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Author Topic: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...  (Read 156 times)

Gregowen

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Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« on: January 23, 2023, 05:29:13 pm »
     I just received a “transitional” 35, can post photos later this week, but for now I am seeking some information, specifically about the electric heater. I was not aware that these used the old round heating elements that fit into a tube in the boiler (I guess I should have!). As far as I know, these heaters are not available. Any easy alternatives?

     This example has an obviously non-original wood base, riveted and plated boiler, and what is as far as I know the earliest type of black cord with the gold stitching (but no plug).

     My regular computer is in the shop and I am working on a tablet that I cannot use to load photos, so photos will come later. Any advice appreciated - Thanks!

St Paul Steam

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2023, 06:33:17 pm »
Sounds like you have a chromalox round ceramic heater in that (very early) pictures will help when your able to upload them.
Bruce, St. Paul Indiana, USA
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Gregowen

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2023, 08:53:51 pm »
  Thanks Bruce, that must be what it is, as the heater is ceramic and round (about 3/4 inch diameter), and clearly original to the engine. But, wouldn’t all of the riveted boiler “transition” 35 engines (and the “forgotten” 35) have had the same boiler and heating element? If not, then maybe it is more special than I assumed. The person I bought it from said that it belonged to his grandfather, and he last remembered playing with it in the early 1960s. So, no way that I would trust it to still be in safe working order by now (I could be wrong). Otherwise, overall the engine appears to be in decent condition, piston and flywheel move freely, no damage or solder repairs on the boiler, etc.

    Will post photos soon

St Paul Steam

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2023, 05:51:38 am »
  Thanks Bruce, that must be what it is, as the heater is ceramic and round (about 3/4 inch diameter), and clearly original to the engine. But, wouldn’t all of the riveted boiler “transition” 35 engines (and the “forgotten” 35) have had the same boiler and heating element? If not, then maybe it is more special than I assumed. The person I bought it from said that it belonged to his grandfather, and he last remembered playing with it in the early 1960s. So, no way that I would trust it to still be in safe working order by now (I could be wrong). Otherwise, overall the engine appears to be in decent condition, piston and flywheel move freely, no damage or solder repairs on the boiler, etc.

    Will post photos soon
The "chromalox" heater is like a cartridge heater that is all encased, there is a type of heater they used (in Jensen #50's) that is a ceramic style post that has heating nichrome wire (similar to a toaster) wrapped around notches in the post & inserted into a sealed pipe in the boiler , that sealed pipe is what is usually the problem as it was a thin walled pipe & subject to premature failure. that doesn't mean it's still not sound; it could very well be. most of these engines had a round heating disk that just sat under the boiler, not very efficient but it worked.
Bruce, St. Paul Indiana, USA
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Gregowen

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2023, 04:01:38 pm »
     Here are some photos. The chimney is a piece of copper pipe that has a plug in the bottom and was held on with a square nut below in the firebox, and there is no cup for the chimney, so I assume that was all replaced. The base is undersized and obviously is just a piece of scrap wood (full of other holes). Which I think is very puzzling, why would anyone replace the original base, especially since everything else would seem to be original except the chimney? Can't think of any other reason, unless the engine was dropped and the base alone was broken? The sight glass was obviously worked on at some point, and I have not gotten around to investigating what is holding the bottom block on. Anyway, here it is, if I can't find any simple way to get it working then I will pass it along to someone else.

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Junkologist

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2023, 04:27:15 pm »
The actual Chromalox heaters are very early and very rare.
Your engine, I’m sure, has the more common ceramic cartridge heater that is found on many engines up to the point where Jensen started using blanket heaters in the late 1930s.

Here’s a photo of a failed heater that I tried to take apart for repair. I gave up since I was destroying the ceramic in the process. It’s best to just get a new heater of the correct wattage and do whatever it takes to make it for snug in the boiler tube. I wrapped one with aluminum from pop cans and it works fine. I have another slated for replacement, but this time I’m using a pice of aluminum round stock turned to fit the boiler tube and then bored out to fit the heater. See photo of new heater.

Here’s a video I made showing the variations between different 35 models.

https://youtu.be/k5pZpP1kDio
Mike

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Junkologist

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2023, 04:49:41 pm »
Check your heater for continuity. If it checks out, you should have nothing to worry about. Just be careful with it. 🙂

Working on the sight glass, you may find that the bottom screw is seized, or just rotted away to the point that it just breaks off. I’ve been down that road before. It’s a very careful extraction process at that point.

