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CA357 02-09-2011 07:04 AM

How about a Steam Car?
With all the oil insanity, it sounds like it's time to get that old Stanley Steamer running.

How hard would it be to put together a steam car or SUV? Since it's been done, the technology could just be refined and redesigned for modern production methods.

I am a handy guy, but engineering and building something like that is way beyond me. However, the talent to do so is here at FTF. It might be interesting to fool around with the idea a bit.

Would it be possible to take mostly standard automotive parts with the exception of the actual boilerworks and cobble a vehicle together?

How expensive would it be? Obviously the prototype would cost a fair amount of money, but after that?

c3shooter 02-09-2011 01:00 PM

Your challenge will be weight. In terms of weight/power ratio, the IC engine is way ahead of a steamer. You need the entire boiler side, which is a lot more than a tank of water you heat. You will need a HOT burner setup (unless you want to wait 30 minutes for a head of steam to build) and then you have the steam engine side of things- as well as condensing the used steam, lubing everything, etc. I have known some folks that have done the steam engine thing for a fixed power source- guys with scarred knuckles (from turning wrenches), It is a lot more than tossing a handful of twigs into a firebox and zooming away.

Yunus 02-09-2011 01:28 PM

Safety is a concern as well. When you get into an accident now your engine dies. Fuel does spill but it doesn't explode like the movies. With a steam car you would have boiling water/steam escape during an accident.

Plus you still have to continually heat the water which requires a portable fuel source.

cpttango30 02-09-2011 03:11 PM

use a propane O2 set up burns really hot really fast. I am sure you could make it work but how far will 50# of propane and 2 o2 tanks get you?

Jay leno has a steamer he said it takes for ever to get going.

Rick Derringer ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trez 02-09-2011 04:41 PM

how 'bout water or air?

CA357 02-09-2011 07:04 PM

That's the way to go Trez. I saw that in the running out of oil thread. That's insanely great stuff. Now, we need to get it away from NASA and into public domain.

bgeddes 02-09-2011 08:49 PM

If you use a nuclear reactor to make steam it might work better.

Greebo 02-09-2011 09:47 PM

Honda FCX - wave of the future....I can't wait to see this car take over, forget your hybrids and electric motors this is what we need -

Honda FCX Clarity Overview - Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle - Site

Honda FCX Clarity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

orangello 02-09-2011 09:52 PM

It is my understanding that colonial British peeps were known to use mummies as a fuel supplement for their steam engines; i vote we start making some more mummies, preferably Arab ones. :D

amoroque 02-09-2011 10:11 PM

If we built one steam car, I think that would be great! But if the whole world started to use steam, I wonder what would be the affect on the atmosphere? One of my friends is a meteorologist and says that if cars started to produce water vapor emisions that the climate of the world could change for the worse!

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