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Oil Field Engines & Related Equipment

Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex


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  #1  
Old 10-19-2013, 01:05:47 AM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

The 1901 Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex is ALIVE! After a couple of months of piddling with this engine I finally fired it up this afternoon. It is a little persnickity about the temperature of the hot tube, and I had to diddle with the gas setting a little more than I was expecting. I also added a choked down orfice across the air intake. I was just about to give up. I had already disconnected my starter engine and it was coasting down when it fired in reverse and took off. It ran awhile in reverse, then it slowed and reversed direction on its own and ran pretty well in forward. Unfortunately I had just stopped recording the engine about 45 seconds before it reversed itself. That is the way it always goes. It is pretty smoky in the videos because I had put a lot of oil in it trying to get it loosened up a little, but it had cleaned up pretty well by the time I stopped running it. I will post two videos of it, the first is when it was running in reverse direction, and then a little longer video of it running forward.

http://youtu.be/l4rKFnOLvV8

Last edited by Ray Ethridge; 10-19-2013 at 01:14:12 AM. Reason: spelling error
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2013, 02:26:39 AM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

Here is the second video, after the direction has changed. The sharp eyed guys will have probably noticed that exhaust smoke was coming out of the cooling lines as well as where it was supposed to. It appears there is a blown head gasket as seen by the closeup later on in this video. i am really glad I did not hook up the cooling and have water in it, i am pretty sure it would have made a huge mess. The governor is a hit or miss governor but at this speed the governor is not working. I nicknamed this engine Miss Piggy, hear the snort each time it takes a gulp of air?

http://youtu.be/dI_xM4QY928
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2013, 09:30:18 PM
W.P.Klein W.P.Klein is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

Atta boy Ray! I really like the tailpipe exhaust feature!
Please show & tell about your starting rig. Bill Klein
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:09:19 PM
JWithers JWithers is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

Do love that sound!
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2013, 12:06:29 PM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.P.Klein View Post
Atta boy Ray! I really like the tailpipe exhaust feature!
Please show & tell about your starting rig. Bill Klein
Thanks Bill. The exhaust pipe came from one of the earlier caretakers of this engine.
I hesitated to show the details of this starter because it is DANGEROUS. This is version 4 of the thing and I am still no where near happy with it. There is a LOT of torque involved in this thing and things happen pretty quickly that you don't expect. For example, once I left it running while I ran around to the front trying to make an adjustment. The flywheels were spinning pretty much at max when I went around. "Normally" it would sit there not in contact, but for some reason the wheel engaged and the whole thing jumped up almost at a 45 degree angle.
You will notice the torque arm is 5 feet long, made of solid 3/4 by 1 1/2 bar stock and held to the ground by a stake. There are also other stakes holding the thing to the ground in several places. The normal ones are bolted to a trailer or to the slab for a reason. There is no way this would work on a concrete floor for example with no way to hold it in place. This thing really should be bolted down somehow.
Running it takes a very delicate touch. It takes a little pressure to get things rolling, but if you overdo it the tire bites in and the whole thing comes off the ground. You need to constantly be loading and unloading the drive tire as the rpms build up. There is a lot of tire smoke and tire chunks coming off when you first engage it. If you try to feed more in to stop the tire from squealing it will take over and feed too much in. When that happens the whole thing jumps back at you. You just have to tolerate the tire smoke and the tire chunks until things get rolling. It is not for the faint of heart and certainly should be approached with caution.
The engine is a Honda sx390. What an impressive engine! LOTS of torque and flat torque curve and super easy to start. I am running it roughly half throttle, or somewhere around 1800 rpms. The pulleys are 4 inch and 12 inch. The outer belt goes away fast but the inner one has been enough for several starts.
Tire selection is critical. The tire size I have is 410/350 4.00, and I am showing the first tire I started off with after maybe three attempts to start the engine. Tire chunks ripped off and the smoke was terrible. The first time I tried it I actually had the tire pressure too low and it ripped the valve stem right out of the inner tube. I replaced the inner tube and ran more air pressure which cured the tube problem but the ground, engine and engine stand was coated with black chunks of tire. I replaced the tire with a go cart slick from Northern Tool, same size. That works much better. There is still lots of tire smoke but it holds together better. In fact you will see the shiny stripe around the tire, I think the rubber got so hot in that stripe that it actually melted, but man did it grip after that happened. There is a 6 inch od solid rubber tire with a 1 1/4 keyed bore available from the Happy Engine Starter guys that I am probably going to buy next rebuild.
Once again, this should not be what someone else builds. This is not the answer. I only use it because I can't run these things by myself until I find the sweet spot without some sort of mechanical advantage.
Oh, by the way the engine does have oil in it. I just forgot to take off the yellow tag!
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2013, 12:15:30 PM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

