New Equipment for Sporting Cars and Motor Cycles



ew gguipnterii-P r Pporlizig Cars S ilidar Cycles

The Petrol Miser.

Although there may be some little doubt as to the derivation of the name which Runbakens have applied to one of their latest inventions, the ” Petrol Miser,” there can be no disputing that in any event it is the mot juste. The automatic carburettor which is capable of making, of its own accord, without human interference, adequate provision for all the variations in mixture which are called for in the course of even a single day’s running, is but rarely met with. Many users, of course, are satisfied with the results they are able to get with the ordinary instrument ; the keen sporting driver, however, will ask for something a little more precise in its functions. His requirements are provided for in this little fitting with the

double entendre name, which allows the driver, by the mere twist of a metal disc, to vary the strength of his mixture according to the conditions of the moment. As an example of the sort of thing we mean, we need only refer to the fact, well known to motorists of even brief experience of car running, that a carburettor which is set to afford easy starting requires more air at speed than the ordinary adjustment will, as a rule, allow ; on the other hand, if the adjustment be such as to give the best mixture for speed, then starting, and hill climbing as well, become more difficult. The ” Miser ” is a dashboard instrument which controls a supply of pure air. In the off position that supply is cut off, and the carburettor, which may be set for easy starting, is available for that purpose, or for other conditions which demand a comparatively rich mixture. One makes a slight movement of the control disc when the car is under way, and working in circumstances which allow of a thinner mixture, and the additional air

is provided. Not only is petrol economised in this way, but the actual running of the car itself, at all speeds, is improved.

Provision is made, in the construction of this little fitting, for a drop of petrol to be injected into the induction manifold, from the dash. The ” Miser ” can be used as an aid to engine cooling when descending hills, and it can be fitted to the car in about half an hour. Its price is but 30—, post free, from the Runbaken Magneto Co., Ltd., Derby Street, Cheetham, Manchester.

Automatic Signalling Gear.

The matter of signalling one’s intentions as regards direction of travel to following traffic is rapidly increas ing in importance. The general adoption of some mechanical contrivance for making the proper signals automatically at the right time, has much to be said for it. Such a piece of mechanism is the Desmo-Saveacs, which is marketed by Desmo, Ltd., of Desrno House, 31, Stafford Street, Birmingham, a firm which is noted for its prolificacy of useful inventions for motorists. This particular device embodies a semaphore, which is mounted to the off side of the wind screen. It is coupled up to the brake pedal in such a manner that, on the pedal being subjected to a moderate pressure, the semaphore moves up and down with a movement which imitates almost precisely the orthodox movement of the arm of a driver signalling his intention to slow up. Pressure less than that causes the ann to remain stationary in a horizontal, outwardly projecting position, signalling the intention to turn to the right. While a device such as this might with considerable advantage

be fitted to any type of car, its most emphatic appeal will undoubtedly be to users of closed cars. With the Saveacs in position there is no need to let down the window or to interfere with the side curtains ; no need to expose the occupants of the car to wind and rain, or for the driver himself—or herself—to experience discomfort. The semaphore itself is made with a red reflecting surface, so that it is equally efficient at night, since all oncoming lights are bound to shine on it. When not in use it slips out of sight into a neat housing which is provided for it. This device is made in three models. Model A is complete with red reflecting semaphore as shown in our illustration, and costs only 45/–. Model B is equipped with an observation mirror, and its price is 50/–. Model C is fitted with an automatic ruby warning light for night signalling. The lamp is wired in series with the side lamps, and the price of this model is 55

The Peck Super Plug.

A new type of sparking plug has been patented by Sir William Peck, of Fettes Row, Edinburgh. One of its features is claimed to be the elimination of the tendency to oil up, while improved engine operation, making itself evident both by an increase in the power developed as well as by increased liveliness, is a further practical result for which it is designed. We are at present testing a set of these plugs. The Peck plug differs from others in that it embodies a small compartment in which the preliminary explosion of the gases, or a small portion of them, takes place, this initial explosion providing the heat and flame by which the main combustible contents of the cylinder are ignited. That the operation is very much on the lines which are thus

indicated is apparent from the fact that, when this plug is used, the ignition timing of the engine concerned can be advanced by from ten to twenty degrees.

The actual sparking points of the plug are located within a small chamber, which is really an extension of the body of the plug. The connecting passage between this chamber and the cylinder is of a peculiar shape, which, it is claimed, is a contributory cause towards its satisfactory functioning. The insulation of the plug is all mica, the loose porcelain cap being a finishing piece only. The central electrode, and also the grub screw electrode, are of pure nickel. The mica being coned, the plug can be taken to pieces, and is gas-tight when it is screwed up again. The mica insulation is protected, at its inner end, from the direct tearing action of the flame, by a metal cover. The spark gap is adjustable by a screwdriver, the movable point being secured in the required position by a small locking nut.

Cantrell Valve Stem Lubricator.

