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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my new Accucraft Mogul last week - the NGNC#2 ...  Frankly, some mixed feelings at the moment...   Not very well packed (in spite of the steel cradle - the diamond stack is too tall for the cradle which means you can't roll the engine out of it) and there was some damage to the smokebox shell.  It had slipped out forward about  1/4", gouging the paint.  I had to tap it back in.    One of the mounting screws that holds the lamp on was loose and wouldn't tighten.  Since AC doesn't provide an exploded parts diagram I don't know what the screw attaches to or how to disassemble it fix that) - a nut behind, between wrapper and the smoke box, I think.
The pilot braces and sand "tubes" are poorly and cheaply done, for a $1500 loco. The right pilot brace won't stay in, even with some work on the bending - they will have to be re-engineered.  The sand tubes look like an afterthought - just some stainless wire clipped with diagonal cutters (ends unfinished) and crudely bent to fit the driver space.  Sloppy varnish work on the sand tubes as well.  Nut driver wrench supplied is different from the one supplied for the Ruby and doesn't fit the bolts its designed for - too small (its not the small one like you get with the Ruby.)  The Ruby version worked fine.

First track run was not good (ran the engine on rollers for a bit first).  While it easily handles 8 foot curves, its very sensitive to vertical issues with the track - especially the rear drivers  - would not loop the circuit without derailing the rear drivers (they would jump consistently to the left at some points) - the only loco out of 12 that I have that won't. I had to take the tender off eventually or risk destroying it in the derails.  Will have to see in the spring what can be done with the track.   Its very top heavy, which doesn't help. Some of the detail features in the wheel carriage  (brake bars etc) could be made of more substantial brass or steel to give some weight down low.

So far, its Ruby 1, Mogul 0...  Mogul sure is a pig on gas, but it was a cold day too.  Compensated drivers would help too (especially on the rear pair).   Jury's still out on the Mogul.  A shay may run better on my line (my Bachmann shay runs well, as does the Connie)

Some might recall my rant about the Ruby deal, which I had Dwight delete - followed up with Ridge Road on that - they said that they have to order the cars with the Ruby - told them I bought the Ruby as in stock from them at the time of the deal at xmas time. They went back to AC, apparently AC said too bad Ridge Road had Ruby in stock, no cars for you.  NOT impressed.

Based on the Mogul, I wouldn't look twice at the C19, and the 4-4-0 only because the driver spacing might work out better.  In the low end ACs, the Ruby is the better deal, and in my view, better made and finished (agreed -simpler, so easier to be "better") 

Hopefully after I can get at the track in the spring, I can tame the Mogul.

On a more upbeat note, my second USAT GP9  in TH&B livery came, so I now have 401 and 402 as a running pair (which they did in real life).  USAT labelled them as GP7s which they weren't, though.  USAT did #70 and 71 as well, which were the 7s, without the dynamic brakes or air tubes on top (the 9s  are TT)  I'll put a couple of pictures up of them on the weekend.
 

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I had a Mogul that had the same derail problem.  /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif Check the axle boxes for vertical movement.   /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif They are sprung but the paint on the frame prevents them form moving.  :confused: I removed some of the springs to loosen the suspension.  I think that a better fix is to oil the axle boxes and move them by hand to free the motion. With the suspension working it is a good loco.  I have since sold the Mogul and am waiting for the AC EBT #12 2-8-2 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Posted By Dwight Ennis on 01/26/2008 7:29 AM
Paul - I would give Cliff at Accucraft a call regarding the damage. I have yet to see them not take care of things.

Terry - you really should move across the pond. Think of all the money you'd save. hehehe


Dwight, the damage is not that severe - the loco is a curious mix of good detail and manufacture and poor detail and manufacture, which is a little disconcerting.  The packing of the engine is problematic.  Its damaged BECAUSE of the way it was packed.  It doesn't help that it was shipped at some point on its end, at the bottom of a stack, maybe even in the container coming over (there was telltale crush damage on the outer carton).  The packing materials actually pulled the front out.  The tender, in its foam cradle, was fine.  While  I appreciate Accucraft providing the steel cradle, it makes the case excessively heavy, doesn't fit the loco properly, and prevents proper packaging.

