For DRIVERS, MECHANICS & FOREMEN.
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A PRIZE OP TEN SHILLINGS is awarded each week to tlw sender of the best letter which we publish on this rage; all others are paid for at the rate of a penny a lime, with an allowance for photographs. All notes are edited before being published. Mention your employer's name, in confidence, as evidence of good faith, Address, D., M. and P., "The Commercial Motor," 7-15, Rosebery Avenue, London, E.G. 1.
Light your lamps at 7.57 in London, 8.45 in Edinburgh, 8.7 in Newcastle, 8.11 in Liverpool, 8.5 in Birmingham, 8.7 in Bristol, and 8.51 in Dublin.
Relief for a Suffering Steam Wagon Water Tank.
The sender of the following communication has been awarded the los. prize this week.
 " U.S." (Oldham) writes :—" I am driving an old 3-ton steam wagon, and I have had a considerable amount of trouble with the water tank. This cracked both at the top and bottom, and, in my opinion, the failure was due to its being too rigidly attached to the chassis, which has to run on the notorious roads and streets of Oldham and district. I put a couple of patches on, and, when re-erecting the tank in position, I only just screwed the bolts up sufficiently to hold the tank in place, and did not tighten them. I hoped by this means to relieve it of some of the vibration and prevent a repetition of the trouble. However, the effect was merely to find me some work to do in another place. The tank was one of the old type, 15 ins, deep and 8 ft. long, and, with the bolts loosely secured, it worked loose, and this .broke the, joints in the connection from tank to pump. I therefore had to tighten up the suspension bolts once more, and in less than a fortnight the tank cracked again right through the new patches.
"I repaired it a second time, and on this occasion thought I would get to the root of the matter. I -therefore designed an entirely new method of suspending the tank from the chassis. I procured a piece of 3-in. by 2-in, by f-in. angle steel, and cut it into three lengths, each a little longer than the tank was wide. I obtained half-a-dozen long bolts, and an equal number of steering gear springs. With these I suspended the tank from the bodywork of the wagon as illustrated by the accompanying sketch [Which we have had redrawn.—En.]. The tank, it will be seen, rests upon pieces of wooden packing ; these, again, are tarried by the pieces of angle steel, and the latter are supported each on a pair of springs, which are carried, by the long bolts, from the frame of the steam wagon body. "it is now three years since I made this conversion, and as I have not had any trouble with the tank during that time, I think I may claim that the cure its a satisfactory one. As I see many causes of leaking tanks in my journeyings round:the country, it occurs to me that there may he some of them, at least, due to the same fault as that which was the cause of my trouble,. and that the means which I employed permanently to overcome the trouble may therefore be of some help to other drivers when placed in similar 'circumstances."
How to Manage Without an Auxiliary Starting Valve.
 " A.W." (Dewsbury) writes :—" I had a curious accident the other day, which, although not serious, nevertheless caused me considerable inconvenience. I had the misfortune to break the valve stem of the auxiliary starting valve on my steam wagon. Now this valve is fitted so that steam may be passed into either cylinder when starting, so that there is no difficulty in the event of the high pressure being on dead centre and thus refusing to start. "I was a long way from home, but realized that I should have to get there somehow or other without renewing this part. There was nowhere in the neigh
bourhood in which I was when the accident occurred where I should be likely to get a new one made. My fear was that I should have to stop and then encounter difficulty in starting again. I first of all took off the pusher, valve entirely, and made up the holes in the valve cover by using all blank flanges, a couple of spare outside links of an old chain which I hap
pened to have in in my kit. "As is shown in the sketch [Which we have had redrawn.—En.], I bolted the links in place over the holes in the steam chest, using the studs which were fitted for the auxiliary valve and making the joint with a little piece of packing. So equipped, we were all right so long as we were travelling. Our troubles began when we had to stop either in traffic or to take in water. However, by reversing, or by manipulating the reversing lever a little, and starting with the first speed in gear, changing over to top when moving, we were able to manage quite nicely. Sometimes we had te put the engine out of gear altogether and turn the flywheel in order to get a start, and in the end we arrived home and had a new valve stem made. "My mate and I have laughed over this little accident many a time, particularly at the way when, after a. stop, if I opened the regulator and the wagon did not start quickly, I instinctively put out my hand for the auxiliary valve push rod, which, unfortunately, was not there."