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#47 Post Steam-up

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Well, now that the excitement of steaming this baby up for the first time is over, it's time to look at what needed to be done next.  Still have a ton of things to do like fixing a few things that need attention to make it run a bit better.  Also have to do the lights, front pilot, skyline casing, skirting, install the injectors, whistle, install the bell, on and on and on...

One of the problems I had was with the flame being sucked out when opening up the throttle when going up a grade.  If this was a coal burner, this would have been great as it would pull a lot of air over the coals and get the fire real hot.  For propane, that's another thing.  A club member (Jason) suggested I enlarge the blast nozzle because he could hear that the engine was being choked on the exhaust side.  This would also lessen the affect of the flame being sucked out when the throttle is opened up.  The picture below shows the original blast nozzle on the left.  It had a 3/8" diameter hole and made it like a venturi.  I also got carried away and used a cross pattern.  The second time it was steamed up, the nozzle in the center was used.  It has a 1/2" diameter hole and is also shaped like a venturi.  This improved the situation but still had excessive exhaust back pressure and the flame still was being sucked out (but not as often).  The nozzle on the right was drilled out to 5/8" diameter and also shaped like a venturi but less radical.  This is the one I stuck with.

After a couple test runs, I raised the blast nozzle to the bottom of the petticoat to reduce the vacuum in the smokebox.  This totally goes against the 1:3 and 1:6 “cone” theory which may be great for coal but useless for propane.  After these changes were made (and other Fuel System Mods), flame-outs were more rare.



Another problem I had to fix was the electric blower.  The blower I got was too powerful and sucked so much air through the flues that it made it near impossible to light the fire.  The original plan was to use a door dampener (as can be seen in the picture).  The idea was to open or close this door to regulate the air.  It kind of worked but once it got hot, you couldn't touch it.  That problem could have been fixed but it didn't allow for fine tuning of the air flow.  A light dimmer was installed on the blower which fixed that problem.


Once the blower problem was fixed, I still had to figure out why the burners had a small weak flame.  The engine steamed up well but still wasn't up to it's potential. The flame was yellow at the tips and were being starved of fuel or air (or both). When I tested the burners on the bench, all the flames were strong and blue.  Something happened once they were put into the firebox. Another club member (Carl) suggested that the propane quick disconnect between the tender and the engine might be starving the burners of fuel.  After the quick disconnect was removed, the engine was taken outside for a static test.  The propane tank was connected and the modified blower was put on the stack.  Then I lit her up.  The blower speed was increased until the flames were a perfect blue.  As you can see from the picture below, the flames look great.  Another problem solved.

Further changes were made in the #56 Fuel System Mods section.



The last thing on my list to fix before the next steam-up was the front truck.  It derailed twice the last time I took her out.  The truck tried to turn totally sideways but the cylinder caught it along with my "expensive" SuperScale cylinder cocks.  Bent the cylinder cock on the right ride and put some nice cuts in the cylinder cover.  I didn't want this to happen again.  I had to find out what caused the derailment but before I did, A chain was put on the front truck to limit the movement so it can't hit the cylinder again.  The prototype actually has this also (and I thought it was just for looks in this scale). 

I finally figured out why the pilot truck derailed for no apparent reason.  The drawbar had no play for vertical movement, just horizontal.  When the engine went up, so did the tender and vice-versa.  As the tender bounced up and down, it would push the engine up and down also, causing the front truck to derail when it lifted (or something like that).  I made the drawbar tight, thinking that it was good to reduce the "play" when starting/stopping.  I made the holes a bit larger and to allow more vertical movement without making it "sloppy", both holes on both sides we beveled.  Problem fixed!

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#01 So It Began #2 Frame #3 Drivers #4 Quartering #5 Trucks #6 Frame & Wheels #7 Side Rods #8 Cylinder Boring #9 Cyl/Valve Liners #10 Cyl/Valve Cover #11 Pistons & Valves #12 Cyl Assembled #13 Boiler #14 Suspension #15 Crosshead #16 Brakes #17 Link Support #18 Bell #19 Crosshead (again) #20 Connecting Rod #21 Stationary Runner #22 Smokebox #23 Valve Gear #24 Running on Air #25 Piston Rings #26 Axle Pump #27 Plating #28 Lubrication #29 Blast Nozzle #30 Stack #31 Steam Turret #32 Burner Manifold #33 Mounting Brackets #34 Boiler Insulation #35 Jacketing #36 Cab #37 Throttle #38 Reverse Lever #39 Track Test #40 Smokebox Access #41 Electric Blower #42 Turbulators #43 Burner Test #44 Piping #45 Cab (part 2) #46 Inaugural Run #47 Post Steamup #48 Smokebox Lights #49 Running Boards #50 Pilot #51 Skirting #52 Paint #53 Lettering #54 Whistle #55 Skyline Casing #56 Fuel System Mods #57 Odds and Ends #58 Turbos

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Last modified: 04/06/2018.