FIRING-UP OR STEAMING-UP A STANLEY
   

Stanley literature claimed that a Stanley Steam Car could be prepared and ready to drive from a cold start in as little as 20 minutes.  If all the tanks were full and everything was in operating order then this might indeed be possible.  Today, due to the value of the cars, and the desire to keep them running well past the present owner's lifetime, a more leisurely firing up is performed.  Once steamed up to operating pressure, and with a properly operating pilot, any Stanley is always ready to move at the motion of the throttle.

The instruction booklet that was included with a Stanley does an excellent job of explaining all the steps to properly prepare a car for driving and even how to drive it.  Reproduced below are portions of a Stanley Model 735 manual from 1918.  The "old English spellings and grammar" have been left "as is" for the enjoyment of the reader.  The instructions included a series of nine drawings.  Each of the drawings is available for review by clicking the links at the end of the article.  The remainder of the booklet included discussions on each of the components of the Stanley Steam Car.  That information has been included as applicable on other pages of this web site.

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CARE AND OPERATION OF THE STANLEY STEAM CAR

PREPARE THE CAR

FILL THE WATER TANK
The water tank should be filled before it is entirely empty, and overflowed a short time to carry off accumulated oil. Remove the filler cap from the radiator and run water from a hose into the radiator until the water tank under the car fills and overflows.

When filling the water tank through the radiator if a large hose is used the water may run back into the feed water heater and engine, and this would be more likely to occur if the car was headed up a grade. If the car is moved with water in the engine, it would be likely to bend or break a crank or connecting rod. To avoid this, leave the brake on and open the engine drip valve and the throttle valve a little and wait until dry steam blows out of the drip valve before starting the car.

FILL THE BOILER
Use the hose connection furnished with the equipment to connect a hose from a hydrant to the boiler blow-off pipe in front of the boiler on the right.

Open the blow-off valve on this line.

Open the throttle by pushing the throttle lever on steering post forward.

Open the engine steam chest drip valve, the stem of which comes through the running board shield on the left side of the car.

The object of this is to vent the boiler so the air can escape when the water enters.

Lift the left side of the hood and open the small door in the top of the flue over the boiler.

Open the lower try cock at the bottom of the indicator body between the boiler and the dash.

Turn on the water at the hydrant and fill the boiler until water runs out of this try cock, showing that there is sufficient water in the boiler to steam up. More does no harm, but would take more time to raise steam.

Turn off the water, close the blow-off valve and disconnect the hose.

See that water continues to run out at the try cock after the water has been shut off, showing that the water in the boiler is above this point and not being forced out by the water flowing in.

If no pressure water system is available, the boiler can be filled with the hand water pump. To do this:

See that there is plenty of water in the tank.

Open the hand water pump valve at the front end of the front power water pump.

Close the hand by-pass valve, the right one on dash.

Close the feel suction line valve between the cylinder oil tank and the pilot fuel tank so as to avoid pumping fuel.

Operate the hand pump.

This pump being seldom used may be air bound.

See that the packing rut on the hand water pump is tight.

To get the air out draw the plunger out by drawing back the handle.

Loosen the union nut at the front end of the hand water pump so the air can escape.

Push the plunger in.

Tighten the nut and draw out again, repeating until water comes.

When you have finished pumping, with the plunger all the way in, close the hand water pump valve; open the by-pass valve, and the fuel suction line valve between the cylinder oil tank and the pilot fuel tank.

If the car is handled intelligently there should never be any necessity of pumping water by hand.

FILL THE MAIN FUEL TANK
Fill the main fuel tank at the rear of car with kerosene. If kerosene is not available, gasolene may be used.

FILL THE PILOT FUEL TANK
This is the round one under the front seat.

If there is pressure on it, be sure the pilot light and main burner valves are closed, start the cap off, and let the air pressure escape. Then take the cap off, and fill with gasolene only, within an inch or two from the top so as to allow space for air. Be sure the gasket is in good condition and the filled cap screwed down tight, so as to prevent any leakage.

PUMP AIR PRESSURE ON THE PILOT FUEL TANK
Lift the front toe boards and the air pump should be found attached to air check valve, a sitting between the two hand air valves at the foot of the dash.

Open the pilot hand air valve (the one on the left) and pump air until there is a pressure of 30 Lbs., which will be indicated by the red hand and red figures on the duplex fuel pressure gauge.

Close the pilot hand air valve (the one on the left).

