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LIFE IN NORTH QUEENSLAND.I

A SURGERY IN A TWO-INCH BOX.

ICYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE…

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I CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES. I [By CELERITER.J I KEEPING DOWN RUNNING COSTS. I PETROL AND OTHER ECONOMIES. 1 1 The motor cycle and the iigatcar are both machines for the man of moderate means, and therefore they must be made to run as cheaply as possible, but at the same time give a high amount of satisfaction and reliability. Though both motor cycle and lightcar do fulfil the above requirements to a very considerable degree, the question of running costs and general cost of upkeep lie to a very great extent in the hands of the owner. There are many little ways in which the careful driver who is generally the owner, will drive and thereby keep bis run- ning costs below the figures obtained by a more careless or less experience driver. The most expensive item in the running costs of any motor vehicle apart from the standing charges is that of petrol or benzole. The first thing to consider in this connection is as to which spirit one shall use. There are several grades bf petrol and there is ben- zole. So far as the various grades of patrol is concerned, I have found no difference as to running, carbonisation, overheating, mileage, or in any other respect, except as regards cost. Under these various grades I am including" No. 1." and "No. 2." spiiit, Crown," Taxibus," Mex and several other low grade spirits. I have tried them all in summer and in winter, and find there is no appreciable difference as regards start- ing. There is a little difference I believe as regards miles per gallon one can get out of each of these spirits, but it almost requires a careful laboratory test to determine which is the most economical. As regards benzole, I have found it does more miles to the gallon than petrol of any grade, and is also, of course, considerably cheaper. I use it both on my car and on my motor cycle whenever I can get it. Until recently I have found no fault with benzole, and I have lately noticed one peculiarity in connection with its use and it is that it seems to have some detri mental effect on the central electrode of single point plugs. It appears to have either some corro- sive or softening action and ultimately, though not until anything over 5,000 or 6,000 miles use, the electrode breaks off. Another objection raised against benzole, and there may be something in it, is that it is unwise to use it on a new engine that is not run in as it has a tendency to dry up the lubricating oil. So far as carbon deport is concerned, I find there is less deposit from benzole than from petrol, or it may be that the benzole prevents the formation of dep )sit which would result from oil getting past, the piston rings. Some carburettors are I know hyper-sensitive, and the use of benzole, which is a heavier spirit than petrol, upsets the mixture, but as a rule a carhme,ter, which works well with patrol will work equally well with benzole. This particularly applies to motor cycle and light car carbur- etters which are not nearly so complicated as some of the big car carburetters. So mlich for petrol then. I have no hesitation in advising the use of benzole when it is obtain- able, and even if it is the same price as a low grade petrol it should be used in preference as it will give a longer mileage and develop more power on hills. There is no objection to mixing petrol and benzole in any propor- tion, should this be necessary wLen purchas- ing. By buying benzole one ca. save 5d per gallon, as compared to the piioj of No. 1 petrol, which is a considerable it m on a mileage of, say. 4.000 per annum, as, on a consumption of 40 miles to the gallon, it is equal to a saving of over £ 2 but on a consumption of 30 miles to the gallon, it is equal to near £3, or the cost of the tax on the car. This on the difference in price alone without taking into consideration the high mileage obtainable per gal!on. As regards how to keep down the petrol con- sumption, this entirely depend s on the driver. Taking two exactly similar machines over the same course, oue driver might, aver- age 40 miles to the gallon, when the other only does 30. Speed, of course, has a great deal to do with petrol consun. it ion. If one's engine is kept going all out all the time it is being driven it will not only lead to a heafrv petrol bill, but it will also shorten the life of the car or cycle and all its component parts to a remarkable degree. Probably the most economical speed— speedometer speed, not average speed—i»25 miles per hour, and for a motor cycle 30 m.p.h. Above this speed the petrol consumption will be higher, and the wear aud tear on the whole machine will 'be greater. In order to economise petrol the engine should not be kept running when the car is standing longer than is absolutely necessary, and the carburetter should be tuned up. so that the engine will just tick over without stopping and not race