Here is a crankless starter for a early Brass car
It is a valve that you attach to your carbide generator and then to your engines intake manifold
My understanding is you turn on the valve flood your motor with gas hit the coils and hold on.
Does anyone know anything about these
That's the button on Trump's desk...
What does the valve look like on the back side and do you have the rest of it?
Carbide starting systems were used with tanks rather than generators as the tank can supply a constant known pressure.
A charge in the intake manifold would have to be hand cranked into the cylinders to work.
Prest-O-Lite offered one and this is an add from one of the trade magazines. Uses a running board acetylene tank and a valve operated by the driver to "start on compression".
It says the acetylene is piped into the intake manifold. That sounds like using acetylene like starting fluid as Layden says above.
Ken in Texas
(Message edited by drkbp on February 06, 2018)
Notice in the Prest-O-Lite ad that you can see the piping to each cylinder, yes there also was a connection to the intake manifold. Without connections to the cylinders the ignition will not set off a charge and drive piston down unless you hand crank the engine to get the carbide gas from the intake manifold into one or more cylinders.
At the time there were also systems that used a big spring to crank the engine or compressed air to spin the engine.
Along the way to the present some aircraft engines used a devise akin to a shotgun shell.
Lots of ideas on how to do it, we all know what system won out, at least on cars as larger engines still use air systems.
My impression from the ad is that the acetylene is fed directly to the cylinders for starting. That's why a six-cylinder unit costs more than a four. In "cool" weather, it's also (by opening a valve on the dash) fed to the manifold so the engine will continue to run on acetylene until it's warm enough to be switched over to gasoline. That says volumes about the lousy gas available in those days.
This is part of a compressed air starter from about 1912.
overland used a gas starter in 12-13 there's must have worked ok. charley
I have seen a few compressed air starters that were in working condition, and several cars with "parts" of acetylene starters. I have not yet personally seen a fully functional acetylene starter. I used to hope to have one some day. Don't think that day will ever come.
This is all there is to it one line in one line out
If you ever want to be woke up with a start, try being asleep on an offshore rig, or anywhere in the oilfield, and have one of the air start diesels crank up next to you, you will awaken instantly and be ready to go, and sure won't be able to go back to sleep. there is no sound like it.
Here is one similar which is plumbed to a Presto-Lite tank. Supplies acetylene gas into the cylinders when the T engine is stopped. That pre-charges the cylinders for a gas BOOST "free start" when you flip the ignition switch to Bat.
Here are a few photos of the Disco starter on my 1913 Buick.
Hey Chris....is your Buick the same one your grandfather owned ?? Nice restoration !!
Wow-good memory. It is a different car. His is a 1913 Model 25 (small touring) and mine is a 1913 Model 30 (big roadster). My father owns the touring car now.
Two previous posting on the Prest-o-lite starter. The first one has links to the patent -- see:
The second one had been fitted to a Model T -- see:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/342467.html?1361112970 and has a link to instructions in the Dykes Encyclopedia for both the Prest-o-Lite and compressed air starters.
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Grady, your post brought back some fond(?) memories for me. Back in the mid '70's, I worked in a small local welding/machine shop. We had done some work on a diesel truck tractor,maybe a Freightliner. The guy drove it into the shop and shut it off. We got the job finished the next day and were standing with the boss as he figured up the bill. He came back to pick up the truck and hit the starter as we were standing right beside it. We had no idea that it had an air starter when he brought it in. Believe me, it got our attention REAL quick when he hit that thing in that small bay! I didn't even know they had such a thing until that day, but I knew after that! . I think that was the only one I ever saw, but it made a lasting impression! Dave