I grew up as sports cars were just being introduced to the U.S. There was a BMC (British Motor Cars) dealer in each town of any size selling the MG, Sprite, Austin-Healy, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Rover,or Moris Minor etc. You could order a Morgan. With a last name of Clarke you can see that I have a leaning to British iron.
While watching the YouTube: "
Visiting Scholar Charles Falco on: "The Art and Science of the Motorcycle" I discovered why sports cars were developed in Europe while American cars are more like boats.
The U.S. has many roads that go in a straight line for hundreds of miles, but in Europe there are no straight roads. If you drive in Europe you need something that is good at making turns, not so much in the U.S.
When in high school I rode a 3-speed bicycle. It used what today is called an Internal Gear Hub.
Later I got a 165cc Harley-Davidson Hummer motorcycle (Wiki). Maybe a Super 10?
The dealer was near my uncle's house in Salinas, CA. The dealer, Larry Ketzel, was riding a dirt bike in the Nevada desert and was contaminated by an atomic bomb test, according to my uncle. Around 1960 I crashed it dislocating my right shoulder and probably damaging my lower back.
Also had a BSA 500cc Gold Star single cylinder dirt motorcycle (Wiki).
Aug 29, 2011 Motorcycle Show in Ukiah, CA H-D XR750 photos. June 17, 2012 Car Show in Santa Rosa, CA
In Taiwan there are probably more motor scooters than people.
See: Motorized Bicycles, Tilting Three Wheelers, 3 Wheel Recumbent Electric Bikes, Bicycle Science, Addmotor M-360 Fat Tire eTrike
I had a '64 Mk II Sprite (Wiki) that I used for my daily commute and had made major racing type modifications so that I could autocross on weekends. (Won some trophies) A measure of the handling was that you could drive through a freeway on/off ramp at double the posted speed without drifting. The parts came from the San Francisco BMC dealer (Joe Huffaker Sr.) who was racing a number of BMC (Wiki) cars as well as building the Genie (RSC) two seat sports racing car similar to the Lotus two seat sports car.
The engine was brought up to Formula Ford specifications, Mag wheels with some offset to increase the track (which required cutting a lot of notches inside the wheel well lip and bending each tab up adding maybe 1/2" clearance between the tire and body sheet metal. Larger tires were fitted to the Mag wheels.
A flange in front of the muffler allowed removing it and adding a straight pipe for a little more power and more sound.
The anti-Sway bar from a Simca (Wiki) was added to the front to stiffen it up for better cornering.
I had a 1962 Mk II Sprite with the 948 cc engine and when my brother blew the engine (or transmission, don't remember the details) I sold my '64 to a friend and bought my brothers and rebuilt it. Later traded the '64 for the 427 Cobra.
Also had a Mk 1 "Bug Eye" sprite which my brother painted orange, but it needed a new engine which I never got around to installing.
All the Sprites had "Ouija board" (Wiki) steering. By that I mean that you pretty much just thought about where you want the car to go and magically that's where it goes. The steering was very fast and light without any power assist because the car was light. I would rank the 1964 Sprite, after the modifications, as the most fun car I've driven.
The Sprite Car Club of Australia Inc. -
British Sprite Site -
In the process of writing the computer program for analyzing the performance of the 427 Cobra I learned how tires work. It's really simple, but not easy to find. There is a "contact patch" on the ground where the tire flattens. For example if you put carbon paper under the tire and lowered it onto the ground then lifted the tire up, you could measure the contact patch area. If the tire pressure is multiplied by the patch area you get the weight on that tire. Note that when air filled tires came out they were called balloon tires, not because of size, but rather because the sidewall has no weight carrying function. It works in the same way a balloon would where the pressure in the tire holds the weight, not anything about it's construction. The Wiki bicycle tire web page does not get this. They also don't understand that inflation pressure times contact patch equals the weight on that tire. So a skinny tire will need higher inflation pressure for a given weight. This is why European derailer bikes with skinny tires require more inflation pressure than older American 3-speed bikes with fat tires. Vehicles that are going to drive in mud, snow, sand &Etc. must have low ground loading (= Tire pressure) so use "fat" tires or tracks.
You can see that the tire must be sized such that at the inflation pressure there is enough contact patch to support the weight. That's why tires that need to carry heavy loads are big. In the case of trailer tires that need to be small, they have high inflation pressures to make up for their small size.
In the case of AA fuel dragsters and funny cars the tires start out "under inflated" so the rolling radius is shorter than it would be if the tire was inflated more. As the car (and the tire) picks up speed the tire expands increasing its rolling radius and therefore acting as a variable transmission. On these very fast cars the effect is quite pronounced.
There are two fundamentally different tread designs. Tires for motorcycles and bicycles that lean in turns must have a tread that wraps around so that in a turn there's tread on the ground. Early cars, for example those that used a parallel wishbone suspension, also leaned in turns and so had tires similar to a motorcycle. But more modern cars (427 Cobra) have suspensions where the outside tire stays pretty square to the road and so can make use of wide flat top treads.
The rolling resistance (Wiki) of a tire is a measure of how easy it is to push it. It turns out that the larger in diameter a tire is the lower it's rolling resistance. You can get a feel for that by seeing that when a small caster hits a piece of gravel it will stop, but when a large diameter bicycle tire hits the same piece of gravel it easily goes over it. This is because of the mechanical advantage the the longer lever arm has. Where, by lever arm, I mean the triangle formed by the center of the contact patch, the length along the ground to between that center and the gravel and the height of the gravel.
Coefficient of Friction of a tire (Wiki) relates to how well a tire grips the road. Up into the late 1960s it was thought that the limit was 1.0, that's to say that a tire could only have a braking, cornering or acceleration that was limited to the weight on the tire. Note that crawler tractors can have a drawbar pull (Wiki) that is far in excess of the tractor weight because there are cleats on the tracks that dig into the ground. The exceptions are things like AA Fuel dragsters (Wiki) which use very soft rubber tires that "cog" into the pavement and then shear off the rubber. The thing that allows the short 1/4 times is the Coefficient of Friction (>>1) that in turn allows acceleration higher than 1 G. A street car that was an exception was the 2008 Corvette where each tire was different. It could corner slightly above 1 G.
One way to check tire inflation on a race car is to measure the temperature of the tread (Wiki) at the outside, center and inside of the tire. These should be about the same. If the center temperature is significantly higher than the inside and outside then the tire is over inflated.
But for most cars the limit is the weight on the wheel (1 G). Tractor Pulling contests (Wiki) measure the drawbar pulling capacity of various vehicles with tires (not tracks).The Contact Patch (Wiki) area times the inflation pressure is nominally the load on that wheel. But not exactly. See: Truck Tire Types and Road Contact Pressures, by Pedro Yap, June 1989 for subtle variations and why they occur.
Tire Load Sensitivity2019 July 11, While watching this YouTube: Mike on Bikes: Motorcycle Traction EXPLAINED - says because of Tire Load Sensitivity (Wiki) - tires with lighter loading have more traction. I have the book "Formula 1 Technology" by the SAE on order. Comments to the YouTube:
Why Do Wider Tires Have More Grip? Tire Load Sensitivity - mentioned the book "Tune to Win" which also is on order. The presenter does not understand balloon tire physics.. If the load increases the contact patch area must increase!
A possible explanation for this contradiction is that a contour plot of the pressure across the contact patch shows some variation, i.e. the product of area and pressure needs to be integrated over the patch area. This might happen if the tread part of the tire was stiff while the sidewalls were very flexible. An image might be a stiff cylinder (the tread) supported by an internal toroidal balloon.
If this is the explanation then Tire Load Sensitivity may depend on the construction of a specific tire and is not a universal property of all tires.
My gut feel about Tire Load Sensitivity" is that there are special conditions that need to be understood. That's to say I doubt it applies to all tires under all conditions. For example the plot on the Wiki page for Tire Load Sensitivity came fromParadigm Shift Racing who's business is teaching drivers. It's not clear where they got the curve or under what conditions it applies. I have their book "The Perfect Corner: A Driver's Step-By-Step Guide to Finding Their Own Optimal Line Through the Physics of Racing" on order.
In the Master of Science thesis paper: "Estimation of vertical load on a tire from contact patch length and its use in vehicle stability control". The contact patch length is measured to infer the contact patch area, hence the dynamic load on the tire.
Tune to Win by Carroll Smith, 1978 - no index, no references. I have the feeling that the book relates actual racing experience. Says that as the load increases the patch size does not increase. This book assumes modern wide racing tires with suspension that keeps them very close to square to the ground, not older motorcycle type tires on cars with a lot of body lean and parallel link suspensions.Anti Dive and Anti Squat: pg 34. Toe-In and Bump Steep: pg 62
Formula 1 Technology, Peter Wright (SAE), 2001, ISBN: 0-7680-0234-6 - Chapter 7 Tires: Tire Load Sensitivity (pg 108). "The other characteristic of interest to the chassis engineer is the sensitivity of the tires to vertical load However, in practice the peak load increases from very low loads and then falls again as ta ratio of vertical load. There is a limit to the loads that the tire will carry. This characteristic is used be the chassis engineer to tune the cornering capability of each end of the car, by using the anti-roll bar to load up the outside tire on that axle and relieve the load on the outside tire of the other axle."
When buying tires for the 427 Cobra where the top speed was around 155 MPH, the speed rating needed to be equal or greater than that number. See Goodyear speed ratings where W, Y or Z rated tires are needed.
Schrader valve (Wiki)
Trivia question: What part of a bicycle/car has not changed since the late 1800s? answer: the Schrader Valve (Wiki).
The first patent by G. H. F. Schrader (473673 Apr 26, 1892) was for a valve that depended on the pressure differential between the inflation side and the tire side, but this did not work well (see below) . The next patent added a spring to keep the valve closed and depends on the inflation hose to have a prong to open the valve.
483172 Valve for Pneumatic Tires, George H. F. Schrader, son of August Schrader (Wiki), Sep 27, 1892, 137/233; 137/550; 152/429 - uses spring. This also allows a tire to be deflated by using the special cap in an inverted position.
Balloon Tire Gauge
2049532 Pressure Gauge, Selden T Williams, A Schrader's Son Inc, Aug 4, 1936 73/709, 73/744 - there were many prior tire pressure gauges by Schrader, maybe the most popular. Has shirt pocket clip and deflating tip, angled head for easy use.
Fig 1 Patent Dates:
Nov. 25, 1919 (1322884)
Apr. 10, 1923 (1451307)
Other Pat. Pend.
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.
Balloon Tire Gauge
A. Schrader's Son, Inc.
Brooklyn, N.Y. U.S.A.
Patd. Nov. 25, 1919
Fig 10 Schrader
Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.
SERVICE TIRE GAUGE
A. Schrader's Son, Inc.
Brooklyn N.Y. U.S.A.
Pat. Nov. 25, 1919 (1322884) Apr. 10, 1923 (1451307) Other Pat. Pend.
