Hot Tube Ignition Follow-Up

By Staff
article image

115 C Audino Lane, Rochester, New York 14624

I am writing this as a follow-up to my article concerning hot
tube ignition that appeared in the October 1989 GEM. I would like
to thank everyone who wrote or called me concerning this

I received a very good letter from Mr. Henry Boutillette of
Sussex, New Jersey, and I would like to share some very interesting
comments and observations of his. He had a similar setup, as I
described, for his 5 HP Bovaird and Seyfang engine, but when the
engine drew in a charge, it would starve the hot tube torch,
causing it to go out (a problem which I experienced, and never
really fixed!). His first setup did not have an accumulator (or
‘expansion chamber’, as I mistakenly called it). His final
solution was to ‘chuck the accumulator’, install a modified
tee at the propane tank, and fit two pressure regulators, one to
each remaining end of the tee. This supplies both the engine mixer
and the hot tube burner from separate supplies that don’t
interfere with each other. I haven’t tried this setup, but
I’m sure that it fixes many problems with my setup.

Mr. Boutillette goes on to describe some other particulars of
his setup. He used a #60 drill for his burner gas orifice, a ?’
x 3′ hot tube, and the center of his burner is 1? from the top
of the cylinder head. His burner has two slots for air holes, and
the gas orifice is 1/8‘ beyond the engine
edge of the slot.

Again, I would like to thank Mr. Boutillette for his input.

My present project involves a hot tube engine, only this engine
has a gasoline carb and burner. The engine was made by J.H.
Mallinson of Utica, New York. I was told by the person I got it
from (Pete Guydesen, of Lyons Falls, New York) that he got it from
a man whose grandfather bought it. It was used on the farm until
electricity came in 1906! After that it was used on an ice saw, the
remains of which are still with it. The patent date on the brass
Lunkenheimer carb is December 31, 1889. Hike to say it was made in
1895. It used to have a tag, but that disappeared. The only ID is
the words, ‘J.H. Mallinson Utica, New York’, cast into the
crankcase access cover. If anyone has a similar engine, or knows
anything about it, please contact me. 

Anyway, when I got the engine, it had a knocking wrist pin, a
loose timing gear, a large crack in the cylinder water jacket (cast
integral with the crankcase), and was converted to spark ignition.
It also had the original muffler, the original hot tube and
chimney, and (amazingly enough) the original cast brass hot tube
burner. The burner operates on the same principle as an old
plumber’s blowtorch. The needle valve of the burner is the only
thing on it that is not original.

I believe the original setup had a suspended tank for the hot
tube burner supply, but we (my friend Grunch and I) are using a
pressurized tank from a plumber’s blowtorch. The first problem
we encountered was a strange pulsing of the fuel. I suspect that as
the gas flowed into the burner, it vaporized very fast, causing a
back surge. This caused the flame to pulse in a very annoying
manner. An in-line check valve near the burner seemed to help. Then
we installed the burner in the chimney of the engine. Now the
problem is that after the gas in the starting pan has burned off,
and the flame is nice and hot, the whole burner assembly cools down
to the point where the gas no longer vaporizes. We have yet to
solve this problem successfully. For some reason, the heat from the
chimney is not enough to keep the burner assembly hot enough to
vaporize the gasoline.

I would once again welcome any comments on the solution of this
dilemma, and I will write another letter describing the outcome. I
would also appreciate any words of wisdom on fixing a cracked water
jacket. It is actually 2 cracks, running from the top of the
cylinder to the bottom, and a very large, wedge-shaped piece is
almost broken out of it (it is still connected at the bottom of the
cylinder). Someone repaired one crack with a large, bolted-on piece
of steel. The other crack was filled with Bondo (very difficult to
remove). There is a sheet metal shroud around the cylinder from the
top to below the cylinder proper, where there is a ring of holes
for a crankcase breather. Once again, thanks for your comments.

Sincerely, Woody Sins.

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