1911 Continental Engine

I'm quite pleased with myself today. We have a 1911 Sunshine tractor ( Very rare! only one other in existance as far as I know) in the shop and I have
been working on it for a few weeks now. It had a crack in the engine water jacket and the carburettor flooded all over the place. The float was made of cork and was completely stuffed. I made a new one from a large thermos flask top and sealled it with epoxy, then made a new needle and seat. I finished that last week and then started on the crack repair. Put a magnaflux on it and found that the crack was about 125 mm long. I drilled the ends of it then cut it open with a small disk in a Dremel ( actually a lot of disks, they are pretty fragile) then bogged it up with a Epoxy steel putty. I had to remove the water pump to get at the crack . It drives the magnito as well. Despite my marking everything, somewhere the timing got lost. I spent this morning figureing out where it all should go. It started on the second crank! We ran it for a bout half an hour without leaks or flooding. The next task is to get the second carburettor sorted out so it can run on kereosene as well. I can't find a throttle on the carbby so there must be something I'm missing. Anybody know anything about early kero carburettors?
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Would that be an eairler version of the engine used to run the hydraulics on WWII aircraft landing gear? Also Allis Chalmers used it on their model G. IIRC it was the "Continental Red Ball"
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Almost all of the 8-10HP Briggs updraft carbs made before 1975 were designed to run on kerosene. It's about as simple a design as can be -- air bleed, main jet and needle valve, and nothin' else. No spraybars, no pumps, no extra nothin' at all; conventional float/valve combo.
BTW... You ought to re-make that float from cork to keep the original design intact. Cork seals up just fine with epoxy. Even if you couldn't find a solid slab of it large enough, you could glue up cork sheets to the required size.
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in message

wow grumpy, bravo, congratulations and good luck! post some pics somewhere so we all can see. lloyd, i think that's what he said, i would assume "large thermos flask top" = cork.
b.w.
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One could assume that, I guess, but I haven't seen one of those made from cork in about three decades. Most are polyethylene. Maybe it was an OLD thermos top.
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in message

It was a VERY old themos top. I found it in a little suburban hardware shop. We should move that to the museum as well. They are almost as rare as the tractor.
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There is a picture of the tractor at this site http://museumvictoria.com.au/about/mv-news/2009/lost-sunshine-radiator-found / The guy standing next to it is a memeber of the stores staff. He was the one that found a radiator from the only other onein existance. The radiator is, as you can see,a peculiar beast. It consists of a bunch of horizontal tubes fixed into a ring on each end. A radial fan is in the middle and is driven by a flat belt from the same shaft that runs the water pump and magnito. Looks strange, but seems to work.
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Here are some more pictures and some informationon the tractor. Its been restored pretty well and is in good condition. We are making some "bolt on" steel bands to go around the wheels so we can drive it on "action days" without destroying the track.
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holy shit! cool! congrats and good luck! thanks for the link to the pic. i totally didn't expect to see that (i was imagining a much more conventional looking "tractor"). you go grumpy! sa-weet. rock on!
b.w.
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Thanks for the encouragement! I spent the previous 35 years as a professional engineer, mostly as chief engineer or engineering manager for large food & beverage manufacturing companies. The last 4 years as a volunteer have been a lot more fun. I'm now doing things myself, that were always done by my staff. I've learned TIG welding,machining,and a lot of other skills that I only had a theroretical knowledge of before. Admittedly, I used to hang around the crew and ask a lot of questions,but "hands on" is a lot better teacher. We have worked on some pretty unconventional stuff, including a replica of Henry Ford's Quadricyle, a steam roller, a steam mining drill and anything else that happens to need restoration. The next couple of jobs are the restoration and recommissioning of a 190? two cycle stationary farm engine of about 6 horsepower ( hope to have it going in a month or two) , and the partial restoration of one of the first steam traction engines ever built in Australia. The boiler on it is kackered, but we hope the refurbish the motionworks( steam engine) so it can be run on compressed air. This will take at least a year, but probably more as we are mostly volunteers who only work a couple of days a week. (When things get interesting though, I'm sometimes there all week) We will have to machine a number of new parts as the originals have disappeared or rusted beyond repair. The web site http://www.cliffandbunting.com.au/history.htm will be a help as it shows a photo of one of the original machines.
So again, thanks for the encouragement, but I'd do it for the fun of it anyway
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wrote:

