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

I'm back at it!

Well it’s been the better part of a year since I’ve been working on the Stanley. My focus was pulled to the other major project in the garage which is a Mercer 22-70 Sporting Four. I needed to get it back on the road and then prep it for 2,600 mile journey around the pacific northwest. All that is now completed and having been successful I can shift my energy back to Stanley.

Here is a look ahead at upcoming projects:

  • Epoxy & Paint New Rear Wheels

  • Finish Polishing and Cleaning New Pilot Fuel Tank

  • Mount & Plumb New Pilot Tank

  • Mount & Plumb Steam Whistle

As things come to together I’m sure there will be more items to add.

Happy Steaming!

New Rear Wheels

I tour my car and inevitable that comes at a cost. During my September touring down in Spokane Washington I ending up on a long downhill gravel road that was basically solid washboard. Due to the design of the suspension on a Stanley and my cars light weight it started hammering the axles up and down until I was able to bring the car to a complete stop. When I got the car back to the hotel I noticed that it did some damage...

 As you can see above two of the spokes on the passenger side rear wheel cracked along the grain next to the hub. The wheel was still structurally sound, but it is now only a matter of time before the wheel completely fails. So, this winter we will be re-wooding the rear wheels to beready for next years touring season.

Happy Steaming!


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!