Mar 07, 2011, 07:19 PM
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Vintage Glow Engines

Not wishing to hijack the Diesel thread in any way, I'll start this new thread off to see how it goes. Please - no current glow engines, Chinese or otherwise. How about a cut-off date of 1970 ? To start things rolling, I have a problem with an early 1950's Aussie Delta 490. These things were made as cheaply as possible although the better ones run quite well, although noisy.
As the photo's show, the little end consists of a yucky ball & socket set-up,and a piece has broken away. How should I fix this ? Can it be fixed ? The steel piston is quite light, and a new ringed alloy piston would be nice, except for the style of porting which would trap a ring (or gudgeon pin). What is the solution ? BOB
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Mar 07, 2011, 08:02 PM
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And did you know that every Permold FOX 29 & 35 had a fault in the casting die ? Look very closely at the front LH mount lug hole (just underneath the end of the needle valve) and you can see a small depression or "gutter" which runs out to the corner of the lug. The World's #1 FOX man (Bill Mohrbacher) assures me that all Permold FOX's have that slight fault. The pitting at the front of the head is fairly typical also, but not found on every example. I just love these Permold engines - they look like they were made yesterday ! BOB
Last edited by Twin-Stack; Jul 07, 2011 at 10:26 PM.
Mar 07, 2011, 08:20 PM
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williame3590's Avatar
Thanks for starting this thread Bob, I will be participating with great interest.

I have quite a few glow engines that are not really all that old but very rare.
Would engines from the 80's qualify?

Mar 07, 2011, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by williame3590 View Post
Thanks for starting this thread Bob, I will be participating with great interest.

I have quite a few glow engines that are not really all that old but very rare.
Would engines from the 80's qualify?

As you are the first and (at the moment)only respondent, I guess we can stretch the cut-off date a little, especially for interesting engines. ! No contemporary Chinese stuff though ! If the others don't like that, you and me can talk to one another. BOB
Mar 07, 2011, 09:23 PM
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This one has me beat, so any help would be appreciated. The glow plug on the left is obviously quite old, but just look at the reach of the thing ! That's a FOX Long plug alongside for comparison. From the copper washer to the end of the plug, it measures 3/8 inch, and it also has a small & large hole on either side. The deepest plug hole that I've been able to find on an engine, is the Miniature Motors Torp Special, but when I fitted this plug, the piston hit it ! Anybody know what it was designed for ? BOB
Mar 07, 2011, 09:38 PM
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williame3590's Avatar
Holy cow that's neat, never seen anything like it before sorry I can't help.
I have many of the early glow plugs but nothing that long.
Mar 07, 2011, 10:10 PM
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Bill, I'm guessing it dates from the spark to glow changeover era, but it must have been intended for a specific engine - with a very thick head !! The only clue is a small letter Z stamped on the body.
Mar 08, 2011, 01:08 PM
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Lee Custom .51

Clarence F. Lee "Lee Custom .51"
Last edited by danny.act; Feb 21, 2013 at 06:01 PM.
Mar 08, 2011, 04:01 PM
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The beautiful Clarence Lee engine shown above, is definitely a collectors item,although Mr. Lee made these for running,not glass cases. Handmade to perfection by one of the all time great engine experts, these engines started to appear in the early 1960's (45's back then, but also 49's), and were used by Doug Spreng to win the 1960 & '61 Multi radio events at the US Nationals (also one of the C/L Stunt events). In his Global Engine Review (1963 American Modeler Annual) Peter Chinn commented on the fact that these superb Lee engines were in such demand by top modellers, that prices of $150 were being paid for a secondhand example, TWICE the original price when bought new ! If we convert that $150 back then into todays money, it equates to around $1,100 !! Just like on the Permold FOX's, look at the sheen on the crankcase - just beautiful.
For those that haven't seen it -
Mar 08, 2011, 04:11 PM
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And this - (This takes a while to download)
And for marine enthusiasts -
Mar 08, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Now this is definitely NOT vintage, but it IS a work of art and deserves a mention, if only because its entirely new -
Mar 08, 2011, 04:36 PM
F1B is ok.
Glo-version of the well known Webra-Mach 1.

