So I got a steam engine project...

Machdaddy

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I'm told it was either out of a Stanley Steam car or was made by the same company that made engines for Stanley. It's been sitting in my basement for 2 years and I need your opinions. Today is the first day of doing research, in fact this is my first post anywhere about it.
Is it a worthwhile project? I kinda think it is just to test my machining abilities. I have always liked steam engines and thought I about buying a kit but this came along and the price was right. Can anybody verify the lineage? Is there a more appropriate forum for me to start hanging around? How would you proceed?
I figure to slowly and carefully disassemble it taking lots of pictures along the way cleaning and checking the fit of everything as I go.
Do you suppose it is a common enough engine that drawings exist?
My personal resources consist of a South Bend lathe and a Cincinnati vertical mill, and lots of time. More machinery at work if I need.
Any advice and direction will be gladly accepted!

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Machdaddy

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Clearly I'll have to get it up into daylight and take better pics fur you folks. Sorry!
 

benmychree

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From what I remember, I do not think that Stanley made an engine with removable crank end heads; there were many steam "buggy" car makes, and makers of engines and boilers, etc. One maker of engines was the Mason Regulator company, they made engines for the early Stanley and Locomobile cars. The engines were located vertically beneath the driver's seat, and the boiler aft of that.
 

francist

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Gosh it sure look a lot like one! I just did a very, very cursory Google image search and came up with this:

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In terms of a project, I think it would be very neat. Why build a kit when you can actually fool around with something "real" that has a bit of lineage to it.

The first thing I do whenever I find something like this is research the heck out of it first. Find out, if you can, exactly what it is before taking anything to pieces. This first step may save destroying valuable information along the way if one is not quite sure what one is working with. There may be some historical value to the piece as well, other than just age, which I would be inclined to look into as well. Not saying you have to give it to a museum, but at least be aware of any significance before doing work on it. My day job for the past 30 years has been in museum and preservation work -- it's very easy to erase that which makes a thing significant, and impossible to get it back. It shouldn't be too hard to find out if what you have is a legitimate piece or not.

After that, well, whatever it becomes I'm sure it would be interesting. Keep us posted on what transpires.

-frank
 

Latinrascalrg1

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I have Absolutely nothing useful to add to this thread but I am Intrigued at that Beautiful piece of Machinery and would like to go along for the ride if you decide to do a rebuild.

I do have a question if you dont mind.......is the engine made from Brass/Bronze or Cast Iron?
 
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Bob Korves

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I agree with Frank. Don't do anything to it until you know what it is and whether it might be an important (and perhaps valuable) historical treasure.
 

Machdaddy

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I also have made a career in the historic museum world and it is not a significant piece. In fact the museum sold it to me in the process of refining their collection.
It seems to be coming apart fairly well, pistons and cylinders will be useable after honing and the two slide valves will be workable with some lapping. Crankshaft is another matter. 636D3849-AE66-4B89-87D2-666CA865432E.jpeg 636D3849-AE66-4B89-87D2-666CA865432E.jpeg 5E08B6D1-D0B5-49E7-B7D9-B8AD2FB22691.jpeg EFD5E4BA-731D-4465-ABA8-153F6461259A.jpeg
 

JPigg55

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My first thought is if the museum you got it from might have any record of it or what it might be.
You might check out a few Keith Appleton YouTube videos. He mostly does model steam engine rebuilds/restorations, but all the concepts are the same. There are many steam engine forums that might prove as valuable resources to ID the engine and/or source parts.

Looking at these videos, it sure looks to be a Stanley Steamer engine.

If so, it might be worth quite a price to someone either properly restored (car collectors are so nit-picky about ORIGINAL parts) or as parts for someone restoring a car.
 

Janderso

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Great steam engine!
Have any of you caught Dave Richard’s Youtube videos?
He runs a steam engine machine shop. Has over 50 videos working on steam engines and running his shop day to day on steam.
Very well worth the time.
 
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