2049532 Pressure Gauge
1322884 Pressure-Gauge, Erich Edelmann, Schrader,s Son Inc, Filed: Oct 25, 1911 Pub: Nov 25, 1919, 73/709, 73/744 -
1451307 Pressure gauge, Charles Schweinert Maximilian, Kraft Henry P, Schraders Son Inc, Filed: Mar 28, 1910 (13 year delay) Pub: Apr 10, 1923, 73/709, 73/744 -
2049532 Pressure Gauge, S.T. Williams, Schraders Son Inc, Aug 4, 1936, 73/709, 73/744 - looks like this one
Bridgeport Brass Co. also has a number of patents on machinery to make valve stems so they must have made a very large number of them: 1794143, 1878575, 1880405, 1948466, 2346413, 2359339, 2365208, 2415552, 2438692,
838219 Nipple connection and valve-opener, William S Stapley, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1906-12-11, 137/231 - free nut screws on spring loaded plunger depresses stem.847617 Mode of attaching pump-tubes to bases, William S Stapley, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1907-03-19, 403/282; 220/628; 403/361; 220/615; 403/360; 403/375 -
855026 Tire-pump, William S Stapley, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1907-05-28, 417/260; 417/262; 417/486 - dual folding wire bail foot hold downs, top mounted outlet with pressure gauge, double acting, side rod, coaxial dual cylinders
866080 Cartridge-clip, William S Stapley, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1907-09-17, - probably for the M1903 Springfield rifle (Wiki) to hold .30-06 cartridges (Wiki Thirty ought six)
882215 Tire-pump, William S Stapley, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1908-03-17, 417/254; 417/486; 417/487 - fixed base, bottom outlet, double acting, side rod
947513 Tire-pump, William S Stapley, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1910-01-25, 92/146; 285/215; 417/268 -double acting (twin tubes), top outlet, threaded collor holds tubes to base,
959894 Tire-pump, William S Stapley, COE-Stapley Mfg Co, 1910-05-31, 417/254; 417/486 - double acting (twin cylinder)
1047409 Pneumatic-tire pump-coupling, Reginald F Hersey, 1912-12-17, 285/356; 285/179; 285/358 - screws on then lever depresses valve stem
1191510 Tire-pump, George I Hipple, 1916-07-18, 92/58.1; 92/118 - foot operated parallelogram-piston
1340785 Tire-pump connection, Joseph B Mcmullin, Western Mfg, 1920-05-18, 285/34; 285/312; 285/322 -
1368871 Air-valve, Oscar H Wisenant, 1921-02-15, 137/229; 251/77 - "It is particularly designed for blowing up pneumatic tires and ging the pressure therein."
1846189 Inflating nipple, William P Downs, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1932-02-23, 137/231 - coupling at end of pump tube - poor design
2075167 Pneumatic valve inside construction, Lewis C Broecker, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1937-03-30, 137/234.5; 251/356 - has narrow bar on threads that's now common
2103108 Pneumatic valve, Lewis C Broecker, Ferguson John, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1937-12-21, 137/234.5 - stem has stamped winds that hold spring
2142044 Pneumatic valve insides construction, Lewis C Broecker, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1938-12-27, 137/234.5 - very similar to modern vale except stem is in two parts.
2145218 Valve stem, Lewis C Broecker, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1939-01-24, 152/427; 138/89.3; 152/430; 152/DIG.7 - rubber vulcanized at base of steam.
2228984 Pneumatic tire valve, Lewis C Broecker, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1941-01-14 137/231; 251/322; 137/234.5 - larger opening to allow adding water like for tractor tires.
2240129 Valve, Lewis C Broecker, Bridgeport Brass Co,1941-04-29, 137/223; 152/DIG.7 - valve stem is above threads so easy to get pressed, poor design
2459716 Tire pump connection, John M Nickelsen, Henry W Emerick, Monroe Auto Equipment, (Brisk Blast) 1949-01-18, 137/223; 137/512.3; 251/149.4 - includes ball check valve in coupling not pump body
Cites:2837134 Tubeless tire valve stem, Donald E Steer, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1958-06-03, 152/427; 285/206; 152/DIG.11; 285/192 -
387064 Fire-extinguisher for railway-cars
838219 Nipple connection and valve-opener, William S Stapley, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1906-12-11, 137/231 - free nut screws on spring loaded plunger depresses stem.
909373 Pressure-controlling valve for tire-pumps, John Desmond, Artizan Brass, 1909-01-12, 141/197; 137/557; 141/384; 417/311; 137/224.5; 184/105.2 - pressure regulator at foot of tire pump
1289451 Air Gage, Martin A Hougen, 1918-12-31, 137/227; 116/34R - has the look and feel of a Schrader tublar
1364441 Inflating-coupling, Henry P Kraft, 1921-01-04, 251/149.1 - does not screw on, just press
1492838 Device for transmitting compressed air to automobile tires, Lloyd W Dilweg, 1924-05-06, 152/415; 137/231; 141/38 - tire to tire
1503068 Inflating nozzle and tire gauge, Louis J Sladek, 1924-07-29, 137/227; 73/744; 73/732 - works with dial or stick type
1846189 Inflating nipple, William P Downs, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1932-02-23, 137/231 - coupling at end of pump tube - poor design
2189361 Dust screen valve mechanism - for use with air tools
3180349 Tubeless tire valve, Donald E Steer, Joseph W Smith, Bridgeport Brass Co, 1965-04-27, 137/223; 251/358; 251/364; 137/234.5 -
Multi cylinder engine spark plug based. - these include an intake valve to maximize the fresh air sucked in so that a minimal amount of gas fumes go into tire.
Enginair by G.H. Meiser & Co.
1888758 Attachment for an internal combustion engine, Charles J Costello, 1932-11-22, 137/512.3; 137/516.11 - remove spark plug and insert adapter to inflation hose. ball check valve at stem
2191968 Attachment for internal combustion engines, George H Meiser, 1940-02-27, 137/512.3; 137/516.11; 137/855 - ". ball check valve above spark plug.
2191969 Attachment for internal combustion engines, George H Meiser, 1940-02-27, 37/512.3; 137/855 -
2191970 Attachment for internal combustion engines, George H Meiser, 1940-02-27, 137/512.3; 137/855; 137/516.11 -
Peters And Russell (PAR)
Peters And Russel (PAR) was taken over by Jabsco which seems to be all related to marine/liquid pumps, not air pumps.
2200012 Pneumatic pump, Linus E Russell, George E Peters, PAR, 1940-05-07, 417/464; 92/58.1; 92/130R; 417/555.1; 92/130C; 92/240 - foot operated air pump
2455946 Linus E Russell, George E Peters, PAR,1948-12-14, 74/503; 92/240; 403/282; 403/349 - foot anchored hand pumped, the wood handle can be twisted and removed.
Pressure Differential to Inflate Tire
A question that came up on the PIC list was what pressure on the input side would be required to open the valve. A back of the envelope (BOTE) calculation by Denny E. is as follows:
Assumption - sealing surface 0.10" diameter Pi * r^2 = 0.00785 in^2 area Assumption - spring force = 1 lb force. Pressure = force /area 1/0.00785 = 127 psi Keep in mind that's plus whatever pressure is on the other side of the valve - which is further complicated because the area the seal contacts contributes to the closing force area, but does not contribute to the opening force area.
Low BMEP Engine
Brock Racing Enterprises
I went to a talk by Pete Brock at the Candy Store (Carol Shelby signed a photo of CSX3282 at a different Candy Store talk) because he was involved in the design of Cobra cars and in particular the Cobra Daytona Coupe. A web search will find Pete in relation to Datsun, Pebble Beach and a company in Southern California designing cars. He talked some about his background and some Cobra stuff but then the really good thing was about the new engine that he was building. As he talked he pulled parts of the engine from a back pack and showed them to us.
Automobiles and most motorcycles got off to a bad start because government agencies taxed them based on the displacement of the engine. I think this is still the case in Italy. In many automotive racing classes the displacement of the engine is a major factor. I know that the early Rolls Royce cars had names like Silver Ghost, Phantom and also numeric model numbers like 20/25 or 40/50. This referred to the official Horse Power/Actual Horse Power. The idea was you only paid taxes on 20 HP but you got 25 HP. So car manufacturers and others have been locked into the idea of getting the most horse power per cubic inch. This is a mistake.
When you look at airplanes with piston engines the most important factors are reliability and HP per pound of weight. In the case of ships the important factor is HP per pound of fuel burned (Wiki: BSFC). In both of these cases the engines are lightly stressed. A technical way of saying this is that they have low Brake Mean Effective Pressure (Wiki: BMEP). An engine with low BMEP does not turn at high RPM and does not produce a lot of HP per cubic inch of displacement. Harley Davidson and BMW motorcycles have this type of engine today. The very high performance motor cycles from Japan are an example of a high BMEP engine, very high red line for RPM, very high HP/Cubic inch.
Pete showed us the valve from a Ford 5.0 L V8 engine. It looked like most automotive valves. The thing is that at 5,000 RPM it takes 30+ (as far as I remember) HP to run the valve train. That is because there needs to be valve springs strong enough to close the valve and the engine needs to compress these along with moving the mass of the rest of the valve train. He showed us the valve from his engine, it looked like a #2 pencil lead with a quarter on the end. Very much lighter that the Ford valve. The spring looked a lot like what is used in a ball point pen!. You could easily see that Pete's engine will not need a lot of power to run the valve train.
His engine is a V2 design with a capability of stacking to get a V4, V6, V8, etc. There is a single size hex head bolt used for all fasteners. A special Allen wrench with a long handle that acts as a torque limiter is the single tool needed to take apart and assemble the engine. If more strength is needed then he used more of the same size bolts instead of a larger size. Anyone who can work on a bicycle can work on this engine.
If the Ford V8 engine is removed from it's car and a V8 version of Pete's engine installed, the performance will be comparable because of the lighter weight of Pete's engine.
Pursuing this project cost Pete a lot and it was dormant for a number of years. I talked to him a few days ago (Oct. 98) and it looks like the project may come alive again.
There are better ways to design cars and trucks if you can get rid of the old ideas. Pete has some great ideas about utility vehicles for underdeveloped countries. These would be easy to make and very practical to operate and fix. One idea is to have all the wheels be non-steering and use differential engine control for steering, like on the Bob-Cat front loaders.
Wiki -BMEP - Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC) - 114,800 bhp Sulzer_RTA96-C Container Ship Engine (data sheet showing BMEP & BSFC)
9103277 (Google, USPTO w/images) Moment-cancelling 4-stroke engine (MC4S), Daniel Sexton Gurney, Aug 11, 2015 - "Importantly, it should be noted that the peak BMEP for the MC4S system is more than 100% greater than most normally aspirated engines. This unexpected result points to a very powerful engine resulting from the improved air supply."
Interesting that this engine has a high peak BMEP yet also has good fuel efficiency. But that's been my experience, i.e. if you drive with a light foot you get good gas mileage, but with a heavy foot you burn a lot of gas in exchange for high performance. This engine has a sharp peak at 8,000 RPM and so will need a lot of gear selections or some type of variable transmission in order to stay at the peak.
Dan Gurney's"Moment Cancelling" 4-Stroke Engine (MC4S) - aimed at motorcycles where the moment refers to gyroscopic action.
Message to Dan Gurney at AAR Sep 10, 2015
I've just been reading your MC4S patent and it reminded me of a lecture given by Pete Brock at the Candy Store in Burlingame, California (a former car dealership, now a home for collector cars). It was about his V-twin Low BMEP engine. I think he said he had a patented connecting rod.
Do you know what happened to that engine or where I might find more information about it?
Cobra Daytona Coupe (Wiki)
As part of the introduction of Peter Brock at the Candy Store some of his background slides were shown including the Daytona Coupe.
In one the two Netflix movies about LeMans, Ford and Ferrarri., "Shelby American" & "The 24 Hour War",a patent was mentioned that was a key part of the Daytona Coupe design. This made the car controversial inside the Shelby group, but they built a car aimed at the upcoming Daytona race. Also see the 427 Cobra chassis: CSX3282
To be fair the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (Wiki) has a very similar tail shape.
2359426 Motor Car Body, Koenig-Fachsenfeld Fr Reinhard, App: 1937-04-01 (before W.W.II), Pub: 1944-10-03 (After the war)
I got this car used in the mid nineteen seventies. Used it cost about what a new top of the line Mercedes would have cost then. I had this car over 20 years. It turns out (in my humble opinion) that the Rolls Royce V-8 engine has a fatal flaw. It is made from aluminum with steel cylinder liners. The thickness of the block walls between cylinders is on the order of 1/8". If the engine ever over heats the stress can cause the Al block to crack. The engine is very likely to overheat because the o-rings that seal the liner to block joint are a rubber derivative and bio-degrade. Also there are numerous water hoses that are made from rubber. The water pump is designed so that a thin rubber part is both sealing the pump and holding the frictional torque of the rotating seal. When the block cracks a new block is called for since the Al has been empragnated with plastic that makes welding impossible. Needless to say, that a new block costs a lot of money. (2009 - IDEA - use J-B Weld epoxy to patch the cracks after grinding with Moto-Tool.)