Mar 08, 2011, 05:14 PM
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Lee Custom "Sidewinder"

Clarence F. Lee "SIDEWINDER"

Lee Sidewinder ‘Experimental’ & ‘final’ editions.

Please take notice: The following information is applied to the best of my knowledge and according the correspondence with Mr. Clarence Lee himself during 1996.

Experimental examples “Sidewinder” engine :

Total of 3 experimental / prototype engines completed.
In regards to the number of engines made, the article in “The R/C Engine” volume III (RCM) was not completely accurate in that the engine pictured in this article was not one of the ones flown at the 1951 U.S. nationals. A year or so prior to the nationals Clarence got the idea for an “inline” engine. Three prototypes were built. Clarence made patterns for the crankshaft housing and prop drive housing and castings were made. Clarence used a Veco 31 crankcase with the front portion machined off and what had been the backcover surface now became the mounting point for the crankshaft housing. Backcover have been welded in place. Initially Clarence used a Torp. 32/Veco 31 (same) cylinder piston and rod assembly. A modified Veco 31 head was used, joined to the prop drive housing with a piece of sheet metal and the mounting lugs also made from sheet metal. The engines had a tendency to run hot due to the steel fins so these were machined off and aluminum muff slipped over the sleeve. This worked very well and was later incorporated in the Veco ‘TCC” .29 & .31 engines. These were experimental engines to see if the idea was feasible. One engine went to well known control-line stunt flyer Bob Palmer, another to a close friend of Clarence, Harry Stoddard, and Clarence himself kept and used the third experimental inline engine. These were the engines as shown at the ’51 Nationals. Clarence later got Bob Palmer’s engine back and this was sold to Joe Wagner who founded the Model Engine Collector’s Society (MECA). Joe later sold his collection and Clarence does not know what ever happened to the engine. (now Your engine Reggy?). Joe always avoided the question when Clarence asked him who received the engine. This more than likely due to Joe obtaining many engines from individuals with the intent of building a collection for the Smithsonian Institution. Needless to say, this never came about and Joe sold the engines. Needless to say quite a few people were very unhappy about this at the time, including John Brodbeck who had given Joe all the prototype K&B engines he had. Not going to the Smithsonian for display, the engines should have been returned. Clarence lost track of Harry Stoddard and has no idea what ever happened to this engine. Clarence back in 1998 still had the third experimental engine .

These prototype engines were built to test the concept and due to working very well Clarence went ahead and made wood patterns for casting the the crankcase. At the time (1950-51) Only two sets of (final model) castings were cast, one for Clarence engine himself and the other one now in my collection.

Note that the 3 experimental /prototype engines have side exit exhaust.
The final edition 3 engines have a downward exhaust.

Final edition “Sidewinder” engine :

Also a total of 3 final edition engines completed .
Due to the interest shown in the “inline” engine, following the Nationals Clarence made the wood patterns for the crankcase and head, and had two sets of castings made for the so called ‘final edition’.
One set was finished up and this is the engine pictured in “The R/C Engines volume III wich was a reprint of the original article in RCM magazine. The first made engine is in Clarence his personal collection. The second set of original castings from 1950-51 was used to make the second engine from the original castings in the ‘final configuration’ this engine was from the original 1950-51 castings was finished back in August 1996. (this engine is in my collection). From Clarence letter dated aug.10th 1996: The engine turned out very nice if I do say so myself but did take considerably more time to make than anticipated. Aligning the gears, etc.., and a lot of hand work are all time consuming when you are only working on one part at a time.
Clarence personal engine has a polished outer crankcase finish, he initially intended to do the same with the second engine made. However, after getting it finished everybody who had come by at his workshop and saw the engine thought that the natural finish looked better than the polished engine. A couple of fellows even commented that the polished finish even looked ‘cheap’. The idea was to make it look like a die casting but Clarence had to agree that he also liked the natural finish of the second ‘final edition’ engine better.

