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Steam powered Speeder Go cart on rails

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Steam powered Speeder Go cart on rails
Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Thursday, March 02, 2017 11:07 AM

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 03, 2017 6:41 PM

I gotta get me one of those...

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Posted by Miningman on Friday, March 03, 2017 8:35 PM

Yes, that's pretty spiffy....well done, chapeau to the builder.

Now where can we run this little fella legally and safely? 

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Saturday, March 04, 2017 3:13 PM

 

Just some thoughts.

Adhesion may be an issue? and complying with half range of vision rules, esp on 'Poor' Rail = grease, rain, grass.

Two cents worth. Whose name on the Accountability side if it came to Liability? Insurance, Certified with 'Cab Card'?

Sometimes LUCK is of the Most importance in the Discharge of Duty.

Steam, Scary Stuff.


Thank You.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 04, 2017 5:11 PM

All good points NDG, all very good points indeed, but...

I still gotta get me one of those!

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Saturday, March 04, 2017 5:37 PM

Firelock76

All good points NDG, all very good points indeed, but...

I still gotta get me one of those!

 

 

NOT trying to rain on anyones' parade, BUT, folks should be aware of the risks!

But, the Power of Steam is enthralling, isn't it!!

It is a lovely machine! regardless, and who cannot resist the sound of the Whistle.

Thank You.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, March 04, 2017 6:33 PM

The boiler appears to be secured to the wooden deck with 4 bolts, but, being vertical it could be unstable in case of derailment. Water is heavy, very heavy.  Of course there is a lot to criticize and there is NO way ever of running this legally or safely. 

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, March 06, 2017 10:39 AM

As a professional boiler inspector I tell people that they don't have to be afraid of steam but they better respect it! But, this thing looks like a whole lot of fun, especially if beer is involved. Yes, I recall the exploding water heater on Mythbusters and damn, that looked like a hoot! those guys are having a hell of a time, aren't they? 

I Just watched the video on a full screen- that looks to be a well made piece of machinery. I want one! 

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, March 06, 2017 12:12 PM

Somehow I don't think a 5 gallon water jug under the seat is an adequate supply.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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Posted by NorthWest on Monday, March 06, 2017 1:25 PM

It doesn't look like it goes fast enough to really cause any damage if it derailed, but proper caution is very important.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, March 06, 2017 4:43 PM

Remember the wise words of Steve Lee...

"A steam locomotive is as safe as YOU make it!"

Kind of says it all. 

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, March 06, 2017 6:05 PM

I assume that you could make beer as part of this trip in boiling the wort.

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Monday, March 06, 2017 6:48 PM

Steam power is no more hazardous than any one of about a million other items of technology, as long as it is treated with appropriate respect.  That means performing all of the required tests and inspections, operating within sane limits and in accordance with all pertinent laws and rules.

The Mythbusters water heater went airborne at 300psi, the same pressure that was standard for N&W A's and J's.  THOSE boilers were hydrostatically checked at 700psi, and a failure would have resulted in a splash, not an explosion.

At least a box of split cordwood is unlikely to erupt in a ball of fire.  The same cannot be said for some motor vehicles.  Does anyone else remember the exploding Pinto?

Chuck

RME
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Posted by RME on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 8:55 AM

Classic example of how NOT to adapt perfectly good marine architecture to land vehicles.  In a launch, the place this design was taken from, it would be fine (cf. the African Queen) but top-heavily bolted to a speeder deck, it's literally hell on wheels.

This is one of those things, like steam bicycles or English cars, that are cool until you actually have to run them.

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 9:25 AM

Hey, I've owned an English car, a 1954 Citroen Light 15, by the way and I never had ANY electrical problems with it. Of course I did rewire it totally and eliminated a lot of odd English doo-dads but it never gave me any trouble and yes, I've heard every Lucas joke!

But, I do see your point about it being top-heavy but yes, you could boil some wort and also use it smoke a fine pork roast, couldn't you? I recommend apple wood. 

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Posted by RME on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 10:09 AM

54light15
Hey, I've owned an English car, a 1954 Citroen Light 15, by the way

But that's a French-engineered car that just happens to have been built in Slough with some English content.  The full perfidious-Albion experience is best reserved for cars designed with that unique mixture of arrogance and incompetence that for so many years characterized the English automobile establishment...

