Author Topic: The Case of "Smoke in the Trees"  (Read 410 times)


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The Case of "Smoke in the Trees"
« on: August 15, 2023, 01:39:05 AM »
So there I was, at the house of ill repute.  I make point of occasionally stuffing my head out the back door, to listen for any errant chugs, clicks, chirps or farts.  It was close to closing time, and the lads had long since flown the coop to find more entertaining ventures.  I was alone...

The temperature was a mediterranean nightmare, complete with the sweats of typhoid.  A "balmy" day, at 117 F, with the heat index. Pure bliss.  No joy to be in the environment, let alone wrapped over the top of a steaming generator. 

But THERE, wafting through the dense bush of an overgrown berm, was the distinct apparition.  Thick exhaust smoke, trailing north through the trees.  Up some 20 feet high.  There, THERE could be ONLY ONE CAUSE.  Oh....what's it to be....?  A belt gone a-fire?  The oil soaked stanchion, giving up the magic smoke?  It JUST can't be.  She's a chugging along.  I'm pulling 228@ 62Hz, nary a care in the world.  Just checked the oil this morning, and all was good.  No water in the tower?  Pfft. 

In the heat of the moment, I ran to the generator shed.  As I turned the corner to the twin's berth, black BLACK BLACK dense smoke FILLED the roofline of the shed.  BILLOWED out from all sides.  BILLOWED, as if to say, "DOOM".  DOOOOMMMM!

Fuuf-a-haw, fuuf-a-haw, fufu-a-haw....belching burping spewing pushing wafting MORE.....and again. 

Cripe, I threw the main, holding my breath in the rich black environment.  Eyes stinging from the effluence.  Able to just make out the cut-off for the high pressure pump, I threw it anticipation of stopping the bewildering carnage.  Yet...#1 quit...while #2 kept on chugging.  Thinking quickly, I found the control rod for #2 high pressure pump, and pushed it forward.  With great reluctance, #2 finally quit firing.  The engine returned to zero, finally releasing its residual momentum. 

And yet...I had an immediate appointment to pick up the boy from school.  No time for diagnosis...

So...errand run, I started considering the matter at hand.  Did I lose rings?  Bad injector?  WHAT could have caused such mass carnage?  The....linkage?  The linkage?  THE LINKAGE!  IF the linkage somehow came apart, ONE of the cylinder WOULD continue to fire, while the OTHER MIGHT have been over/under fed by an unencumbered controller!  Ho hey!  I might be so lucky!

Back I drove to the scene of the crime.  A heavy HEAVY downpour accompanied me, only to cool my scalding body after the 117 degree day.  Getting out of the truck, I was immediately drenched...a welcomed feeling, believe you me. 

And there....there just below the #1 high pressure pump, was a link arm sitting outside its intended horse-shoe anchor. The anchor was stripped (or never threaded correctly to begin with) THERE be THE problem...AND...the solution. 

Walking through the torrent, over to the bone-yard, I had a spare "-oid", having given up the ghost of its crank shaft.  Someday, someday.  But...THERE was the horse-shoe part I needed. A bit rusty, but good enough.  Some turns with a 1/4x20 tap, and a few hits with a file...she was good-enough.  Back to the twin I went, wet with environment and anticipation. 

A few twists here.  A few twists there.  An eyeball, and a guess. 

Set the compression by-passes, install the crank, and PULL with all the hope left in Pandora's box....

Trip #1.....

Pppphhhhhhaaaaaaa-PPPhhhhhaaaaaaa- TRIP #2!!!!  Ppphhaaa-Pppphhhaaaaa-Ppppfffaaaaaa!  White smoke on #2, clean on #1.  Shut her down, and gave her more Dino-juice on #2 by adjusting that rod shorter. 

Trial #2- Got her running, and just about clean on both sides.  Running like a boy on Sadie Hawkins Day!  NO BLACK smoke.  Clean.  Phew.  God Almighty, phew.  Ready for tomorrow. 

And THAT folks, is why we love these machines....


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Re: The Case of "Smoke in the Trees"
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2023, 03:12:05 AM »
I like the thrilling story. Not really unusual for these engines. Also illustrates why I went to some trouble to improve my twin's linkage.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2023, 03:14:04 AM by cujet »
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