I have a 14 touring car with acetylene lights and a carbide generator. I changed all the hoses when I for the car and the system looked so simple I never tested it until tonight.
I cant seem to get the lights to light. I added carbide to the generator, filled the bottle with water and opened the valve 2 turns. I can smell acetylene and have been able to get tiny flames at the burners, but nothing close to right. I tried cleaning the burners with a pin, but it was too big do I used compressed air. They seem ok. Where should I look next?
The first thing i would do is clean up the mess.After clean i would pull the hose off the generator and blow the system out with compressed air. How many drips per min was your two turns worth?? If i remember what Royce said i think 45 drops per min is what your shooting for? The carbide goes in the V channel in the top of the baskett? once you have filled your tank with water adjust your valve by drips per min,and do not guess,count them! Clean clean and when your tired of that clean some more!This nasty system must be cleaned after every use.I have compressed air in my trailer if you need!! Bud still in Wheeler.
It sounds like you are not getting enough gas pressure to the lamps.
Check the system for leaks. Maybe put a smoke bomb in the lower tank.
Also make sure there is a clear flow at the lamps. On mine, I had to shorten the threads on the bottom of the vertical pipe that the fitting on the bottom threads onto. The vertical pipe restricted the flow of gas where the fitting attached.
How much calcium carbide did you use?
Which type of generator do you have?
: ^ )
65 drops per second according to instructions that were in my Victor generator:
Joe, There will be several of us with 14s there that could help to get you going. Bud has given you good advice and Keith Gumbinger has used carbide before. We can work out the bugs before the night parade laps. Looking forward to meeting you. Jerry Kramer
Jerry,Keith can give the best advise and also show a better way!! Bud.
I think I found a leak at the "T" on the radiator. Will keep checking.
Joe, Besides what Bud said and the instructions given above, make sure you have good, fresh Carbide.
You don't want to try to use old carbide because over time it will absorb moisture from the air and lose it's potentcy. That happened to me once and I only got a weak flame from the lights, and besides that, it didn't last long.
When I had fresh carbide and everything was working good, I only got about 45 minutes run time on the lights, and it got weaker and weaker as the time went on.
Because of all this, I switched to using a Prest -o -Lite tank and it works very well.
I will be there Saturday parked with all the other '14's and will help you as best as I can.
At first I just used a little carbide and put it in the V portion of the basket. I wasnt sure if that was enough, or if I put it in the right place, so I added more in the bottom of basket. Spent enough time playing with trying to clear possible obstructions that I added some more carbide just in case. End result was about two golf balls worth of carbide.
Pretty sure the problem is a leak / crack at they T in the pipe that crosses the radiator. I put some epoxy on it, but it is not really sealed yet. Might bypass it with hose. Will look more tomorrow.
The carbide should be fresh, I just bought it a month or so ago and had not opened the can until tonight. I am kicking myself because I had check gas lamps on my to do list for a few weeks now and something else always seemed to get priority as I thought they would be super simple...
The T in the metal pipe has an obvious previous repair on it now that I look at it. I had dropped the radiator off with a rad shop last week and got it back yesterday. Don't know if they cracked it and repaired it, or if it was like that when I gave it to them... My guess is the latter.
I tried to epoxy it tonight, but don't think I got good coverage. I think If I take the rad out of the car, I can epoxy the leaky pipe closed. I hope to have time to do that tomorrow night after work.
More to come...
When i found my tube bad i replaced all of it with copper. They say you must use something better but thats what i did??Bud.
Y'all be sure and post some pictures with the cars lit up. Have fun.
Ken in Texas
The carbide generator on my '14 would not light the lamps until I replaced the gasket between the upper and lower tank. It originally had a gasket that seemed to be made from a thick cardboard or perhaps leather originally. I made a new one from 1/8" neoprene. It fixed the problem!
You might also double check to be sure the clamps are tight enough to compress the gasket to make a secure seal.
I love using the carbide and kerosene lights. I have never been to an event where any one else was using them. That carbide stroll at the HF would be great to see!
Royce,It's more like a never ending parade with hundreds of people watching! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
The epoxy seems to have worked. Gas lights are too cool!
One of the burners was getting flame at the threaded joint. I disassembled and it looked like pipe thread, so I added Teflon tape, reassembled and problem was solved. Going to give the opposite side the same treatment.
The other side burner comes apart at the joint between the ceramic and and the steel. I was going to add a dab if high temp epoxy or rtv to hold it together. Does that sound ok?
That's about the only fix you can do. Otherwise it means replace the burner.
What size of burners are you using?
The safety people will tell you that brass should be used on acetylene lines, not copper.
: ^ )
Steel line works fine too. I am using 1/4" T304 X .035 wall tubing.
Burners are 5/8. The orange RTV I had did not want to cure. I let it sit for about an hour and then I came back, I could still spin the burner. I took it back apart and cleaned burner. Trying some "Maytag high temperature adhesive" I had in the glue drawer..
Anyone going to OCF have a spare burner they wouldnt mind selling please bring it along incase I can not get this one repaired.
The Teflon tape is fine but another item that can be used is pipe dope. It lets you adjust the burner and not have the burner so tight on the base. That way I can move the burner with my fingers and the base doesn't leak and light up.
The lava burner tips are often loose where they attach to the burner stem. I use these to run a small amount around where the ceramic (lava) meets the burner stem.
If the lava tip is falling out, I would use the model glue. Otherwise, the super glue works great and you can't see it. It doesn't get hot right there. The stem (pipe) doesn't get hot either and you can adjust the burner even while it is lit. It is chrome plated brass.
Brass 1/4" rigid tube is available at almost any hardware store.
Ken in Texas