Saturday, October 3, 2009

COMMUNICATIONS: Tire Life and the Speed Craze.

Tire Life and the Speed Craze.
In reply to W. Mason's letter in your paper of the 10th, I want to say that I
have a steam dos-a-dos which I ran a good many hundred miles with two grown
people and four children all over Western Massachusetts last summer, the second
year it has been run, and the repairs on the machine would not come to $10. Not
one breakdown occurred. What money was expended was mostly for extras or
improvements. I burned kerosene all summer, and once put in some oil out of
a dirty can without a strainer on it, and had to clean the burner, and in so doing
broke vaporizer while hot and had to get it fixed, at an expense of $3.

I will admit I spent a few dollars on a new kerosene burner which I was experimenting
with, but this was done for fun and had nothing to do with the carriage.

I paid 50 cents to get a 2 inch pipe cut in a repair station, and $2.40 to get my air
pump fitted in another place. Aside from a tire I got just before cold
weather set in for $5, my other one was good for another season, until in the dark
I ran onto a lot of sharp stone that the city had put in a hole in the road without
covering, and cut it so it was beyond repair.

My other tires (single tube pneumatic) have been run ever since early in the
spring of 1902, and not one puncture or one cent has been spent on them.

I had an early steam runabout before this which I ran any way over 4,000 miles
before a cent was spent on the tires (same make); then the two back tires required
new casing, although they never punctured. The fronts were running finely the
last I heard of the carriage.

But for the speed craze tires would last longer. No man can ride with pleasure
over any road at more than 15 miles an hour. I will never buy a car of a maker
who keeps a racer on the track, for I think such things are carried too far. If it
were not for the new law in our State it would be unsafe for a party wishing to
run an automobile for pleasure to go on the roads today, the way things are tending.

Should Amateurs Try to Improve Their Machines ?
Here is my experience:

Last year I got the auto fever. I decided to get a second hand one of a good
make to learn with. I bought a 1900 gasoline phaeton. I knew nothing about the
principle of a gasoline engine; inlet valves, exhaust valves, etc., were all a mystery
to me.

My experience in studying out all these things would require a book of 500 pages
to relate. I had lots of trouble, but when I studied out the matter always found the
fault was mine, excepting two improve ments that I added.

I found that when I had a heavy strain on the chain it would pull up tight as a
drum and I would then have to loosen up half a dozen bolts and hammer the frame
around that holds the rear sprocket. I noted the frame had a large bolt attached
to it, one end of which ran through the back frame with a nut on, thus preventing
the chain from becoming loose. I saw by putting a set nut on the other side
of this frame I could hold the chain just where it was set. Result, no more trouble
with it.

Improvement No. 2 was to fasten nuts to prevent them from becoming loose.
The frame being of wood, I quickly planned out this arrangement. I took a piece of
heavy strap iron, about ¾ inch wide and 1 inch long, drilled a screw hole through
one end, set it against the nut, sent the screw into the wood, and there it has
stayed. This is as simple as A B C and does the trick.

I do all this work myself. It does me lots of good to occasionally spend a
couple of hours after supper with overalls on working on the old machine, for it gives
me a change of work and exercise which I need.

I can make the machine run and have had many pleasant trips with it.

The Right of Touring.
I write for information regarding the right of touring through the States of
Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and as far as Washington.

My auto is registered in New York State; do I require any other permit beyond
my driver's license and the registration?

[A New York license will be honored in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but licenses
will have to be taken out in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To get a Pennsylvania
license $2 must be paid for a certificate at the office of the prothonotary
of the county and then presented at the treasurer's office with $3 more, when a license
will be granted. Rhode Island requires no license.—ED.J

Winter Care and Use.
In experimenting with non-freezing compounds I found that chloride of calcium,
5 pounds to a gallon of water, eats holes in my tank. Polar ice machine oil
might do, but my pump will not circulate it, and it fries. Plain water, a slightly
warmed stable, an empty water line, and the engine left running or blanketed
with a piece of red flannel over the radiator keep me on the road every day.
A. H. R. GUILEY, M. D.

Who Makes Quadrants ?
Will you kindly let me know through the columns of your valuable paper where
I can purchase quadrants with small levers, such as are used for spark and throttle
control? C. SEFRIN.

[Manufacturers are now making their own quadrants. Supply dealers as a rule
do not keep them.—ED.]

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