Beginner steam engines, no casting kits

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New Member
Apr 18, 2024
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western NC
Has anyone on here considered, or done it and lived to tell about it, built a steam engine, or gas engine for that matter, using auto or truck wheel cylinders for the bore, or valve(s)? Since I now have a lathe I'm thinking about trying some ideas that have been in my head for a decade or two. I'll post some pics when I make some progress.
I made a Stirling engine during my college days.
It had a truck cylinder liner as hot end cylinder, dia about 80 0r 90mm.. For power cylinder I used a 100cc 2 stroke engine block, dia about 50mm.

I built an engine out of this cylinder and ran it on steam once. These pneumatic cylinders are made of aluminum and (I think) have viton o-rings that can handle steam temperatures. I like the tie rod cylinders because that makes them easier to mount, and easier to inspect. I also used an industrial air valve. The cheap chinese air valves don't usually have any plastics in them like the fancy name brand ones, they're all aluminum and viton just like the cylinders.

50mm x 100mm tie rod cylinder

Air valve
This was my 12th grade science project, along with a vertical fire tube boiler that was about 48" tall.

The piston is a Briggs & Stratton.
The remainder I fabricated from scratch.
Piston valve.