The advantages of lubricating the stems of internal combustion engine valves are obvious. A simple form of lubricator which has several good points is the Cantrell, made by Mr. G. Cantrell, of Buxton, Derbyshire. Each of these lubricators consists of two parts. There is a metal body, and an all wool felt pad. The metal case is designed with four projecting prongs, no two of which are the same length, the upper ends being so formed that they will partially embrace the wire coils of the valve spring. To facilitate this operation, the lengths are such that, approximately, they will all be in contact with the one coil of the spring, notwithstanding its upward climb towards the valve. The casing is put into place by being wound up the spring. This case contains the pad, which is bored a tight fit upon the stem of the valve, and, as the spring moves in operation, the felt

pad is squeezed, and deposits oil upon the stem of the valve.

Once these lubricators are fitted, it is only necessary to replenish the oil supply by squirting a little on to the pads occasionally. The price is 16/6 the set of eight.

Esway Prop Stand.

The Esway motor cycle stand is automatically adjustable for a variety of positions and heights. It is located beneath the footboard of the motor cycle, and is erected for use or returned to the non-operative position, merely by pressure of the foot. Its facility for accommodating itself to so many different positions and heights—there are fifteen in all—is afforded by means of a series of ratchet teeth which are cut upon the inside of the leg of the stand, with. which a vertical pawl, suspended beneath the footboard, engages. The foot of the stand is rounded, and has teeth cut into it, so that it gets a grip upon the road no matter what is the angle to which the stand is lowered. The stand works equally well on steeply cambered roads and on level surfaces, and there is no restriction as to the extent to which the machine is to be allowed to lean. Pressure on a projecting lug serves to lower this stand, the pawl automatically finding the most convenient tooth on the ‘t ratchet. When it is required to replace it, the machine is brought to an upright posit i o n, which takes the weight off the

stand. A touch of the toe on the pawl then

unlocks it, and the stand flies back into its horizontal position under the footboard. No clips are needed to keep it in place, as the same spring which returns it to position will serve to hold it there. The price of the standard Esway for fitting to footboards, as shown in our illustration, is nine shillings and sixpence, and it is manufactured and sold by G. Harter, 42, Harcourt Terrace, London, S.

Artistic Mascots.

Many car and motor cycle mascots now on sale are produced by the brassfoundry trades, and these often lack artistic conception and fineness of detail. Mascots made by the Birmingham Medal Co,, of Vittoria Street, Birmingham, being produced by silversmiths, are appreciably better than the usual run of such articles, and are invariably notable for their excellent modelling, detail, and finish.

The original mascot illustrated is oxidised, and the lady’s dress—what there is of it—is tastefully enamelled.

Illustrated lists depicting many fascinating mascots offered at attractive prices, can be had on application to the company. The Birmingham Medal Co. are also specialists rn high class medals, plaques and other forms of motoring awards. They are, it may be mentioned, makers of the Auto-Cycle Union’s T.T. trophies, medals, and replicas; also the

Alec Ross trophy, the Dunlop Ulster Grand Prix, the Blackpool Carnival trophies, and of medals, etc., for over no motoring clubs.

Specialloid Pistons.

If there is one thing above all others which the racing and competition man does appreciate, it is the necessity for light reciprocating parts in his engine. Certain firms have, therefore, made a speciality of catering for his requirements in this direction, notably by providing him with alloy pistons which enable him, as a rule, to effect considerable reductions of the weight of those parts as compared with what is regarded as standard. As to the popularity of this means of improving the racing possibilities of any engine, there need be no doubt, and if there were, it is completely removed by the news that one firm alone, namely Specialloid, Ltd., is preparing to produce no fewer than 10,000 such pistons per week. To that end larger premises have just been acquired by this firm at Friem Park, Finchley, London, N.I2. The works are very complete, and entirely self-contained, no reliance being placed upon the local electricity supply company for the provision of power, which is afforded, instead, by means of a suction gas plant and engine. This in itself is an advantage, on account of the benefit of independence aforesaid, but it also allows of considerable economies in

the works. The furnaces for the metal foundry, for example, utilise the surplus gas from the producer as fuel, while the gas engine itself drives a compressor, the air from which is used to provide a forced draught for the same furnaces. Specialloid pistons possess features of their own both in regard to their design and also as to the metal of which they are made. The latter is a special alloy— hence the name—which has been decided upon only as

the result of researches extending over a number of years. It is claimed that it has the special advantages that its co-efficient of expansion differs only slightly from that of cast iron, and that it is light, but nevertheless strong and durable. Moreover, it is not the case, with this Specialloid, that it gradually increases in dimensions, as appears to happen with some alloys of aluminium. As to its construction, the most import

ant provision is that which is made against oil passing the rings into the combustion chamber, one of the biggest bugbears of motoring, but particularly that of the racing man. To prevent this, a special groove is cut in the surface of the piston, below the level of the lowest ring. The groove is wide, but shallow, and is drilled near its lower edge, the holes passing through the skirt of the piston into its interior. The wide groove retains the oil, serving, in a way, as a sort of reservoir, and holding the oil, instead of allowing it to pass up the piston. Any surplus passes through holes in the wall, into the inside of the piston, and thus away.