Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jet Engine - Part 7

This morning I painted and cured the exhaust scroll after grinding off a few spatters and bumps, and filing the flange flat. It turned out reasonably well considering how pitted the original part was.

Then it was assembly time. There's really no secret to this: all the parts go together one way only, except for the shield under the turbine. At first I thought it should cup away from the base of the turbine, since that seemed to match the existing curve better. But after assembling the core I heard the shield rattling around. A quick Internet search showed it should be mounted the other way, curving towards the turbine. This made for a snug fit. The photo shows the correct orientation.

I should mention that it is a good idea to replace the retainer ring on the shaft under the turbine. Since the old one was a pain to remove it was tempting to avoid this step, but under was some coked oil that needed to be carefully scraped out with a dental pick. Cleaning up little details like this can make the different between having the seals last (because of lower friction and the ability for cooling oil to get in there), or blowing them out fast.

A few drops of oil on the shaft and it all slid together beautifully. There were two circle clips in the rebuild kit and I'm not entirely sure what they're for. One could be a replacement for the expansion ring at the bottom of the core, to prevent the brass journal bearing from falling out the bottom. Since there are two replacement journal bearings, it's probably a new clip for each. I just left the original clip in place since it seemed fine. It is unlikely to fail and would be really hard to remove anyway since it's a coil-style and not a circle-clip with ears for a tool.

Admittedly, the washers to hold on the turbine scroll look a little hokey. The originals are too corroded to reuse and are an unusually thick material. I'll have to look for some decent replacements. The seal on the turbine scroll is my main concern with this turbo. I'm not sure how gas-tight it'll be. It wouldn't be good for hot combustor gases to blow out around the perimeter.

The shaft spins nicely and nothing seems to be interfering, so I think things are good to go to the next step: designing and fabricating the combustor. Before I can start that, I need to finish my thermo calculations and come up with a design spec. There are some online tools to help locate the air holes for optimal flow of shield air and combustion air. However, some experimentation will be required before I'm confident to attach the combustor to the turbo.

As you can see, I've rotated the compressor outlet so it's pointing the same way as the turbine inlet. The combustor will mount to the flange I welded to the turbine inlet, and a U-shaped hose will connect the combustor inlet to the compressor. It's looking pretty industrial already and I need to start thinking about how to make this look steampunk with appropriate details for the overall assembly. Lots of brass and stained oak, I think.

Update (April 4, 2014): Work and the need for a MIG welder have delayed my progress. But I promise: more to come!

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