I'm about to add an off-set valve, B tank to my 14. I've done a forum search but still have a couple of questions:
I'm a little confused about whether to use copper or brass lines with the red rubber hose. There seems to be a conflict on which is safer, copper or brass.
Does anyone have some sort of diagram showing how the metal tubing is routed?
Do I need some sort of regulator at the valve end like the one on Ebay (link below)? And is a vintage one like it safe?
Thanks again for all your help.
Oh, one more thing: are the Prest-O-Light decals still available and, if so, from who?
There are some safety issues with using acetylene in copper tubing. The brass tube is so easy to get at the hardware store I went that way and crossed that possible issue off the list.
Ford used brass and the ends of the tube look sort of like this:
The single clamp has these parts to it:
The "rear gas line" is a straight piece of 1/4" brass tubing 44 inches long. It runs along the left lower frame rail. '13 and '14s have a single clamp bolted to the frame channel just forward of the brake cross over mount.
A short piece of red hose runs up to the radiator "T" connection and a somewhat longer piece of red hose from the rear gas line up through the hole punched in the splash apron. Then to the Prest-O-Lite or carbide generator whichever you want to use.
If you use a regulator/gauge, what you will find is you will be running only about 2 to 3 psi out of your POL tank and have all the gas you need for 3/4 burners to fishtail like they should. I use a small Uniweld regulator like this:
Set it at 2-3 psi and you're good to go. The second gauge is the tank pressure and it lets you know "sort of" how much acetylene is in the tank. I have been running at 4 psi with "0" tank pressure (obviously 4 psi or more) for two weeks. What do I have? An almost empty Prest-O-Lite B tank.
The regulator you showed is a 10 psi and I don't run my acetylene near that high.
I don't know where to get the labels but others may have already answered you about that as well as some of what I said.
Ken in Texas
Here are a couple of threads where we were discussing your question on gas line location, etc.
Ken in Texas
The antique Prest-o-Lite "Automatic Reducing Valves" were set at 3 psi. However, all you have to do is "crack the valve" to get enough gas to flow. If you can hear the gas hiss at the headlamps, you have the gas too high. There is a little learning curve, but easy once you get the hang of it.
The two links that Ken posted pretty much cover it for the 1914.
Please keep us posted and show pictures!
: ^ )
Years ago I bought one of the Prest-O-Lite tank decals from Restoration Supply Company (they were in NV at the time, now in CA)
The plumbing in the tank must be very small where you can crack the valve and not burn down the house?? With my modern small bottle i set the reg at about 2 psi but i still need a flow reducer [valve] in the system?? Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
I agree with Bud. I have a regulator set for about 2 psi and still need a flow control valve to get the flame right. My tank is mounted under the rear seat so the regulator and flow valve are not visible. YMMV.
I agree with you guys on the flow control. It makes for consistent flame size.
I use one of these at each headlight. They are brass Radnor valves used on acetylene torch set ups. Solid brass and about $10 each as I recall.
I tried a couple of propane stove valves but these Radnors stay put and the flame will be the same size when you light the burners a week or month later.
Another plus with the flow control is you can have a 1/2 cubic foot burner in one headlight and a 3/4 in the other and set the flame of both burners to the same size.
Ken in Texas
I run the POL tank on my '14 without a regulator & just open the valve a crack to light the lights, then adjust the valve for about a 5/8" wide flame.
Last week at the OCF, I lit the lights at about 7pm and the flame stayed exactly the same for over 2 hours until I put the car away for the night.
Several years ago I bought the POL tank decal from Gary London who had some made up. I don't think he has any left now.
If you are going to use a flow control valve then I think you must use a regulator. The acetylene must not exceed 15 psig beyond the tank, less pressure would be better. Acetylene is unstable above 15 psi unless it is dissolved in acetone. The acetone stays in the tank (the reason for the offset valve) and high pressure acetylene between tank and flow control valve can make life "interesting". You can literally set your regulator at the lowest setting that it will function; the burners work very well at 1 1/2 inch-columns of water (about 2 ounces pressure).
So, the consensus seems to be NOT to use copper, but brass is okay. That I don't need a regulator, just crack the valve. Thank you all of you for your help, knowledge, previous posts and, well, just for being you! Any other suggestion?
I'll post pics once I start the project Monday.
Trying to get it done for the Covered Bridge Tour.
Yes, and we shouldn't forget that the two headlight burners are a "flow control" valve themselves.
The 10 psi Prest-O-Lite regulator Marty showed on ebay would address the 15 psi line pressure issue. My only question would be, how to check that type regulator to be sure it functions properly?
Ken in Texas
My barn fresh 1912 has all the original carbide lines intact. They are brass with a soldered "T".