This is my current everyday car.It has very good handling (I drive in hills every day and going to San Francisco at freeway speeds in hilly country is easy). This is pretty much a 4-door version of the Pontiac Trans Am (Wiki).
My Intrigue and all cars sold in the U.S. beginning with the 1996 year models have an On Board Diagnostic system called OBD II.. On my car the connector falls to your right hand if you are the driver and feel at the lower edge of the instrument panel below the steering wheel. The OBD II web page by B&B Electronics has information on what data can be read by their AT1 GM data link. The AT2 data link for Ford is available, and the AT3 for Chrysler cars is coming. Things like MPH, RPM, and a lot of emissions control information is available. This is used by the technicians at the dealership to diagnose what caused the "check engine" light to come on. Some road tests: Edmunds, Wheels, , Press Release, Auto Extra. I checked the NHTSA defects - recall page to see if there were any, none found.
ELM Electronics - sells an 8 pin PIC microcontroller that can be used to build you own OBD II interface
PS there are many OBD II readers on eBay now (2018) with BlueTooth, WiFi or USB interfaces.
Also see above.
This van has the ability to hold a few sheets of 4' x 8' plywood flat on the floor with the rear door closed. This is possible because the second row seats can be completely removed in a matter of seconds and the third row seats fold down flush into the floor (the front seats have a notch on the back).
It also has the optional Satellite Navigation system. The main electronics package is about the size of a VCR and is located under the passenger seat. It contains a CON US data base on a DVD disk. The GPS receiver is aided by a gyroscope (might be a misnomer, magnetic compass might be more correct?) and speedometer input. When stopped the direction of travel stays correct. The dash panel color touch screen LCD display needed the space used by the manual AC controls. There is a button beside the display that brings up a virtual AC control panel. This system has been customized by Honda for this application.
In addition of a map display there is a mode that will guide you to your destination, similar to the "never lost" system that's optional in Hertz rental cars.
This system has parts made by:
Alpine Electronics, Inc. - Honda system software - Alpine Navigation and Information System
Navigation Technologies Corp. - Honda data base contentsUS05808566 09/15/1998 Electronic navigation system and methodINFO USA Corp. - Honda data base contents
US05893113 04/06/1999 Update transactions and method and programming for use thereof for incrementally updating a geographic database
US5953722 09/14/1999 Method and system for forming and using geographic data
US5951620 09/14/1999 System and method for distributing information for storage media
US05974419 10/26/1999 Parcelization of geographic data for storage and use in a navigation application
US05968109 10/19/1999 System and method for use and storage of geographic data on physical media
Pacific Audio & Alarm - Multimedia Control Timer - to allow watching DVD videos on Alpine CVA-1005.
Will this work on the Honda version? probably not because the Alpine hardware may be different.
I have gotten the latest DVD direct from Honda's web page (Order Nav System DVDs in drop down box) but have not really checked it out yet. One thing I have noticed is that the recommended path from my house to the SF Bay Area has changed. I used to take 101 South, cross the Richmond Bridge, 880 South and 237 West. Now it says to take the Richmond Bridge then the Bay Bridge back to 101, the two bridges are to avoid going through San Francisco where there is no through freeway.
There is also a built in wireless remote that can be programmed for conventional and rolling code garage door openers, and other features.
It uses the Homelink protocol.
It's been to the dealer for routine maintenance a few times and the bill is always $49.95 and they only did the routine stuff.
Bought this new from the Santa Rosa MB
dealer. It was a demo car and we got it for a fantastic
June 2012 - Just starting to drive it. March 2019 still my daily driver.
|To replace the key fob batteries:
Get two each CR2025 3 Volt coin cell batteries.
Using CR2032 batteries will NOT work, they are too thick.
Remove the mechanical key by sliding the gray button.
Use the mechanical key to press the gray plastic latch (see photo)
Slide out the top (positive side showing, see photo) battery.
Slide out the bottom battery through the top side.
Install the two CR2025 batteries (+) side up (see photo).
Note: by attaching a store customer ID tag to the key,
if it's lost I might find it at the store because someone
turned it in. This solves the problem of putting your
address or phone number on the keys.
Note2: The fob was not locking the car, but it was working
for starting and driving. The batteries tested low, but in the
green. If I would have waited longer the key may not have
worked to start the car.
Dec 2012 Looking into adding a cell
How-to Guide For Cell Phone Upgrades, Plug-in And Bluetooth - the car should be pre-wired, i.e. the steering wheel has the buttons and the display has a phone page in the menu.
Note: The factory cell phone setup back in 2003 was to have a Motorola V60 analog cell phone (Wiki) hardwired to the car for control and for an external antenna. But today (2013) Motorola no longer makes cell phones with a provision for an external antenna and the remote control needed for answering and making calls is handled on a wireless Bluetooth link. So the upgrade path is to install the Phone Support Electronics (PSE) module into the D2B (fiber optic) loop and use a short RJ-45 cable to the Motorola Bluetooth dongle in the top (shallow) center console compartment. No RF coax parts are involved in the upgrade.
After removing 3 No. 2 Philips screws from
the bottom of the top compartment and closing it,
then opening the small top compartment,
the false bottom of the top compartment can be lifted and flipped over.
You can see the coax antenna cable and RJ-45 socket.
On the right side of the center console near gear shift.
CD Out -> Radio In
SBS In (not connected)
Radio Out -> CD In
Tel-Out -> Tel-In
right rear quarter panel cell phone cabling
There are two Fiber Optic (FO) D2B cables:
1) Has two FO strands going into a single connector
Datum 26002 4C
2) is a single strand and connector.
Trunk Right Rear Panel Snap
Trunk Forward Cover Plate
Plate Open (Torx T40 bit)
The green rectangular cap at the left is the other end
of the pair of fiber optic cables.
Right Panel open in Trunk
There are 3 D2B cables coming from the pocket at the right.
One of these continues forward and the other branches
to the Voice Control Module (VCM).
There are 2 D2B cables coming from the left VCM and
one goes to the pocket at the right and the other goes forward.
Need to use a flashlight to figure which is which.
Bluetooth Kit for C230
Front SAM module location
Under 2 plastic covers.
PSE module installed in right rear trunk
Note: only DB-25 and dual D2B (fiber optic) connections. No coax RF needed for Bluetooth.
The Y-cable (with the unused green connector) is not in this photo, but is installed just above the PSE box.
"Blue Label" PSE module Q682-0855/SYN 0697A & bracket Q 682 0655
PSE Y-cable (harness) (green plug not used) Q682-0468
V60 Adapter with Bluetooth (bar code): 5641307Z01, B 67 87 5856, 15804024, 05.03.08, (bar code): *M0TU10L,JE*
Dongle to RJ-45 cable (cradle eliminator cable)
Front SAM Module
Front SAM module with F44 (7.5A installed)
Rear SAM Module, First Aid Kit, Owner's Manual
Rear SAM module F13 (5A) and F16 (7.5A) installed
Console Mounted Bluetooth Dongle
Note: The blue LED is on solid but the Motorola Electrify 2 cell phone is in standby mode. The only time you need to touch the cell phone is to unlock it for an incoming call.
Radio after pressing TEL and [Up] a few times
Just after pressing TEL the display allows entering a phone number
and the left soft key is for SEND. Once the call starts
the right soft key is for END.
Note the MB cell system downloads the directory from the cell phone after the key is turned on.
Parts from Keith Valentine
Voice only Cell: 714 746-5930
Cruise Control stalk with RESET button in background. Note the style of the stalk (late 2003) for matching the Voice Control stalk.
If others are riding in the car they can enable their Bluetooth and sync to the car by entering the PIN number for the Motorola Dongle. But probably only one cell phone at a time since their directory will be loaded into the car's directory.
The order of the fiber optic loop is important. This will be used for Bluetooth control of my Motorola Electrify 2 cell phone.
If a component is missing then it's removed from the list but the order of connected components must be maintained.
It should be:
- Radio (D2B (Domestic Digital Bus, so really should be D2B) (Master) <installed>
- Component No. 1 (Bose Sound System) <not installed> - got poor reviews.
- Component No. 2 (Voice Control) (SBS) <not installed> - not sure what it's capabilities are
- Component No. 3 (Phone) <PSE module to be installed in trunk> - this is what I'm adding.
- Component No. 4 (Tele Aid - COMMAND) <not installed> - not clear what it does
- Component No. 5 (CD Changer) - car came with the 6 CD changer installed in glove box-
- Back to Radio (Master) <installed>
Voice Recognition Kit
Ordered 16 Jan 2013 -
2003 Mercedes-Benz Voice Recognition Kit for C230
A 203 820 08 85
SN - Nr. 127919
TEMIC 01000131 D3
2QPB 00LFPF D3
HW2103 SW4401 09.09.03
Dual D2B (fiber optic)
A 000 545 08 44
MB USA p/n:
Q 682 0820
number of back of this stalk:
(MB) A 000 545 08 44
Although this voice control stalk has the correct appearance for a late 2003 C230 coupe, it does not have the correct end to mate with the socket on the right of the steering column.
The black plug that was removed from the column socket is about 0.221" (5.61mm) O.D. and that's close to the O.D. of the stalk the tip on this stalk does not have the notch that the correct stalk has. So this stalk needs to be modified.
The correct PTT Lever may be Q 682 0837
The OD of a 1/4" brass rod was ground down to 0.240"
which allows a snug fit into the steering column socket
for the voice PTT switch stalk.
A slot approximately 0.030" wide was cut into the end
to clear the pin at the bottom of the socket.
Then the edges were filed away so that the rod can be
turned about 22.5 deg CCW.
Then a recess was added allowing the rod to be locked
in place by the spring pushing it back against the pin.
The small and medium diameter parts of the stalk have been
cut off (Mini Cutoff Saw).
The OD of the exposed brass was ground down to about 0.24" dia.
using a Drill Press.
A couple of holes 0.0625" diameter were drilled using the Spin Indexing Jig
about 22 deg apart. The drill bit was used as a mill to connect the holes.
PS something went wrong and this did not work)
The 1/4" brass rod has been working no problem.
The Voice Control box mounted in the trunk under the trunk forward cover plate.
Note the label is facing down and the box is held by clips.
27 Jan 2013 - Installed the box and changed a D2B cable in the right rear of the trunk and another D2B cable in the passenger side console. Now the fiber optic loop is:
Radio -> Voice Control -> Phone -> CD Changer -> Radio.
Note: If the radio or CD are playing and the loop in opened the sound will stop. It restarts a couple of seconds after the loop is reestablished.
Note: The voice control PTT stalk is a momentary switch, i.e. you pull it back and release. Then the radio beeps and it's ready to accept a command.
If there is sound (radio, CD, Tape, etc.) then the voice control is not listening, so you need to pull back again for a new command. I.e. when a command finishes the voice control is turned off.
Pressing the PTT stalk forward cancels the current command.
ODBII First Try (Didn't work)
HardwareOn Board Diagnostic II (Wiki) is the connector that's within reach of the driver. In the past (prior to maybe 2012) the cost of an OBD reader has been in the hundreds of dollars, but now there are units available with Bluetooth connectivity to work with smart cell phones for very reasonable prices (under $20) like the ELM327 that reads not only US cars but also most foreign cars as well. It's called a generic OBDII Bluetooth adapter.