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Posted by cx500 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 12:13 PM

A fun toy, but I think the wheels should be redone to track better (and more safely).  It looks to me like they are flat rather than tapered, and the flanges are mighty sharp.   There is a reason railroad wheels have the profile they do, even the old speeders.

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Posted by LensCapOn on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 1:31 PM

Looks like the old Tom Thumb.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj85DZkvbMk

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 3:59 PM

RME- it's actually a lot of English content. The French built the base of the body and was shipped to the U.K. to be assembled to the sides and roof in Slough. The seats, bumpers, gauges, upholstery, steering wheel, road wheels, paint, all electrical components and wiring and all of the chrome bits, grille, door handles and so forth. They were actually better made than the French built cars and a lot of French customers specified a Slough-built car and yes, they made them with left hand drive. My Light 15 came from a barn in Quebec where it was for 40 years and the chrome on it was almost perfect. Leather seats which French cars never had and wood trim in the interior. All of the English bits were to get around tax laws in effect at the time. I know this is a train forum but it had to be said. 

RME
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Posted by RME on Saturday, March 11, 2017 2:06 PM

I'm not saying 'little English content' nor am I saying the English content in the Light 15 was poor quality.  I'm in fact arguing that a Light 15 is NOT typical of a contemporary English-designed car, in that it's more than a bit of the best of both worlds.  I prefer the SM retrofitted with the 4.9 to the Traction Avant, but that doesn't mean I don't like TAs...

 

 

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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, March 13, 2017 4:40 PM

Ah, I see. A 4.9 SM? A little more info, please! But you know, upper end English cars of the 1930s such as the Alvis, AC, SS, Riley and almost anything bodied by all the bespoke body builders of that era (who also bodied American cars such as Buick and Stutz) all have a great appeal for me. I'm not so nuts about the cheaper cars and am not in love with the Rolls, but a fine Riley Kestrel would be a worthy addition to my garage. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, March 13, 2017 6:18 PM

How about a Bentley like Mr. Steed used to drive?

RME
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Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 10:30 PM

Firelock76
How about a Bentley like Mr. Steed used to drive?

He was just "Steed" -- John Steed, like Bond, James Bond.  The honorific, and richly deserved it was, was for "Mrs. Peel"  (Who hands-down beats Jenny and just about everyone else of the whole era for the coolest of all, in my book...)

Emma, as in Lady Hamilton, for those who missed the reference...

Which Bentley?  The 1926 Three-Litre?  The infamous 1930 Blower Bentley that so many people made model kits for?

Might be remembered that Bond drove the 4.5 litre Blower Bentley long before Steed ... and that it was Le Chiffre in a Traction Avant that wrecked it, and him, in Casino Royale (funny, I always saw that scene involving a Deesse trunk when I read it as a child)

 

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Posted by RME on Monday, March 13, 2017 11:26 PM

When I think about 'unfortunate' English cars, I'm thinking primarily about postwar English cars.  (There was a very, very good article about this in the old Automobile Quarterly magazine, the one featuring the greatest English car of all, the Hirondel.)  I have tremendous respect for the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom II, particularly the American ones made in Springfield that 'got no respect'.  I'm surprised you didn't mention the Squire, one of the best-styled cars ever made.

 

 

As you probably know, the Citroen SM was originally designed to take the 4.7/4.9L engine from the Maserati AM115, which was first reduced in displacement and then cut to 6 cylinders to fit it in a better French tax class.  (This is obvious when you look in the engine bay and see the distance between the engine and radiator, and the peculiar fan extension).  It's a logical thing to put the better engine, with a better 5-speed transmission, "back" in the SM, and this fixes most of the compromises and weirdness with the car as built.  There is little effective change in the weight distribution, and of course the characteristics of the suspension ensure there is little change in the road handling.  It most definitely runs better with the four-Weber V8; perhaps entirely too well.

I confess to being a great fan of real varnished wood and Connolly leather, which is why I liked John's Cars in Dallas so well.  It came as something of a surprise to me that the curb weight of something like an XJ6 actually considerably decreased with the substitution of something like an LT1 and its appropriate transmission for the original Heynes six, even as the mileage went up (considerably, with the GM-spec ratio in the final drive) and the usable top speed went up even more.  Fixes for all the squirrelly little compromise rubber pieces, shocks, and bushings, too. 

I assume you mean something like a Riley Nine Kestrel

not the little Sixties box...