  I'm more disappointed in the run, given how well the Ruby screamed around the track.  For now, I'm just chalking it up to teething problems with a new loco.  My initial response was "I don't see $1000 more loco here (relative to the Ruby)".  Had the run been a little more successful, I'd be a bit more comforted - watching a brand new loco tumble off an elevated section (Twice! -short fall thankfully) of track before you can get to it, doesn't give you the feeling you paid for...LOL!

The lack of decent documentation is annoying - yes there is a simple manual (and its not just Accucraft that has this problem), but a parts diagram I believe is essential for these toys.  My shop is fully capable of doing just about anything on this loco, but problems are easier to fix if you have some idea of how its put together, and as Ron in alaska pointed out in another thread - ain't shipping it back - cost me $100 just to get it a distance of about 120 miles between the US and Canada. 


Terry needs to get out while he still can...LOL!    And I've brought a few things from over 'ome too.  The question is not "how are going to pay for this, sir?", its "are you ABLE to pay for this, sir?"   .... :D 
 

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Skip, sorry to hear of your disappointment with the Mogul.  Mine came with no external damage, but it didn't run too well.  I adjusted the valve eccentrics just a little forward and it made a big difference.  Cliff told me about the paper filter in the nozzle which I removed (I did the same on my 2 cylinder Shay) and Jason instructed me on how to install the stainless screen in the burner which produces much more heat.  What I did next is not permanent and dependent on the outside temperature:  I flattened a piece of copper tubing and placed it between the boiler and the fuel tank to transfer heat, in the summer I will either remove it permanently or just slide it in place half way through a run.      These are just a few easy things I did to get much better performance out of mine, I am sure there are many other things that can be done to further enhance performance.  Almost forgot, unscrew the steam dome and make sure your relief valve is not leaking.   I am now very happy with mine.       Nick Jr
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Paper filter in the nozzle...? I'm not having too much trouble raising steam on this, nor are there burner issues on either this or the Ruby. I had to physically realign the poker in the Ruby as they can get out of position if they are not aligned correctly at the boiler head, but once that was done, burner was fine. Fire problems people are having, based on my sample of 2 :) can be traced directly to the needle valve in the gas regulator. When the tank is full, the pressure is too high for effective control initially because the needle valve taper is too fast, and its very difficult to control the flame - too much gas, too fast - this is the reason why people are burning up smoke boxes, and why they are having find a way to let more air in. Until the poker itself heats up, and the tank pressure drops a bit, you need the flame down real low, Accucraft actually acknowledge this in their instructions, without a discussion of the underlying reason - the setting is hard to hit because of the short taper on the needle. The screens and whatnot are doing what the regulator should be doing, slowing the gas down. Any of you guys who have spent much time with R/C airplane engines will get what I'm talking about with needle valves, trying to get smooth transitions and even midrange. The needle valve in the regulator looks easy to re-taper, so I might see if I can get a couple from AC to play with.

I suspect that the un-flanged middle drivers, while helping it get around the curves, are partly responsible for it derailing if the track dips or pitches, once the rear drivers are up, there's nothing to keep it aligned but the front drivers.

The tube idea is interesting - could be a spring of brass sheet too...

Mine came with a Goodall valve too - I have no experience with these - other than it gets in the way for mounting a servo, how much good are they on an engine like this? The pump reservoir in the tender doesn't hold much, even less with a pump mounted, and without a sight glass I don't see me using it to top up the tank. Given that AC recommends a full service each time you gas up, why would you bother with one? I suppose if you top up the gas tank after reaching steam, which AC says not to do because you'll run out of water before gas, you can pump water from the tender to the tank before you go, but then you'd have wait for it to re-heat anyway...? Am I missing something here?
 

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The derailment problem comes from poor trackwork and axlebox springs that are too stiff. The long wheelbase of the loco contribues, too. You can't change that, but you can fix the other two. Take one or two of the three springs out of the axleboxes and level your track and the problem will go away. It's worse on curves and at sectional track joints, in my experience, so look there first.