The eBay ad "ELM327 OBDII OBD2 V1.4 Auto Car Bluetooth Diagnostic US" lists cars that will work with this adapter:
Benz 2001/02/03 W203 C200K (ISO)
Unfortunately when plugged in the LEDs are facing the pedals so it will take a small mirror to see them.
The pin numbering is backwards from that shown
on the Wiki web page for OBD. But the LEDs
light and sequence so at least the power supply
pins are correct.
The length of this unit means it may be destroyed if
used while driving? The Super Mini units would be
8 wires used on OBDII connector
PIC 18F25K80 microcontroller Bluetooth daughter board
LM393, MCP2551 4 MHz Xtal 78M05
PairingLEM327 and Android phone (Motorola Electrify 2) requires:
Searching for Devices under Bluetooth in the phone, then
select CHX (which is how the ELM327 shows up on my phone) and enter the pairing pass code 6789 (not 0000 or 1234).
Now CHX shows up with a gear wheel, i.e. it's Bluetooth paired.
This is my current problem. When the free version of Torque is started it says:
OBD Device not found, retrying. . . . Connecting to OBD via bluetooth . . .
and (after adding it) the Current Drive Cycle Status window shows:
Waiting for OBD Connection....
I've gone into the (three vertical dots settings in the bottom right) and selected connect to CHX (not the car's Bluetooth) and selected Disable ELM327 auto timing adjustment, the port number of 35000 is the default.
Test on Olds Intrigue - 2 March 2013
When plugged into an Oldsmobile Intrigue the LEDs are facing up and visible. They light in sequence front to back to front and stop with the front red LED on solid. But although the Motorola Electrify 2 cell phone is paired to the CHX Bluetooth device, the Torque program fails to make a connection. The same problem as with the 2003 Mercedes-Benz C230. Maybe this particular device is defective?
OBDII Second Try (Working)
2 March 2013- I've ordered another unit from Amazon with the title:
"V1.5 Super Mini ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 OBD-II CAN-BUS Diagnostic Scanner Tool"
8 March 2013 - Working
The OBDII Super Mini device is shorter than the open door.
The pass word for Bluetooth pairing is 1234
The device shows up as OBDII
In the Torque software settings (... in lower right)
I selected OBDII and not the car's Bluetooth.
These are the default dials.
Torque - The problem is that there's no manual or way to get support other than via a blog on their web page. The type size is so small I can't read it.1) where's the user's manual?
2) how to delete a dial?
3) how to move a dial that's positioned so half of it is off the display to the center.
4) the free "Lite" version automatically came up with a Boost gauge, but that's not an option on the full up version. How to get it?
5) how to use the 1/4 mile icons?
6) how to use the Map Display icon?
7) How to start the Track Recorder Plug-in?
When help is pressed it opens a browser window to their web page.
Here's a YouTube video showing the Track Recorder plug-in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHLchcKpa9g
The same author has other Torque related demo videos. But not how to for beginners.
Auto Door Lock chattering
When the car gets to about 10 MPH the doors automatically lock. But now the drivers door chatters.
The remote will lock the door.
There was a post with the very same problem. Too much hassle, I just let it chatter.
I have a C180 Kompressor 2003 model, and the passenger front door lock was jumping up and down several times with a machine gun effect when locking or unlocking and sometimes didn't lock or unlock properly, all the other doors were OK, I contacted MB and they told me I needed a new door locking mechanism, £68 and £180 to fit it. So I purchased the lock and decided to fit it myself, It was quite a simple job, took one and a half hours altogether. as this seems to be a common problem I can now explain how I did it for those who wish to try it themselves:
You will need: Set of Spline screwdrivers, Flat screwdriver, Pop rivet gun, 3 small cable ties, Drill and 5 pop rivets.
1. Pull off the tweeter cover on top of door panel near front of window, no need to disconnect wire, just let it hang down.
2. Pull off SRS badge and remove the spline screw behind it.
3. remove the door latch plastic cover (1 screw)
4. At the bottom of the door pull handle next to the armrest there is an oblong slot, insert a flat screwdriver and prise the top half off, it is just clipped in. there are 2 spline screws behind it, remove them.
5. Using a plastic wedge of some sort or just by hand and starting at the lower part of the door latch, prise off the lower half of the door panel there are 6 or 7 plastic clips which hold it on, (I did this by hand and without breaking any but it may be worth purchasing a few just in case)
6. Lower the window and while pulling the panel slightly towards you, use your other hand to pull the panel upwards from the top starting at the front end, (this is quite tight, but it will come up)
7. panel is now off, pull the plug from the window switch and disconnect the cable from the door handle by opening the handle slightly and pulling up on the hook, the cable can then be removed from the door panel insert.
8. Drill out the 3 pop rivets holding the air bag and the 2 pop rivets holding the lower window strut. do not disconnect the airbag, let it hang down or tie it out of the way.
9. Remove the 3 screws holding the door latch and disconnect the wire from the panel near the front of the door. ( I actually cut the wire and pulled it through the loops to keep the original cable ties in place, when I replaced it I just used new cable ties to attach it back to the original location.)
10. You can now remove the locking mechanism by pulling it down and then towards the front by pushing back on the window strut.
Now do everything in reverse.
Passenger Side Mirror & Turn Signal LampThis assembly is designed to fold back, like when hitting the garage wall when driving into the garage, BUT it was not designed to fold forward, like when backing out of the garage.
The newer model cars have electrically operated mirror assemblies that fold in to make the car narrower. I wonder if they can be retrofitted to my car? Let me know.
When backing out of garage the wall moved in front of the mirror, breaking the glass (but no pieces fell out) and causing a malfunction notice saying the lamp was out.
Mirror cover-turn signal lamp assembly
The Mirror Wire holds the mirror backing plate.
Pushing in on the end or lifting the center allows the
mirror and it's backing plate to be removed.
There are two quick-fit wires that need to be unplugged.
The socket that mates to the plug on the mirror cover-turn
signal lamp assembly is just on it's cable.
The "Clip" is what holds the lamp assembly to the frame.
Kit for Mirror Replacement
from eBay: manymirrors4u - aka: Auto and Truck Mirrors Unlimited
New mirror installed - not yet done.
When the turn signal was on to the right, inside the car it blinked fast, but outside the front and real lights blinked at the normal rate.
Pressing the reset button (like used to reset the trip odometer) turned off the malfunction notice.
After removing the mirror cover-turn signal lamp assembly from the car and testing the lamp by sticking a couple of bare wires into the socket and checking the resistance (2.8 Ohms) it was determined that the lamp is OK. The problem was that it had been unplugged. It was not obvious where the socket should be attached to the mirror frame, so I just plugged it in by hand and reinstalled the mirror cover-turn signal lamp assembly until it snapped into place.
I have a replacement mirror glass on order.
Battery & Alternator
Starting late Nov. 2015 the starter motor was slower and slower. I have an appointment for service, but the soonest was early next, so 9 Dec 2015 took to local dealer to have battery replaced, but they found that the alternator was weak which was part of the problem (the battery was 12 years old). Data on the battery for this Mercedes Benz C-Class 2 door coupe model C230 Kompressor:
Part # 49EXTJ
- UPC: 721112786209
- Group Size (BCI): 49
- Cold Cranking Amps (CCA): 900 CCA
- Cranking Amps (CA): 1000 CA
- Voltage (V): 12 Volt
- Length (In): 13-5/16 Inch
- Width (In): 6-15/16 Inch
- Height (In): 7-1/2 Inch
Window Auto-Up Not Working
After replacing the battery and alternator a new problem has shown up in that the windows no longer automatically go up.
At this time not sure if this is a problem that's easy to fix using a factory computer interface to reset the auto up or if it's related to damage of some component.
Raise the window by holding the button up on the "first setting", i.e. don't lift it all the way up.
Once it's closed, then lift it all the way up and hold it there for 10 seconds.
Then try again, auto down and then auto up.
This fixed it for me.
Problem of rough running near idle and mid-range. This is the Bosch Motronic Mass Air Flow Sensor. This system was used in a number of German cars like the Porsche, BMW &Etc. A spring loaded vane is pulled open by the air stream and that turns a special pot on a ceramic board.
Instead of a normal pot this one has a laser trimmed resistor network feeding in correction voltages. So "12 Volts" needs to be applied and the voltage on the wiper measured. The problem is that the resistive material on the board wears away and then the dual wiper contacts make intermittent contact resulting in rough running at some mass flow rates. By slowly turning the pot arm and measuring the voltage on a DMM, you will notice "OL" flashing when the dual wiper contacts are not making connection. Note the OL indication was caused by ranging, not OverLoad, so locking the range when 12 Volts is applied stops the OL indication.
It may be that there are two Porsche part numbers for this: Let me know.
1984 - 1989 p/n: 930 606 123 00
1989 - 1994 p/n: 964 606 050 00
BMW also used the Bosch Motronic MAF sensor, but it may or may not have the same calibration?
Fig 1 Overall view with cover removed.
Fig 2 Close up of ceramic board
You can see wear on the tracks just to the left of the central arm.
The black hash marks on the fixed resistors are from the laser trimming.
This is the only one to have, accept no substitutes, and do without until you can get one. I have seen up to 4 CHP radar traps all lined up in a row (the counter tells you how many bogies. The Forward, Back or Side indication is really cool. I have seen traps off to the side because I know when to look, otherwise they would never be seen. For approaching cars with moving radar you get a lot of warning as well as knowing that they are in front of you (of course it also could be a car parked on the shoulder behind tall grass). On a few occasions I have picked up the local oscillator of a cheap detector in a nearby car and can tell which car it is in.
The optical sensor for laser speed guns goes off when passing some electronic signs. The warning display and sounds are different for the different types of radars so you know which is which. Even though I can't tell you the sound or display for each type, I do know the sound of a highway patrol radar and it's different from the other sounds.
Software 1 - for units prior to ESP interface. - determine your firmware version -
Manually programming the V1 -
7061423 Interleaved sweep for detection of pop transmissions in police radar detectors, (Valentine), - for burst type radar detectors.
6175324 Police Radar Detector, Jan 16, 2001, (Valentine), A novel frequency scheme for a police radar detector enables improved sweeping of the X, K, K.sub.u and K.sub.a radar bands.
05917441 06/29/1999 Police radar detector for sweeping K and KA radar bands during one local oscillator sweep
05900832 05/04/1999 Input stage for police radar detector including input signal preamplification
05856801 01/05/1999 Input stage for a police radar detector
05852417 12/22/1998 Police radar detector including nuisance alert suppression
05300932 04/05/1994 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
05250951 10/05/1993 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
D0338841 08/31/1993 Radar detector housing
05206651 04/27/1993 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
05151701 09/29/1992 Police radar detectors for detecting radar signals and determining the directional origin of the signal source
05146226 09/08/1992 Motor vehicle police radar detector for detecting multiple radar sources
05125110 06/23/1992 Microstripline microwave mixer using waveguide filter
05116248 05/26/1992 Power plug for radar warning detector
05083129 01/21/1992 Police radar detector for detecting radar signals and determining the directional origin of the signal source
05068663 11/26/1991 Motor vehicle radar detector including amplitude detection
05020754 06/04/1991 Method and apparatus for mounting radar detector
04994775 02/19/1991 High-pass filter for microstrip circuit
04973925 11/27/1990 Double-ridge waveguide to microstrip coupling
04908767 03/13/1990 Acceleration measuring systemThis contains the coordinate transformations to get from a3-axis accelerometer to acceleration in the plane of the road. It depends on the roll and pitch spring constants being known and constant or using an independent roll & pitch input. This is required if you want to monitor the handling of a high performance car. You can not really use the accelerometers in the plane of the car since the car leans relative to the road.US04878061 10/31/1989 Broadband wide flare ridged microwave horn antenna
US04748848 06/07/1988 Accelerometer
Speed Traps -
Cop Car Registry -
California Codes - Vehicle 800-427-ROAD phone number for road conditions
One day while driving down the 101 freeway going South to Santa Barbara I passed a very long column of HMMWVs being delivered to the army at Hunter Liggett (Wiki). There were all kinds of models, most fitted with military radios. I started to study them at that time. It turns out that A.M General would not sell me a Hummer at that time because they were not street legal and they had their hands full building them for the Army and other U.S. and foreign services. Later they developed the "Heavy Hummer" that had a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) in excess of 10,000 pounds. This required not only adding heavier springs for the vertical load but also a lot of changes to the drive line to handle the higher torque that propelling the heavier vehicle required. With this higher GVW the rules change for street licensing and made the Hummer street legal. A friend purchased one of the first 100 and had it custom painted a civilian camo (the factory could not use the same robot pattern they used for the Army for legal reasons). My friend ended selling his back to A.M. General because of all the problems it had. One of the problems was that there was nowhere he could go that had trained mechanics. If the mechanic is not trained on the Hummer in the process of fixing one problem, he can create one or more new problems.
