A blog about my the history, acquisition and operation of my 1911 Model 62 Stanley Steamer.

eBay find


Great eBay find of a 0-50 PSI Stanley pilot fuel pressure gauge in very good shape. This is piece I've been looking for for many years and it proves, although unlikely, these things do turn up on eBay every now and again. 


Happy hunting!  

Pilot Issues Revisited

If you have followed this blog for a while you would have seen numerous posts about pilot issues. The ongoing problem was that my pilot would be not stay lit when going down long hills or if the car was sitting at a stop for an extended period of time, like 2 minutes plus. I have changed the fuel from naphtha or Coleman fuel to hexane, I replaced the pilot vaporizer with a longer unit, and I even changed the fuel line size. These were all significant improvements and it would burn more consistently as well as being easier to light but it didn’t solve my core issues. Then I installed a stack blower.

 The main purpose of a stack blower is to create a positive draft in the smoke bonnet to keep the fire from being smothered out. It is also useful in putting out tube fires as well as fires in your exhaust flue although the latter is a rare situation that you hope to never have happen. The stack blower requires an addition of a live steam line being plumbed into the vertical portion of the stack facing down towards the exhaust flue. It is controlled by a dash valve and can be used when required.

 During the last 500 miles of touring I began using the stack blower when going down long hills and for extended stops to provide a draft and, like magic, my pilot would stay lit. This really changed the experience of driving my car. It made for much more relaxed driving without the fear of consistently pulling over to relight the pilot.

 Now the stack blower is fantastic and has solved my issue but it is an issue I shouldn’t be having. I have toured with many Stanley’s and none have to use the stack as often as I do. So what is the real issue? It turns out that it is an incorrectly placed hole in the front of the exhaust flue under the vehicle. The purpose of this hole is to provide air flow through the exhaust flue and thus providing a draft in the smoke bonnet and keeping the pilot from being smothered out. There is a tiny hole, but it is blocked by the burner pan, mainly used for connecting the two lines from the feed water heater.

Add to the winter list: Remove exhaust flue and add 2” ventilation hole.

Happy Steaming!

Cleaning the Pilot Vaporizer

 I have been mulling over how I should clean the pilot vaporizer and I came up with the idea of using a Bore Snake Rifle Cleaner. You can get Bore Snakes for many different calibers. I opted to go with a .177 Airgun Bore Snake because of my small diameter pilot vaporizer.

 I had to cut the brass weight off the end of the Bore Snake because it wouldn't pass through the bend in the vaporizer.  Then I threaded a piece of the stainless wire into the material so I could feed it through the bend without much difficulty. Once the smaller diameter portion of the Bore Snake has come through you can use it to pull the larger section which fits snugly against the id of the pilot vaporizer and removes the carbon built up on the surface. I pulled it through multiple times to much sure I got it as clean as possible. I won't be sure if it is solved completely until I've got some hours on it but I'll keep you posted.

 A small side job of repacking the pilot needle reared its head once I had everything apart. The packing had become hard as glass and needed to be pried out with a small screwdriver. It was due for a repacking to seal it back up.