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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines Antique steam engines, their boilers, pumps, gauges, whistles and other related things that make them run.

Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines

Good Engines and Bad Engines


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  #1  
Old 08-11-2005, 09:18:59 PM
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Mark Thompson Mark Thompson is offline
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Default Good Engines and Bad Engines

Most tractions engines had good and bad qualities.

I think it all goes back to whose telling the story.

Most people have formed opinions by what they either own or have been told by a good friend, father, grandfather or whatever.

One of the best engineers that I ever knew here in Ohio always held favor to the older style wooden spoked Peerless engines and hated a Russell. Another friend said the Russell engine was the best he ever ran.

I think it is how you are brought up. Ford, Chevy, Chrysler. John Deere, International, Allis Chalmers.

People seem to overlook that all engine brands may fire a little different.Try to fire a Case like a Reeves and you will run out of steam in no time and vice versa.

The brand "X" someone ran for a friend once may have been poorly timed or had some other mechanical fault. Fired it wrong, or just because of a closed mind.

I will admit the Case engine is probably one of the most beautiful engines ever made. They handle OK, have good power but like almost every manufacturer of engines, they also had many faults.

Watched an 80 Case try to plow this summer. Made it about 20 feet before the clutch needed adjusting. Made it another 100 before the pinion gear on the differential side broke a tooth. Another engine came and finished the round that the Case couldn't.

Throw the Case out as a bad engine? No Way, just bad luck in front of a bunch of people. But easy to form a bad opinion if a person was looking to do so.

Reeves engines are very good but most have junk boilers. They have good gearing, no clutch that can slip during a pull, have one of the best drive wheels. But most Reeves engines are in barns waiting for someone to build a new boiler.

Goods and bads in all of them. It doesn't matter what kind of engine you have, you should be proud.

Don't brag about the horsepower your engine can make, unless you can sustain it all day, then for a week, then, for the lifetime of the engine. I think it almost humorous when a prony brake operator spikes the scale just long enough to get a reading then backs it right off, knowing full well the boiler is dropping steam pressure.

I just wish people could spend the time they spend bashing other people or engines by either learning more about becoming better engineers or reading self help books to at least improve their own outlook on life.

Let's spend time trying to improve our hobby and make it fun.

-Mark Thompson
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2005, 10:04:14 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

You should run for office but all i can say is WELL DONE
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2005, 10:58:00 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

well said Mark
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Old 08-11-2005, 11:29:34 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

60 case are you going to rollag this year. i remember having a good chat with you there last year. did you have your wife or daughter there with you i cant remember I mite be helping on andersons 110 case this year
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2005, 08:24:43 AM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

I have not heard any bashing? For instance: stub axles are bad design, certainly on late model full size western engines like Russell and banned by asme for good reason. Debating design and performance is what engineers do. I work as an EE, and you should hear what goes on in closed conference rooms. This is what it means to be an engineer. I like to give a big thanyou to colin for speaking his mind and challenging others to put up some facts, not just old clich'e comments. Now besides political correctness, we have engine correctness? They are supposed to be all equall? Respectfully, I DONT AGREE.
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:06:14 AM
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Talking Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

colin
im not sure if im going to rollag or not,grant will be down from the north then but i dont know if i can get away
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2005, 10:08:38 AM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
I like to give a big thanyou to colin for speaking his mind and challenging others to put up some facts, not just old clich'e comments. Now besides political correctness, we have engine correctness? They are supposed to be all equall? Respectfully, I DONT AGREE.
Well put Peter.
This message board has really come alive since all this debated started. I enjoy coming to see what new threads and posts people are creating. Lets not fall for the politically correct mumbo jumbo just because someone might get there feelings hurt. We are all bigger than that.

Dan Donaldson
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2005, 10:24:42 AM
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Photo Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Mark,

Well put. Don't know if I would call it bashing or not either, but certainely some tend to take uninformed tip-toes around the facts or fail to take into account all of the variables that are involved with the performance (or non-performance) of an engine.

I don't think I've ever ran a "BAD" engine. There have certainely been some highlights in my steam "career" running big, rare or fancy engines, but some of my favorite steam memories have been running just a little plain old Case portable (I think it's a 9hp) at the Barnes Steam Show in Belgrade Montana. It is the buzz saw work horse that provides fuel for all the other engines and is a chance to really run an engine for a long time during the day (just not one event and onto the next one). I think "young" engineers have a lot of tallent and "puff" a lot, but there is not one of us who, like Austin Monk (may he rest in peace), ever made a living with an engine.