The Mercedes G-wagon (Wiki) is a very expensive civilian vehicle that is attempting to emulate the HMMWV. This is the vehicle the rich bad guys drive in movies.
Lamborghini made a similar vehicle the LM002 (Wiki) based on an off shore boat engine produced in 1984 it weighed 3100kg had a v12,dohc,4v/cyl. 455hp,369lbft,tranie 2x5m ,0-60 in 7.9 ,top speed of 120 ,also it was 4wd front-engine. But, like the G-wagen, is only a pretender to the HMMWV.
The Military Vehicle Forum is a web site where owners and others post Hummer related information.
There is a Radio Controlled (RC) Hummer model made by Tamia.
Surplus Enterprizes, Inc - no parts listed on web, need to call them
HummerNet.Com - on line magazine
Stinger Accessories - custom components
D.Lain Fabrications - Custom Heavy-Duty Cargo Rack
National Transmission - Mattracks Systems
David W. Uhrig - Military Vehicle Broker & Appraisal Service - note that Army Hummers are not street legal (see above)
Military Vehicles magazine - Links -
Geoff's Humvee page -
Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) - Links -
Wenzlu Engineering - HMMWN Info Center - quick erecting telescopic masts -
Military M998 HMMWV Series -
Off-Road.com - hummer pages - "The Most Serious 4x4 On Earth"
olive-drab.com - Introduction To Buying and Owning Military Vehicles -
Military Vehicles Mailing List - instructions on how to sign up for this list server - Military Vehicles Mailing List Archive - look here with your browser
Portrayal Press - military related books
DRMS - official government sales -
General Motors' Hummer H2 Vision Vehicle - GM makes a knock off version as a show car to test reaction
Hummer of Sacramento - new & used full size Hummers & the GM H2 + a Hummer Trailer - 2019 broken link
Production Volume v ReliabilityReading the Hummer Forum, my friends experience and my experiences lead me to believe that when you have an car that is made in relativity small numbers, you are going to have trouble getting service. In my friends case the mechanic would make new problems as he tried to fix existing problems. This same thing happened to me with an '86 Turbo Inter-cooled 745 Volvo wagon. The block had a bad freeze (casting) plug, so the dealer, under warranty, replaced the raw block because the model was so new there were no short blocks available. In the process he cross threaded the plastic radiator, causing me grief on a trip to Santa Barbara. Some cars like the Corvette ZR-1 have a V-10 engine so complex that the local dealer is not allowed to work on it, instead it is sent to the factory for repairs.
Rubber parts cause a lot of problems. Rubber and the synthetic version of it all biodegrade in air and water. Any rubber hose or gasket is a problem waiting to happen. If rubber is used as part of the insulation on wires they will get hard, crack and short out...it's just a matter of time. The '29 & '34 Rolls Royce cars have no rubber parts except for the tires. The wires have a cloth woven over the insulation (don't know if it's rubber or something else?). There is a metal tube between the 1929 RR frame and engine that carries the fuel. It has a few turns about 3 inches in diameter to allow for flexing. Rubber parts failing was a huge problem on the '69 Bentley.
Dead Battery Leads to Need for Radio & GPS Unlock CodesAfter 11 years the battery in the Honda Odessey van needed to be replaced. Disconnecting the battery enablesthe anti-theft features in the radio and GPS Navi system (makes them inoperative). If you can't find the paper work or the sticker on the van then you must get access to the serial number sticker on the radio and/or GPS.
Honda 2000 Odyssey Get Radio Serial Number
I have owned a number of other cars including a '29 Phantom II (WJ14) and '34 RR 20/25 (GWE72). Note that Rolls Royce was founded because other contemporary cars were well known for "failing to proceed". RR won many races, not because they were fast, but rather because the made it to the finish line. Reliability was the number one concern. These are both works of art. The firewall is an aluminum casting. There are no rubber parts other than the tires. The fuel line between the frame and the engine is metal with about 5 turns to allow for the rocking movement of the engine. Note that rubber (and it's modern replacements) bio-degrade when exposed to air or water. India was a British crown colony and the source of Gutta-percha (Wiki) so rubber was commonly used in English products, even if that made them less reliable. I believe this is the cause of many "failures" in cars. The '29 Phantom II was made close enough to the beginning of automobiles that it still had the "start from the switch" function although it also had an electric starter. Early cars did not have electric starters, they had a crank that needed to be turned to get the engine going. RR (and probably others) had a feature related to the manual spark timing lever at the center of the steering wheel. When you were about to turn off the engine, you first put the advance lever all the way up, then turned off the ignition switch (the key was separate from the switch). In this way the engine would turn over maybe a turn or two with no spark and in the process inhale some fresh air and gas. When you wanted to start the car, after shopping or whatever, you would turn on the ignition switch and then move the advance level smartly down. This would cause the points to open and fire whichever cylinder was just past top dead center, starting the engine without cranking. I got this to work, but not all the time. At the time RR began their business most cars were very unreliable. Henry Royce worked hard to make a car that was reliable. To promote the reliability they entered endurance races, where just finishing meant winning. The early RR cars were made into armored cars (early tanks) and used in the African desert by Sir Lawrence who praised them highly for their reliability. In the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom the ruler of the dessert where the temple is located refuses gold and jewelry but accepts a Phantom II RR. As of about 1988 there was a Phantom II used by a women on the East coast on a regular basis. Although it will not maintain freeway speeds, it will keep running almost forever.
I bought these at Coys of Kensington.
Beaulieu - motor Museum with on site restoration shop -
Using a coiled metal tube between the frame and engine of the 1929 Rolls Royce is an example of getting higher reliability rather than use a rubber hose that will for sure fail because rubber degrades.A note on Lucas "prince of DarknessTM" (web page with examples) electrics. The Lucas relays are in metal cans that use bendable tabs to hold the can onto the base. But Mercedes Benz relays are hermetically sealed. The Lucas relays fail often but can be burnished and work again and again, while the MB relays last about as long but don't need the maintenance but at a substantial additional cost.
There's a similar trade-off in headlights. The early American headlamps combined the filament and reflector into one unit. There are locating bumps on the headlight that fit into it's socket. But whenever a new headlamp is fitted it must be aligned to point in the proper direction. They used to cost less than a dollar. The Honda uses a fixed reflector and a removable pre-focused lamp. You just remove the burned out lamp and install the new one. Done in less than a minute and no alignment, but the lamp costs about $10. So you trade time and money.
The flashlight bulbs that screwed in had random filament locations and so many flashlights had a provision to adjust the focus. The later flanged flashlight bulbs had the filament in a predefined location.
Note that as time goes on the cost per hour for a mechanic that know how to work on modern cars is higher every year so it's cost effective to make trades that minimize mechanics time.
Although I never owned one, but the Lotus Super 7 has held a fascination for me. This was a car built to be very light and had a 4 cylinder engine. Because of the light weight it does not need a lot of horsepower to go fast. It is also narrow so that on an autocross circuit the road looks wider allowing the Super Seven to often take top time of the day. Of course if there was a hot go cart or motorcycle they could take TTOD. The principal is still true. If a car was made, say using carbon fiber technology with a goal of minimum weight, it would be even faster than the Super Seven. (Carol Shelby pitched that idea to Chrysler but they went with the Viper (Wiki) instead)
Super Seven web page with information about "The Prisoner's" car (Wiki).
British Cars web page -
More British Car web page links -
Yet more British car Links -
Sevens & Elans, Ltd. -
Autocourse Inc.- Caterham Dealer for California
Caterham UK - has the right to make the Super Seven which Lotus no longer makes
Catherham US - The CSR chassis is a little bigger (maybe I could fit it) and is much stiffer and has much more modern suspension + 260 or more HP.
New England Classic Car Company -
WorldClass Motorsports is continuing the tradition of making light powerful vehicles(6.3 lbs/hp).
Pickup trucks tend to last much longer than cars.
22R-E (Wiki) Engine
1985 - 1995
This is the stock engine (there was a question about
having a newer engine)
YouTube: Morgan Three Wheeler and Caterham Seven: Brilliant British Flyweights - small, light, agile, FUN
Separate web page for Tilting Three Wheelers.
ElioThis is a project to make a 3-wheel car in the US that will sell for $6,800.
Their YouTube page.
The mule car uses a 3-cylinder Geo Metro (Wiki) engine that's from the Suzuki G line and front end assembly, but the actual car will use a special built engine.
The Geo metro gets the same or better fuel economy than the Prius.
"... ultra-fuel-efficient Geo Metro XFi model, which delivered as much as 58 miles per gallon..."
The reason given for the 3-wheel design (2 in front) is lower aerodynamic drag (front and back seats, not side by side like the Morgan).
The mule car has a 100 MPH top speed.
Press Release 28 Apr 2016 - Elio Motors Completes Final Stage of Engineering for E-Series Vehicles with Chassis Design
YouTube 2018 Dec 24:
How this Radical Car Missed its Chance to Change the World - (5:52) Wasted money on developing engine and in the end went with Roush engine. The need to shift consumer habits was another problem. (7:01)since rated as motorcycle, driver & passenger need to wear helmets and driver needs M1 drivers license. A 4-wheel version might have been an easier sell. As of this video they have not yet shipped anything.
MorganThe Morgan Car Co. in England (yes they are still in business) made a three wheel "motorcycle". There is a legal distinction that is still true today, i.e. if it has three wheels it will be treated as a motorcycle by the government licensing agency (the DMV in California). The idea was to lower the cost of ownership. It had two steering front wheels and a driven rear wheel. This is a stable configuration meaning that you are less likely to crash it. Search YouTube for "Bond Bug" (YouTube, Wiki) to see many crashes of a car with 2 rear powered wheels and a single front wheel. The single steering wheel in front and two driven wheels in back is an unstable configuration. These definitions come from vehicle dynamics. The story is that Mr. Morgan, a preacher's son, wanted to take girls out on dates in the new car so it had to have side by side bench seating. In the nineteen seventies I went to the Morgan factory and asked about a tour. They said that they did not have the staff to do tours, but that I was welcomed to just walk around and have a look! It is interesting that wood (not in the frame, but used between the frame and body panels, is a material very much like carbon fiber in plastic. They both have a lot of strength for their weight.
Note this is the same construction as used on the Rolls Royce PII (chassis: WJ14) that I had. Coach builders used wood to build the body and set it onto the metal car chassis.
MORGAN PLUS FOUR CLUB of Southern California -
JZR Pilots Association - replica 3-wheel Morgan using Honda V4, Harley EVO or Moto Guzzi engines.
Nov 2010 - Morgan is looking into making a new 3-wheel car.
