I made a Prest-O-Lite B Tank mount, Rube Goldberg, and posted it in the What have you done today thread but I thought I would make a new thread as the other was so long. Anyway,
I made a little side mount to carry my acetylene tank on the running board this week. I already carry a battery on the running board and rather than have the tank block the rear door I stood the "B" tank upright. I had my spare tire there and I am going to have to do something about that. However,
Everything fastens down to a 2" x 8" x 44-3/4" pine base attached with bolts through the factory running board holes. No need to drill a bunch of holes through an original running board.
The mount is simple enough to make. It takes about two hours after three trips to Lowes.
Another view of the old lay down brackets.
I attached the bracket to the base with lags and the top is attached to the touring #2 bow driver side extension.
The regulator is now just to the left while you are driving. I don't use the regulator but the B Tank shut off is used when you stop. I leave the acetylene regulator set to the first mark which is about 2 pounds I guess. Any adjustment to the flame I make at the headlights with a small flow valve.
NOTE: The NOS battery box from Academy.
I have a safety strap I add around the tank. There is also a "step" under the center of the B tank so it can't move at the tank base.
I do understand this is non-purist but it sure makes running gas headlights easy. Just turn the B tank open 3/4 turn, light driver's light and by the time you light it the passenger light is ready to light. When you park just turn the tank valve off and the lights go out in 15 seconds. You're done.
Anyway, I've had fun doing the gas lights. With carbide at $23.00 a pound from cheapcarbide.com, I can exchange for a full B tank for $23. The MC tanks are about $20 exchange from Airgas.
I do have a beautiful carbide generator but the acetylene tanks let me learn how to set the burner flame, focus the beam, aim the beam left and right/up and down.
I'm spoiled now and understand why there are so many Prest-O-Lite tanks in the old pictures. It's easier!
Ken in Texas
(Message edited by drkbp on January 25, 2015)
I admire your work, however the Prest-O-Lite B tank is designed to be mounted on its side. I don't know if it is safe to have it upright.
You might be better off with an regular B tank or MC tank upright on the runningboard.
What is the number of your burners?
: ^ )
Wondering about that also?? I do not know how the take-off tube is mounted inside the tank. IF (big IF) the tube goes halfway down the tank (which would make sense to me for braking and acceleration sloshing reasons), it could be potentially dangerous to have standing on end. On the other hand, IF (there is that big IF again) the take-off is just the stem with the valve on the end of the tank, it would be fine standing on end. The safety issue is that acetylene is extremely explosive under pressure. Acetylene tanks are designed to keep the acetylene in (the correct word escapes me at the moment, basically a "suspension" or "emulsion") in order to keep the acetylene safe (acetone, if I recall correctly is a part of that process). Any tank left standing or laying in any way it is not specifically designed for risks bypassing the safety (suspension) and could result in an explosion.
You should either change to a modern style MC tank which is designed to stand upright, or somehow verify exactly how that valve stem/assembly is installed inside the tank. For your own sake as well as your car, home, friends, etc.
I don't know how it is in other states, or even all over Califunny. But I have NOT YET been able to find a modern "offset valve" tank in any of the dozen or so welding supply shops I have tried. And a few of those shops actually tried hard to find something for me. Personally, I would be happy to use a modern tank if I could get one near the right size provided I could safely use it laying down.
By the way. Those offset neck tanks are getting difficult to come by in some parts of the country. You may want to re-think trading that one in unless you can still get another one like it in return.
Please do drive carefully, and enjoy! W2
The Prest-O-Lite B tanks with the off-set valve are found mixed with the center valve B tanks at all welding supply houses. They are filled on the same lines as the center valve tanks. They don't have a gauge in the bottom. Those with a gauge in the bottom will be condemned and Western won't fill them. It is a federal regulation according to Western Industries. They tend to corrode around where the gauge goes in and Cary says there is no way to test the bottle in that area.
Western fills acetylene tanks for our area and I talked with the plant manager. He was aware they had been used laying down years ago but they are shipped out to exchange with either tank and vertical service is expected. They are subjected to the same testing. Same thing with the MC's.
Both the Bus (B) and Motor Cycle (MC) tanks were designed to lay down if their supply valve is up. The only reason I got the Prest-O-Lites was they have the name on their sides. I was told how to lay the Prest-O-Lite "B" off-set valve down, and what to watch for, but I would rather whoever wants to do that research it for themselves. Start up and shut down are a lot easier for me with the B valve where I have it.
