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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I acquired one of these with full r/c last year, but during testing it twice had leaking butane ignite and burn up the cab area. The problem is the unusual method of having an expansion tank in the cab and feeding it liquid butane in a pipe from the tender.
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This picture was taken before the first fire. Part of the problem is the feed to the cab tank. It is a sorta banjo screwed in to the tank. Mine never properly sealed - possibly because it is old and the sealing washers were not working, and possibly the folk who find this system to work fine never disconnect their loco from the tender.
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This is how the cab looked after the first fire. Note the well-burned servo wire.
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The saga of trying to get this loco to run is in my old thread. I decided to concentrate the posts on the gas feed conversion in this new thread. Here's the old one:
Aster C&S #22 - Pointers needed

Another advantage is the builders manual and illustrations, which I got in PDF form with my loco. Here's a screen shot.
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I can send a larger PDF version by email and here's an attached version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The gas tank sits in a water bath and feeds liquid out of the bottom.
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Here's the tank with the top off the tender. The filler is behind, and the valve fits the tube in the front above the glass viewing port.
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I posted this picture in the other thread, but I'll repeat it as it is relevant.
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I ended up dismantling the whole thing in order to figure out the way forward. Originally I thought of pushing a copper pipe up from the bottom liquid feed to the top of the valve cylinder so it would take gas instead of liquid. Not easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Then Dave Goodson (TOC - remember him?) came to the rescue. He advertized for sale a C&S #22 with butane conversion by Norm Saley [he may still have it for sale] so I emailed to ask how Norm did it. The answer was by blocking off the bottom hole and taking gas from the valve cylinder with a gas valve. (I think Norm used a Roundhouse valve on Dave's loco.)

So I cut the top off the expansion tank, where the old gas feed valve fits, thinking I could unsolder it and fit it in the tank.
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That's the original valve feeding the jet with gas on the left. My hopes of un-soldering it turned out to be dashed when I hit it with my small gas torch and it refused to budge. Must be some high-temp silver solder. The cap on the tank, which is adjacent, also refused to move.

I could have got out the plumbers torch and a firebrick, but on looking at the threaded piece on the tank, I realised it was similar to a banjo bolt, and I just happen to have a couple of spares.
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The lock nut off the old fitting was perfect on the thread, so I cut the head off the bolt with the dremel and drilled a 5mm hole in the side of the top cylinder on the big gas tank.
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When I solder it in the hole will point down, I hope. Then I went looking for something to seal the top of the cylinder, and noticed the piece of bolt I had cut off had a curved underside and was an exact fit.
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Today was soldering day. I figured soft solder would be fine in the gas tank, as it wasn't supposed to get hot!
[Edit: Not true - silver solder is not rated for pressure vessels - use silver solder. Some of the rest of this has been edited and removed.]
The hole in the bottom was plugged with solder, and the cap and side pipe on top was also attached securely.
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A trial run with the valve suggests the gas pipe will not be going straight down from the valve. Which is good - it needs to be screwed on as far as possible, and will need sealant.
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At this point I put fingers over the filler hole and the valve mount hole, and blew in to the front view opening. All seems airtight - touch wood.

On to put everything back together. A lot of pipes and bolts go through the tender floor in to the water tank, and all need some sealant. These are for the water pump mounting screws.
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With all the holes plugged, the tank is ready for a test. However, the sealant says no water contact for 24hrs so it will have to be tomorrow. In the meantime, I have to cut a slot in the tender top to clear the new gas feed pipe, as the original has just a circular opening for the old valve.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here's the tender and loco on the track while I confirm the gas pipe will work.
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Did a butane test while I wait for the caulk to set. Unfortunately the front glass port leaked! And while playing with it, there was a slight problem:
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I don't know how it happened, and I'm sure there aren't any spares around. So every small flashlight in the house was checked, and fortunately this one was almost the right size:
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Not clear what will happen when it contacts the butane!
I took the opportunity to reheat the gas valve seat and lift it up and out a fraction, to get more clearance on the front.
Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Electrical wiring


You can see in this next pic that I don't have much room. Had I realized it would be so tight, I would have put the piece of banjo bolt higher in the cylinder and pointed it upwards. Anyway, it is now caulked and setting with the rubber seal as spacer.
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The original was probably pyrex. I would be very circumspect about replacing it with a flashlight lens or even a watch crystal. Butane tanks operate under considerable pressure. If your replacement glass burst while the loco is under fire you could wind up in a "World of Hurts." Someone like Ryan could probably fabricate ypou a new one out of appropriate material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Today it was fill the water tank and try some butane inside. The water was fine - after an hour there was evidence of a slight leak, but only a spoonful or 2 of water. Seems to be coming from between the tank and the floor, where you can't get at anything. I tightened the water banjo and the old gas feed to see if that slows it. Otherwise it isn't a problem.