 

Meanwhile, there is something from Australia that I think gives the Squire a run for the money:

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:11 PM

That thing looks like it has implants like the Morgan Aero 8. That Squire is awesome! I saw an Alvis that looked a lot like that at a show in England last year. I always wondered why the SM didn't just use the V8 Merak engine as it was. A friend has an interesting SM that was delivered new in Europe and later imported to Canada. It's scary looking as it has fuel injection but all that stuff works better than the 3 Webers. Instant hot starts which my other friend's carbureted version just won't do. Yet another guy has an SM with a centrifugal clutch on the auxiliary shaft. It won't turn until the engine is running. Sure saves wear on the chains and everything else. The guy who made (a guy the Brits would call a Boffin) it should have patented it but passed away before he could do that. Is John's Cars still around? I used to see his ads in Hemmings years ago. 

Last fall I rode in a friend's car in Yorkshire. I realised why postwar English cars got a bad rap in North America. For two hours, we were on two lane roads. Every fifteen minutes or so, we had to slow for a roundabout. Slow down, speed up, slow down again. Not bombing along the Interstate for 8 hours. An Austin A40 would be perfectly suitable for such roads but not what we have here. Unlike a certain car made for the Autobahn. 

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Posted by RME on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 1:27 PM

54light15
That thing looks like it has implants like the Morgan Aero 8.

But at least they figured out how to avoid making the headlights look crosseyed.  I think Morgan was working entirely from three-view drawings and as we said in architecture school, 'there was no model' as the design was frozen for production.  Clays wouldn't have caught it.

John's was certainly around in 2013, when we were discussing putting a proper overdrive automatic in a vintage late-'70s Wraith and making it a 'kit' option for other drivers who could benefit from the economies.

Their base site is johnscars.com, but a better way to get into the product line relevant to this thread is via http://www.brokenkitty.com/

When did the Merak have anything but a V6 (if I recall correctly, developed from the C.114 SM engine)?  Are you thinking of the Bora?

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 4:14 PM

Yeah, I forgot about the Bora. V8 in one, V6 in the other. But the engine architecture was basically the same, wasn't it? SMs are amazing but I'll hang on to my Tractions. A friend used to own a XJ-12, he could have benefitted from John's Cars. Every time he opened the hood it was another $2,000.00. Morgan lost me after they gave up the flat rad. But at least they're building 3-wheelers again. 

RME
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Posted by RME on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:08 PM

I have heard different stories about this in recent times, one of which is that there was a project to 'backtranslate' the SM's V6 to a V8 of about 4.1L capacity, another that the engine that lost 2 cylinders to produce the 90-degree V6 was of smaller dimensions initially, and not the 4.7 architecture. 

I think all these engines were similar mechanically in being four-cam aluminum Weber-carbureted engines originally -- the injection coming later.  I've always heard that the 4.9 is basically a stroked 4.7 but I don't remember if the deck height or chamber characteristics also changed.

Tractions are great, but I have to confess I greatly prefer the DS series -- even after witnessing one of the funniest moments in automotive repair.  I used to go fishing on the Cabonga Reservoir with my grandfather and father.  In the wake of de Gaulle's great kissup to the Quebecois, he sent a bunch of representative French technology over, which included a bunch of Deesses.  One of these had found its way, by the mid-Sixties, to the guides' camp.  Where, liberally lubricated by a substance in small flat bottles labelled 'alcool', they were tampering with some kind of problem with the pressure hydraulics.  As I was walking by, there was a tremendous BAM followed by a great river of hydraulic fluid, and the car went right down into the mud, seamlessly all the way around, so it was impossible to get a jack underneath to lift it up or get to the plumbing under the car.  Perhaps it is still there!

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 9:13 PM

If only they had the foresight to perfect the V6 as GM did with the offset crank journals to create an even 60-degree apart firing order. I wonder if someone might be working on that for SMs as I've heard is done with uneven-firing motorcycle engines.

Yet another friend grew up in Montreal; he might have heard that story. I'll tell him tomorrow when I see him. He's got two fine Ds, a 70 DS-21 and a 60 ID-19. He had  the interior done in that one last year in the original, hard to find fabric and it looks amazing! My one Traction I restored in the mid 80s and original fabric wasn't available so it's done in 1930s Ford fabrics from Lebaron-Bonney. Still looks good, but the 49 TA I got last year will be totally original as its fabrics are now produced in France. 

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