Discussion in 'Starduster' started by Ted Rich, Jun 8, 2018.
Where are you guys mounting the tank for a smoke system? Sources for tank etc?
I mounted my smoke tank behind the rear seat and got the tank at Summit Racing. I used an overflow and recovery tank. They have a few different sizes.
I fabricated/made a smoke oil tank from aluminum sheet and 1 inch AL angle, used an RV fuel cap for the filler port. Installed it behind the engine in the huge gap between engine and fire wall. (24 inch motor mount.) Oil tank Was about 3.5 gals. Empty Weight with pump about 8 lbs moment arm -12 inches. When I get back home from travel can take some pictures and post
He supplies a nice kit.
Thanks that would be great!
How about the jets? Where are you getting them? Pump PSI?
A few things to think about. I put smoke on my AS1 last year. When looking for a suitable pump I looked in Spruce. Their pump, as I remember. was around $300, but the pump looked familiar. I'm a boater and I thought I'd seem that shape pump before. It's a Shurflo marine pump and cost around $100. They just put a different label on it and triple the price. Next, since I don't do low level acro where I need to disappear into my own smoke, just fly-bys, I bought just one injector to try out first. If I needed to add another injector later, it would just take a 'T' and plumbing to the second injector. Two injectors burns around 0.8 gal/min. so 1 injector would only burn 0.4 gal/min. At $20/gal, do the math. It worked just great with plenty of smoke for fly-bys. One thing I had to add to the system was a 12V shut off valve. My tank was high enough that oil would syphon through the system and drip out the tailpipe. Wire the shutoff valve on the same circuit as the pump, so you are turning both on and off at the same time. You get a nice clean smoke shut off this way instead of a smoke dribble.
I have to second Marvin Holmsley at http://www.smoke-system-helper.com/. He will make you a custom tank (well he will coordinate the making of it anyway....) and all his components are top notch and he always responds in a timely fashion for advice. His price seemed very reasonable as well.
Thanks for the good info!! Where did you get the injector?
Guys, thanks for the kind words about my smoke systems.
Ted, just phone me and I will be glad to talk about a custom smoke system for your airplane.
Marvin Homsley 419 360-7414 www.smoke-system-helper.com
I'll third Marvin for the place to buy your parts. Very reasonable prices and Marvin will answer all your questions. I got the needle valve and injector from him. Tip on setting the needle valve. Assuming it's the same valve, the knob will turn from full closed about 5 turns to full open. Your optimum setting will be somewhere in between. It's a long way between full closed to full open, so if you don't want to spraying expensive oil all over the airport, do some testing first to find the 'sweet' spot. The sweet spot is where the smoke looks good but the belly has NO oil splattered all over it. Since I only have one injector, mine was fairly easy. After all bits and pieces were plumbed together, but before I inserted the injector into the tailpipe, I clamped a 4 ft. clear piece of tubing on the injector. Then taking a clear 1 gallon paint bucket with all the numbers on it, I timed the pump running for 30 sec. to get approx. 0.2 gal into the bucket (or 0.4 gal/min). Have a buddy work the ON/OFF switch on your command because you don't have enough hands for all this. Mark the needle valve knob for 'off' at 12 o'clock so you know where you are. I only had to open my valve 1/2 turn to get the 0.2 gal/30 sec. I then did a fly-by with a buddy filming it on his Ipad. Smoke looked good but I had a light splatter of oil on the belly. Closed the valve from just the 6 o'clock position to the 7 o'clock and flew again. Smoke still looked good and belly was clean. Done.
I did a lot of work on my smoke system
and finally got an LSTC for it once I
had good results.
I had great results with the Andair pump and 3/8 tubing everywhere to the T in firewall and step down to each stack.
I use a manual cutoff (Apollo) to avoid the annoying or dangerous dribble from
solenoids which never reliably worked for me. You could also adjust with the Apollo if you added an adjustable stop.
For injectors I ended up with a trivial Z bend of 1/8 SS tube flaired at one end and a diagonal cut at the other. Simple, no welding, it preheats a bit and it can flex a bit.
Peter, Looks like you have smoke you can disappear into. Where did you mount the manual shutoff valve? How did you get those unique injectors to spray the same? I just went with Marvin's injector for $65 because it does a fan spray thus getting max exposure to the exhaust gas. Did you use a needle valve of some sort so you could adjust the oil going to the injectors? Just curious on another way to do it. Garry
This is a Marvin Homsley kit. The tank was custom built, no filler cap (will require oil to be pumped in) and it holds almost 8 gallons. His tanks come with a flop tub installed. The control knob is the brass knob clamped to the fuselage. It will be possible (I think) to remote control for a fine tune but the instructions says once it is set, it shouldn't have to be changed, so I am banking on that. The kit comes with 2 jets and the instructions say to mount in the exhaust as high as possible for a complete burn. So we have ours on number 3 (pictured) and number 4. I don't think I have 15 inches of rubber line before it exits the firewall. In the kit, he provides super jem fittings and teflon hose to connect to the jets, which are easy to assemble. He does not include a manual shut off and I am not sure why one would be required with this setup but then this is the first one I have ever seen up close or installed. As far as mounting this on a Starduster Too, Marvin can custom build your tank. I mocked mine up with some Styrofoam for shape and size and sent him some crude drawings/measurements for brackets and the tank came out great! I found all of the pieces to be of high quality.
