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Brian,
Great. Sounds like you are already having fun. Just remember to take your time. Easier to take your time and do it right the first time rather than disassemble and re-do. Take some pictures and keep us updated on your progress. I'll look for those ceramic wicks for you before the Canterbury steamup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
After a 4 hour building session today. I have the valve gear and cylinders on the frame. I have not gotten to the valve timing yet. So far I have about 12 hours into it. I had some problems fitting the radius rods and combination levers together but it just took a little filing to make everything move smoothly
Brian
 

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Take your time adjusting your valve timing to make sure that you see every valve opening event, steam port, exhaust port in both forward and reverse settings, for both left and right cylinders. In the neutral setting, the valve block should move back and forth(oscillate) without either valve opening on either side. The time spent here will reward you with many hours of enjoyable steaming.
 

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Back to the Locktite issue! The correct Loctite for our models is 222MS which does come in a red bottle but the liquid has a purplish tint. Blue loctite, or Locktite 242 is far too strong for these models and may make it very difficult to remove fasteners coated with it. I am currently rebuilding a model for a customer who partially built it with this blue Loctite 242 and I have had to use a small torch to get some fasteners free - fortunately without damage to the engine. The blue Loctite can really gum up the threads even after the screws are removed and has to be chased out with an appropriately sized tap.This blue Loctite also can leave a crusty residue on your paint and this is very hard to remove. So save yourself some future problems and only use Loctite 222MS.

Good luck,

Ross Schlabach
 

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Ross

That's really interesting. Aster always say use Loctite 222 in the kit instructions but that type of Loctite is not always available except from specialist suppliers who don't normally supply on an individual basis.

I normally say "use any low strength thread lock" but now having read your comment i will only recommend Loctite 222. Maybe I have to stock it with Steam Oil and other sundries - oh well.

Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I have pretty much everything together at this point. I was ready to fire it up this morning and I went to use the hand pump in the tender to rill the boiler and water was shooting out of the bottom of the axel pump where the water line connects. I used the caulk on the seal like the manual said and I put more on after that and I just went to try it again and it did the same thing. I do have the nut tight. Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do?
Brian
 

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You may have the top and bottom nuts exchanged. One of them has a groove across the end that fits inside the body of the pump. I think that one goes on the top, if I remember correctly, (which is not likely after a day wandering around the Midwest Old Settler's and Thresher's Reunion with my son and two grandsons). But I know that if you get those two nuts exchanged the pump will want to work backwards and the hand pump will be working against the inlet and outlet valves of the reversed nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I just finished putting the axle pump back together and the cab together. Number 184 is complete, I hope I can steam it up tommorw, if not I will on Wensday. I will post some pics of it tommorow or Wensday.
Brian
 

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Well, ya shamed me into digging out the instructions to be sure I had not misled you.

If you look at the diagram (assuming you have the same one I do) the Banjo Bolt 6B-12 is the one with the slot and it goes on the top and 6B-8 goes in the bottom. The top is denoted by being the longer end of the pump body. You have to really look at the drawing, but it does kind of show the slot in part 6B-12 and definitely does NOT show a slot in 6B-8. So I feel better now. I bet that was the problem, you were just supplying so much pressure from the hand pump in the tender that it blew out the (bathtub caulk) seal (the pumps are quite powerful!) It really should be relatively easy to work the tender hand pump... at least until you get 30 or 40 pounds of steam pressure in the boiler.


Another note (though maybe a bit late in your construction... sorry):

The tender pump diagrams show the output and return pipes as being parallel to each other, but some folk say you have to cross them to get the correct pipe to the correct side of the engine, and commented on how difficult it was to cross the rigid pipes under the tender.

Well, yes you do need to cross the connections, but I found it much better to cross the hoses at the tender-to-engine draw-bar, one below the draw-bar and one above, rather than cross the rigid copper pipes under the tender. I found that this eliminates the tendency of the hoses from the tender to the engine to kink and it makes the engine/tender connection much more flexible in curves.

Once you get the axle pump corrected, open the bypass valve and work the tender hand-pump. You should see, by looking down the tender water-fill-hatch, water squirt from the return pipe (that you should have positioned to be visible near the hatch). I always do this every time I start up for the day... this way I know the pipes are not clogged (or the hoses kinked) and all connections from the tender to the engine are correct. Then I close the bypass and work the tender hand-pump to put water in the boiler. It takes several pumps to tell that it is working by seeing a rise in the water level in the sight-glass on the boiler back-head. This also primes the axle pump.


Many folk like to find a theoretical "sweet spot" to have the bypass valve set to. One where the water being pumped in equals the steam being used. I have NEVER found that point, because the amount of steam being used varies a bit regardless of how fast the engine is going. I have R/C control of both the throttle and the valve gear and once up to running speed I back off the valve gear to the "company notch" and use lots less steam that way. But that means that how much steam I am using depends on how often I stop and startup and how well I am controlling the valve gear.

So, I gave up on finding the "Sweet spot" and just monitor the sight glass (a good idea anyway... well, not just a good idea, but a MANDATORY one no matter how you handle water usage and replenishment!) and when the water is low, I close the Bypass valve and when the water is high I open it. All part of the experience of running a real live steam locomotive!
 

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The "Sweet Spot" does exists as CT alludes to, it just changes position depending on your load, ambient temperature and quality of fuel. You'll find this setting "Sweet Spot" each time when balance is achieved in the by-pass valve position when you can run until the alcohol runs out and all you're doing is adding water "on the fly" into the tender and you maintain a constant level water in the sight glass .
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I steamed it up and ran it on rollers. It needs the timing tweeked a little which I will do this weekend to get it running good for Canterburry. After running it I was cleaning the oil and water off of it and I went to do the smoke stack and paint came right off of the stack. I think that is really bad paint quallity for the price of the engine. I expect and new stack from Aster because I should not have to fix there mistakes. If I were to repaint the stack I would have to do the smoke box to get it to match and there is no way I am doing that. So you can see Aster it not perfect like people lead you to believe. Other then that it is a great engine.
Brian
 

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Brian,
My stack did the same thing. Aster replaced it no questions asked. I've seen others that have the same problem. Must have been a paint problem when they batch painted the stacks.
 

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Sorry to hear of your paint issues with the Mikado, that's quite unusual. What did you use to clean off the oil off or did you simply wipe it with a cloth? Send Hans an email and He'll get you a replacement in a couple of weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Well I called Aster today and Hans does not want to replace the smoke stack. he says it will happen again. That is total bullcrap! Needless to say I am returning the Mikado. I should not have to fix a paint mistake on an engine of this supposed quality. I will be sticking with Accucraft where I know I will get customer service! I am very angry at Aster for not fixing there quality control problem! If there is a problem with Accucraft you KNOW they will fix it but I guess Aster wont. That is poor customer service and I know since I work in customer service. Aster will never get my business again!
Brian
 

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Brian, If you repaint the stack and it does not match, after you run it a few times you will not see it. The steam oil WILL stain the stack, as can be seen on almost every one that is in regular service. Only the shelf queens stay looking new. And after all the time you put into building this engine I am sure you want to run it! If you go to
Southernsteamtrains.com and look thru the photo gallery you will find lots of mikados.
 
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