Morgan Reviving Threewheeler With Harley-Davidson Power
Tri-Hawk (Trihawk)The Tri-Hawk was made in Dana, Southern California as a autocross car. It would not roll over and developed very high lateral G forces in turns. It had both steering and drive on both front wheels supplied by a compact car front engine-drive-line assembly. The single rear wheel was fixed. Harley Davidson bought them out and offered the car in 1984 but they never installed their V-twin so as to make a modern version of the Morgan e-wheeler. This would make a desirable modern version of the Morgan. The key is to lower the center of gravity so that the car will not roll over during hard cornering. People have been killed driving the original Morgan 3 wheelers in modern times because they have a high CG and can roll over.
4453763 Frame and Body Construction for Automotive Passenger Vehicle, Louis R. Richards (Trihawk Inc.), Jun 12 1984, 296/181.2 ; 180/215; 280/756; 296/191; 296/205; 296/35.3 -combines fuel economy of motorcycle with safety of car
D274995 Three Wheel Automotive Passenger Vehicle, Louis R. Richards & David J. Stollery (Trihawk Inc.), Aug 7 1984, D12/85
Tri-hawk design elevation view
David J. Stollery has other related patents:
D283113 Body for three-wheeled motor vehicle, David J. Stollery (Fire Arrow Inc), Mar 25, 1986, D12/85 - similar to the Trihawk
D312228 Sports Car, David J. Stollery, Nov 20, 1990, D12/90 - futuristic 4 wheel drive
D389094 Vehicle, David J. Stollery (Industrial Design Research, Inc.), Jan 13, 1998,D12/91 - Jeep
D389095 Vehicle Body Kit, David J. Stollery (Industrial Design Research, Inc.), Jan 13, 1998, D12/91 - Jeep body kit (for ??)
D389109 Vehicle hood unit, David J. Stollery (Industrial Design Research, Inc.), Jan 13, 1998, D12/173 - Jeep w/HMMWV look
Different engines available, Harley, BMW, . . .
MesserschmittThe Messerschmitt KR-200 was built by the German aircraft factory that built the Messerschmitt planes (Wiki). It has two front steering wheels and a single rear driven wheel. The hinged bubble top looks very much like it came from a fighter plane. Automobile Quarterly - Second Quarter 1973 - Vol XI, Number 2:. "Ist Das Nicht Ein Kabinenroller?", "Ja! Das Ist Ein Kabinenroller!" page 162 and Under the bubble: a Short Flight in a Messerschmitt KR 200, page 172. This car appeared in one of the Adams Family movies driven by "thing". KR200, TG500,
Corbin Motors Inc.Sparrow - I saw one parked at Fry's in Sunnyvale, cute as a bug! It's a one passenger electric powered, enclosed 3-wheeler with 2 wheels in front.
Merlin - is a V2 gas engine version of the Sparrow due to be available in 2002.
New Design 3-WheelerBIG BRUTE V8 Super Cycle - makes a chev V8 motorcycle. Has a right anlge drive that can handle some torque
Boss Hoss - Chevy 350 V8 engine powered cycle, maybe good for 3-wheeler parts? The trike they make has two rear wheels, not a stable arrangement, two in front is the way to go.
Tilting Three-WheelersThere is another class of Three-Wheelers that are designed to tilt into turns like a motorcycle rather than lean out like a car. The above 3-wheelers lean out.
Patents related to Tilting Three Wheelers
Maxmatic - Max Hall's page of interesting vehicles
Dream Car Rentals - Las Vegas, Maui, Kauai, San Jose, Ft. Laudrdale, Miami
LUXURY CAR RENTALS - New Orleans
Exotic Rentals - Boston
Red Hot Cars - Phoenix
Exoticrentals.net - New York
Bespokes - England
Roots of Motive Power Steam Up 9 Sep 2012
All through history there have been "hi-tech" fields. At one time it was designing and building Cathedrals. At another the Steam powered rail road system. At all times in history very bright people have spent a large amount of time studying, designing and refining their "hi-tech" products. A man found that the new horse less carriages were so unreliable that they could not make it across London. He started his own car company to make a more reliable car. Henry Royce was an engineer apprenticed at the Baldwin Locomotive works (hi-tech live steam).
08:00 Safety meeting
Fire up boilers (may take 2 to 3 hours)
10:00 Willamette & stationary engines operating
11:00 Bucyrus Erie 50B Demo
Estep yarder running on spur
Mason County Logging #7 on track loop
12:00 Willamette exercises dynamo
Library & Ranch Car Open
Lidgerwood Tower Skidder tour
Bucyrus Erie 22B demo
13:00 Bucyrus Erie 50B moves to shop
Willamette exercises Washington Duplex Loader
14:00 Le Tourneau Tourna Crane demo
Willamette exercises Washington Yarder
Raymond moves back to shop
Corliss demo in Engine house
15:00 Shut down boilers.
Up until 1948 the Fowler company was making and selling live steam "heavy haulage" trucks that out performed diesel based trucks for hauling very heavy loads.
In England there are a large number of people devoted to various hobbies related to live steam and there are quite a number of them in the U.S.
At first steam engines were stationary (Wiki) and used in manufacturing plants to power machinery by means of line shafts and flat leather belts. Mr. Watts invented a 4-bar linkage used on Beam engines (Wiki), a handsome type of stationary engine. Later with skids under the steam engine it could pull itself (called a mule or yarder: Wiki) by means of a powered spool and rope, or with carriage wheels it could be pulled by horses - a portable engine (Wiki), a version of this is the "Fire Engine" (Wiki). Then with the steam engine powering it's own wheels, the traction engine (Wiki). Traction engines were the predecessors to tractors with large diameter metal wheels, tracks came later. The Showman's traction engine was used around the Circus and had lights and music. Some traction engines are very large. A short history of steam. Other traction engines are fractional reproductions made for fun driving.
Note that until the middle of W.W.II that torpedoes used steam power driving a piston engine. Even after electric torpedoes were introduced the steam version still was in service.
Bucyrus Patents -
Engine or Motor?
Note that an engine is a device that burns or otherwise consumes fuel, changing its chemical composition, whereas a motor is a device, which does not change the chemical composition of its energy source.. Examples: starter motor in a car, diesel engine, electric motor, gas engine, Sterling engine, a WWII submarine has motors for propulsion and engines to charge the batteries, most ships have engines. Hydraulic and air powered motors are used for many things.
Ship or Boat?
For a single keel vessel: Has to do with how it leans in a turn.
YouTube: Whiteboard: Difference Between a Ship and a Boat - a ship has the center of gravity above the center of buoyancy so it leans out in a turn. A submarine has the center of gravity below the center of buoyancy so it leans in when turning.
Kew Bridge Steam Museum - links-
Cambridge Museum of Technology - with live steaming days
Steam & Engine of Australia - general steam stuff
Roland's Cornish Steam Engine Page - information about various steam topics
Steam Engine Library - many books that can be read on line
HOLLYCOMBE STEAM COLLECTION - UK Gallopers - National Fairground Archive - links - working full sized carousels,
M u s e u m s around the UK -
London Transport Museum - links -
The New England Wireless and Steam Museum - Steam Engines -
How Stuff Works - Steam Engine -
Actual Full Sized Historical EquipmentThere are a number of people who have restored and have in excellent working condition all types of steam powered vehicles. They have meetings where Traction Engines race, have tug of wars, and other events so people can enjoy seeing these magnificent machines working like when they were new. Some of these huge machines, that I saw in England, were licensed for traveling on public roads (MOT stickers, Wiki). There is a driving school for traction engines.
Roots of Motive Power - Is in Willits just North of me (Events Schedule). It is a museum with a lot of live steam machinery that was used for logging in this area.
1932 Bucyrus-Erie 5O-B Steam Shovel - My Erie page -
Murray Brothers Single Drum Donkey "D11" c1900 (Mur_d11.dwf) To view this drawing you need the Autodesk WHIP! Plug-in. For Netscape 4.05 or higher there is a <Shift><Click to download as file> whip.jar file (about 2.8 megabyte).
Roots of Motive Power, Willits, CA: c1900 Murray Brother's Single Drum Donkey - note this is a Dolbeer Vertical Spool per the patent below.
256553 Logging-engine, John Dolbeer, Apr 18, 1882, 254/336; 254/360; 254/342 -
These are also called a Yarder or Donkey. They are on a sled, no wheels.
While located in one place (Fig2) the redwood logs between 4 and 8 feet in diameter can be moved to the road my moving the snatch blocks to different trees.
The Yarder can be moved by pulling it toward a tree.
279916 Snatch Block, J. Cochran, June 26, 1883, 254/405 -
To get a rope on a pulley (Wiki) you need to thread it. If the rope has been whipped (Wiki: Knot, Whipping) or has a hook (Wiki) or other fastener installed on the end you will not be able to thread it onto a pulley and will need a snatch block that can be opened.
993423 Cable-tramway, Sern P Watt, Washington Iron Works, 1911-05-30, - Main Line & Outhaul rope.
1017831 Cable-tramway, Sern P Watt, Washington Iron Works,1912-02-20, - Hauling rope (19), Out-haul rope (21), hoisting rope (26)
The gypsy (D) mentioned in the patent today is called a Capstan (Wiki) or Windless (Wiki), also see Block & Tackle (Wiki). Snatch blocks can be used to aim the direction of pull or to double the pulling force.
Capstan Winch see Power Winch Capstans -
Hit & Miss engine (Wiki)
The meaning of the name is that the engine "hits" (the engine fires and has a power stroke) only occasionally and the rest of the time it "misses" or coasts. The lighter the load the more missis.
1076589 Internal-combustion engine, Hermann Lemp, GE, 1913-10-21, 123/373 -
Notice Fig 4 showing 1 hit and 5 missis at no load.
Most YouTube Hit & Miss videos show a hit on every revolution, but that means the engine is not working properly.
1727016 Internal-combustion engine, Harold E Mccray, John Deere Tractor, 1929-09-03, 123/195R; 184/11.1 -
1803120 Internal-combustion engine, Harold E Mccray, John Deere Tractor, 1931-04-28, 184/13.1; 184/6 -
Tracks are very different from tires (see above) in how they work.
Ground LoadingThe wiki Track page shows a number of patents, but also confuses the definition. They are talking about continuous tracks, but that misses what I think is the point. In my opinion the whole point of tracks is to reduce the ground pressure. This is mentioned at the bottom of the advantages paragraph on the Wiki Track page after some other things that are really are not that important. The examples given are the M1 Abrams tank which has a ground pressure of 15 psi and a typical car which has a ground pressure of 28 to 32 psi.
Note the M1 tank weighs between 60 and 68 tons (120,000 to 136,000 pounds) which means the track area is in the range of 8,000 to 9,066 square inches or 55 to 63 square feet.
If wheels were used a vehicle of this weight would immediately get stuck when driving on anything but a think concrete road.
Note that for balloon tires the inflation pressure is the ground pressure. This is why ATVs (Wiki) and other off road vehicles use special low inflation pressure tires, both to have a light environmental footprint and to avoid getting stuck. The Wiki Tire page does not get how they work. See Tires above. I've recently been looking at "Fat Tire" bicycles and tricycles that are suitable for driving in snow, sand, mud &Etc.
Also note that trailers use small tires to allow for a wider payload with a maximum eight foot width set by law. They use high inflation pressure in order to carry more weight. This is way you don't want to pull a trailer over dirt when loaded.
