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Cox Engine of The Month
July-2024
robot797's

"ULTIMITE COX 010: it has a clutch, E starter, throttle, exhaust, aluminum tank, aluminum venturi, gearbox with forward and reverse, and now its on a custom drawn and printed stand"



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Post  Admin Sat Aug 19, 2023 2:39 am

This was an impulse buy off eBay several days ago. First thing I spotted was, of course the price... the second thing was the near mint condition looking early backplate. It has a chewed up driveplate and pliers marks on the cylinder. It was also described as being a bit stiff to turn over.

1956 Babe Bee score Babe_b10

1956 Babe Bee score Img_9712

Score! This is an early 1st version Babe Bee with the tapered backplate screws. Near mint condition backplate too.

1956 Babe Bee score 5_195610

Yeah, you're looking at that correctly, $4.99 Buy-It-Now. Impulse buy.

1956 Babe Bee score Img_9711

The engine is indeed stiff, tightens up right at the exhaust ports. Typical for a burr or minor dent in the exhaust port opening. Very easy damage to make with these early thin wall cylinder engines.

eBay

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Post  KariFS Sat Aug 19, 2023 4:52 am

Indeed, a Score! Congrats Thumbs Up

Worth a restoration definitely. I have fixed worse driveplates with drill and sandpaper (poor boy’s lathe). The marks on the cylinder don’t look too bad, and the snag around the exh ports can probably be honed with an old piston and some polishing compound as you know. That is, of course if you want to conserve the original parts Smile




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Post  getback Sat Aug 19, 2023 5:59 am

Not a bad looking engine for the price is right m It probably has a 3 piece piston set in it too
Very Happy Babe Bee .049 Very Happy
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Post  GallopingGhostler Sat Aug 19, 2023 12:30 pm

Nice. I also recently got a worn but not torn early Per Wee with similar non-screen venturi back, $29 plus tax and shipping. These are gems.
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Post  balogh Sat Aug 19, 2023 5:33 pm

The taper bore cylinder - all thin wall cylinders I have are taper bore, so yours maybe too- may make it difficult to remove the burr at the exhaust port by shoving an old piston down through the cylinder top.

Good luck with the restoration!
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Post  GallopingGhostler Sat Aug 19, 2023 7:23 pm

balogh wrote:The taper bore cylinder - all thin wall cylinders I have are taper bore, so yours maybe too- may make it difficult to remove the burr at the exhaust port by shoving an old piston down through the cylinder top.
I consider possibly, András, that Kari was referring to complete cylinder removal, and honing with a piston from the underside, no? Smile

I have carefully removed such burring inside the cylinder from my wrenching through the exhaust port by carefully removing such burr with a fine round file and carefully stroking the area until sufficiently removed. Thus, have rescued such a cylinder by doing this. I have also ruined a cylinder by doing this. Doh! However, the equalizer was back then, cylinder-piston sets were inexpensive. Surprised

However, the beauty is cylinder-piston sets are still available from Cox International and Ex Model Engines. (When out of stock, a bit of patience and they are back in stock.) Smile (Of course, those living outside US and Canada are much more careful with their engines, because parts in their locale are harder to obtain. Sad

My solution if not restorable is to resort to one of my later engines with a good thin cylinder-piston, and replacing the donor engine with a new set.

Si no te importa, lo no importa.
Ha nem bánod, nem számít.
If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. Very Happy
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Post  Admin Sun Aug 20, 2023 1:53 am

You can have burrs which is from a chip of metal from the very edge of the exhaust port cut being scraped and bent into the cylinder, and then you can have dents where a bump is pushed in from the wall. Burrs can often be removed with an X-Acto knife or tiny file, then exercise with a junk piston for the final polishing if needed.

This one appears to have a dent right at the edge of the port. I've fixed that in the past with a little abrasive bit in a Dremel and making very careful short spot treatments until the piston has virtually no resistance at that point.

I don't want to go brute force by forcing a piston through it a bunch of times until it's smooth again, which could wear the opposite side of the cylinder that is also subject to friction due to the tight fit. I've done that in the past and it usually results in a usable engine, but with a cylinder and piston fit that is less than ideal.

1956 Babe Bee score Img_9715

You can see the raised portion of metal that has been polished like a mirror from the piston being forced to move past it.

1956 Babe Bee score Img_9714

If you look carefully, you can see where the edge of a wrench applied pressure on the wall of that exhaust opening cut, making a dent.

As expected, there's the 4 piece piston:

1956 Babe Bee score Img_9713

The ball and socket...or ball and retainer fit is fairly solid. These 4 piece pistons tend to have a bit more slop than the later ball and socket fit. You cannot use a reset tool on them or else you'll destroy the piston. I think I've seen someone on here find that out the hard way some years back. In theory, you could disassemble the piston and adjust the retainer for a better fit. I cannot say I've seen anyone document doing that in the past yet, not on here at least.

