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23rd January 1919
Page 21
Page 21, 23rd January 1919 — For DRIVERS, MECHANICS & FOREMEN.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

A PRIZE OF TEN SHILLINGS is awarded each week to the sender of the beet letter which we publish on this page; all otheri are paid for at the 'vale of a penny. a line, with an allowance for photographs. All notes are edited before being published. Mention Tour employer's name. in confidence, as evidence of good faith. Address, .D., M. and F., The Commercial Motor," 7-15, Rosebery Avenue, London, B.C. • Lamps Alight.

On Saturday, 25th January, light your lamps at 5.3 in London, 5.19 in Edinburgh, 4.49 in Newcastle, 5.4 in Liverpool, 5.5 in Birmingham, 6.13 in Bristol, and 5.41 in Dublin.

MakingGood with a Broken Stearn Chest Casting.

The sender of the following communication has been awarded the Ws. prize this week.

[1935] " A.W." (Dewsbury) writes :—" Going through some back numbers of the 'C.M.' recently, I came across. a rather interesting communication to your 'II., M. and .F.' page by a correspondent signing himself'S.F.' (Mirfield). His letter concerned the repair to a broken cylinder cover of an over-type steam wagon. As I had a somewhat similar experia ence myself recently, it occurred to me that a brief note as to the breakage and the method of its repair might be worthy of a place, on your 'D., M. and F.' page.

"One of the joint studs which secured the main steam pipe to a corresponding flange on the valve chest pulled out of the casting, and stripped the

thread. The obvious remedy was to drill and tap out the hole for a larger size of Stud. The old size was

in., and accordingly a ratchet brace and i in. tapping drill were procured and set up, and the work of boring the hole out commenced. Difficulty with the drill ensued, however, and instead of a clean hole through the flange in the same position as the original stud the drill ran towards the edge of the flange, and later, in tapping out tbe hole, we had the misfortune to break away that end of the flange altogether. "This looked like, to use a. common phrase, 'putting the lid on it.' More than half of the metal surrounding the hole had gone, so that there was no hope of our being able to fix a stud in place so that it would hold. In any case, such a procedure would hardly have been advisable owing to the joint being for high-pressure steam. It almost seethed as though we were faced with one of two alternatives, either welding up the breakage or buying a new cylinder casting. Even the former, which would, no doubt, have been our choice, would have imeant the wagon being off the road at least a couple of. days. We therefore decided to try if some expedient could not be devised, and eventually hit on the following : A T-headed bolt, with a shallow, long head, it was found, could safely be used with the head inside the steam chest without interfering with the proper working of the valve to and fro on its fade. Such a bolt was, therefore, inserted, an extra good gasket being placed between the pipe flange and the facing of the cylinder, and the joint made up, and this, although it has now been in use for some months, has given us no trouble whatever."

A Simple Lighting-system Modification.

{1936] " F.J.A." (Kentish Town) writes :—" In view of the large number of American light vans which are now on the road, the majority of which are fitted with some system of electric,liglating, I feel sure that the following description of a little modification which I effected to every one of a fleet which is in my charge will be of interest. It is inexpensive, and eliminated a constant source of irritation and trouble in connection with 'the lighting system.

"Failures in regard to electric lighting on motor vehicles may generally be traced to either the batteries, the fuses, or the bulbs of the electric lamps. There are other possible sources, but these are the principal ones. During the recent wet weather; I encountered a difficulty owing to the lights failing, while curiously enough, the horn and self-starter remained in perfect working order., Examination of the electrio lighting and starting system, particularly with regard to the above three heads, did not carry me any further, as they were all in order. In fact, after any vehicle suffering from this trouble had been brought into the garage, and the system looked over and examined, and then once more tried, it was generally found that the fault disappeared, and the _lamps lit as they should do. On the road again, however, the same difficulty made its reappearance.

"I therefore next proceeded to examine thoroughly the wiring, and it should benoted that the side lamps are `earthed through the lamp brackets to the windscreen and body of the van. The circuit to the tail lamp similarly was coupled to the number plate and mudguard, and again to the body, and it appeared to me that the difficulty lay here, that owing to poor metallic contact between the body and chassis, the connection was from time to time broken. That this only occurred. in *et weather was probably due to some portions of the body warping and thus breaking contact. I improved the wiring and eliminated the trouble entirely by the simple expedient of making a direct earth connection to the frame by means of short lengths of bell wire in each case. The remedy cost but a few pence, was a permanent one, and I feet sure that a -good many other lamp troubles would disappear if the earth connections were made directly to the frame, and if makers did not depend upon the bodywork as part of the connection."

Easy Starting.

L1.937) " W.F.S." writes :—" I-have read with interest the methods of easy starting recently described on this page, and, having three lorries in my charge, I venture to suggest what I think is a simpler and more practicable plan. Every night I light afire under a large copper holding about 14 gallons of water. The bricks get red and keep the water hot till morning, and I fill up the radiators before the drivers arrive. In this way they experience no trouble at all when. starting.

"I have also in my charge a light car which is fitted with a White and Noppe carburetter and which it is impossible to start with the present grade of petrol unless the above method, is adopted. Of course, this method necessitates emptying the radiators over night, but this is no trouble and is essential during the winter months."

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