TractionThe traction (Wiki) of a tracked vehicle is greatly increased by the use of Grousers (Wiki). This allows tracked vehicles to have drawbar (Wiki) pull much higher than vehicles with tires. A common fair attraction is the Tractor Pull (Wiki)
PatentsTop Patent Class numbers:
180 Motor Vehicles
7.1 Special Driving Device
.9 Portable Track
..9.1 Endless Flexible
...9.62 Toothed Drive Wheel
674737 Logging-engine, Alvin O Lombard, Nov 9, 1900, 180/9.62; 305/140 - for logging in mud or snow in 1900. Here the emphasis is low ground pressure.Note these prior patents missed the mark (all class 180/9.62):305 Wheel Substitutes for Land Vehicles
251513 Steam (snow) Plow - uses "Feet" instead of treads.
312630 Traction Engine - uses a form of rail and wheel with groove for rail.
334333 Traction Engine - uses "Feet" instead of treads.
467095 Road Locomotive - Uses tracks, but they are tight around wheels thus not effective in lowering ground pressure.
484829 Traction Engine - 4-wheel drive and treads wrapped tight around wheels
484830 Traction Engine - treads wrapped tight around rear wheels front wheels powered
120 with frame carried endless track
.121 With roller antifriction means
351749 Vehicle, Chaeles Dinsmoor, Nov 2, 1886, 305/121 - is a tracked vehicle, but the purpose is to avoid bumps and jolts, like when a wheel hits a rock.
But the first patent with class 305/121 has continuous tracks:
7427 Traction-Wheel, Gideon Morgan, June 11, 1850, 305/121 - Note this predates the Blinov Russian patent of 1877.
Just across the street from Roots of Motive Power is the office of California Western Railroad that runs the Skunk and Super Skunk trains between Willits and Fort Brag on the California coast.
Historical Traction Engine Pages - links to Societies - Three Counties Steam Tour - great photos of engines on the road
Historical Construction Equipment Association - Big Toys
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum - links -
Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association - TECHNICAL DATA - links - Santa Rosa, CA branch -
The Traction Engine Pages - links - For Sale - THE BENSON MOUNTAIN COMPANY - videos, books, etc.
The Stationary Engine Publications Archive - Harrolds' Antique Tractor and Engine Links -
STEAM INDUSTRIES, INC. - 1/2 Size Case Traction Engine - big enough to ride = 20" OD flywheel, 2' front & 3' OD rear wheels
Steam on the Internet - some photos of BIG engines
U.C. Davis Antique Mechanics - early farm tractors
Stanley Steamers - Stanley links -
1903 Puritan steam car -
Harrolds' Antique Tractor and Engine Links -
Tod Engine Project - At its design speed of 80 rpm, the engine produced 4,000 horsepower, with a reserve of 4,000 hp stored in the 20', 75 ton flywheel, making it possible to deliver 8,000 hp to the rolls at times of peak load
Antique Steam - South Peace Centennial Museum - live steam days for traction engines and others - When an engine has a name like 25 -75 HP it means that the draw bar has a rating of 25 HP and the flywheel has 75 HP. The 25 HP is close the the boiler HP rating derived from it's surface area.
ChemicaLogic - steam related software
ModelsYou can buy finished live steam models ready to run, kits of parts that are ready to assemble, kits of parts that need some work to assemble, raw castings that need machining, and plans for build form scratch models. There is a good sized industry in the United Kingdom to fill the needs of this model builder market. In the U.S. there are a number of live steam railroads built to a scale where people can ride on or in smaller sized rail cars. Many of these are in peoples gardens.
Manufacturers1 HORSEPOWER STEAM ENGINE by Mike Brown & Sensible Steam Consultants -
Bill Newcombe Steam Models - email@example.com
Brunell Model Engineering - nice line of engines
Caloric Engine Co. - model gas engines
Maxwell Hemmens - dealer - very nice showman's traction engine - financial info -
Kenneth Rhodes - builds (machines & assembles) model steam a gas engines
Reeves - has a wide assortment of Models.
South Street Trading Co Ltd. - about 3 dozen very high quality models
Stuart Models - have kits with all parts machined ready for assembly. I built one of their stationary engines.
TINY POWER: STEAM ENGINES - small engines for doing work
Model Steam Engines UK - castings, machined kits, finished + 6 VAC alternator
InformationBailey Craftsman Supply - Stirling Cycle Engines - The Stirling Outlet - Sterling engine models - Excellent Sterling links - American Sterling
LindsayPublications Sterling plans
Bay Area Garden Railway Society - California garden railway group & Steam in the Garden - with good links for garden railroads
ENGINEERING in MINIATURE - magazines - Books -
Live Steaming - If you are interested in model RR engines that use live steam to drive real pistons, then this is a page for you
The Traction Engine Pages Steam Links - Many live steam links on the U.K. web page.
Live Steam - a U.S. magazine devoted to live steam - Stemgag Publishing - Antique Power - Modeltec -
Model Engineering and Home Shop - web page
Modeltech - magazine
The Model Engineer - a magazine with lots of construction articles - I'm not sure if this is the web page for the magazine
Web Model Steam Engine that you work with your mouse - shows the linkage and valves (takes a couple of minutes to load)
ToysToys in my definition are made using sheet metal and lower cost construction methods. These are the sheet metal type models, not the ones made from castings like the Reeves line.
Yesteryear Toys and Books Inc. - in U.S.A. -
Mamod - dealer -
Wilesco? - dealer -
Dave's Toy Steam Engine collection -
Toy List - some steam models and toys
Tim the Toy Man - Steam & Things - links -
A Collection Of Toy Stationary Steam Engines And Pop-Pop Boats -
Krick - steam boat engines - dealer -
Jensen Steam Engine Mfg. Company - stationary engine plants
Eureka, Found It! - used live steam toy dealer -
Paul Pluta - Wilesco & Mamod
LGB - these are G scale electric trains. the link is here even they are not steam because I used to have a lot of them. I found that putting 2 magnets under the engine made the switches work more reliably. Using the switches you could have layouts with many independent trains all running by themselves. Since there are only 2 rails the polarity would need to be switched to allow a train to go either way on a given section of track. I remember one layout that had a yard with 4 trains. One would let the train go down a long track and at the end go around a loop and come back on the same track. Near the yard it would branch and go back onto the same track that it came from. That would release the next train to run. They would all take their turns. I resisted the temptation to build my own parts of the system. If I started doing that, there would be no end to what could be done. A friend liked to build with Legos. He built a working grandfather clock that kept time reasonably well, but used only Lego parts, he did not want to get into making his own parts.
Lilliput Motor Company - has some live steam toys
An alternative form of gas engine ignition is the Magneto (Wiki). They have a number of advantages. No battery needed, great for vehicle that's stored longer than shelf life of battery. Ignition system is light weight so used in aircraft and motorcycles.
662316 Magneto-electric machine, Frederick Richard Simms, Rober Bosch, Nov 20, 1900, 310/155; 123/149G - internal combustion engines
Atwater Kent Type B. Unisparker
The Arthur Atwater Kent company (Wiki) purchased the spark ignition system he sold from Thomas H. McQuown. This system works on a different principle than the later Kettering (Wiki: Delco) ignition system. The Kent system used "trembler or buzzer" coils, like on the Ford Model-T (Wiki) (1919 to 1927). These produce many sparks and if constant power is applied the high voltage will be a constant stream of sparks. The problem is that it only works on low compression engines and at low RPM. With the advent of higher compression ratios (Wiki) and higher RPM engines the Kettering system took over. The Kettering ignition system uses a coil that's just an auto transformer (it has no trembler or buzzer). The current is going through the coil most of the time so it's magnetically saturated. At the instant the points break the magnetic field collapses causing a single high voltage pulse on the secondary.
This is based on looking at the outside since the inside is potted.
The two left terminals marked: INT and G go to the interrupter and engine ground, i.e. the points that make a very brief contact at the moment there should be a spark.
The two right terminals marked: CARBON and ZINC to the the Positive and Negative battery terminals of the series connected ignition batteries.
The center terminal is the High Voltage output.
The On-OFF switch at the top right is for turning the engine on or off.
The START switch at the top left is for "starting off the switch" (Rolls Royce).
Fig 4 Box filled with Red Glyptal?
Oct. 11, 1904 (see: RE12273)
Nov 22, 1904 (see: 775665)
Ohm Meter Readings
Note 1: 0.7 Ohms when START is pressed
Note 2: With INT shorted to G: Carbon to Zinc is 0.9 Ohms
Note 2: With START pressed: Carbon to Zinc is 0.7 Ohms
----- searching for Nov 22, 1904& class 200/? ----
755844 Electric Time switch - for a clock
775665 Circuit Controller, Archibald D Scott, Varley Duplex Magnet Co, Nov 22, 1904, 200/19.26; 200/574; 200/6BB; 200/DIG.9 - for gas engines, goal minimum contact time (backwards from Kettering ignition which needs as much dwell as possible).
745370 Electric-circuit closer and breaker, Thomas H McQuown, Dec 1, 1903, 200/469; 200/19.2; 200/38D - for sounding chimes from master clock
748638 Electric-circuit closer and breaker, Thoma H. McQuown, Jan 5, 1904, 200/38R; 200/19.2; 200/38D - for sounding chimes from master clock
749743 Speed-indicator, T. H. Moquown, Jan 19, 1904, 235/104; 377/23; 73/489; 73/491; 73/506 - shows speed and total revolutions of vehicle, but Fig 5 to Fig 8 show the circuit breaker and were the subject of a separate applications serial No. 137445 dated 1900 and serial No. 137790 also of 1900 which turned into RE12273.
950339 Sparking device, Thomas H Mcquown, Arthur Atwater Kent, Feb 22, 1910, 200/19.12 - timer and distributor for gas engines
1011070 Electric-circuit closer and breaker, Thomas H McQuown, Arthur Atwater Kent, Filed: Jul 18, 1904, Pub: Dec 5, 1911, 200/19.2 - applied to gas engines
RE12273 Electric-circuit closer and breaker, Thomas H. McQuown, Oct 11, 1904, 200/19.26; 341/17 - (Re-Issue of 749743)
1109689 Electric-circuit closer and breaker, Thoma H McQuown, Arthur Atwater Kent, Sep 8, 1914, 200/19.2, 235/103 -
------- Arthur Atwater Kent Patents-----
1391256 Induction-coil structure, Arthur Atwater Kent, Atwater kent Manufacturing Co, Sep 20, 1921, 323/305, 338/301, 336/107, 123/594, 123/634, 336/96 -
1474152 Induction coil, Atwater Kent Arthur, Nov 13, 1923, 336/96, 336/234, 336/107, 336/65 -
Kettering (Delco) Ignition System
The points in the 427 Cobra would "float" at about 5,000 RPM and that was the limit to higher revs, so I had a distributor shop install racing points to raise the RPMs. More modern spark ignition engines use one HV coil per cylinder thus allowing more time to charge the coil allowing higher RPM operation. Also this eliminated the distributor (one less thing to go wrong).1150523 Engine-starting device, Charles F Kettering, Dayton Engineering Lab Co, Aug 17, 1915, 290/22, 74/481, 74/810.2, 123/179.1 - electric starter
1037491 Ignition apparatus for explosion-motors, Charles F Kettering, Dayton Engineering Lab Co, Sep 3, 1912, 315/219, 335/124, 315/226, 361/268, 315/287, 315/224 - uses an interrupter (trembler, buzzer) item "I", so not the modern system.
1037492 Ignition system, Charles F Kettering, Dayton Engineering Lab Co, Sep 3, 1912, 123/146.50A, 310/247, 200/6.00R, 200/19.1 - this is the modern Delco system.
1163092 Timer or current-interrupter, Charles F Kettering, Dayton Engineering Lab Co, Dec 7, 1915, 200/19.29 - distributor combines points and HV selection
1170275 Ignition system, Charles F Kettering, Dayton Engineering Lab Co, Feb 1, 1916, 290/41 -
Reference: Atwater Kent Automotive Applications
Kittering Bug (Wiki)This is the precursor to the Cruise Missile (Wiki) designed by the same Charles Kettering with the help of Elmer Sperry of Gyroscope fame. Sperry patented a radio controlled version:
1792937 Wireless-controlled aerial torpedo, Sperry Elmer A, Sperry Gyroscope Co Inc, Priority: Dec 22, 1916, (15 year delay) Pub: Feb 17, 1931 - secret throughout W.W.I
The distance traveled was estimated by using a counter preset to the number of propeller revolutions to the target and counting down. At zero the wings were disconnected and the engine turned off.