The gas was a different story. The valve mount started leaking furiously around that silicon washer when I put some gas in, as the whole thing wasn't very tight. I started thinking I should rework the valve mount and potentially to start again with a longer shaft to the valve, (I had cut the first back as much as possible - quite the wrong approach,) so I got out my other banjo bolt to compare it. Lo and behold - it was actually longer in that the side hole was further back. So I cut the head off it.
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Soldering it in, I also filled the side hole and pulled it as far out of the cylinder as possible. With it done, I put the old pipe in the filler and blew in to it. With a finger over the gas valve mount it was airtight.
Fedora Audio equipment Motor vehicle Gas Office supplies


Then I checked the valve was a good fit, and was thinking about sealing the valve on to the mount. I didn't recall using caulk, so what should I use? Then I remembered my recent loco builds used Teflon/PTFE tape - which I didn't have in my plumbing supplies. A quick trip to the hardware store solved that and I got it mounted and this time it has lots of clearance.
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I took it outdoors and fed in some gas. It seemed tight so I left it for a while. Unfortunately, when I opened the valve, there was butane leaking from the old rubber pipe. I suspect it got crimped when I was trying to mount the valve on the shorter version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After almost an hour, the gas tank is still showing lots of liquid gas. So the valve and filler are tight.
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Then I went looking for the leak, and found it where expected - on the back of the valve-pipe interface where it got crimped when trying it yesterday.
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As I recall from my air test, the other piece of pipe is still sound, so I guess that will be used instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I replaced the rubber pipe with the piece from the old tank to the expansion, and tried again. This time there was a clear leak of gas around the plastic tank view cover. Sure enough, it cracked.
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Possibly not butane compatible, or perhaps it didn't like the pressure. So I did the obvious - made a brass disk.

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I tried teflon to seal the outer ring, but that didn't work - still leaking. So I removed the cover and brass disk and slapped lots of my Loctite sealant/glue on it. The jury is out on whether the Loctite is butane-compatible, but I'll try again later today to see if it holds the gas.

However, I am now thinking this is a futile exercise (though it does keep the mind active.) As was pointed out to me, gas pressure vessels are not supposed to be soft-soldered. I suspect they aren't supposed to have viewing ports sealed with household sealant. Long term this could be a disaster waiting to happen. A new gas tank would make a lot more sense. . . .
 

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Pete, I remember when the C&S came out, and all the people that were having problems with them, The thing to do if You wanted it to run was to send it to Norm Saley in Florida, He would rework the Gas tank and throw the Enpander away. Sorry, we don't have Norm anymore. He has Passed (God rest his Sole) But He told Me he did a lot of them. If someone has one of His Reworked Gas tanks Maybe they can Post a Picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
send it to Norm Saley
I actually met Norm's son and grandson a couple of years ago, so I asked if Norm had left any info. Unfortunately not, but TOC has advertised one converted by Norm so he sent me a description. That's basically where I got the idea of tapping in to the cylinder on top.

I also inquired about a new tank, and Jason at the Train Dept says he had some replacements made for this loco, so he's digging out the price, etc. A proper replacement, with the filler in the right place, would reduce the chopping of the tender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Jason came through with a tank made specially for this loco by Justin Koch. He sent me one with a new Ronson filler and a gas valve. Looks good.
Office supplies Gas Office equipment Gun accessory Metal


Unfortunately, being an early design, this tender is a fiasco. To get the tank out means disassembling almost everything. Take the trucks off to get at the banjo bolts on the old gas line and the water pipe. Remove the 4 screws holding the water pump, which not only go through the tank floor but also through the frame floor.
Gas Gun accessory Revolver Metal Auto part


Obviously the potential for damage is high - in fact, that's how I broke the old sight glass, I think. Stripped or broken brass screws are also possible, not to mention it all has to go back together water-tight.

A major issue is the sight glass frame, which is fastened to the front of the water tank, but the water tank then fits through a space in the front of the bodywork. You can't get the gas tank out without removing the water tank. Here's why - the left side arrow points to the hole in the frame floor, and the middle arrow points to the slot which allows you to move the gas tank back to clear the front of the water tank.
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Why they didn't put a slot in both is beyond me. If I'd known I would be doing it all again, I would have made a slot last time I took it apart!

Note also the corrosion. I don't think it is possible to make everything watertight, and in any case the top of the tank is open so water can slosh over the side and get sucked in to any gap under the tank.

After this, there is the small matter of the big hole in the front wall of the water tank. Justin's new tank has no sight glass (good!) So I got out a strip of brass and made a filler. I soldered it in with regular solder, as it only has to hold in the water.
Wood Gas Metal Dish Cuisine


The gas valve Jason supplied had a threaded side output so I had to connect that to the flexible gas pipe. The nipple on the old gas pipe was cut off with a little thread still on it:
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and then I silver-soldered the nipple into the fitting.
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It is all reassembled and I did a water test - all 4 screws on the water pump were leaking (! they all had sealant !) That should be fairly simple to rework.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Talking about sight glass, I had simultaneously been looking for a fix for the old tank, until this new one came about. Triple R Services, who are my local Aster/Accucraft dealer, queried Japan and found that there are spare parts available. Ryan volunteered to install it and fix my soldering.

Simultaneously, I had called my local clock repair, who put me on to a guy in CA who makes small glass faces for watches. No problem he says, and this morning I got an envelope with 8 disks (!!)
Product Font Material property Circle Pattern


Wow, and very inexpensive. (He says it is just as easy to make several rather than just one.) I'm keeping 2 and passing the rest to Ryan at Triple R.

Maybe one day I will rehabilitate that old gas tank. :oops: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
This morning I water-tested the tank after I resealed it and used new screws - no leaks. Then I finished the gas pipe and found there was still butane in the tank (not bad for a fill last week.) Here's the water test - it's been sitting on the kitchen paper for over an hour and there's no sign of leaks.

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So now the tender is done and it should be a runner. I'm also going back to edit those embarrassing posts about using silver solder. . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to wrap up this saga, I took the loco to run on the Aikenback track at Edinburg Old Time Festival last weekend.

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It ran for about 2 hours total, about 3 or 4 different runs. Wowee. . .

 
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