Antique Engines and Old Iron
[Home] - [HELP] - [Forums] - [Articles] - [Photo Gallery] - [Groups] - [Chat] - [Classified Ads] - [Subscribe] - [Links] - [Books] - [Sponsors] - [eBay Tools]

Go Back   SmokStak > SmokStak® Antique Engine Community > Antique Gas Engine Discussion
Forgot Password? Join Us!


Antique Gas Engine Discussion Meet collectors of hit and miss engines, ask questions about collecting, restoring and showing antique flywheel engines.

Antique Gas Engine Discussion

How simple minds work

this thread has 8 replies and has been viewed 2865 times

Closed Thread
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-31-2004, 07:55:38 PM
Mark Congden's Avatar
Mark Congden Mark Congden is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, New York, USA
Posts: 72
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Photo How simple minds work

Today as I was chipping my truck load of wood chips to take to Colgate University for heating purposes (they burn 20 trailer loads a week)...I got thinking about the chipper engine...It's a 3408 Caterpillar..500 HP diesel engine...I was thinking of the speed it is runs at 2100 RPM..that means it's firing 1050 times a minute X 8 cylinders = 8,400 fires per broken down a little further thats..140 hits per second...that seems incredible!...and thats a slow running engine! Just think of those top fuelies that turn 10,000 RPM's or more...fires 667 times a second...phew!...if we told those guys a hundred years ago that this was going to happen i think they would laugh Iv'e been playing with engines since I was 4 or 5...just never thought of it this way
Mark Congden
Attached Thumbnails
right job.jpg  
Sponsored Links
Old 12-31-2004, 08:21:00 PM
John Hammink's Avatar
John Hammink John Hammink is offline
In Memory Of
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Anna Paulowna, The Netherlands
Posts: 348
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Images: 13
Default Re: How simple minds work

Yes Mark that's unbelievable all those movements in just a second, for example a Formula -1 race car, 18 to 19 thousend rpm at the straight track.

Old 12-31-2004, 09:58:54 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: How simple minds work

a top fuel car turns about 10000 rpms for only 4.4 second and i think thats about 733 revolutions to go from standing start to 330 miles per hour!!!
i guess thats why they have to have 6500 to 7000 hp and about 7000 foot pounds of torque. not hit'in and miss there
Old 12-31-2004, 10:30:44 PM
Don C. Wiley Don C. Wiley is offline
In Memory Of
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sparta, Illinois USA
Posts: 784
Thanks: 479
Thanked 367 Times in 119 Posts
Images: 10
Default Re: How simple minds work


Your wood burning furnace fascinates. Could you explain how the chipper and the frunace works. I have never seen an opperation like that.

"DELCO DON" Southern Illinois
Old 12-31-2004, 10:31:52 PM
Dick Welty Dick Welty is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Temecula, California USA
Posts: 267
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Images: 4
Smile Re: How simple minds work

I am a member of the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, Inc. in Vista California. One of the perminent displays on steam engine row is the 300 hp Corless Steam. When I first saw that engine I was struck by the thought that with an 18 inch bore and a 36 inch stroke the horse power could be attained at such a low RPM. I believe that the Cast iron flywheel is 10 feet in diameter. Figuring that the outer edge of the flywheel should only attain a speed of a mile a minute + 10% thats 5800 feet per minute. Centrifugal force at speeds greater than this tend to cause cast iron to self distruct. And figuring that the diameter of the flywheel is pi or 3.14 tines the diameter of about 31.4 feet this gives us a maximum safe speed of about 151 RPM.

Now how are we going to get 300 hp out of an engine capable of only 151 RPM. The answer of course is Torque. With a bore of 18 inches figuring the Ares of the front of the piston at pi times :the radius squared the area is about 254 sq. inches. With a 36 inch stroke the crank at 90 degrees is 1 1/2 foot long. This means that if the crank is at the maximum leverage "90 degrees" and The steam pressure acting on the piston is 1 lb/sq/in the torque would be 1 1/2 times 254 or 381 foot pounds at 0 rpm, at 10 lbs steam pressure 3,810 foot lbs and at 100 lbs steam pressure 38,100 foot lbs.

It should be remembered that this engine is double acting, meaning that the piston is pushed by the steam pressure both ways each cycle where as a single cylinder 4 cycle engine only pushes the piston one way every other cycle

I was amazed to think that this engine could produce so much power at so slow a speed. Then it also struck me that even at that slow speed the belt rapping around the flywheel is traveling 31.4 feet each revolution so it dosn't have to be turning very fast to produce the needed power at a practical speed.

I wish I had a picture of this great engine to post but I hope you will be able to get a pretty good picture of the power generated by my somewhat poor explanation.