PUMP AIR INTO THE MAIN PRESSURE TANKS
Open the main hand air valve (the one on the right) and pump 25 strokes of air into the main pressure tank. Then close the valve and, leaving the pump attached, lay it under the toe boards. Now operate the hand pump until the black hand on the duplex fuel pressure gauge shows 140 Lbs.

FILL THE CYLINDER OIL TANK
Fill the cylinder oil tank (the square one under the front seat) with Harris superheat steam condenser cylinder oil.

It is imperative that this oil is used, otherwise injury may be done to the engine, boiler and condenser. It is manufactured by the A. W. Harris Oil Company, Providence, RI.

The car now being in proper condition for steaming up, follow the STEAM-UP instructions.

 

STEAM UP


We are going to assume in this article that the car is in the condition it naturally would be in, when delivered by a dealer to a customer, or if it had been running previously. That is, that it has water in the boiler and water tank; fuel in the main and pilot fuel tanks; oil in the cylinder oil tank; and pressure on the main pressure tank and pilot tank. In each detail where we ask you to see that a certain thing is so, if you find it is not so read the earlier paragraphs which will tell you how to make it so.

The main fuel tank at the rear of the car has a quantity gauge on the right end. If it contains only a small quantity of kerosene it can be filled now, or after steaming up, as desired.

Remove the carpet from the front foot boards, take the hand pump handle from under the ledge of the front seat and put the flat end over the lever through the slot in foot board.

Remove the right front cushion and seat board.

The square tank under the front seat is the cylinder oil tank. If it contains only a small quantity it can be filled now or after steaming up, as desired.

The round tank under the front seat is the pilot fuel tank and has a quantity gauge on top. See that it is more than 1/4 full.

See that there is 30 Lbs. pressure on the pilot fuel tank, as shown by the red bend and red figures on the duplex fuel pressure gauge.

See that there is 100 Lbs. or more pressure on the main pressure tank as shown by the black hand and black figures on the duplex fuel pressure gauge.

The water tank is under the front seat and foot boards and has a quantity gauge extending up through the foot boards. If it contains only a small quantity it can be filled now or after steaming up as desired. The water tank should be filled before it is entirely empty and overflowed a short time to carry off accumulated oil.

Open the engine steam-chest drip-valve, the stem of which comes through the left running board shield.

Open the throttle by pushing the throttle lever on the steering post forward.

Set the emergency hand brake.

Lift the left side of the hood and open the small door in the top of the flue over the boiler.

Open the lower try-cock at the bottom of the water-indicator body, which is between the boiler and dash on the left side, and see that water runs out of it. If it does, it indicates that the water in the boiler is above this point, and that is sufficient for steaming up. More does no harm but will take more time to raise steam.

START THE PILOT
Open the door in the left running board shield near the front.

Open the peek-hole in the side of the burner casing.

Press the starting-button (the long one on the left).

Wait 10 seconds.

Open the pilot-valve and light the pilot by inserting a lighted match into the peek-hole.

If the pilot lights with a strong clear blue flame, shut off the electricity by pressing the release button (the short one on the right).

In case the pilot does not continue to burn with a clear blue flame, press the starting button for 2 or 3 seconds, shut off by pressing the release button, and if necessary repeat again.

If the pilot fame does not appear strong, with a screw driver turn the pilot screw back and forth quickly a few times.

The pilot should burn with a strong clear blue flame 4 or 5 minutes, so as to thoroughly heat the main vaporizer before starting the main burner.

Close the peek-hole.

START THE MAIN BURNER
The main burner starting valve stem goes through the dash at the extreme left above the steering post, and has a wheel handle.

Do not confuse this with the main burner valve, which goes through the instrument board, and has a lever handle. On earlier cars the starting valve is in front of the dash attached to the steam automatic. This valve admits gasolene from the pilot tank into the main vaporizer.

Open the starting valve one half turn, for one second, close it for three seconds, repeating this until gas comes out of the main nozzles into the mixing tubes, passes up into the combustion chamber and ignited which it will do with a little puff.

Continue opening and closing the valve until the gas, which at first may be wet, becomes dry and almost invisible, then leave the valve open about 2 minutes.

Close the starting valve and open the main burner valve using the same method as with the starting valve until the gas is dry, then leave it open.

Notice the sound of the little puff the burner makes when it starts and the difference in the sound when the vapor is wet and after it becomes dry, so that when you are sitting in the car and turn on the burner, you will be able to tell by the sound when the burner starts, when the vapor is wet, and when it becomes dry.

