Steam Engine Build/Cylinder Liner Modifications

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Steam Engine Build Instructions


The inside of the cylinder in a steam engine gets a lot of wear and tear, largely due to friction from the piston rings, but also from corrosion and scale build up (impure steam). Cylinders left idle for long periods may also rust and pit. For these reasons, the cylinder is built with a removable liner, sourced from an auto parts dealer. The current engine design calls for a 4.0" bore. The sleeve is 6.0" long.

The sleeve is modified by drilling four holes in it for the steam exhaust. The exhaust holes are calculated to release unexpanded steam in the cylinder at the end of the cycle (bottom dead center).

It is important to maintain the cylinder sleeve dimensions. It is useless if dented, bent, or otherwise out-of-true. As such, care must be taken when drilling the holes so as not to deform the liner. A cylindrical wooden insert is recommended to avoid deformation problems.






Cylinder clearance is 0.250". We will use 3.6" from T.D.C as the left edge of the exhaust holes, which shall be 0.25" in diameter. As such, the exhaust holes are centered at 3.975" from the cylinder head.

The cylinder liner is currently purchased off-the-shelf and modified as follows:

  1. Drill four exhaust holes centered at 9.975" from the DTC end of the cylinder. Holes are located at the top, bottom, left, right of the cylinder.