Hello friends; I don’t remember when I started driving my truck. For a long time I drove it on the country roads with no license plates or insurance. Then early on last summer, I got legal, and drove it to Green Bay. That gave me courage to drive to Argos last year. All the time working on WK’s suggested 75% learning. Thought I was doing quite well. Then today it seemed the “ship hit the sand”!! I have never been big on flaring, but my battery for my thermocouples was dead and I didn’t want to ruin this engine ( two with a couple of added tare downs to replace push rods is enough.) I kept trying to flare but no luck, dispite a puff back, and a ton of brown grungy smoke when I opened the hopper lid. I held my breath and tried to start on woodgas. Yep, she started. Hmmm Why didn’t it flare and why didn’t I have smoke coming out of my flare tube? After eliminating a few things, it came down to I was sucking air into the gas at my Kirby, thus diluting the gas or smoke. Today I rebuilt my Kirby set up. I also changed to a new hopper lid. Ok, started the Kirby and gasifier up. While waiting, I noticed that smoke was “puff” out of the lid. Why would the lid puff,puff, puff. If it leaked, it should have sucked air into the hopper–not blow smoke out. Anyway no difference at flaring. no heavy smoke, and it would not flare. I have a pipe with a larger tin can with both ends removed fastened so the pipe is a little down inside the tin can. I tried high speed and low speed on the Kirby. Nothing. Then as I was reaching for the speed control, the flame of my torch dropped down to the under side of the tin can and the gas lit. What the heck is with that? I tried it a couple of more times and it lit every time. And finally time for a road test. Pulled out on the road with the air valve in the full close position that has always been where I have to run it. It got up to 2000 rpm in 4th and that is about the best I have ever gotten so I turned around and headed home. Instead of watching the tack and gear I was in, I looked at the vacuum. Man, it was running about 30 and 18 in. H2O. Before I repaired the leak in my air chamber I always ran at 10 and 5 in. Why am I pulling so much vacuum?? I have a hill to go up as I drive up my driveway, and the engine started to die. So I was going to switch to gas. I reached down and opened the air intake and before I could flip the switch to turn on the fuel, the truck took off up the hill. I looked down at the vacuum and it was 10 and 5 in. with the wire 1/2 open. Wow. What is with that??? When I stopped at the shop it was running fine. I played with the air mix and found when the valve was closed I pulled 25 and 16 in. but it was stuttering and wanting to die. I open it back up and it smoothed out a 10 and 5. I guess that air leak in my air chamber has been sucking air for a long time, just got worse lately.
If you think that is the end of my educational day, I have one more for you, especially Carl Zinn. I recharged and desulfanated the little 12 volt wet cell battery I us just for my thermo couples. I hooked it up and only one of my meters lit up. The one that never worked. I thought I had burned it out when I put it in, but there it was lit up. Hmmm Why are 3 out and one that is normally out, is on??? These are just DC lights so the polarity can’t have any effect. Oh well, try it. I switched the cables on the battery on the one that was lit went out and the other 3 gave me thermocouple readings. Carl, are these meter polarity critical. If so then on the one that never worked when I sparked it putting it in I reversed the polarity. How can I get it back to the same as the other three???
Ok that is my questions for today. I started out thinking I had the 75% down to about 50% but today I went back up to 85% to be learned.TomC