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Restoration of an 1880's Lanceley Marine Engine

MFaris

Registered
This engine was built by Henry Lanceley of Chester, England sometime in the mid 1880's. It has a 4.5"x5" bore and stroke and is equipped with a Stephenson link reverse gear.
Lanceley ran a successful foundry that predominantly cast manhole covers some of which are still in use. I dated this engine to the 1880's using archived newspapers from Chester; after 1889/90 the company name changed slightly.

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I acquired this engine from a friend of mine last year in a state of complete disassembly. He took it apart and cleaned/painted everything when he originally got it, but due to other high priority projects never put it back together.

The first pictures are during the original disassembly:

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This is the state of the engine when I picked it up at my friend's workshop:

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More to come....
 

MFaris

Registered
The first thing I did was build a nice solid skid for the engine using oak and fir. With this complete I bolted the base to it and started assembling everything.

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In this picture you can see the base, frame and cylinder are bolted together. The crankshaft, flywheel and head are in place just to see how they look.
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Unfortunately I didn't think about taking step by step pictures of the process until quite late.
Moving on..
Because this Victorian era engine was built in England at the height of the industrial revolution its quality is second to none; the workmanship is spectacular! The downside of it being built in England at the height of the industrial revolution is every bloody nut is fitted for a particular stud or bolt!!
So at each step in the process I have to play test the nut when assembling things.

I decided that my first assembly job would be to mount the eccentrics to the crankshaft. Of course because this thing is British it had to be difficult! The eccentrics are keyed to the shaft with keys fitted to both the shaft and eccentric, and each eccentric has to be sweated on. After checking then rechecking all associated parts I was pretty sure I had the right keys, turned the right direction, for the right slot and eccentric. I commenced hearing and everything fell in to place like it should!

More to come in a bit...
 

MFaris

Registered
With the eccentrics mounted the crankshaft was installed and the journal bearings bolted in place.

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The next thing I did was install the crosshead and piston rod, then assemble the connecting rod and split big end brass. This was all connected and then the piston was mated to the piston rod.
Next I mounted the eccentric straps and eccentric rods.

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Now I expect someone might ask why there are only single nuts on the big end bolts, well the two nuts pictured were the only ones that fit the bolts and they aren't interchangeable! Also the bolts are actually threaded into the rod and are setup for a wire retainer on the bottom side. The nuts only act as jammers, they aren't even necessary to hold things together.

The nice thing about this engine is how every part and corresponding part are stamped, this definitely reduces mistakes when assembling from a boxed state!

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MFaris

Registered
The next thing to do was to mount the Stephenson link, link block, lifting links and valve stem:

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All the links are just temporarily assembled with cotter pins while I source out the proper taper pins. I'm hoping to buy them locally but so far I'm not having any luck... I'll probably just order them online next week....

Anyway, now all this is fitted I was finally able to mount the most important piece of the engine..... The reverser!!

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MFaris

Registered
I'm now to the point of valve setting....

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Right, wrong, or otherwise the way I was taught to set Stephenson link is to pick a direction (usually forward) and then set it in full gear. By full gear I mean having the reverser in the 'oil cans' or set as far forward as the quadrant will allow. Because there can be flaws in multiple areas of the motion, ports, or valve itself, this technique helps ensure a stronger set in the main direction to be used.
I played around for a while until I got the forward valve timing as close to perfect without using bump marks.

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* I decided that this direction is forward because it's my engine and that's just how I want forward to be.

Once forward was set to my satisfaction I reversed the engine and rolled it over to see how things looked.

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Reverse wasn't terrible, but it was definitely weaker than forward. So I screwed around for a little while trying to even them out to a point where I'd be happy in either direction. I'm now to the point where I'm just going to wait until I get my taper pins so I can do a test run on air.

The last thing I did for the day was add a cylinder drain pipe.

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Well that's it for today, hope you've enjoyed my long winded story thus far!
 

MFaris

Registered
You are doing a great job , doing it right. Make sure the slide valve is not tight , can float. in the second picture there is a slanted frame. Is that another steam engine? Ron
Thanks!

I currently have about 3/32" worth of slide valve play on the valve stem, any more than that and the lost motion throws off the timing. I will probably reduce it by at least an additional 1/64 - 1/32" as the valve setting progresses.

There's a rock crusher and a gas engine in the background of the first two pictures.
 

MFaris

Registered
Well I've ordered a 100 piece taper pin kit that should be here next week, once they arrive I'll be able to test run the engine shortly there after.
For the time being I decided to paint the steam chest cover and play around with steam chest drains.

Here's a before:
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After:
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And with tag:
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Now common sense would suggest that the drain hole be at the bottom in order to fulfill
its obligation of draining the chest of water...

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Well... as I hope you can see in the above photo, the studs don't line up with the cover holes when mounted like this...
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The holes are out by over 1/16" in all directions... so I turned the cover end for end and it slid right on!

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So as you can see the drain valve will work really well to drain water before or after running.