In 1996 a third example of ‘final edition’ engine has been started on to be made by Clarence but this one from a new set of castings. When making the castings for the 3th. engine Clarence let made an extra set of casting for one more engine just in case Reggy would ever take Clarence up to the offer and decides he wanted one bad enough but, other than that he have no intention to make another one. Clarence did not want to make the third engine without the full approval of the owner who has the second engine. This engine was also made on special request for the late Miguel de Rancougne.
The company that originally did the castings back in 1951 for the 2 original castings for Clarence went out of business years ago. Clarence also writes: Trying to find someone that would make only one or two sets now days is next to impossible says Clarence back in 1996. Foundrys do not even want to talk to you unless there is a minimum order for 100 and preferably 1000. A big problem Clarence run into in recent years when I need anodizing, beat treating, etc… done for small projects . Just getting the bead blast finish done on the ‘Lee .51’s’ cost’s already $25.00 per engine says Clarence and that was back in 1996. Clarence finally managed to find a foundry that would make him a set of castings for the third engine.

As mentioned in the article Clarence had intended to make a cylinder muff with horizontal fins but gave up on the project without doing so.

Veco was interested but the engine was difficult to make and they were afraid it could not be produced cost effective. The selling price would be to high!

A few statistics:
The ‘final edition’engine has a bore of .750” and a stroke of .724” Clarence made all of the parts for the engine except for the gears, bearings, crankshaft and prop drive washer.

Many years ago when he was developing the engine Clarence got some unfinished crankshaft blanks from John Brodbeck at K&B.
The blanks had the crankpin and weight turned but did not have the intake port milled. This allowed him to port the crankshaft for proper rotation and timing. Due to the miter gears the crankshaft actually turns clockwise rather than counterclockwise. Clarence cut the threaded portion off and turn down the nose to fit the drive gear wich has been pinned in place with a roll pin (besides being a press fit). With a bore of .750” and a stroke of .724” the displacement comes to .31985 The prop drive washer and collet are from a Veco 19 K&B 3.5The piston has been machined from Meehanite cast iron and the sleeve from “Ledloy” steel. When making pistons by production methods the o.d. is rough turned, the machining steps performes, and then the piston finish ground by centerless grinding. Clarence not being able to have only one piston centerless ground he turned the piston to a couple of ten thousandths over finish size, made a cast iron lap, and then lapped the o.d. to finish size wich makes it rounder than even centerless grinding. Clarence has a commercial Sunnen honing machine so the sleeve was then honed to fit the piston. A lot of additional hand work did go into one of a kind engine like this.
Last edited by danny.act; Feb 21, 2013 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Adding additional info/history
Mar 08, 2011, 05:43 PM
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Lee Custom .19 Veco prototype #05

Clarence F. Lee: Veco .19 prototype #05 of only 6 made.
Last edited by danny.act; Feb 21, 2013 at 06:00 PM.
Mar 08, 2011, 05:49 PM
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The Webra Mach-1 glow was a development of the Mach-1 Diesel, and first appeared around 1956 (a couple of years after the Diesel variant), and was designed by Gunther Bodemann. The main differences (apart from the glow plug of course) is the fact that the glow version has a separate cylinder head held down by 5 bolts, as opposed to a screw-on cyl. muff on the Diesel. Made in smaller numbers than the Diesel, and (of course) a much higher revver, peaking at around 18,000 rpm. The Diesel however, more powerful at 0.29 bhp @ 15,000, compared to 0.27 bhp @ 16,000 rpm (test figures from Model Aircraft August 1957). Just a tip here - the follow-up engine to this (the Webra Mach-2) was in Diesel only, but made in R/C throttle form as well as the std. C/L needle valve model. Be aware that the R/C version has modified timing and is substantially de-tuned from the pukka C/L racing version. I have seen buyers pay big money for the R/C version, thinking they are getting the same performance ! BOB

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