It is funny how some minds are amused. I have explained this engine to some of my non mechanical friends and I am also amazed at how their eyes seem to glaze over before I get half way through the explination.

I hope I havent done that to any of you.

Old 01-01-2005, 12:07:04 AM
ronm ronm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Fruita, Colorado USA
Posts: 3,157
Thanks: 2,295
Thanked 1,952 Times in 1,053 Posts
Default Re: How simple minds work

Mark, I love the 3408-the feedlot near me has a tub grinder w/3408, it will grind a 1-ton bale every minute...I like to just stand on the platform next to the engine & feel the HP-the fan blast will almost undress you.
That is the biggest chipper I've seen-who built it?
Ron in CO...
Old 01-01-2005, 07:54:40 AM
Harvey Teal Harvey Teal is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Poestenkill, New York, USA
Posts: 500
Thanks: 373
Thanked 197 Times in 113 Posts
Default Re: How simple minds work

When I lived on the Mohawk River in upstate NY, I was often treated to the sound of a diesel in a tugboat pushing a loaded barge upstream. She was running about 200 rpm full tilt, and you could make out the sound of each cylinder even 5 miles away. One morning after she passed my house I drove to Utica NY to see her as she entered the canal lock at Utica. Upon entering the lock they shut her down, and then restarted her 15 minutes later, probably on air. Fired on the first stroke and idled flawlessly at about 50 rpm. I didnt get a good look at the engine but it ran half the length of the boat, and with the engine room doors open you could see basically one cylinder's access covers behind each door.
Might have been an Atlas Imperial. I sure would love to hear that engine run again. Hopefully she's still out there on the water.
Old 01-01-2005, 08:46:34 AM
Mark Congden's Avatar
Mark Congden Mark Congden is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, New York, USA
Posts: 72
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Photo Re: How simple minds work

This chipper is a 23 inch Trelan Whole Tree Chipper built by Strong Manufacturing in Michigan..It will chip a ton a minute, hence putting on 32 tons in about a half an hour. Colgate University has burned wood since 1986 when they put the wood boiler in, ofcourse they have 3 big #6 oil boilers for backup...the savings to them is immense!. They burn about 95 tons of wood a day costing about $2400...verses 5 or 6 thousand gallons of oil a day @ a little over a dollar a gallon for #6...thats $2600 to $3600 savings EVERY DAY!
And the best part for me is that the wood is such a renewable resource... saving our oil for future generations to keep running these engines
Mark Congden
Attached Thumbnails
loading truck 2.jpg   518 Cat Skidder.jpg  
Old 01-01-2005, 11:58:26 AM
Gary Pflum's Avatar
Gary Pflum Gary Pflum is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: St.Charles, Missouri USA
Posts: 752
Thanks: 607
Thanked 331 Times in 200 Posts
Default Re: How simple minds work

I was reading the post by Dick Welty about horsepower obtained at low R.P.M.'s. One correction should be made. When the crank throw is at 90 degrees, the piston is not at the middle of the stroke. The example was 36 inch stroke, crank at 90 degrees the piston would move a 1 1/2 feet or 18 inches.
All pistons in engines of normal designs travel a greater distance the first 90 degrees of the stroke than the last 90 degrees. This is because of the angularity or the rod moving back and away from center the first 90 degrees and back and towards center the last 90 degrees.
The next time that anyone has an engine with the head off put the piston on TDC, move the crank 90 degrees and measure the piston travel. It will be more than half the stroke. Because of this, old engine exhaust valve timing at BDC is not as important as the exhaust valve at TDC.(piston moves faster on the upper 90 degrees than the lower 90 derees)
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

F o r u m Jump

Similar Threads Chosen at Random
Thread Thread Starter F o r u m Replies Last Post
Inquiring Minds Want To Know Roger Wagner Antique Steel Wheel Tractors - Old Iron Lugs and Cleats 6 01-16-2007 04:11:03 PM
Simple question, maybe a simple answer? Jaeger Don C. Wiley Antique Engine Archives 6 04-05-2004 11:00:08 AM
Simple Gas Engine Mike Shaffer Antique Engine Archives 3 04-28-2003 10:07:59 PM
The Simple Gas Engine Ray Hallowry Antique Engine Archives 1 11-22-2001 06:26:21 PM
The Simple Gas Engine Ray Hallowry Antique Engine Archives 0 11-22-2001 02:37:03 PM

Use "Ctrl" mouse wheel to change screen size.
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:40:35 PM.

Smokstak and Enginads site search!

All use is subject to our TERMS OF SERVICE
SMOKSTAK® is a Registered Trade Mark - A Community of Antique Engine Enthusiasts
Copyright © 2000 - 2016 by Harry Matthews P.O. Box 5612 - Sarasota, FL 34277