A Problem Which I Haven't Cured

| November/December 1969

Gas-Steam Engine

Courtesy of MM. Seibert, 209 Poplar Ave., Hummelstown, Pennsylvania 17036

M. Seibert

Edmeston, New York 13335

I am a member of the Central N.Y. Chapter of the Pioneer Gas Engine Ass'n and subscribed to GEM last spring. I had also bought a couple earlier single copies. All issues are interesting, and every one seems to contain pictures or information which is especially helpful.

On page 29 of the Sept.-Oct. '68 issue is a picture of Mr. Erb of Penn. with his 'New Way'. This interested me, as I was in the process of restoring one when the magazine came. It is the only one of these engines I have ever seen, and belongs to a fellow worker, Mr. Randall Bennett, who dug it out of a junk pile on a nephew's farm. This engine apparently is the same as Mr. Erb's. The serial number is 10266. Model 'A'. Type 'C'. II.P. 3?. Speeds, Regular 450 & Variable 300-600 R.P.M. Patents from Dec. 6-'04 to Jan. 11-'10. This engine was badly set up, in fact I got in too big a hurry to free it, and drove a 94' steel rod through the top of the piston, so I had a welding job. I made 3 new piston rings, turning them out of a hunk of cast iron, to replace 3 broken ones. This is a 5-ring piston. I also broke the exhaust valve stem in trying to loosen it, and welded that before refacing valves and seats. We used a multiple disk emery paper and fuel oil spun by an electric drill to clean most of the rust out of the cylinder. The fan needed rebushing, and we put together a pair of old sewing machine belts to make the fan belt. We run it with a 'T' coil and had it operating for the reunion at Jordan, N.Y. this fall. It gave us trouble fouling spark plugs, until I put it to work on my buzz-saw, which seemed to get it hot enough so it kept running nicely. Also, as I used it more, I suppose, the rings seated better. Mr. Erb's picture was helpful in making a new air shroud, which was almost completely rusted away.

Now, a problem which I haven't cured. I was going to write Mr. Erb, then decided to write GEM, figuring if this letter is printed, he may see it anyway, and maybe someone else can help, or maybe even get something out of this letter. The problem is, what about the crankcase breather? I can see an elbow fitting in Mr. Erb's picture which corresponds to the one on this engine, above the name plate. I figured it should be open, and have tried different sizes and lengths of pipe, with and without 'Chore-Boy' stuffing, but it always blows oil all over, and makes a messy engine. It seems to me, because of the rotation direction, the breather should be on the other side of the crank ease, or doesn't it even need one? Was there possibly a check valve on it originally? How much oil should be in the crankcase? I tried a quart, but would less be as good? How should the oiler be regulated? We wanted to repaint this engine as there was almost none left on it, but we must correct the oil problem, or there isn't much point in it. Does someone know the answer?

On top of large gas-steam engine and generator in Ford Museum. Mr. Seibert n picture.

Some of the models from Charles Brady King collection - in the Ford Museum.