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aostling
09-25-2012, 10:45 PM
I'm reading a book I ordered from the UK, Sailing to Freedom, by Voldemar Veedam. Published in 1954 at a price of 4'6, it describes a sea voyage by nine adults and eight children in a sloop, from Sweden to New York in 1945. Estonians living in Stockholm as refugees, they were unwilling to obey a deportation order to return to Estonia and Soviet control.

They scraped up all the cash they could and bought the Erma, a 37-foot double-ender with a 13-foot beam. It had been built in about 1880, planked with white oak. The refugees fitted Erma with bunks, a WC, and a 6 HP engine which they bought for 1000 kroner. They figured they would need the engine for motoring in harbour or calms. The author described the engine as a "semi-diesel." Starting it required heating the cylinder head with a blow-lamp for about fifteen minutes, after which it would run smoothly after giving the flywheel a spin.

This type of engine is described in this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_bulb_engine

Anybody seen one of these in operation?

The Artful Bodger
09-25-2012, 11:03 PM
Allan, they were once very popular in this part of the world in various tractors, Lanz (Germany), Imperial(Australia) and Field Marshal(UK). These tractors were in the larger sizes for farm tractors up to about 10 litres, all single cylinder.

The later models were electric start but earlier ones used the blow lamp for preheating the hot bulb and others used a cartridge or a wad of smouldering cloth to get started.

I used to drive a Lanz Bulldog for a neighbour during my school holidays etc. It was quite a performance to start. There was no starting handle instead the steering wheel was unclipped and attached to the big side flywheel. The hot bulb of the engine was heated with a blow lamp then the wheel turned one way as far as possible against the compression then 'bounced' back the other way until the engine fired, or the driver collapsed in an exhausted heap on the ground.

There was a high likelihood of the engine running in reverse (there were 2 stroke) but a bit of careful work with the clutch and brake could usually induce it to run the right way (often an engine running backwards would spontaneously backfire and run forwards).

One day when I was starting the Lanz it fired much earlier than I expected and I found myself sitting on the wheat stubble while the tractor bounced up and down on its low pressure tires. As I watched the spinning steering wheel came unlatched from the flywheel, bounced across the ground and gave me a smack on the head and I still have the scar to show over 50 years later!


A 10 litre two stroke tractor is not a machine to be trifled with. No creature comforts except a crude metal seat (some had a bench), cold, noisy, vibrated ones teeth out but they could pull stuff (and thats what tractors are supposed to do).

aostling
09-25-2012, 11:15 PM
These tractors were in the larger sizes for farm tractors up to about 10 litres, all single cylinder.

Ye gods, John, the torque must have been enough to twist a hundred knickers!

Your tale is one for the ages.

The Artful Bodger
09-25-2012, 11:24 PM
Six furrow ploughs (albeit this is fairly light soil around here). They were quite slow in working gears and one of my friends whose family were the local importers from Lanz tells of how he and his brother used to operate three or even four Bulldogs ploughing. They would set the tractors off with one front wheel in a furrow then jump off and set another tractor going, the other brother would mount the tractors as they arrived at his end and turn them around.

Someone can look up the specs and prove me wrong if they like but if I recall correctly they had about 60 drawbar horsepower and engine RPMs about 550. They were also cheap to run as the fuel used was heavy diesel although being such 'simple' engines they were also quite happy on mixes of kerosine, turpentine etc etc.

Black Forest
09-26-2012, 02:31 AM
I have a cement mixer that came with a single cylinder diesel motor. To start it you put a small patron in a hole in the cylinder wall that has a screw on plug. Then you go and kill yourself on the hand crank. It would kick back and nearly rip my arm out of the socket. After the novelty of starting this thing I took the diesel motor out and made it run off my tractor PTO shaft. This cement mixer has a built in winch to lift buckets of concrete up to higher floors. This was back in the days of using a shovel to to put in a shovel full of cement, x number of shovel fulls of sand and a bucket of water. I was told the biggest guy on the crew would start the mixer in the morning and it would run all day without stopping. I still have the diesel motor sitting on a pallet. I think it is a 4hp motor. This motor if it was cold I had to take a hot air gun or propane torch to heat the cylinder up from the outside before it would start.