I found, during 30 years of construction supervision, that the best way to learn how things should be done is to watch the person doing the work. That, plus knowledge of the theory behind the work and a liberal application of common sense will quickly develop a grasp for how things should be done. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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I haven't tried epoxy, it must add some weight. Old style cork floats were sealed with Shellac. Shellac melts in Ethanol, so isn't any good in modern gasoline, but should be fine in straight Kerosene. I have made a few carb floats and tank sender floats out of brass sheet soldered together.
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Probably not a lot more than an equivalent film thickness of shellac. Epoxies can be thinned with solvents before curing, just as can shellac, so penetration and pore-filling aren't any more of an issue with epoxies than with the bug juice.
LLoyd
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On Mon, 21 Dec 2009 09:37:37 -0600, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

For that matter, epoxy resins can be had with pretty low viscosity -- epoxy glues are thick because they have filler added.
Supposedly isopropyl alcohol is 100% compatible with epoxy as a thinner; I've certainly had good success with using 99% isopropyl to thin garden- variety epoxy glue for fuel-proofing model airplane engine compartments. You're supposed to not use anything less than 99% pure, though.
Epoxy glue + isopropyl will flash off to a very thin layer that will then harden quite nicely if you got your initial proportions right; I wouldn't hesitate to use it to coat cork. I would want to check it against all possible fuels, although I can't imagine it not doing well with cork.
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Small nit: While it's true there are lots of filled epoxies on the consumer market, the viscosity of many industrial types of epoxy has to do with the chemistry of the epoxy and catalyst themselves. I have some 100% solids pure epoxy that's somewhat thicker than petroleum jelly that I use for lubricating and then bonding fishing-rod grips to the blanks. It's an industrial product.
Epoxy is often anti-thixotropic; it flows when it just sits there (I say it "drools"), but it gets stiffer when you brush it. That should make it good for filling gaps and it can be; however, its capillary action (wicking) often is poor, so it doesn't soak into porous surfaces as well as its viscosity would suggest.
Watch out adding thinners to epoxy. The volatiles have to go somewhere, and they come from somewhere, so they can leave a porous material behind, or they can become trapped in the epoxy and degrade it over time. 10% is the rule-of-thumb maximum for bonding or laminating. Much less for casting or thick applications.
(This information comes from several of the large suppliers, who I once interviewed for a 16-page article on adhesive assembly in metalworking.)
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On Mon, 21 Dec 2009 11:54:01 -0500, Ed Huntress wrote:

Huh. I'll have to remember that. OTOH, you _can_ get epoxy laminating resins that flow pretty well.

Watch out when adding thinners to anything! I only add thinner when it's going to have a chance to flash off, i.e. when I'm putting on a thin layer that's exposed to open air. If the solvent can't evaporate before the pot life of the stuff is over, then you'll have exactly the problems that you describe.
Which is why you won't see me suggesting thinner for laminating...
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I was told that the original cork float had up to 15 coats of shellac. A gentleman of vintage years, who still runs a carburettor shop, told me that his first job every day, when he was an apprentice was to dip a bunch of cork floats in shellac. I only used one coat of epoxy so I suspect that the coating thickness would be sinilar.

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I should have added that the float weight isn't really critical, as long as you adjust it for proper fuel level. Brass is heavier than cork, but when its setup right it does the same thing. I have seen much trouble with 70's Mikuni bike carbs caused by ethanol, they used that weird foam material that can make crossing Utah a nightmare
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in message

Yes, it was a cork plug that I made it from. I turned it on the lathe with the shop vac taped to the tool post to collect the dust, screwed it to thefloat arm as per the original,then mixed up some 2 part epoxy and dipped it. The consevation department gave it its blessing so it's pretty authentic. It looks exactly like the shellac dipped ones but will last a lot longer.
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