Now I'm wondering if the hole isn't actually meant for a drain but rather a lubricator.... has anyone ever seen a lubricator mounted like that?
 

Harvey Teal

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/22/2019
Well I've ordered a 100 piece taper pin kit that should be here next week, once they arrive I'll be able to test run the engine shortly there after.
For the time being I decided to paint the steam chest cover and play around with steam chest drains.

Here's a before:
View attachment 384250

After:
View attachment 384251

And with tag:
View attachment 384253

Now common sense would suggest that the drain hole be at the bottom in order to fulfill
its obligation of draining the chest of water...

View attachment 384257
Well... as I hope you can see in the above photo, the studs don't line up with the cover holes when mounted like this...
View attachment 384258
The holes are out by over 1/16" in all directions... so I turned the cover end for end and it slid right on!

View attachment 384259

So as you can see the drain valve will work really well to drain water before or after running.

Now I'm wondering if the hole isn't actually meant for a drain but rather a lubricator.... has anyone ever seen a lubricator mounted like that?
Great project, beautiful little engine! So the steam chest doesn’t have a drain hole in the bottom of the casting? Was that petcock installed on the engine when you acquired it? A siphon tube might have been attached to the inside of the petcock. I’m thinking that a hydrostatic lubricator would have been used in the main steam line, but not in the steam chest cover....
 

MFaris

Registered
Great project, beautiful little engine! So the steam chest doesn’t have a drain hole in the bottom of the casting? Was that petcock installed on the engine when you acquired it? A siphon tube might have been attached to the inside of the petcock. I’m thinking that a hydrostatic lubricator would have been used in the main steam line, but not in the steam chest cover....
Thanks, I'm glad you like it!

No the petcock is just something I had kicking around and had planned on using.

The drain situation on this engine is really odd, as it is there is no drain for the steam chest and no drain for the upper portion of the cylinder. The only actual drain is located at the bottom of the cylinder.

I touched base with a friend who is well versed in British Victorian engines and he said it was common for small marine engines like this to have a tallow pot attached to the steam chest cover. He also said the lack of drains is due to the small size, I guess the builder figured the operator could just roll the engine over by hand draining the condensate through the exhaust and lower drain.... I really don't like this but with the few times a year I'm going to run the engine it should be fine.

So I've ordered a small tallow pot which will be mounted to the steam chest. I'm also still waiting for the taper pins....
 

Harvey Teal

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/22/2019
Thanks, I'm glad you like it!

No the petcock is just something I had kicking around and had planned on using.

The drain situation on this engine is really odd, as it is there is no drain for the steam chest and no drain for the upper portion of the cylinder. The only actual drain is located at the bottom of the cylinder.

I touched base with a friend who is well versed in British Victorian engines and he said it was common for small marine engines like this to have a tallow pot attached to the steam chest cover. He also said the lack of drains is due to the small size, I guess the builder figured the operator could just roll the engine over by hand draining the condensate through the exhaust and lower drain.... I really don't like this but with the few times a year I'm going to run the engine it should be fine.

So I've ordered a small tallow pot which will be mounted to the steam chest. I'm also still waiting for the taper pins....
Maybe you cold run the valve gland a bit loose so to permit a little blowby. A chest full of water makes me jittery. Was the tallow pot the only source of valve/cylinder lube?
 

Pete LaBelle

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/15/2013
I had a 3x4 vertical that I incorporated into a small tractor. Ran it for 10 years or so. Only had a drain on the lower cylinder and lower part of the steam chest. Did fine for draining out the condensate & never had a problem with water knocking.

The hole in the steam chest was probably for a lubricator.

Cool engine though.......
 

Lester Bowman

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2019
You have the bottom cylinder drain cock. In an engine this size it is fine and will do the job it is intended to do. Also it is to be left open after running on steam to avoid water collecting in the cylinder after cooling down, avoiding rust. Use a good steam oil and this should be enough protection to protect the valve face's. Many smaller steam engine's used only one drain.
 

Attachments

MFaris

Registered
The taper pins have arrived!

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Prior to pinning the Stephenson link gear together I decided to work on the steam inlet plumbing. This necessitated the installation of a nipple and elbow to avoid the reverse handle. Once the appropriate 'bits' were chosen all I had to do was pull the inlet casting off, install the pipes, then bolt it back on.

Oh $hit! The casting doesn't fit past the reverser. Good thing I didn't pin anything because it all has to come off!

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With everything removed I decided to bolt the casting in place and install the plumbing.

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Then I hear it, the dreaded sound of a stud breaking! $hit

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Not a big deal, just a real pain in the ass! After that I decided the gods of good iron were not smiling at me today, so I called it quits for the day!
 

Ryan Williams

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/20/2019
Then I hear it, the dreaded sound of a stud breaking! $hit

Not a big deal, just a real pain in the ass! After that I decided the gods of good iron were not smiling at me today, so I called it quits for the day!
Let me guess, 1/2-12 right? It's always the fun ones that break!
 
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