It's just economics unless you are trying to hide the bottle.
The MC tanks are about $60 and the B tanks are around a $100. The B's have 40 cubic feet and the MC's only 10 cubic feet. If you are trying to hide the tank, the MC would be easier to stick somewhere. The B tanks exchange for $23 and the MC's are $21 so you get 4 times the acetylene for about $2.
I have tried both 5/8 cfh and 3/4 cfh burners. I can't tell the difference. I have the 3/4's in both lamps right now. The 3/4's are what the vendors have. You can also pick those up on Tbay. They were used in gas lights for homes.
You may want to insulate your bonnets and the bucket area under the bonnet. I drove tonight and stopped one time to check the bonnets. They were as cool as the headlight doors. The brass doesn't have to be polished much if they are cool.
The John Browns have insulation behind the mirrors too. I have some asbestos from other lamps but I have been using that muffler wrap behind the mirrors. It seems to work as well as asbestos.
What size mirrors and burners are you using? The John Brown 16's take the 5-1/2"/6" mirror.
Western has one of the largest acetylene tank filling operations in the country about 50 miles from me.
The day I talked to Cary he saw 6 Prest-O-Lites with the off-set valve in one batch of cylinders. He sent me two with the new shutoff valves you see in the picture.
The welding houses told me the B's are used mostly by refrigeration operations in a stationary set-up. They can carry the MC's around by hand.
DO NOT lay a center valve B tank on it's side and draw off gas, period! You will loose acetone into your regulator. The acetylene is dissolved in the acetone and that is what stabilizes the acetylene. That is dangerous.
I'm running a vintage Prest-O-Lite B tank in a 1912 not-Ford. It has the offset valve and is mounted horizontally. There is no "take-off tube" as such into the tank, just a boss in the end where the valve screws into the tank.
Here in Canada (or in Alberta at least) the older tanks are condemned because they contain asbestos as the agent to hold the acetylene in suspension. That law came into effect in 1995. There may have also been a concern about the bottom-mounted valve, as mentioned by Ken and which mine has, but it was never mentioned to me.
The guys at the local refilling station were quite interested in my car and the lighting (and enjoyed their ride around the block!), so when I first went to get the tank filled in 1998, they did an inspection and date-stamped it for 1995. The inspection is good for 10 years, so I was able to get it refilled until 2005.
It still has 2005 gas in it as I have done little night driving the past 10 years. I imagine that when this tank is empty, I'll have to use it just for show and install a smaller modern tank near-vertical under the back seat.
These photos show a MC-sized can we built for a local club member's 1910 non-Ford and mounted under his back seat. The can sits near vertical and, although it looks in the first photo like there may be contact, the rear axle clears the can even on maximum spring compression.
That is a slick setup and it does hide the tank.
Both of my Prest-O-Lites have no gauge on the bottom. Western will fill those as long as they test every ten years.
I use a small Uniweld acetylene regulator, $66. I get the first mark and leave it alone. Shut-off is by the B tank valve. The small valves at the headlamp are left open so all you need to do is turn the B tank on and light up. No pop, woof are anything.
I do have two other vintage P-O-L's with valves on the bottom and those he will not fill. It did seem Cary said something about the medium they use in the modern Prest-O-Lite B tanks and mine have it, not asbestos.
I use the flow valve to set the flame and they stay put when I drive.
I drove around the area and to H.E.B. last night. I believe I will add a gas spotlight once I get the 16's right.
Ken in Texas
Posted a while back by a forum member.
Another case of ridiculous Asbestos worry & legislation--the stuff is locked inside the tank--until it rusts out, no one will be exposed to it! AUGH!!!
Right now we are fighting another ridiculous law being proposed by "do gooders" to ban ivory--even ivory on old antique pianos! If this passes, you will not be able to sell your old piano without stripping off the ivory--and someone tell me how antique ivory threatens living elephants? Besides, most piano key ivory is Walrus!!
AAUGH!!! First they took away perfectly good light bulbs. . . . .
The green '11 is mine. I have no problems with the original side mount tank at all.
Are they going to ban Ivory Soap too? Like you said it just gets more ridiculous every day.
Thanks for letting us know. I admit I am a little squeamish to lay it down but your setup is supposed to be fine. Your bottle sure does look nice! (The car too, of course).
The offset valve on the high side of the bottle and allow a couple of hours for the acetylene and acetone to migrate to the down side of the bottle. That was what I was told.
I will need to find a spot for the spare and battery.
