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The Drivers' Page.

11th May 1905, Page 23
11th May 1905
Page 23
Page 23, 11th May 1905 — The Drivers' Page.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Hints by An Old Driver of Petrol Engines.

COMPRESSION.—Should the compression of the engine appear to be bad, and you have ascertained that the valves

are all right, get a little paraffin and pour through the taps at the top of cylinders, then turn engine round two or three times. When a little too much oil has been used, the piston rings get gummy, and, instead of expanding towards the walls of the cylinders and making the combustion chamber gas-tight, they stick down in the grooves. The paraffin, however, soon releases them.

RADIATORS.—Drivers who have honey-comb radiators should see that the front and bottom are clean and the pas

sages quite free from mud and grit, otherwise the draught of air may be impeded, and the radiator will get very hot. When filling with water, a small piece of ordinary washing soda should be put in occasionally.

WATER IN PKTROL.—This is a great source of trouble to drivers of cars in which the petrol is under pressure from

the exhaust. The tap at the bottom of the tank should be opened at least once a week, and about a pint of the spirit drawn off. This will effectually take away any water there may be at the bottom, and if the pressure valve is kept clean, and the syphon tap is opened when the car is brought in for the night, the trouble will be reduced to a minimum.

KNOCKING IN ENGINE.—A knocking noise heard under the bonnet is sometimes caused by the bolts which hold gover

nor balls in position working loose through wear. These bolts want constant watching, for should one break when the engine is running the released governor ball is liable to do a great deal of damage.

CASTOR 011..—It is not generally known that the use of castor oil in the cups is one of the best preventives against road wheels running hot, whilst this oil is proof against all weather conditions.

ACCUMULATORS.—The accumulator should be kept in a box fitted in a perfectly dry place, and a spare one fully

charged should always be carried. Each of the two should be used alternately, as, when cells are left standing by, the plates are apt to sulphate. When fully charged, an accu mulator should register by a voltmeter 4.5, and if connected up to a good trembling coil it should be run until the voltage is reduced to 3.5. The negative and positive terminals should always be kept thoroughly clean, otherwise the acid will creep and the current will run out very quickly. Should a cell run down while on the road, and the driver not have a spare one on the car, the following hint may be useful :—Detach the wires and lift the cell out of the box ; next remove the stoppers and empty a little of the acid out.

Then pour a little warm water taken from radiator into the cells. Let them stand for a few minutes, and then connect up again. It will be found quite possible to restart the engine and to travel a fair distance, but on getting home the deficiency of acid should be made good before recharging.

Home on One Cylinder.

H.E.W. (Bermondsey) writes :—" On the 24th of last December I was driving my Yorkshire steam wagon along the Brixton Road. Suddenly I heard a knocking in my L.P. cylinder, and at once stopped the lorry to find out the cause. After examination I discovered a large hole in both top and bottom of the oil bath, and on detaching this casing, found that the thread on the cotter pin had become stripped, thus allowing the pin itself to come loose and get jammed between the gland and crosshead. I found also that the connecting rod had a nasty bend in it. Seeing no other way, I telephoned to the brewery to send another lorry. When this arrived we transhipped the load, but not wishing to be beaten I thought I would see what could he done, hardly relishing the idea of having to wait about for some hours until a lorry could be sent to tow me back. After some thought, I determined to try and get home on the high pressure engine. I took the connecting rod down and unscrewed the crosshead from the piston rod. This done, I detached the cylinder cover and withdrew the piston with its rod attached, after which I replaced the cover, carefully collecting all loose parts and putting them away for safety. The next difficulty was this, how to prevent the egress of live steam from the cylinder through the stuffing box? At fast I hit

upon the idea of placing a penny in the gland and screwing the nut down tightly upon it; I did this, put in the low gear, and started the lorry, and to my delight she went fairly well all the way home to her stable at Messrs. Barclay and Perkins' Brewery at Southwark."

A Burst Tube.

J.S. (Reading) writes :—" About six months ago I was driving my steam lorry from Basingstoke to London with a heavy load of steel girders on board. All went well until we got about two miles beyond Bagshot, when suddenly there was a terrific escape of steam from the top of the boiler. I immediately shut off steam and stopped the wagon, then drew the fire, and waited for the boiler to cool down. I then unbolted the top of the boiler and found that one of the tubes had burst about six inches from the lower end. As we were in the country, and could not find any help at hand, I had to leave my mate on the wagon and tramp into Bagshot. I went to a blacksmith and got a length of gin. iron rod, screwed at each end, with nuts to fit; also two lead washers about fin. thick. I carried these back to my wagon and proceeded to work. I first of all screwed a nut on one end. of the iron rod with a lead washer on the inner side, and slipped the lot through the burst tube from the top. Next, I slipped the second washer on the lower end, and screwed up the nut as far as possible with my fingers. After getting all nicely fixed I got a spanner on the top nut and screwed up the whole lot as tight as possible. I then lighted the fire, after filling the boiler with water, and got steam up. The tube ' held ' all right until I got to my destination, when we had a new tube fitted. I thought my experience might interest your readers as it is useful to know how to get out of a difficulty by the roadside when one occurs."

The prize of five shillings this week goes to H. E. West, 249, Western Street, Bermondsey, for the account of how he got his wagon home on one cylinder. A payment has also been made to the sender of the first communication in the first column, and, in view of the fact that we often receive communications which are worthy of some recognition, we have decided to pay one penny a line for any matter published. This will be apart from prize of five shillings.


Locations: Basingstoke, Reading, London

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