The line runs up the drivers side of the frame rail. At the front cross member there is a "T" with the shorter line running to the left hand side headlight. Of course the longer line runs to the passengers side. These front lines are bent to match the contour of the cross member.
These lines are attatched to the underside of the frame rail with metal clips and the same weird square head bolts that hold the engine side pans on. The front cross line was fastened the same way only to the back side of the cross member.
Marty, We're going to the Covered Bridge Tour also and will look forward to seeing you there.
I did some pressure testing on a couple of 5-lb Prest-o-Lite regulators I have. One was for an MC tank, the other for a B tank. The regulator for the MC tank was higher than 5-lbs. I don't remember the actual reading. The regulator for the B tank has the small flow valve at the outlet. That one reads 5-lbs on the spot. With that regulator in place, the flow valve needs to be barely opened to get the right flow of gas. Even 5-lbs is way too much pressure. I have not check actual pressure required, but my best guess is about 2-3 lbs.
On most of the antique Prest-o-Lite automatic reducing valves, the outlet was in the center of the diaphragm (?) so it fit nicely on the tank and running board.
On the later style (but now old) regulator, the outlet is on the side of the regulator, which is problematic when fitting the tank and brackets to the running board. There simply isn't enough clearance between the side of the regulator and the running board to have this type of POL regulator without a spacer. These were used for small torches. They were pre-set at the factory at 5, 10, or 15 lb, depend on application. A plumber would use 10-15 lbs, a jewler would use 5-lbs. I don't think these types of regulators can be adjusted.
One other option that I have explored, but not tested is using a Turbo-torch regulator. It looks like it would fit, and would not be too ugly. They are not cheap. They retail $80-$100+ for the regulator alone. I believe the type would be AR-B. Has anyone used one of these?
Otherwise, the direct pipe and "crack the valve" system works just fine.
: ^ )
You could test the regulator with air pressure.
I "direct pipe" mine also. No regulator, and no hose clamps (so if I'm careless and open the valve too much the hose will blow off).
Where can one aquire an "offset valve B tank"?
Just go to your local welding supply. There are usually some mixed in with the common one with the center outlet. If none are in stock ask them to call you, or just check with them whenever they get their deliveries. they are not rare, just less common.
I'll try that . Thanks Gary
Okay!! I did it!!!
I went to a couple of welding shops and found a B tank with an off-set valve. It even has Prest-O-Lite in relief on the tank! The shop hooked me up with the fittings to attach to the tank and then to the hose.
I ran red rubber from that fitting (thanks Joe Fedullo for the hose) through the hole in the splash apron. From there, I clamped a short brass tube, on the other end of the brass tube I clamped black rubber fuel line and ran that up to the "T" on the radiator. From there, I ran red rubber hose to each headlamp.
It works great!!! But, man, do you ever have to be careful opening the tank valve. When you guys say just open it a crack, you ain't kidding!! I opened it the first time too much -- I thought it was a crack -- and just about melted the headlamps!
One burner still gives me a better "fishtail" than the other -- and, yes, I switched them -- and they both give me a small flame where they screw into the base. The burner with the nice "fishtail" also has a small flame where the lava, or whatever it is, attaches to the brass tube. Not sure what to do about that. I'm going to try some of that TFE dope that Ken Parker suggested.
Once again, thanks for all our help. This forum and you guys are the best.
Welcome to the Enlightenment Club!
Put a couple wraps of Teflon tape on the pipe threads where the burner screws onto the base.
There should be no leak where the lava attaches to the base. Unless you can "glue" it you will need to replace it. What are the number on the burners you are using?
And we'd love to see some pics.
: ^ )
I had to laugh when I read your post about thirty minutes ago. It does sound like you are getting the hang of it! Do you still have your eyelashes??
A little super glue 360 degrees around where the lava attaches to the burner brass tube will get rid of that flame at the base of the lava tip. When the burners leak right there, they will sometimes make a small popping noise.
The pipe dope will cure the leaks at the base and let you line up the burner in front of the mirror.
You were talking about heat so I would like to add that the gas headlights were made to be air cooled. I don't light them until I am ready to drive the car. Three or four minutes is OK to be standing and not moving but after that the bonnets will start to get hot. Just my experience and 2c.
A fun part is the headlight focus and beam adjustment. It is really simple to do and you wouldn't want to scare the horses. <grin>
The gas light system was pretty clever.
Ken in Texas
Keith and Ken, I used some of that TFE stuff on the threads and where the burners attaches to the brass tube. That s topped the leaks. I'll take some pics when I get back from the Covered Bridge Tour next week. Thanks again!