away. This may seem a small item, but it all mounts up in the course of a year's driving. Unfortun- ately all manufacturers do not turn out either their light cars or their motor cycles with the carburetters tuned up to concert pitch, and a little time spent in tuning up the carburetter is often well repaid. Of course, the novice should not attempt any alterations, as he will probably find his carburetter in a worse mess than before, but when he has mastered the principle of the carburetter, he may try the effect of various jets and choke tubes, or he may get Eome good local garage man to do the tuning up in his spare time, but one must be sure that, the local man is good." Af;er petrol economy or expenditure, whichever way one looks at it, comes the tyre bill. Here again much depends on the driver, though if a motor cycle or light car is under-tyred, there can be no economy until the proper size of tyre is fitted. Speed is one of the most important functions in tne determination of the life of the tyre. The harder one drives the sooner will a new tyre or set of tyres be required. By hard driving I do not only mean driving fast on straight stretfhes of road, for, although this is one way of getting rid of rubber, it is by no means the fastest way, nor yet the easiest. The easiest w.ty to wear one's tyres out is to do any or all of the following things:—Let in the clutch suddenly when starting up, or picking up speed, after slowing down for traffic tear round corners at high speed apply the brakes suddenly, and often rather than use the engine as a brake and use one's judg- ment to slow up in plenty of time, instead of going on until the last second, and then pulling up sharp. Any of these methods correctly carried out will soon bring the tyres to a fit condition for the waste rubber merchant, "whilst the reverse of such methods will economise rubber Some people seem to have an idea that a steel studded tyre is cheaper to use than all rubber tyre because t here are steel studs in oontact with the ground instead of rubber. This is an entirely mistaken notion. A steel studded cover is more expensive than all rubber ones in the first cost; it usually loses a lot of studs in less time than one can wear out a plain tyre then the wet gets in and rots the canvas, and ultimately ruins the tyre, which under the best of conditions » cannot be retreated satisfactorily. On the other hand a good plain cover can be re- treated and will almost outlast one and a half studded covers at much lower cost. After petrol and tyres comes oil. It is false economy to economise in lubricating oil for the engine, but many engines are very wasteful and require more oil than they actually use, that is to. say they throw out a good deal of oil at the crank case joints or at the cylinder joints, or in some ca-ies through the crank shaft bearings. Besides being wasteful an oily engine is always an eye-sore. If one cannot stop the leak by means of brown paper washers coated with a mixture of gold size and fish glue, or a coating of secotine, the engine should be returned to the makers for attention at some available opportunity, as for instance when the cy linders want cleaning or the bearings want adjusting, and the joints should be made tight. Of course with oil as with petrol and tyres it is the speed which tells. The faster one goes the more oil the engine requires. Air-cooled engines require more oil than water-cooled ones they also require m^re on a hot day than on a cold one. Make your engine economical as regards the absence of oil leaking or flinging, but dou't try to economise by giving too little oil, for oil is much cheaper than new brass or white metal bearings. An item in the upkeep of a light car is the springing and the transmission system. The spring should be kept well oiled in order that the shackles do not wear and become noisy and inefficient. Unfortunately many makers do not fit adequate oiling arraogements, but the springs require plenty of attent ion nevertheless. The transmission system must also be taken care of. The differential gear must be lubricated regularly oil must be used, not grease, which in time is flung lwav from all moving parts and leaves them to grind to powder. The clutch also requires attention, and should be oiled from time to time if undue wear is to be prevented. When a motor cycle is being cleaned all moving parts should b-i thoroughly oiled after having been perfectly cleaned. The working parts of a motor cycle are so exposed to dirt and dust that they must necessarily wear if the dust is allowed to work its wav into these parts and if oil is added on top of the grit to make an effective grinding compound. For tiiis reason then the dirt should first be cleaned out with paraffin and the oil applied after. Care and proper attention during use go a long way towards preserving a car in its original state, thus not only keeping down running costs, but enabling it to fetch a higher figure than v^ould otherwise be the case when put into the secJud haud market.

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