When steam begins to blow out at the steam chest drip valve, partly close the throttle, so as to keep a small quantity only coming through.

When the pressure on the main fuel falls below 80 Lbs. lift the front toe boards and the air pump should be found attached to the air check valve, a sitting between the two hand air valves at the foot of the dash.

Open the main hand air valve (the one on the right) and pump 25 strokes of air into the main pressure tank and close the valve. If this has the effect of raising the pressure 50 Lbs. or more, wait until the pressure has fallen below 80 lbs. again then open the valve, pump another 25 strokes of air and close the valve again.

Operate the hand fuel pump if more pressure is needed.

When the steam pressure gauge registers 500 Lbs. close the main burner valve.

Close the throttle by pulling back the throttle lever and lock it with the locking screw.

Close the engine steam chest drip valve.

Close the door in the flue and the left side of hood.

See that the pilot light is burning properly and close the peek hole and door in left running board shield.

Replace the seat board, cushion, hand pump handle and carpet.

Before starting out on the road remember to see that the main fuel, pilot fuel, cylinder oil and water tanks are filled or at least contain sufficient quantity for the distance you are going.

 

TO DRIVE THE CAR


Take your place in the driver's seat.

The reverse pedal is the one on the left.

The hook-up catch pedal has a round end, which extends through the reverse pedal pad.

To hook-up the engine press forward on the reverse pedal only, until the catch drops into the notch and holds it in that position.

To unhook, press the round end of the catch pedal until the catch lifts and the reverse pedal comes back to its original position.

To reverse the engine, press both the reverse pedal and catch pedal forward as far as they will go.

Practice hooking up and unhooking until you can readily see when it is not hooked up, but is in full forward gear position, and leave it in that position, driving the car without giving the reverse and catch pedals any thought or attention other than to see that they are in this position.

Open the main burner valve a little and listen for the little puff it should make when the burner starts.

If the burner whistles, partly close the valve. after a few minutes, when the vaporizer gets thoroughly heated, the valve can be opened more.

Release the hand brake.

Unscrew the throttle lever locking screw.

Open the throttle by pushing the throttle lever forward and close it immediately. Repeat this until the car starts.

Open it more or less so as to give the desired speed.

To back the car, press both the reverse and catch pedals forward as far as they will go and hold them firmly in this position.

Open the throttle and close it again immediately, repeating this until the car has gone as far as desired

Release the pedals and see that they come back to the full forward gear position.

While driving, glance occasionally at the pressure gauges to see that the steam and fuel pressures are maintained and at the water indicator to see that the proper water level in the boiler is maintained. The hand should stand nearly vertical, that is, should point half way between high and low and at the cylinder oil blinker to see that oil is being pumped to the engine cylinders.

After you have driven the car a sufficient length of time so that you can drive with assurance, begin hooking up the engine.

Always see that the engine is unhooked before opening the throttle to start the car, and hook it up directly after starting.

If you open the throttle with the engine hooked up and the car does not start, close the throttle, press the catch pedal and, if the reverse pedal does not come back, kick it back, or open the steam chest drip valve until the pedal will come back.

While driving in congested traffic where sudden stops may often be necessary, it is well to leave the engine unhooked.

If while going up a steep hill it should become necessary to stop, hold the car from backing with the brakes and unhook the engine. With the engine hooked up if the car is already moving backward and the throttle is opened the steam pressure may accelerate the motion of the car, instead of checking it, because the steam cuts off so early in the stroke. When the engine is in full forward gear and the car moving backward, if the throttle is opened this would tend to stop the car, provided the reverse pedals were held in position so that the engine could not reverse itself, as it would have a tendency to do under these conditions, and might if the spring were not strong enough to prevent it.

Should the pilot go out, vapor of kerosene in the form of smoke would come out around the hood.

If this occurs, close the main burner valve and run the car until burner has been cleared of vapor, then relight the pilot.

If it has been out so long that the vaporizer is cool, close the pilot valve and follow the instructions to restart the pilot.

When the water tank is nearly empty, if no town water system is available, use the water siphon.

The following Figures were included in the
Instructions For The Care And Operation Of The Stanley Steam Car

Figure 1 ~ Under Front Seat

Figure 2 ~ Control and Indicators

Figure 3 ~ Left Side of Boiler

Figure 4 ~ Burner

Figure 5 ~ Under Front Foot Board

Figure 6 ~ Throttle Valve

Figure 7 ~ Right Side of Boiler

Figure 8 ~ Pilot Burner

Figure 9 ~ Power Pumps

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