I’ll help you any way I can. I’ve repaired more than 100 Jensen engines over the last 25 years or so, but if you do decide that it’s too much of a challenge for you, I’d certainly be willing to take it on. 😁
Mike

Check out my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Cletrac

Stoker

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2023, 05:52:47 pm »
What a wonderfully kind offer that is Mike .... AWESOME!!!
"Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth, Truth is not beauty, Beauty is not love, Love is not music: Music is THE BEST...   
Wisdom is the domain of the Wis (which is extinct). Beauty is a French phonetic corruption of a short cloth neck ornament currently in resurgence..."
F. Zappa ... by way of Mary, the girl from the bus.

Gregowen

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2023, 10:22:50 pm »
Check your heater for continuity. If it checks out, you should have nothing to worry about. Just be careful with it. 🙂

Working on the sight glass, you may find that the bottom screw is seized, or just rotted away to the point that it just breaks off. I’ve been down that road before. It’s a very careful extraction process at that point.

I’ll help you any way I can. I’ve repaired more than 100 Jensen engines over the last 25 years or so, but if you do decide that it’s too much of a challenge for you, I’d certainly be willing to take it on. 😁

    Thanks so much Mike for your suggestions and offer to help. The video is just great, really a remarkable education on the model 35, and I can’t imagine that anyone could do any better (especially given the quantity of reference material on display!).

    I am increasingly inclined to believe that I don’t want to try to take on any major restoration effort on this engine. I have so far done nothing more than take it apart as shown, which involved only removing the firebox from the base and sliding the heating element out. So, easy enough to just put it back as it was, thus leaving it entirely “as found”.

     I have been seeking an early Jensen to restore, but would prefer something like a larger model, specifically one of the horseshoe magnet generator models (with the lamp) on a wood base from the late 1940s-50s. If I could find one in rough but mostly complete condition. I saw the perfect one on e-bay at a great price just a few weeks ago, but passed it up, and soon regretted that I did. Anyway, I would be interested in some even trade of this engine, for something like that, for which spare parts are readily available (clearly, the heating elements for this 35 are not!).

    For now, I will just put this one back together. I am waiting to hear from the gentleman who sold it to me, because he suspects that he has at least one more engine that also belonged to his grandfather, and is going to look for it, and offer it to me if he can find it. Who knows what it might be, but naturally I will be waiting in suspense to find out!

komet163b

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2023, 10:00:46 am »
Very interesting engine. A bit of history for Jensen lovers.
Sounds like a project for a very thorough restorer.

  One question.  Did you check for continuity?  I have a model #25
and it measured no continuity when I touched the meter probes
against the terminals of the heater (Very dirty w/corrosion).
Please note this was done while the heater was in its location.
I cleaned up enough to get good clean contact and not only was
the circuit complete it measured the correct resistance.  Once
back together it heated and ran like a champ. 

  A 1953 model 10 sold recently at another auction for $125 + fee
and I was hi-bidder.  It runs reasonably well but has a crack in
the wall of the cylinder (not a surprise) that cuts down on the
power and will not drive the generator fast enough.  I'll fix that
soon enough, along with refurbishing the sightglass.  Thankfully,
the generator works well and I think the light bulb may be original.

Go Jensen!
Wayne   

Randy Tucker

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2023, 04:23:55 pm »
I have several of the early Jensens with the cartridge type heater in them. One thing you need to make sure of is there isn't a hole in the tube in boiler. These are well know to have a hole in them. If it's good and heater is bad, I have made brass sleeves and put new metal cartridge heaters in them and works fine. Just make sleeve a slip fit in tube and drill hole in center of sleeve for slip fit for new cartridge heater. I've found these heaters on Amazon and are fairly reasonable price. For boiler the size you have I wouldn't put over at 250-300 watt heater in it. If the tube does have a hole in it when you make the sleeve don't drill hole for heater completely though and solder it in tube.

Randy Tucker

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2023, 04:43:27 pm »
Couple of pictures of one I made sleeve for.

Gregowen

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2023, 09:00:25 pm »
  Thanks to Wayne and Randy and all for your very experienced comments and advice. I am still pondering on what to do next with this, I am not much good with electrical problems, as almost all of my experience is with gas or spirit burners (mostly gas, and I have four in three different models and sizes).

  I wish there was some way to apply a gas burner to this one, but obviously that is not a viable solution, even if I had something appropriate, and as far as I know nothing appropriate exists, short of making something from scratch. I will check to see if the burner tube in the boiler is fully intact with no issues.

komet163b

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Re: Jensen 35 “transitional” acquired, questions...
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2023, 10:36:17 pm »
  I vote for what Randy says...if your boiler heater tube
does not leak.  Simple enough to check - just put some
water in the boiler.  If the tube does leak you will know
it pretty quickly.  If it doesn't show leakage after a
while you are good to go with either the original or
a replacement. 

 

Tom Jensen Jr. 1936-2023