The Artful Bodger
09-26-2012, 03:32 AM
To start it you put a small patron in a hole

Whats a 'patron'?

Stuart Br
09-26-2012, 03:59 AM
One of the most prolific makers of Hot Bulb semi-diesels was Bolinder of Sweden. A good number of these were used in Narrow boats on the British Canal network. A friend of mine restored a boat with a Bolinder. it was a beast, 7.5 litres single cylinder semi diesel.
An example of starting one of these can seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9_GNIlzeSo Not particularly exciting until the towards the end as a lot the time is the blowlamp warming up the bulb. The engine had a number of interesting features. It was direct reversing and had two piston fuel pumps. the reversing pump gave the engine a squirt of diesel before it reached TDC, to stop it dead and send it back the other way. The injector was also a novel design, the spray angle could be varied, at low power and for starting a wide cone spray was used to keep the bulb hot. At high power the injector set a fine jet down into the main cylinder. It also had a hit and miss governor which gave it it very characteristic engine note
Starting was "interesting" with a spring loaded plunger in the very substantial flywheel, used to kick the engine over. this required real technique. We did hear stories of those getting it wrong being ejected through the engine room doors at best and broken leg at worst.
Larger engines could use compressed air start, but to my knowledge these were rarely fitted on the smaller engines.

Timleech
09-26-2012, 04:14 AM
One of the most prolific makers of Hot Bulb semi-diesels was Bolinder of Sweden. A good number of these were used in Narrow boats on the British Canal network. A friend of mine restored a boat with a Bolinder. it was a beast, 7.5 litres single cylinder semi diesel.
An example of starting one of these can seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9_GNIlzeSo Not particularly exciting until the towards the end as a lot the time is the blowlamp warming up the bulb. The engine had a number of interesting features. It was direct reversing and had two piston fuel pumps. the reversing pump gave the engine a squirt of diesel before it reached TDC, to stop it dead and send it back the other way. The injector was also a novel design, the spray angle could be varied, at low power and for starting a wide cone spray was used to keep the bulb hot. At high power the injector set a fine jet down into the main cylinder. It also had a hit and miss governor which gave it it very characteristic engine note
Starting was "interesting" with a spring loaded plunger in the very substantial flywheel, used to kick the engine over. this required real technique. We did hear stories of those getting it wrong being ejected through the engine room doors at best and broken leg at worst.
Larger engines could use compressed air start, but to my knowledge these were rarely fitted on the smaller engines.

There are quite a few Bolinders, of 9hp, 15 and 20 hp still running in 'historic' Narrow Boats on the English canals. There's some fuzzy video of the reversing mechanism here:-

http://youtu.be/VZHbnUyjD4c

I have a little 12 hp (Norwegian) Sabb semi-diesel which was built in the 1960s, would like to find a little boat to put it in but have other priorities at present. That one is like a lot of the Scandinavian semi-diesels in that it was built for use with a reversing propeller rather than have a reversing gearbox or reverse the engine. Reversing props are not very good on small canals, though - too vulnerable to damage.

Here's a much bigger, British made, semi-diesel:-

http://youtu.be/SSAMGkvULvg


Tim

Stuart Br
09-26-2012, 04:39 AM
Tim, that brings back memories, it was back in the Mid 1980's that I spent several weekends and a couple of weeks on a Bolinder engined boat.
With regard to the reversing video, the pump assembly had two pistons, the horizontal one was the normal running pump and the vertical one was the reverse pump. The close up of the pump towards the end of the video also clearly shows the governor mechanism. There was a striker (for want of a better word) that pushed on the end of the pump piston rod. When the governor was acting to slow the engine down a table would lift the striker up so that it didn't push on the pump piston. The effect of this was not to inject any fuel on that cycle.