You don't have a gauge on the bottom of the tank, do you?
(Message edited by drkbp on January 26, 2015)
Heres an original running board strap on tbay. You could buy it and make another to match.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Early-Auto-Model-T-Ford-Running-Board-Prestoite- Tank-Bracket-/111580579865?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item19fab 88819&vxp=mtr
My cylinder is a B tank with the offset outlet I picked up on exchange at the welding supply house and painted. I do have an original tank with a beautiful gauge on the bottom, but don't think I can get anyone to fill it.
The tanks with the offset are designed to used horizontal. An acetylene tank is filled with a porous material, then is filled 40% acetone, then acetylene. The problem with regular tanks being horizontal is it's possible to lose some of the acetone out the valve when in use. The offset outlet needs to be mounted at the highest point as you rotate the cylinder, then it's well above the acetone level.
The bracket on eBay is a good deal; I paid $90 for the pair on my car and $100 for another. that may sound high, but try yo find them.....
I told the seller on ebay what their item was because it was mislabeled; I was really surprised it wasn't bought on it's first listing. They lowered the price when they re-listed it.
Gary I had an old tank with a gauge in it that I removed and replaced with a plug. I was then able to get the tank refilled after testing. That was many years ago and it is still at least 1/2 full so I don't know if I will be able to do it again given all the bull----t regulations that they keep ramming down our throats but it is worth a try. My tank is a really nice nickel plated one that would be a shame to replace.
Myself i think i like the set up Keith Townsend posted previous.If it's the position of the off seat valve on the small MC/modern tank i wonder if under the rear seat would work without cutting the floor pan? Bud.
The problem is there is not an MC tank made today that has the offset valve. There are some antique motorcycle MC tanks that sell for big bucks, however most of them have a gauge on the bottom and we all know what that means.
I thought about putting a hole under the floor of my back seat and suspending the tank like Chris's friend did, but did not like the idea of cutting a hole, nor the potential of an acetylene leak contained within the under the seat storage compartment. Hence my design for mounting under the floorboards.
If there was an offset MC tank available, I would have mounted it horizontally under the rear floorboards in a heartbeat!
Here is a diagram from Dykes:
: ^ )
My two vintage P-O-L "B" tanks are like your picture. The gauges are like the one on the right of your Dyke's sheet. One has a gauge in the bottom and the other has the gauge on the top of the bottle.
One of the reasons I posted this thread is to get some feedback on laying the B down. The two brackets on my tank are for a horizontal mounting and it does sound like there is not a problem when the tank is positioned like Gary has his.
Royce lit his gas lights in San Angelo at the Texas T Party last October and it was the first time I saw a Model T run with gas lights. He was using a carbide generator. I decided then I wanted to go back to gas. I don't drive very much at night but I feel considerably better when driving with all the lights lit up in the last couple of hours of the day.
I drive mine with gas regularly. The only problem I have is with the kerosene tail light blowing out.
've got a 10# can of calcium carbide I'm going to take to Bakersfield for $75. Not sure if that's a good price or not, but seems like it is. I bought it before swapping to the Prestolite bottle, when I planned on using the generator.
I have John Brown 110's and a 115 tail light. Mine will take 30+ mph without going out. Yours are different, of course, and I don't have any like those. Maybe Friday I'll run out to Bear Creek Park here in Houston and see if I can put them out on the run.
What I do have is a "smoker" on one of my extra 110's. The same burner that I have on another lamp will not burn without the smoke spiral off the flame in that "smoker". I don't care what I do!
I've worked on that lamp cleaning out the walls good and it still smokes. The ones I do run have a nice arched flame. They all will smoke if the door is open because they are supposed to draft up through the burner cone.
I drove the car to my office this morning with the flame "up" on the gas lights. I'm sure I blinded the other drivers!
I set the top of the acetylene flames with a slight arch in them. Close to the fishtail shape. I'll try them a little higher next time.
I didn't get going more than about 30 mph but had no trouble at all with kerosene and the gas light flames stayed right where I set them when I left the shop. The bonnet tops were cooler than the tops on the side lights. If you don't light up the gas lights until you are ready to move, heat does not seem to be an issue.
I mention some of this because I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this "lighting up" project a couple of months ago. I didn't see much on the forum about running the brass era lighting but maybe I didn't look hard enough.
I do run a electric tail/stop light and a magnetic flasher on the rear. Also, Walmart has the 1/2" wicks for the side lights.
Ken in Texas