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Discussion Starter #1
I haven’t run my Ruby Mimi for five years due to deteriorated track bed. I’ve fixed the track and am ready to optimize the Ruby. It was a pretty weak engine barely able to pull its tender. I’m trying to changeover to inside admission as I read where this should improve performance. So far I’ve got at least 3 hours trying to find the sweet spot with an air compressor. I can get it to run somewhat smoothly considering it’s a Ruby, although there is no reverse. In fact when I move the Johnson Bar forward (now reverse) there is substantial push back to the (now forward) position on the quadrant.

I’m a rank amateur with live steam and don’t understand some of the terminology. I read t that valve timing may help. So far I’ve gone by the valve machined markings on the valves and reversing rod. So my question is are there situations where you ignore those markings (including the one on the reversing rod).
 

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If you google Dave Hottmann ruby timing, you should find plenty of info on setting the timing.
Basically the ruby being a simple engine would require the valve travel to be 90 degrees off of the piston travel.
You can get this fairly close by setting the eccentrics per the Ruby kit instructions which should be online also.
 

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Let's see if it will let me upload and link Dave Hottman's instructions on timing the Ruby.


Nope: "InsideAdmissionAndAirTuningARuby.pdf:
Your file of 1,015.5 KB bytes exceeds the forum's limit of 19.5 KB for this filetype."


So I google it and it turns out Dwight has it stored on his website:
http://www.SantaCruzLumberCo.com/MLS_PDFs/InsideAdmissionAndAirTuningARuby.pdf
BUT his whois record is out-of-date so the website is suspended.


I will send you a PM and try to attach the PDF. If it doesn't work, message me with your email!


Edit: found a post by Dwight with the info:
https://forums.mylargescale.com/29-beginner-s-forum/90640-what-point-throw-towel.html
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry, I should have mentioned I downloaded the Hottman article a couple of days ago. I think I got it from the Accucraft site under support/manuals. It definitely is a great help but doesn’t address what would cause the strong push back on the Johnson Bar. I’ve been adjusting the valves by turning them in excess of 5 revolutions at a clip. Should I be doing less? Did anyone that has done the inside admission modification experience what I described?

Why Lucas oil and where is it purchased? Thanks so much for the responses! Rich
 

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I would stay away from the Lucas. It is like STP and is sold in Automotive stores.
Dave swears by it but it is too sticky for me. Just use steam oil.

Five turns seems like a lot.
You should not have had to adjust them at all. If you had moved the eccentrics 180 degrees, you would have had it running in forward as it was in reverse before.
If you went too far or not far enough buy just a little bit, it would have made a big difference in the performance.

Page 6 & 7 of the kit instructions will show you to set things up again.
If you don't have them, I can post them here for you
 

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For future reference, the entire Hottman Archive is up at the top of the Live Steam Forum under Dwight's informative threads index: Index Link
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would appreciate the instruction manual, my copy is long gone. Sounds like I need to start over and use incremental adjustments.

Is steam oil proprietary or can a substitute be found in the automotive section?

Thanks...Rich
 

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Is steam oil proprietary or can a substitute be found in the automotive section?
Autos do not run on steam, so you can't find proper steam oil in an auto parts store. DO NOT use any auto oil in a steam engine lubricator.

It is a generic product, but only available from steam locomotive suppliers.
Accucraft sell it: AP28-203 for $5
https://www.accucraftestore.com/product-page/ap-28203-steam-oil-200-ml
Another source is The Train Dept:
https://www.thetraindepartment.com/steam-and-lubricating-oils/

I found a pint can and it has lasted me many, many years. I do have a small bottle for actually filling the lubricator so it gets refilled as needed from the can.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bill, no problem with printing the manual, thanks so much!

Pete, thanks for the oil links!

Rich
 

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One thing I didn't mention is that for reverse admission, the Accucraft timing setting is done with the piston in front dead center and not rear dead center
 

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Of course one should use steam-oil. But if you are temporarily out of it, using normal car crancase oil is ok, until you get the right stuff. Even Aster wrote so in their instructionsfor my P8 / BR38. ( I would go for mineral, but seriously, probably even cooking oil or whatever, would do.)

Aso the water has a lubricating effect. Though running a completetly new engine without oil, is a bad idea, in my opinion.

Also, running on air for any extended time, without oil, makes me uneasy. During assembly, one normally puts some oil in the cylinders, so a bit of testrunning on dry air, is ok.
 

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Regarding cylinder oil, I suppose in a pinch melted sheep's fat would do. It was used on the early locomotives, which is why oil cups and oiling cans are called "tallow pots" in steam era railroad jargon. Might be a bit hard to find, and a bit pungent, though.

Have fun, David Meashey
 

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Don’t want to sidetrack your post but I was just wondering how you fixed your old track? I’ve got about 200 feet that breaks if you look at it to hard.
 

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Don’t want to sidetrack your post but I was just wondering how you fixed your old track? I’ve got about 200 feet that breaks if you look at it to hard.
Brad, I don't want to appear a curmudgeon, but it isn't really polite to "hijack" a thread by asking about something of different relevance. It's very easy to start a new thread in the 'track' forum.
 
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