Yes I've very happy with it. I had no end of problems with the older 337'ed system which constantly dribbled due to the solenoid gummed up due to the injectors, the pump got hot with thicker fluids etc.
My manual shutoff is mounted exactly where the Aviat upper fuel tank drain to the main tank valve goes on the S-1T. I used the Aviat SB to install the Apollo valve and instead of plumbing the output to the lower tank, it just goes to the Andair pump.
I understand Marvin has improved his injectors. so my comments concern his previous versions which I did previously use as installed in 1984 but that older model was a lot of trouble. They constantly gummed up and the drilled hose clamp attachment method was always breaking at the hole and once caused a big mess and concern when it sprayed into the engine compartment. As a result I wanted a different design, without welding that would pre-heat, mount with two undrilled hose clamps and be simple to make/repair. The Z approach was what I came up with and its been working for many years now perfectly. For $65 I could make 20 of the Z style with just a tubing bender and a flair tool.
No I don't use any needle valves or fancy fan spray patterns. Just a 45 degree cut on the end of the injector tube. I think the pre-heating helps considerably, its what we used to do with RC planes too. If you wanted to adjust the flow rate you could adjust the Apollo on/off knob position in the cockpit, but the optimum flow rate depends on many factors and a single setting would probably not be ideal. Humid days are different than cold winter dry days for example. As it is I let it go full tilt all the time and I never have any mess using NOCO-PRIME or NOCO-BLO50HT. I've not run it with CANOPUS since that crap eats the dope and I refuse to let it anywhere near my plane.
If you use a single drilled hose clamp to hold an injector make sure to add a safety wire around the exhaust tube and around the injector hose end fitting to stop the injector popping out if the clamp fails, it can be quite dangerous if it sprays oil into the engine compartment!
Hey Gary, That's nice and clean in there. What's the coating on the frame? Looks like anodized aluminum.
Peter. Sounds like you have this smoke stuff down to a science as apposed to an On/Off switch like me. A few more Q's. So you just cut your 'Z' injector on a 45 with no squeeze down? Do you face the angle in any particular direction? If that tubing is 1/8" ID, that seems like that would dump a whole bunch of oil, especially with no needle/ metering valve in the system? Your idea of safety wiring the injector is a good one. I used copper tubing with a loop from the front side of the firewall where the needle valve is, to the #2 exhaust pipe, so if the hose clamp were to break, the injector wouldn't flop around like a flex line would. That being said, I'll safety it anyway.
You say you're using Noco-Prime oil. I haven't heard of that one. I'm using 'Pure White Smoke Oil' by Petro Blend. Since I'm the only one at my airport that has smoke on their plane, and I only do fly-bys at 0.4 gal/min, a 55 gal. drum is out of the question. I get 5 gals. at a time, which comes to $115 including shipping. I imagine you're doing a drum?
I haven't noticed any discernible difference in my smoke from winter to summer, but that's probably because here in San Diego, there ISN'T much difference in summer and winter.
Thanks! The fuselage was powder coated. Probably a bit sooner that it should have been but it was epoxy coated and we had to make quite a few repairs to it and so it became a mix of bare/rusting metal mixed with coated so when I thought no more issues we had it powder coated. We are still trying to finish up FWF so some cabling/lines/baffling are not yet home.
I wonder if a drill holed clamp failure could be because of tightening the clamp to much. The oil injector has a rounded seat that goes against the pipe for sealing but if someone tried really clamp it down, I could see how it could cause some stress on the clamp that it was not intended to handle. I will look at safety wire for the injector but the EGT's are mounted the same way, only they do not distort the clamp as much at the base.
You might have a point about tightening the clamp too tight. However, with the EGT's, if the hose clamp breaks, all you get is a bad reading on the EGT gage and hot gas blowing out of the small hole. But you DON'T get smoke oil blowing all over your engine compartment.
Hey Gary, yes, the smoke injectors are trivial cut \ facing toward the rear. This business of trying to get the right fan pattern in my experience was a waste of time. Anything that narrows the hole simply gums up quickly with carbon when not in use. I think one reason it works so well is that for about 3 or 4" the injector runs parallel to the exhaust stack and as a result the oil is already very hot when it hits the exhaust. It may be more important with thicker oils, I don't know since I refuse to use CANOPUS or other form release oils so your milage may vary.
I did try different clamping pressures but if its too loose it rattles around and widens the hole in the exhaust which is also not good. I tried a variety of things like carefully polishing the hole in the clamp but I came to the conclusion that the tiny strips of stainless steel that are left after you drill the hose clamp is just not enough to hold it. EGT probes are smaller diameter I think so there is more meat left in the clamp with those probes after you drill the hole. I was going to try one of those more fancy tube clamps that are much wider but I decided to try the Z approach first and it worked so well I just never tried a different clamp. I do know that many folks use a simple piece of stainless steel, about 1" by 3" and weld a fitting to that and then attach the plate with a couple of hose clamps, that seems to work well also and I've seen them on Sukhoi's and Stearmans with no problems of them breaking. Anyway I think two hose clamps and some safety should be the norm.
Yes, I have a few drums of the NOCO-PRIME that I got after an airshow when the airport wanted to get rid of it cheap Normally the stuff is something like $500 a barrel. For sure the fluid you use is very important and the better quality you use the less problems you'll have, less mess, no paint problems. SuperDri also works very very well but its bloody expensive.
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