Minutes of the 53rd Meeting
of SACA-Northeast

by D. K. Nergaard, Secretary

The meeting convened in the garage of Treasurer Standbridge in Milford, N. H. on Saturday, the 14th. of October, sixteen members being present. The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted. Richard Fraser was unanimously elected to membership. The treasurer reported an adequate balance. Having the December meeting in Ken's Cafe in Littleton, Mass. was approved. Members reported that no less than four Stanleys were for sale at that time.

Secretary Nergaard described his solution to leaking water pump check valves; new poppet valves with an O-ring in the poppet that would seal against the worn valve seats. He also described an emergency cylinder relief valve he is using; Welch plugs inserted in the cylinder heads intended to blow out if the cylinder pressure exceeds about 700 psi. The trouble he had been having with them a year ago was the result of making them too small, an error of 0.004 inches.

Editor Evans described the steel blanks from which he was machining Stanley spring clips. They were cut from steel plate using a water jet cutter at a cost of $22 each, delivery be less than a week from placing the order.

Richard Dickey displayed a mechanical horn of the brand used by Stanley; The "Long" horn made by G. Piel and Co. of Long Island City, N. Y. The model 3 or "Junior" was used on the ten-horse power cars, a larger "Senior" model on the twenties. He suggested members keep their eyes open for "Long" horns at flea markets for the benefit of restorers wanting to be truly correct.

Arthur Funai talked about progress on his Grout. He is still waiting for the new boiler and upholstery, but the car had reached the point of being tested using compressed air on the engine. He drove it to the end of his driveway, as far as the hose would reach. On reversing to back, he found the air pressure had dropped too much to move the car. He got out to assist by pushing. Big mistake! The compressor was running, pressure was rising and without the weight of the owner, the car took off, running over his foot! He regained his seat with some difficulty.

Bowden Kirkpatrick asked about some design issues in Stanley boilers; spacing of the fire tubes and thickness of tube sheets. The resulting discussion revealed these boilers had been made with a wide range of tube spacings, anywhere from 600 to nearly 900 tubes in a 23- inch boiler.

Original boilers had rather thin tube sheets. But it was suggested that new ones use 3/8 inch thick ones, as it would avoid the need for the special, fine pitch, pipe fittings that Stanley used.

Craig Standbridge displayed the Knowles twelve cylinder balanced dual swash plate engine he owned. It was designed to produce about 130-horse

power with a maximum torque of 900 pound feet. While he has run it using both steam and air, he has no way of seriously testing it as yet.

Arthur Eldredge talked of a trip to the Yankee Steam Up in Dave Nergaard's Stanley, which ran flawlessly for the 150 mile round trip in cool but otherwise perfect weather. Bob Merriam, founder of the New England Steam and Wireless Museum, where the event is held annually, retains his full enthusiasm in spite of his increasing age.

Jerry Hackett spoke of two recent experiences with his 20 hp. Stanley 'bus. On a trip home from a meet, desiring to get home before dark, as his lights don't work, he ran with a wide-open throttle for some twenty minutes. During this time, the steam pressure held at about 450 psi. and his wife, following in a modern car, said he was going between 60 and 65 mph. He is using a Baker burner, with gasoline at a high pressure.

At the steam up, things started badly. He forgot his keys and had to break into the trailer to get the 'bus out. Then things got worse. He had a major fire, which three extinguishers suppressed but failed to put out. The fire was hot enough to cause the steam line to the top of the water level gauge to fail, and the resulting blast of steam extinguished the blaze. It is thought that the fuel line from the rather large pressure bottle failed, releasing nearly a gallon of gasoline at 160 psi.

This description led to a discussion of safety checks, valves intended to shut off fuel flow in the event of line failure, a standard fitting on White steamers and modern butane tanks. Mr. Nergaard mentioned he had one on his pilot tank. It is sensitive enough to shut if he opens the firing up valve too quickly!

At this point, the meet adjourned to luncheon provided by the host of the session. Two steam cars were driven to the meet; the Stanleys of Richard Wells and David Nergaard. They each traveled about thirty miles to Milford, both passing through Groton and Pepperell but on different roads.

Also read the Report of our Reporter at Large.

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Last update: 20 December, 2006.
Web Master: D. K. Nergaard