can generate about a 1/2 inch of frost on the cylinder tank, after an hour!

A diamond valve is a fuel delivery valve used on oilfield engines. It has a long handle so that it is easy to make minute gas supply changes to the mixer. it usually had a graduated pointer for reference in setting flow. In our case, we saw no need to change the engine speed, so we used a 1" gas valve from a plumbing supply. Set once and done, the engine will run at a constant speed all day! The standard gas valve also prevents inexperianced operators from messing with it!
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