Some of the first questions people ask about their engines is when was it made and what is the serial number. These are two questions you don't have to worry about with this engine. There is a number cast on the head. I was wondering what it really meant until I saw the number stamped on the crank. They actually cast the serial number into the head! And the date was cast into the cylinder. That would be far too labor intensive for today's production, but a real nice touch on this old lady.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2013, 01:01:15 PM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

I have seen several references to the valving arrangement of the Single Valve Simplex and I have often wondered just exactly what they looked like. Wait, I have one, I can do this! There are at least two versions of this valve arrangement. The one pictured in the oilwell Supply catalog has a different arrangement from what this engine has. Since the catalog is dated 1904 and this engine is a 1901 I think this one must be an earlier version than what was in the OWS catalog. There is one valve in the bottom of a chamber that is cast into the side of the cylinder of the engine. It is operated by a pushrod from the governor assembly. The first picture is of the page in the OWS catalog showing this engine. The second picture shows a closeup of the valve box and the check valve assembly of this engine. The third picture shows the side view of the valve, with its spring mechanism. There is a pair of square ports that open to the outside of the engine. When the valve is opened the gas can flow in and out of these ports. The seat is flat, no complicated angles here! The fourth picture is a top view of the valve. There are two sealing surfaces, the bottom gasket seals the valve to the outside of the engine valve box, and the top gasket seals the valve from the combustion chamber. In both cases the gaskets are protected from the exhaust gases by being down maybe 3/4 inch through fairly close tolerance fits between the valve body and the cylinder castings.
You can see where the actual valve opens on the top view easiest, it opens at the line that is halfway from the top of the valve to the top gasket.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2013, 03:03:42 PM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

I have heard people describe the Single Valve Simplex as having a valve that was open 180 degrees but I found that confusing. Now I understand that they were talking about cam angle. The cam opens the valve roughly half of the time, so it is roughly open for 180 degrees cam angle and closed for 180 degrees cam angle. But since the cam is driven at half speed the engine makes one full rotation with the valve closed and one full rotation with the valve open. When the valve is closed we have the compression cycle and the power cycle. When the valve is open we have the exhaust cycle and the intake cycle. This is a ported exhaust so any excess pressure is exhausted at the bottom of the piston travel so the only thing that needs to be exhausted is the chamber full of exhaust gas, not the full amount that was created by combustion.
The first picture shows the check body with a wire run through where the gas comes into the engine. The second picture shows the check on the support post that is attached to the screw on lid for the check body. The third picture shows a closeup of the seat, where you can see the groove around the outside where the check drops, and the last picture shows the check in the check body showing the fairly tight fit.
Normally when the check is at the bottom of the body the exhaust port is exposed to the valve box. When the piston is moving forward on the exhaust stroke it is forcing the exhaust out above the check through the vertical stack. When the piston starts moving back it creates a vacuum that sucks up the check and exposes the intake air and fuel to the valve box. I stuck my hand down at the intake once when it started its intake stroke, man there is some serious suction going on. The fuel air charge will have no problem getting into the combustion chamber.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2013, 03:13:27 PM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

Here is a pic of the port for the exhaust in the side of the cylinder with a closeup of the port. When the engine is at BDC the top of the piston is approximately inline with the line drawn between the two inside surfaces of the rear most mounting bolts for the exhaust. I found that the cans that hold the blueberries in blueberry muffin mix were the perfect size for the 2 1/2 inch pipe sticking out the bottom of the check. The third picture shows the check assy with a muffin mix can installed, and the last picture shows the orfice I cut into the can I ended up with.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:22:51 PM
Ray Ethridge Ray Ethridge is offline
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Default Re: Oilwell Supply 20 HP Single Valve Simplex

I used two different bottles of propane to run this engine. One was a 30 pounder that had a bbq regulator on it for the fuel for the engine. The gas was regulated with a needle valve from McMaster-Carr. This assy. was actually off my McDonell and Brannen intake, and surprisingly the setting for it was within a half turn of what it took for the Simplex. There was a ball valve shutoff between the needle valve and the check. The second bottle was a 20 pounder with a pressure regulator and gage on it for the hot tube. I started out with 5 pounds on the regulator to the hot tube to get it hot, but this was WAY too hot to actually run the engine. I dropped the pressure to 3 pounds when it was time to run the engine. At 5 pounds the hot tube would eventually get to orange heat, while at 3 pounds it would cool down to dull red heat. The hot tube burner was a John Burns burner assembly with almost all the air intake closed off with aluminum foil. Just a slight amount of one of the air inlet ports was opened up to give just a little more air for the burner.
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