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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

Flywheel Balance Weights


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  #1  
Old 08-02-2005, 03:52:53 PM
QuinnF QuinnF is offline
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Default Flywheel Balance Weights

I need to add 7 oz. of lead to a spoked flywheel rim. Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on how to make a mold that will release and produce a nice looking balancing weight.
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Old 08-02-2005, 04:44:05 PM
Mark B Mark B is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

Here's an idea, you decide if it's any good or not. Use the "lost wax" technique that has been used for eons. It goes something like this:
1) Make the weight in wax in the position you want it to be.
2) Cover the wax with a mold made of plaster or ?
3) Position the thing in such a way that you can make a drain hole and apply heat to the outside so that the wax melts and drains away.
4) Plug the drain hole and fill the cavity with babbitt? Lead?
5) You know the rest, bust away the plaster and dress up what's left.


Note : I would drill holes where the weight your melting into place (in the base metal) for better adhesion. Also perhaps search the net for lost wax technique. I've just given the basics here. Perhaps someone who really skilled on this will add a note.
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Old 08-02-2005, 06:43:56 PM
ldj1002 ldj1002 is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

Now, my question is--how do you know you need 7oz of weight and where to put it. Post a place that tell how to do it if it is possible to do it without lots of fancy equipment.
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:31:27 PM
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Bryan Brooks Bryan Brooks is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

If you have a Boy Scout store near you they have wieghts that start at one ounce and go up from there. They have counter sunk screw holes as well. These wieghts are for the pinewood derby cars.
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:41:09 PM
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Chuck Martin Chuck Martin is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

I would take a good look at drilling holes on the back side of the flywheel oppisite where you want to add the weight.
I would hate to be the guy that is unlucky enough to have to pick the weight out of the side of my head.
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:09:12 PM
KidDynamo KidDynamo is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

I'd like to know how you came up with the measurement for the weight. I would not add weight to any flywheel, either. Too dangerous for a spectator sport with lots of innocent bystanders, at least without some proper testing

I guess you could bolt a weight onto a flywheel spoke with some high grade u-bolts. That would allow you to avoid drilling holes in something and compromising its integrity.

Since you don't normally see flywheels weighted this way, I suspect that there is a good reason. Those old-timers new a thing or two and they were operating in the days when you wouldn't expect to be hounded by a lawsuit if responsible for an injury.

As per Chuck, I have a lot of flywheels with weight removed by drilling. I wouldn't be inclined to drill, either, and then find out my calculations were amiss, but what do I know......
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:31:20 PM
QuinnF QuinnF is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

Ok, got a cup of coffee? Here’s the scoop:

The flywheels in question are from a currently manufactured Indian copy of the British-designed and built Lister 6/1, a single cylinder diesel engine designed in the ‘30s and built (at least in Britain) until 1987 and found all over the former British colonies (see http://www.utterpower.com if you’re interested). It has a 4.5” bore, 5.5” stroke, weighs about 750 lbs and redlines at all of 650 rpm. Flywheels are 125 lbs each, of cast iron on a 2” crankshaft, held in place with gib keys, which were a lot of fun to remove .

The 24” diameter flywheel rims are more than 4” wide which leaves ample room to screw weights to the inside, so they will be out of sight and can’t fly off. Although there is a cast-in counterweight on each 125-lb. flywheel, I determined that the balancing could be fine tuned.

I assembled the connecting rod with bearings, bolts, cap, nuts and cotter pins and weighed the assembled “big end” on a laboratory balance with the little end suspended off the balance. Weight of the big end was 6 lbs. and change. In order to simulate that weight while balancing without the con rod attached, I made a bobweight out of lead. I got some 1/8” lead sheet and cut it into a strip the width of the connecting rod journal, then weighed it, then started cutting pieces off until the strip weighed the same as the assembled big end of the crankshaft determined above. I then wrapped the lead tightly around the crankshaft journal and secured it in place with tape.

I disconnected the timing gears from the crankshaft so only the crankshaft and flywheels were rotating. Backed off the main bearing keepers (it has tapered roller bearings like on the front wheels of a car) until crankshaft turned freely, then smeared a little STP oil treatment (slickest/stickiest lubricant I know of) into the bearings and spun the crankshaft with flywheels many times and noted the position of the flywheels when they coasted to a stop.

I cut some strips of lead and wrapped them around the flywheel flange opposite the side that ended up at the 6 o'clock position until the flywheels no longer seemed to prefer stopping in any particular position. As little as 1 oz of weight made a difference in where the flywheels stopped.

Once I was satisfied that the flywheels stopped at more or less random positions, I removed the lead weights and weighed them. 14 oz. Divided by two flywheels, that’s 7 oz. each.

So at this point, I need to cast a couple of 7 oz weights out of lead or babbitt or brass. I like the Pinewood Derby weights idea, though. I can stick them on with double sided tape and then run the engine up and see how well it balances before casting a permanent weight.

This procedure should be familiar to anyone who has experience with balancing a car engine. Usually, however this procedure (static balancing) is followed by dynamic balancing, where the oil pump, camshaft, pressure plate, and other rotating parts are attached to the crankshaft and the whole thing is rotated and the balance determined electronically. Becasue of the size and weight of this engine, that's not really feasible.
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:46:51 AM
Inter Bloke Inter Bloke is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

Be very careful if you are drilling that flywheel on an Indian Lister.

Out here about 5 years ago a fellow was killed when a flywheel on one of those Indian copies dissintergrated. I don't know the cause of the failure, but they may not be as strong as they look.
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:13:56 AM
QuinnF QuinnF is offline
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Default Re: Flywheel Balance Weights

Yes, I've heard that the last thing they do with these engines is paint them, and if you start one up without first checking that the governor linkage is free and adjusted properly, the engine can quickly overspeed. If you've got a flawed flywheel, then watch out.

For the reason you describe, I really don't want to drill the flywheel. If I could attach it to a mill, then perhaps I could shave off the 7 oz. of iron I need from the counterweight, but that's a lot of chips. It's easier to add a weight.

http://www.utterpower.com/SamWarne.htm is apparently the contact down under for Listeroids.
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