J Tiers
09-26-2012, 09:23 AM
Whats a 'patron'?

I've seen a few "patrons" I'd LIKE to have rolled up and lit.........

But I think what is meant is a piece of treated paper that was rolled up, stuffed into a sort pf pipe cap, lit, and screwed into the engine to act as a glow plug for starting. There were Italian diesels that worked that way.

sasquatch
09-26-2012, 09:36 AM
Not Hot Bulb, but "Fairbanks-Morse" had an engine, that you turned the flywheel up to almost compression, then dropped the head of a wooden kitchen match into a little hole, then when you yanked the flywheel into compression, it crushed the match head igniting the charge, and away she went.
(Had to be sure your'e matches were dry!) Lol

terry_g
09-26-2012, 11:18 AM
This is an old Gardner hot bulb engine.
It washed up on the beach many years ago.
The flywheel is about 2 feet in diameter.
The hot bulb heads were probably taken for another engine.
I bet they required frequent replacement.


http://www3.telus.net/public/tglover/QCI/22.JPG

Stuart Br
09-26-2012, 11:50 AM
And of course there was the Field Marshall Tractor, don't think it was a hot bulb engine though. That was started with a smouldering paper and a blank shotgun cartridge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEurohAwrmA

The Artful Bodger
09-26-2012, 04:58 PM
Although Field Marshal tractors had a system of starting using a shotgun cartridge they could be hand started too. They had a decompressor to make hand cranking possible with a threaded gizmo which released the decompressor after about 5 revolutions, as is the nature of such things, this was not perfect and prone to getting clogged with dirt which would allow the engine to start sooner than expected or backfire sending the driver "A over T".

Paul Alciatore
09-27-2012, 01:45 AM
How on earth does that "wash up on the beach"? It must have been some storm.




This is an old Gardner hot bulb engine.
It washed up on the beach many years ago.
The flywheel is about 2 feet in diameter.
The hot bulb heads were probably taken for another engine.
I bet they required frequent replacement.


http://www3.telus.net/public/tglover/QCI/22.JPG

The Artful Bodger
09-27-2012, 03:19 AM
Perhaps there was a wooden boat attached to it when it 'washed up'?

Frank46
09-27-2012, 03:36 AM
Kind of reminds me of the engine room scene where you see the soldier down in the hold with what appeared to be a blowtorch trying to get the engine started.

oldtiffie
09-27-2012, 04:22 AM
Kind of reminds me of the engine room scene where you see the soldier down in the hold with what appeared to be a blowtorch trying to get the engine started.

My guess is that the sailor was holding a lighted bit of "old rag" in the atomised (crude/"bunker"/furness-fuel-oil - aka FFO) oil) fuel from the fuel "sprayer" into the fire-box on a water- or fire-tubed boiler - probably super-heated..

They were slow to start as the boiler/s and the main engine (multiple expansion or turbine) and steam-powered "auxiliaried" had to be gradually "warmed through" before a load could put on the propulsion system.

The reverse generally applied to a propulsion system shut down. "Diesolene" replaced bunker/ffo later on before gas turbines took over.

oldtiffie
09-27-2012, 04:24 AM
Perhaps there was a wooden boat attached to it when it 'washed up'?

Almost certainly as the wooden frame that engine and gear-box were mounted on and the frame "bedded" into the boat frame. I'd bet that the casing on the rear of the engine is a marine reversible gear-box.

Timleech
09-27-2012, 04:57 AM
Almost certainly as the wooden frame that engine and gear-box were mounted on and the frame "bedded" into the boat frame. I'd bet that the casing on the rear of the engine is a marine reversible gear-box.

It's a "Gardner No3 Conic Drive gearbox", a simple box with cone clutches and 'chain reverse'. The power is transferred by gears to the upper shaft, then back down to crankshaft level by chain. The output shaft moves fore & aft to swap the drive between the two cone clutches.

Tim