When designing a product there are always considerations of schedule and price and sometimes one of these may be the critical design parameter. The normal case is when functional engineering decisions are made.
I attended a lecture by Charles and Ray Eames (Wiki) where they said a product designed when the life of the user is at stake did not contain any marketing elements and so tended to be elegant. This is related to the Form Follows Function school of design (Wiki). The example given was the gyroscope used in aircraft.
There are conflicting functions for any vehicle and they may be Performance, Utility, Luxury and Economy. There are many performance parameters such as top speed, gas mileage, range, &Etc. Utility vehicles need to do the job they were designed to do at the lowest cost point. Luxury vehicles tend to give up on all the other factors. Economy vehicles give up on the other factors.
Vehicles that are aimed at general markets tend to be a blend of Performance, Utility, Luxury and Economy. But a blended design can not come close to a purpose designed vehicle where only one goal is present. The family sedan can not set a world land speed record.
A multi-tool that does many things can not compete with a single purpose tool when used for it's stated task.
A possible design consideration is Mean Time Between Failures (Wiki: MTBF). I learned about this when I was engineering products for military applications where MIL-HDBK-217 was the defining document. I also had a conversation with another engineer who worked at RCA and was involved in the design of color TV picture tubes where the goal was to get the MTBF at one year plus one day. That's to say just after the warranty ran out. While not the same as the "sell razor blades not razors" business model (Wiki), it's in the same ballpark. This would allow RCA to sell a second picture tube and give employment to the local TV shop.
Individual components can be tested to determine the parameters needed as inputs to the MIL-HDBK-217 calculations. Then these components can be combined to make a sub assembly where its MTBF can be computed. These sub assemblies can be combined into a sub system with its MTBF and so on. Thus the MTBF for a complete aircraft outfitted for a specific mission can be calculated. The idea is that the MTBF should be longer (maybe 4 times longer) than the total mission time. It's my recollection that an early F-111 (Wiki) had failures during a mission and the guys at Aertech who made some parts for the terrain following radar were nervous until they learned is was not their component that failed.
I think MTBF should be a required part of a product label. The idea is to let the buyer know the longevity of the product. Some buyers may want to pay less and get a product that's only going to last a year while others may want to pay more and have a longer lasting product. This has implications when deciding to make a major repair. On a car with a short MTBF making a major repair may be a waste of money, but on a car with a longer MTBF might be an excellent investment.
At the end of the movie Blues Brothers (IMDB) the car they were driving throughout the movie disintegrates. This is the ideal case of matching of MTBFs for all the components of the car. If, for example, one part of the car has a much longer MTBF than the rest of the car then that part can be re-engineered to have a lower cost and shorter MTBF thus lowering the cost of the car without impacting anything else.
Pete Brock was big on the idea that engines (and vehicles) should be very reliable as well as fuel efficient. His idea was a low BMEP engine was superior to a high BMEP engine.
Miles per gallon has been the metric for quite some time. But the introduction of alternative fuels has complicated the comparison. Now new cars are labeled with MPGe (Wiki). This is based on the energy content of various fuels (Wiki). Note the table says 34.02 kWh/Gallon, but the EPA uses 33.7 kWh/Gallon.The Delsbo Electric contest in Sweden (New Atlas: June 2019) the new record is "0.603 watt-hours per person per kilometer" (when 6 people are on board with a total people weight of 660 lbs.) The actual vehicle therefore comes in at 6 * 0.603 Wh/km = 3.618 Wh/km = 3.618 Wh * (1 km/0.6213712 miles) = 5.82 Wh/mile. This is done on train tracks, not on a road using tires. Using the EPA value of 33.7 kWh/Gallon = 33,700 Wh/Gallon gives about 8,000 MPGe.
The Tesla Model S is rated about 104 MPGe. Delsbo says the Eximus III is about 76.4 times more efficient than the Tesla Model S, or 7945 MPGe.
Self reporting by the CSX railroad says they get 471 ton-miles per gallon of Diesel fuel whereas trucks get 134 MPG on Diesel.
These translate to 418 MPG for rail and 118 MPG for trucks on gasoline because Diesel contains more energy per gallon than gasoline.
But how the weight (note: ton-miles) effects the results depends on the elevation changes of the routes used for the annual calculation.
A horsepower (Wiki) is defined as lifting 550 pounds one foot in one second. Also see M-360 eTrike hill climbing.
So the Delsbo results are biased because they are run on a level RR track. It's similar to measuring gas mileage on a level track on a windless day. Much better to make these measurements on some stated course, like the CSX railroad using all the routes they have.
Got his start by winning a 1904 contest to see how far a contestant could go on an Imperial quart of petrol. He went 40 miles, i.e. 160 MPG (Wiki). He did that by optimizing everything he could think of for maximum fuel efficiency.
He holds over 100 patents related to engines. including US1677249 Method of making sleeve valves, 1928-07-17. Wiki says he didn't invent them but wrote and extensive paper.
In the movies it's sometimes said that the GPS system knows where a GPS receiver is located and that by hacking the GPS that location can be found out. That's not the case. The GPS satellites only transmit to the GPS receivers. The GPS receiver does not transmit any data back to the satellite.
Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles &Etc.
There are a number of ways cars can be tracked. For example by the use of bridge toll transponderes or license plate cashmere (see FasTrak). If the car has it's own cell phone, such as the One Star system, then there are many ways cell phones can be tracked (see: Spying on Cell Phones). There are many "GPS Trackers" sold on eBay. These combine a GPS receiver and a Cell phone which places a call from the tracked item. These only work if the GPS antenna can see the sky AND the cell phone antenna can connect with a cell tower for the provider.
Most modern aircraft now have ADS-B (Wiki) transponders. There are a number of services, like FlightRadar24, that consolidate that information and present it on a world map so that you can see pretty much all aircraft traffic in the world. Note that ADS-B works in conjunction with the 1 GHz IFF (Wiki)/Aircraft Transponder system (Wiki, SSR)) so is not available over oceans.
Most commercial ships have a transponder and can be tracked using something like Ship Tracker. This makes use of Automatic Identification System (Wiki: AIS). Most of these ships transmit the AIS information on a VHF radio channel (about 162 MHz). There is a Satellite version (S-AIS) and a Long-range Identification version (Wiki: LRIT) that will work in the oceans.
Pets, Keys, Objects
Most of these tags work using short range radio signals where a cell phone needs to be within a couple of meters of the object.
The AN/ASD-5 Black Crow is a passive directional receiver system used to detect spark ignition vehicles from the AC-130 (Wiki). I think the mention of MAD detection associated with the ASD-5 may be a cover story since most references talk about it hearing ignition signals from trucks. If it really was for MAD there would be a tail boom.
3508238 Intrusion detection system, Buford M Baker, TI, 1970-04-21, 340/551 - two equal area loops are fed to a reactance amplifier series connected but with opposite polarity so that the net signal from a change in the Earth's magnetic filed is zero. A magnetic object moving in either of these will set off the alarm.
3609679 Earth field vehicle detector, Robert E Updegraff, Robert F D Ausilio, Threshold Eng, 1971-09-28, - buried loop larger than vehicle so pulse on entering loop and another on leaving loop.
3723988 Anisotropic thin film plated wire line sensor, V Kardashian, Honeywell, 1973-03-27, - a special cable, but no indication of where on the cable.
3727206 Personnel-vehicle intrusion detection system, F Geil, A Nelkin, Westinghouse, 1973-04-10, - uses two liquid filled tubes senses deferentially
3745450 Metal detection system for indicating the motion and direction of motion of a body having magnetic properties, M Wilt, Teledyne, 1973-07-10, - two time constants on two loops.
3754223 Intruder detection system, S Shtrikman, Yeda R&D, 1973-08-21, - d high permeability magnetic core wound with alternate polarity coils
3812484 Perimeter intrusion detection system, R Miller, W Carr, Westinghouse, 1974-05-21, - special buried cable, flux gate type operation, opposing polarity coils,
3889181 Magnetic system for discriminating between vehicles and personnel based upon their characteristic frequency signatures, Charles B Greer, Army, 1975-06-10, - uses single magnetic input then two channels (personnel & Vehicle).
4021725 Mobile mine detection system having plural color display, James L. Kirkland, Navy, 1977-05-03, -
6014447 Passive vehicle classification using low frequency electro-magnetic emanations, Kirk Kohnen, Wilbur W. Eaton, Raytheon Co, (Hughes), 2000-01-11, -
Uses both an e_Field antenna and and 3-axis magnetic sensor (they used relay coils) and used patent:
5425105 Multiple adaptive filter active noise canceller, to remove power line hum.
Looks at spark frequency (and its harmonics), the alternator frequency (pulley ratio to crankshaft (spark frequency), manual v. auto transmissions,
Surface Towed Array Sonar System (SURTASS) (Wiki) acoustic only classification of submarines
1470733 Sound detection, Harvey C Hayes, Submarine Signal Co, 1923-10-16, - line array of phased microphones
1636510 Directive sound transmission, Harvey C Hayes, Mason Max, Submarine Signal Co, 1927-07-19, -
Surface Towed Array Sonar Sys-tem (SURTASS)
1932 Bucyrus-Erie 5O-B Steam Shovel
3 Wheel Recumbent Electric Bikes
Addmotor M360 Electric Trike
ATV Fire Truck (Polaris Ranger EV)
Bicycle Science - M-360 eTrike
CSX-3282 427 Cobra
Ford 1942 script GPW Jeep
HMMWV Hummer 1 ¼-Ton, 4X4
M1009 CUCV TRUCK, UTILITY, TACTICAL, 3/4 TON, 4x4, M1009, Chevrolet K5 Blazer with a diesel engine and 24 Volt electrical system
M151 MUTT Jeep
Motor Bikes & Scooters
Tilting Three Wheel vehicles
Kew Bridge Steam Museum - good links page - Rod Stewart's link page -
Hary's Old Engine page - Stationary Gas Engines - links - Antique Gas Engine & Related links - Fairbanks Morse - 10.5" flywheel gas model castings & plans -
Tractor Related Sites -
Coker Tire - for old American iron from motorcycles to trucks
Electric Vehicles, Design and Build Your Own by Michael Hackleman, Earthmind/ Peace Press, 1977, ISBN 0-915238-17-9 is an excellent book for many uses. I used it as part of the basis of my vehicle acceleration computer program.Brooke's Home Page
How to Make Your Car Handle by Fred Puhn, H.P. Books, 1976, ISBN 0-912656-46-8 - The best book on handling that I have seen. It is both understandable and practical.
Are You Eligible for a California Vehicle License Fee Refund from DMV? -
AutoWeek - automotive magazine with good articles
Antique Power - tractor magazine - This old truck -
Beaulieu - National Motor Museum - Core Collection - Cars & Vans - Motorcycles, Bicycles & scooters - extensive collection & restoration
BMW motorcycle- USA factory bage
Classic Motorbooks - they've got a book on about every car ever made & a lot of books on special interest cars, tractors, motorcycles, etc.....
Cornell - Formula SAE - used to do vehicle dynamics calculations, like used for the car stunts in the Burt Renolds "Smokey and the...." movies
Edmonds - new, used, road tests, etc.
Electric Auto Association -
Electrical Vehicle Association of the Americas -
Hemmings Motor News - all auto related calssified ads
Motorsport News International -
New Scientist -
R.Q. Riley - Electric And Hybrid Vehicles - An Overview of the Benefits, Challenges, and Technologies - Plans: Cars, Three-Wheelers, EVs & Hybrid
Skinned Knuckles Magazine - if you're doing automotive restoration work this is a must have, the "what went wrong" is very informative (the idea behind my web page Hints & Tips)as are other sections
Special Car Journal - on line mag
Page created 30 Jan. 2000.