I finally got my acetylene headlamps to work properly, however I have not been able to get neither my original carbide generator to work (has one pin hole in the tank and leaks around the gasket) nor my reproduction generator to work. On the repro I can get a small flame, but it does not seem to build up enough pressure.
However, If I stuff the tip of my acetylene torch in the rubber hose at the generator, and have the pressure real low, about 2 lbs, I can get a good flame at the headlights, which persuades me to lean towards an acetylene tank.
I have a MC tank that I can rig up, but I am unsure about a regulator. A new regulator is in the neighborhood of $100, but I'm not even sure what type I would need, or if I even need one.
The MC tank I have is a modern type, not offset. I know the tank needs to be upright (or at least mostly) and I have all brass pipe and fittings leading to the headlights.
Do I need a regulator?
If so, what type would be recommended? I want to be safe, but reasonable.
How 'bout some of you guys who have an MC tank hooked up? What type of set up do you have?
: ^ )
It'd be cool if you could hide it inside one of the generators.
i have related questions too. the welding store will tell you not to have a tank on its side, but prestolite tanks have been sideways for a hundred years. also, we all know what a dirty flame comes off the torch untill you open the oxegen, so do your head lights mix oxegen good enough to clean the flame and not dirty the mirrors and chimney?
Clayton: the horizontal-mounted B tanks have an offset outlet to allow them to be mounted on their sides. Photo below, arrow was pre-existing and refers to something else.
In my experience, the flames burn clean and bright. Photo bottom, spotlight is electric, headlamps acetylene.
Keith: I run a basic brass regulator from the welding supply shop, but don't know at what pressure.
I volunteer at a local museum where we run the cars for evening events in the winter. We have modern small acetylene tanks mounted in period correct toolboxes. There are angle blocks inside for the tank so that the acetone in the tank doesn't enter the regulator. We use a standard acetylene regulator off a torch setup to keep the gas pressure low and we adjust it to the point where the flames look right.
I am under the impression the early tanks did not have regulators and used a small orifice in the connection to control flow.
If you take a close look at the burners, you will see that they are designed to mix air in as needed.
Regulator; buy the lowest pressure one commercially available.
DO THIS OUTSIDE!!!
Caution! You want to purge any air out of the lines before introducing any source of ignition. Check valves are available for your oxy-acetylene welding outfit to handle this very consideration. I have not used them, and am not recomending them, but I wish to make the point about air in the acetylene lines as a caution. The holes in the burners are so small that the potential of a flame "snapping back" through the burner is extremely remote (probably impossible).
Back out the adjustment.
Turn on the tank.
Turn in the adjustment until you get a decent flow (about 1 psi). Turn off the tank and let things ventilate for a few minutes.
Now turn on the tank and quickly go and light the burners. Maybe have one blocked off so you are only fooling around with one. Once you have the pressure dialed in for a good flame, then turn on and light any remaining burners.
I hope this procedure helps.
I havent done this but i know someone who is a welder by trade and he uses a modern MC bottle fastened to the inside frame-rail of the car. He lit the lights for us one night and WOW! better not look right into them. Really are pretty bright!
i have old prestolite tanks, and b tanks, what is a mc tank?
That Clayton....... >>> https://hdsupplysolutions.com/shop/RecordSearch?catalogId=19168&storeId=10051&la ngId=-1&rstate=135001-1&parentCategoryId=
I believe the MC came from MotorCycle as they were very popular size to put on the early motor bikes.
Ken in Texas
Sometimes you can find a tank with the offset valve so you can put it sideways on the running board but they are getting harder to find and where I am they will only exchange, not refill your tank. So I have a small tank inside the frame rails on my '10. I mounted it on an angle to address the acetone issue and it has been no problem. I just crack open the valve and it gives me plenty of light. I used to use my generator and had no problem with it but my wife did not like me putting the car in the garage after using the lights so I switched over to the tank.
Would you be so kind as to post some pictures of your set up? What type of fitting did you use from the tank to the tube?
I found a super cheap regulator here:
However, Iwrin does not make these anymore. I tried their customer service for information. Does anybody have any experience with this regulator?
Would I be able to swap out the "1/4-1/2-3/4 FULL" gauge for a pressure gauge or would it be on the wrong side of the regulator?
: ^ )
Hi Keith - On my '14 I've used the generator and lit the lights several times for the parade at the Old Car Festival. It works ok, but only lasts for about 45 minutes. Also, as the generator output begins to go down and your lights are getting dimmer, you can't tell that. Yes, it's also lots of work, keeping fresh carbide when it's only used once a year, etc.
Because of all that, I'm switching over to an acetlyene "B" tank like Chris Bamford pictured above. I bought an old original tank on ebay, and it has the guage on the bottom. That tank doesn't have inspection numbers, etc. stamped on it, so I can'r get it filled or exchange it. It's probably only good for display.
I recently bought a current "B" tank at our local welding supply house. It has the offset valve and has "Prest - O - Lite" stamped on the side of it. The cost for the tank was just over $100.00. I have the correct original mounting brackets for the running board and I plan to mount this and use it from now on. Back when our cars were new, they didn't use any regulator with a guage on it. They just cracked the valve about a quarter turn and adjusted it as needed for the correct flame.
I was able to find an original Prest - O - Lite wrench to use also. It has a square hole of about 3/16" on each end. Very simple.
Hope this helps.
Keith (the other one )
i checked my welding supply place and they have some off set valve b tanks, and some not. they said when i'm ready they will exchange any similar size tank for what i want although i'm sure i will have to pay the extra 35.00 for inspection because my tanks are out of date. inspection on acet. tanks is 5 yrs, ox, or other non cumbustable 10 yrs.
Keith, I have never been able to post pictures as I am computer challenged. Send me your email and I will email a picture. It was nothing special as I recall.
Keith, bend that radiator mount cotter pin over for me please. It is bothering me, LOL....