||April 2, 2007
P.O. Box 127
Lahaska, Pa. 18931
Just to follow up on our phone conversation I really need to congratulate you in writing in regard to the fantastic job you performed on Bill Evans Blitzen Benz engine.
I've been in this business of resurrecting early clapped out engines for years and am all to familiar with the sorting out process necessary to make such a rare hybrid as this engine operational.
The initial starting is often the easy part followed by the many hours of mechanical exorcism necessary to sign off on the project, however, in this instance, your engine breathed fire right out of the box and ran like a fine swiss watch.
It really was remarkable.
I made certain that the engine oil was spiked with two bottles of G.M. E.O.S. additive which is necessary to replace the zinc which has been removed from these newer A.P.I. lubricants
We towed the car in 2nd gear at low speed with the primer cups open and almost immediately registered oil pressure.
The only minor oil leak was at the oil pressure relief valve installed by Bill's mechanic which was quickly corrected by him but the relief valve needs some attention because the needle on the oil pressure gauge wound 360 deg and pegged.
The old German gauge registers from 1 - 14 and I am not certain what it means in psi but I warned Bill that if the oil pressure was dead heading that he could damage the weak link (if there is one) in the pump drive and he must regulate the pressure at a rate that is acceptable.
Bill told me that he later put a gauge which registered in psi and it was making appx. 25 psi
The relief valve is a spring over ball and seat type and I suggested they install a more dependable spring over piston ".
The large N.O.S. brass Zenith updraft carburetor that Bill decided to use was a good call on his part as it was designed for an engine of equal displacement and it allowed a smooth idle with no stumble when I rapped the throttle.
The radiator is an exact copy of the original but it is too small for- this application if one were to idle at any length or run at low speeds but the engine will idle for some time before it is necessary to either get the car moving or shut it down.
It is important to note that the water will boil if you shut the engine down when the running water temperature is above 170 f partially because the water pump is gear driven and does allow for a thermal siphon effect so the water in those large jackets heat up pretty fast when there is no circulation .... but that's the nature of this beast and Bill will have to use care in monitoring cooling system temperature.
This particular engine and chassis combination was not intended to sit at a stop light but rather was designed for a single purpose which is to go really fast with a lot of air passing through those cooling fins and Bill understands this.
I asked Rick to check the ign. timing at full advance and it only made 15 deg B.T.D.C. and I made absolutely certain to issue an edict that he must advance the spark at least an additional I 10 deg and told him it wouldn't hurt to run 35 - 45 deg of advance and I was assured by Bill that this would be done prior to running the engine again.
The engine was vibration free and without any unusual mechanical noise.
The car idles at about 40 mph in second gear! .. no wonder it went 148 mph in 1911.
Congratulations on the great job, I went down there to help both you and Bill and it was a great experience for me to see this monster run for the first time in over a generation.
I'm satisfied and I know Bill is also as I was there when he expressed his satisfaction to you over the phone.
Bill did a beautiful job on the car and I told him that he has a great engine but he must be diligent in monitoring the sump and cooling system.
I told him that I was signing off on your engine and that I was going to report back to you telling you that you can do the same.