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Post  KariFS Sun Aug 20, 2023 3:07 am

GallopingGhostler wrote:
balogh wrote:The taper bore cylinder - all thin wall cylinders I have are taper bore, so yours maybe too- may make it difficult to remove the burr at the exhaust port by shoving an old piston down through the cylinder top.
I consider possibly, András, that Kari was referring to complete cylinder removal, and honing with a piston from the underside, no? Smile

Yes, I meant the tip one of the resident engine gurus (I think Ken Cook) gave once, many years ago, when I had messed up a perfectly good Tee Dee cylinder.

In short, take a piece of suitable brass tube (3/8” ?), insert it into the underside of the piston, then use this combination by inserting it ”tube first” from the bottom side of the cylinder. The piston is upside down in this situation Smile Now rotate and work the piston up and down with polishing compound. Periodically clean it and test with the piston so that you insert it dry, in a dry cylinder (the right way up this time), it should stop at the top position, and then fall down and out of the cylinder with a slight tap of the finger.

I have since modified this method by supergluing a piece of tube into a junk piston (rod slack beyond repair, but good compression), works well for the initial honing process.

It also feels like a good way to match cylinders and pistons that originally did not come as a pair.

As always, YMMV.

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Ha nem bánod, nem számít.
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Wise words about the relation between mind and matter, George Very Happy
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Post  Ken Cook Sun Aug 20, 2023 6:07 am

If you ever turned over the latest production Sure Starts, you will notice a very scratchy feel to them. I utilize my de burring method of lapping the piston upside down on these new cylinders. I only do it at the bottom of the bore. A twirling up and down motion with fine chrome polish followed by a good hot water and soap cleaning. I have to say it works quite well and the engines no longer offer that rough feel. I know many don't care for the newer Estes engines but I have to say I've had some real good runners. I will say it can be hit or miss as some just don't offer the same performance but overall, they can do pretty well.

If one finds themselves in a position where the burr is binding the piston, this is a great solution to a otherwise fishing weight. The cylinders are dead soft. The bigger problem is when the thin wall cylinder oblongs and goes out of round due to twisting. I don't have a solution for that as it's pretty much now a relic of the past.
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Post  balogh Sun Aug 20, 2023 7:08 am

Ken, when you mean rhe cylinders of Surestarts is dead soft, did you mean Estes may have deviated from the COX material specs or heat treatment if any, or both? I do not have too much experience with anything post the thick wall open exhaust cylinders, especially with later, slit exhaust ones...I use more antique stuff that was made on the heydays of COX..
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Post  Levent Suberk Sun Aug 20, 2023 1:43 pm

Hi Jacob, do you think to file slots on top fin for wrench?
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Post  Admin Sun Aug 20, 2023 3:22 pm

Levent Suberk wrote:Hi Jacob, do you think to file slots on top fin for wrench?

I wouldn't do that to this one. I want to keep it as original as possible considering it's an example of a very early production Babe Bee.

If it was a typical later Babe Bee, making some cuts to the top fins probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Post  rdw777 Sun Aug 20, 2023 4:16 pm

Nice score on the Bee Jacob….. I did that a few weeks ago…. Impulse buy …. I think similar vintage…. But in .020…..
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Post  balogh Sun Aug 20, 2023 4:36 pm

Admin wrote:...

I don't want to go brute force by forcing a piston through it a bunch of times until it's smooth again, which could wear the opposite side of the cylinder that is also subject to friction due to the tight fit. I've done that in the past and it usually results in a usable engine, but with a cylinder and piston fit that is less than ideal.


That is a valid point, Jacob, I have not thought about it, thanks..
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Post  GallopingGhostler Mon Aug 21, 2023 12:34 am

Robert, 3 weeks ago, I did a Pee Wee impulse buy, too. Very Happy

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Post  crankbndr Tue Aug 22, 2023 7:29 am

Nice score for sure! The flat head screws are set in deeper than the fillister head. I looked for years before found one with a good photo of the backplate. That backplate is very nice, mine have stains on them. Photo shows the two backplates and glow head changes made.
Seems like the flathead screws would have sealed better than the others? The prop drive should be easy to find.




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Post  rdw777 Tue Aug 22, 2023 1:31 pm

Nice .020 George…When I saw the early backplate I couldn’t resist…. I have two now from that era , The other is the bent cylinder special….. A surprisingly strong runner….The thin wall cylinders may be delicate but they certainly start and run well…
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Post  GallopingGhostler Tue Aug 22, 2023 1:37 pm

Robert, thanks, this is my first from the 1950's. The other Pee Wee's I had were mid 1960's to the mid 1970's. All of those though were good strong runners.

Pee Wee's have a deep spot in my heart because they were basically all bullet proof. They always came through, always performed. In an afternoon before dark, I'd put at least a dozen flights in, all flights in rudder only through Ace Pulse. Where weather is calmer, it was one of the best ways to blow off steam.
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Post  Mark Boesen Thu Aug 24, 2023 1:01 pm

too hot to do anything outside....

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