Any time spent with those kind of guys (I know a few Carl Mehmke, Don Bradley, Lyle Hoffmaster) is golden and a time to be reminded of why the "Big Engineer in the Sky" gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth.

I attached the cover to the hand-out for Austin's funeral is some did not see it.
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2005, 04:20:00 PM
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Default Who said ASME banned stub axles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
For instance: stub axles are bad design, certainly on late model full size western engines like Russell and banned by asme for good reason.


Since when did the ASME "ban" stub axles for "good reason?" I can think of several stub axle engines that have a clover leaf on them (Some Russells, NS, and Minneapolis come to mind), so where did this idea come from? One of the toughest engines I have ever seen is a late 30-98 NS with a ASME butt strap boiler running at 175lbs.



IMHO Yes, rear axles were superior for drawbar work, but you simply can't beat a side mount for convenient belt power.
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Old 08-12-2005, 04:48:14 PM
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Cool Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

oh boy here we go again
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  #11  
Old 08-12-2005, 05:11:44 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

the side mounts are good for belt work but some of them have the pulley so far out you need a step ladder to get it on. Dad used to run a 75 case in a threshing contest at a show here in manitoba against a 30-60 hart part. they had the tractors backed up to the seperator. and dads record was 49 seconds for driving away from the seperator, turning around getting belted up and the engine to full speed. I miss those days that show has fallen apart in austin so we havent went the last few years. i liked watching the hart parr it sounded neat. We didnt win every year. horse drivers, bundle pitchers and mechanical problems with the seperators were always a factor.
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Old 08-12-2005, 07:13:04 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

I may have been misinformed on the code. And, Jumped to conclusion on the stubs. So you say there were in fact asme russells. Interesting. I though that was forbidden with regards to building a modern code boiler 1/2 scale of some of the early traction engines. Which is too say that the code does not allow engine, or axles to be bolted to the pressure vessel. Maybe this is changed or I was given the conservative hard line when I made some inquiries some time back. I still dont think the design makes any sense and companies should have known better by the teens. But, I cannot argue, if you say they meet current code, then I accept that.
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2005, 09:54:18 PM
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Default HUh?!?

You can bolt anything you want to a boiler, provided the studs are installed acceptably. If you can't bolt a axle bracket to a boiler, how could any thing else be bolted to it?

Even a package boiler has to a affixation points for proper installaion.

Now, there are those in the National Board and ASME who are agitating that ANY and ALL contact with a boiler has to be with an R stamp holder. But that has to do with printing money for stamp holders and has absolutely nothing to do with safe practice or design efficiency.

Never forget, kiddies, that the ASME and National Board are in fact just trade guilds who have been given the power of law.

Out of curiosity, just who was it that gave you this "hard line"?
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Old 08-12-2005, 11:45:01 PM
LundMachineWorks LundMachineWorks is offline
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Exclamation Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Read the code before you quote it. As for Case steam engines, they were marked very similar to John Deere two cylinder tractors (Cheaper than the competion, and not alway the most comfortable to use.) They all have their problems!
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2009, 11:00:19 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Since Stak is slow....I found this a very interesting blast from the past.

Everything has its Pros & Cons...that is why they were built--to improve on someone else's idea.

Afterall, a NEW steam engine is being built in the UK. Must be more "better designs" are still out there!

Cheers!
Beth
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  #16  
Old 10-24-2009, 01:21:16 AM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

So speaking of tractor design. Why is it that Frick was the only company that had a frame that the boiler sat in instead of using the boiler as a stress point? Maybe there were others but I don't know of any.

It seems like a good idea but maybe it was overkill and wasn't needed?
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  #17  
Old 10-24-2009, 01:30:00 AM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Quote:
...Frick was the only company that had a frame...
SigNC, Just off the top of my head, Peerless, Twentieth Century and Avery have frames with the boiler riding in them. Admittedly, early Peerless frames were light compared to Frick. I'm sure others will chime in. Questions like this don't go unanswered long here !

The USA was thinking about closing the Patent Office in 1799 because " everything imaginable had already been invented ". It's probably a good thing they didn't, or we might have missed out on a few things...
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Last edited by Jim Conte; 10-24-2009 at 02:02:21 AM.
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Old 10-24-2009, 12:18:13 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Very interesting. I'll have to make sure to check those out. Thanks!
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  #19  
Old 10-24-2009, 12:49:18 PM
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Robert Bell also made ploughing engines with the boilers resting on a chassis in 24, 26 and 30 hp:
http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showth...ht=Robert+Bell
G.
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Old 10-24-2009, 04:24:37 PM
Brad Kelley Brad Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Good Engines and Bad Engines

Aultman & Taylor had an undercarriage for their larger engines.

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