Must be winter. Around here, the projects have reduced in size to the collection of small two-stroke engines which can be attended to indoors, rather than the big ones outside. The last big sale of the season is this coming weekend, so I wouldn't be surprised if that collection grows, just to keep things ticking over until the weather makes playing outside a pleasure!
On the internet, things are settling back into the normal pattern of help! and what's this? and how do I? The topic I'm passing on here is of the "how do I" variety, and concerns a problem which came to light at one of this summer's shows.

* As you know, I have a 1905 Model C 5 HP Vertical Stover. My buddy also purchased a Model C Vertical Stover this year at the LeLand Hauser auction. When the engine was running it was throwing a lot of oil out around the openings on both sides of the crankcase. He was trying to figure out why and come to find out his engine is missing two cast iron cover plates that go on both side of the crankcase. My engine has these
parts and I told him I would remove them and send to him so he can get some cast for his engine.
The plate opposite the timing gear side came off easily, but to get the other plate off I am going to have to remove the flywheel, flywheel weights, timing gear and the upper half of the main bearing. I am reluctant to remove the flywheel with the timing gear until such time as I am assured I know how to get it back in time. I have cleaned up the large timing gear some but have not yet found any timing marks. Could you guys that have the older Stovers please tell me what, if any, timing marks I should be looking for on the timing gear and crankshaft gear.


The first response was very simple and straight forward.

* Just make your own marks.

* I had thought about that, and if I cannot find the original ones I will do just that.

The next response was a lot more detailed and of great help to anyone with a timing problem.

* There are few things that can give you as much grief as an old timing mark that
wasn't put in the right place! A lot of shade tree mechanics put their own marks on things and they didn't do it right. I have taken engines apart that had several marks on each gear and none of them made sense.
I am sure that lots of the other guys here are nodding their heads as they read this, going
"Yup!"
Timing an engine like a Stover is pretty straight forward. Even if you had nice timing marks, it is best for you to check to see if the ignitor and exhaust valve really are
timed right. Just because something was assembled a certain way for the last fifty years doesn't mean that the last guy who had it apart put it back together right. Time and time again I have seen engines that ran, just barely, and had been that was for a long time. A few minutes with the wrenches made them run far nicer.
The exhaust valve should open just before BDC and not close until just past TDC. This is the only real critical adjustment to make on the engine. The ignitor trip can be moved
up or down on the pushrod a bit.
I haven't had my vertical Stover out of the shed for 15 years, and since it has the hot tube, I never ran it on the ignitor, anyway. If I recall, there were no marks on the cam gear and I just set it by trial and error.
If you want marks, make your own. Just make sure that you make them so that you can find them and you can distinguish them from any other marks that someone else might have made. On big engines where it is a pain to remove the cam gear or sideshaft to shift it one tooth when tweaking it, I put a very small series of center punch marks, in the form of a ^ on the teeth of the gears and then fill the marks in with a yellow paint pen or lumber crayon. I have our 20HP Otto apart right now to do some work on the rear cam bearing and marked it thusly; the shaft is six feet long and not easy to handle alone.

* I made timing marks to set the timing on my Listeroid Diesel, with thin slivers of electrical tape. They're long gone, but I could redo them in a few minutes.

* Before you pull the other side-plate off, check to see if the plates are not identical. On the later YB/YC engines the side-plates seem to be identical.
If they are the same on the earlier engines just use one as the pattern for both.

* Thanks for the advisory and I am going to check this out. I am almost positive there is a big difference on the two plates I have but I will check to be sure.

* I dug into my filing cabinet and did a bit of research. The vertical Stovers (Cooper, Pilter, etc.) with the two-piece cylinder/crankcase have the same covers on both sides. The earlier engines with the one-piece cylinder/crankcase have different ones on each side. Looks like you will probably have to take both off.

Stover must have decided, when re-designing the engine, that making the holes the same size was a much better idea. The differences between the early and late vertical Stovers is quite interesting.


This next mail was from the owner of the offending oil-flinging engine.

* Very easy to see the difference on my openings ... plus a ruler tells the true story. There's no doubt one side is larger then the other. Guess I better start looking for my timing marks too before the borrowed covers come.

* I am still trying to get the flywheel off so I can remove the timing gear and upper part of the main bearing and then take the cover plate off. This plate is hidden behind all of the mechanism so it is hard for me to tell whether it is the same plate or not, form what little I can see of the plate it does appear it MAY be the same but I want know until I get into to it.


As is always the case with our group, someone has to come up with a smart answer to any problem.

* Why not cast the easy side and see if that 50% reduction in oil flying around will make the engine owner happier than with 100 % of the oil flying all over????

* You don't understand the whole reason for curbing the oil splatter ... I've got a whole bunch of my engine buddies that will disown me and never let me set up next to them If I don't stop the splatter 100%. Not to mention they have sent me a cleaning bill for a heck of a lot of clothing which got covered. My buds are pretty forgiving the first time you screw up, especially since it was new toy and they helped me start her the first time after the auction, but if I don't correct it before I bring the engine to next show I will be abandoned for ever! Oh, must mention that our show queen is a bit put out too because her old fashion dress caught some of the oil too! She has forgiven me since then, we are all good friends and I did pay to have the spots professionally removed from her dress.

* Still, my 50% thing isn't a bad idea. Get the "easy plate" case, then turn the engine away from the Queen and your buds and no problem!

* Gee, I don't understand it. Overseas, Petter spots are visible evidence of a great show! Why last year at Portland (when my buddy's Petter was running) I got Petter spots all over my new show hat and clothes and EZ-up tent, and I was delighted!!!!! So delighted in fact I moved 15 spaces away from him this year and dang if someone didn't help him get that wonderful engine going again! Now another friend has one also and I am in the market for a BLACK tent next year!

I can vouch for this. Jim has a couple of Petters in his collection and I've STILL not learned to wear black clothing to camouflage the Petter spots. I made the mistake of wearing a yellow water-proof jacket to one rally and ended up (after trying everything else) using carburetor cleaner to remove them, working on the theory that the jacket was pretty much ruined anyway, and the chemicals would either kill or cure it.

The Stover timing is an on-going project, so as yet we don't know if new cover plates can be cast or if they will stop the oil splatter, but there's all winter to sort it out before female show attendees need to worry about wearing protective clothing for the next show.

stationary-engine@atis.net

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