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This subject came up on another live steam topic, but perhaps it is should be on its own:

It seems that certain stacks provided on the new Accucraft 4-4-0s are coming unsoldered during running. So far, I believe only the NCNG and D&RG engines are involved, but not sure.

I understand that Cliff is aware of the situation, and that the factory is preparing replacements . My engine's stack has not yet come apart, but it is starting to discolor and leak condensate at the base of the main taper, so I have asked Cliff to put my name on the list for a replacement.

I have buried one of Bill Ford's WLDS in a new tender load of split hickory, and so far my 4-4-0 continues to perform flawlessly. With easy access to the cab, it is a fun engine to switch cars with. So Dwight, you should be having TWICE the fun! Have you rigged yours for double-heading yet?

Larry
 

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On the DRG there is a narrow lip on the top of the smokebox for the stack to sit on. On the inside of the stack there is a backing strip that did not allow the stack to sit well on the smoke box. Some filing on this strip and a bit on the smokebox lip allows the stack to sit nicely on the smokebox.
So this is an easy fix and I will test this out on saturday
jim
 

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Thanks for the helpful tip. I am looking forward to running mine. See the video above of Tom Burns with the bark box chuff enhancer.
 

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The stack on my Mogul NCNG failed tonight, and the #2 button on the firebox door fell off. I haven't put 10 tanks of water through this loco yet. I still have to get the suspension working.
The radley-hunter stack separated at the cap. Poorly soldered - solder was incomplete all around, and there is evidence that the two pieces didn't even touch in places (or solder bridge). The stack is badly designed - the cap is turned, but way too heavy for the thin flare it sits on. It will retain too much heat and contribute I think to melting solder on successive runs.
Can somebody give me Cliff's number? Nobody at Accucraft has ever done me the courtesy of returning an email.
 

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What is also difficult to explain, is that I get a full 30 minutes of real run time with the engine operating under high loads at 60psi. Again difficult to explain is that very low burner settings are required and the engine is the quietest of any Accucraft engine I have.

And in response to Larry Green [from the 440 performance thread], I think these are the conditions(60#/hi-load) that set up the Radley Hunter stack to fail. This was exactly how my Mogul was running when the top of the stack let go. In watching the last run of the day (hot day), I believe stack temp was high enough to superheat the steam coming out of the vent tube, further raising the temp inside the stack. While there was steam evident from the stack at the beginning of the run, by the end of it, outside of the sound, you wouldn't have guessed it was a steam engine. If you have a model with the RH stack, I think 'cooler is better' is a better way to run. Ultimately I think the stack solution will be either mechanical fixing, or perhaps a liner tube so the exhaust goes straight up and out, preferably non-soldered.

(I've cross-posted this from the 440 performance thread partly because I'd like to keep the discussion of this stack going. I don't believe silver soldering the top of the stack is going to solve the problem with this design. The solution, I believe, is the addition of a stack liner - a straight tube up the diameter of the stack opening, to keep the exhaust out of the belly of the stack.)
 

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I had cut off the top of the crimped pipe so the steam goes out the stack instead of trapping it in the stack from the cross drilling on the pipe. So far my stack has not gotten really hot where I think it will unsolder. There is about 2.5 hours on her so far.
 

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With that humidity an early morning run will result in some great plumes.
This photo is from an August morning run in NJ:
 
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