My Mogul was a gas hog, at first, because the piston valves were leaking like crazy. The loco would haul itself about 20 feet and then be out of steam. Turning up the fire all the way was the only way to get even that much steam. After sending it back to Accucraft (Dave Hottmann put rings on the valve pistons) it pulls like a mule team and runs for over 30 minutes on a tank. If yours won't do that with a reasonable fire, put it in neutral and open the throttle. If you get steam out the exhaust, you have leaky valves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vance, thanks for the suggestions - yes, track work is needed - I currently have some minor frost heaving issues which I can't really do much about until spring without upsetting the line. So far, I think its steam tight, but I will go over the suspension.
 

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Skip,
I understand your pain. I bought steamlogger's(Robb) mogul and have found it gave me grief in the snow, but it ran like a champ in my garden without snow and ran great on Tom Bowlder's portable steam track. It seems to be much more picky than my ruby but in the long run it is worth it. It has a longer run time and can pull plenty - not too mention its a good lookin' locomotive. Give it time you will fall in love with this engine.
In the spring/summer bring it back across the border and we can put some miles on it on my garden railroad!
Matt
 

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Mine was warranty work, so I didn't get quoted a price. They just fixed it. Call Accucraft and talk to Cliff if yours has the problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After ranting some about teething issues with my new Mogul, and listening to various observations abut the running problems I had experienced, I took a closer look last night at the driver suspension, and discovered a problem. The right rear driver bearing will not move in its track, once the retaining plate at the bottom is screwed on. Originally I suspected paint was binding the block in the frame, but after disassembly and dressing the frame tracks, and reassembly, I discovered the retainer plate was locking up the bearing block by holding it up too high in the frame. The other side has about 1/16 (at least) free play. This is the reason the loco was bumping off the track and derailing on the rear drivers.

The retaining plate is bent at 90 degrees in the centre to form a shelf on which the bearing block sits when its fully down. I'm guessing at the moment that the retainer plate is bent too high and holding up the block.

Looking more closely at how Accucraft puts the retainer on, it conceivably could be inverted and reversed, putting the shelf at the bottom and increasing the travel of the drivers considerably, so that they actual get to work their springs properly. However, a spacer is needed to hold the retainer plate clear of the bearing block so that it doesn't bind in the lower part of its movement. Reversing the blocks appears to be a worthwhile revision for the extra suspension travel gained and the spring complement would actually work as designed without removing any.

So, after a lot of talk, what have others done to tune up the suspension the Mogul? At a minimum, I have to get some more movement in the right rear drive, or this loco will never stay on the track.

Paul

Greensville-Crooks Hollow Railway Company
"Building the Finest Mongrel Short Line in S.Ont."
Edited by - Skip on 31 Jan 2008 18:35:29

llynrice
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Posted - 01 Feb 2008 : 14:12:11 Show Profile
Hi Skip,

I found essentially the same thing with my K28. With the retainers in place as installed at the factory, the springs were fully compressed and the driver axels had virtually no vertical play. Based on a suggestion from Rick Richardson of the New Jersey Live Steamers, I turned my retainers over so the shelf would be at the bottom. I also had to space the retainers out from the frame to let the bronze journal blocks slide down behind them. On the K28, the retainers are secured with M2.0 x 4 flat head metric screws. I got some longer M2.0 x 6 screws and some 2mm washers. I found that putting two washers between the retainers and the loco frame gave enough clearance (except one journal where I had to use three washers). That gave plenty of flexibility, but the loco stood about 3/32" higher than before (not a big deal), but I soldered some shims to the retainer lips to limit the travel a bit and split the difference between maximum possible travel and no travel. Now, the suspension is quite flexible and the loco looks just fine. There is plenty of snow and ice on my layout just now; so, it will be a while before I can give the loco a really meaningful test run.

Llyn


Flip flopping between the versions of the forum, meant some of this thread got split, so I brought the posts from the old forum over (above). This explains my problem with the loco staying on the track.

Lynn, I'm very much interested in how your trials work out - I haven't done the rework yet to the suspension, partly because I have to track down some small metric hardware - I can get imperial stuff, but metric is hard to find that small.

Wouldn't also mind seeing a few shots of throttle servo setup in the mogul - I don't think I'll r/c the johnson bar, but the throttle would be good. The Goodall valve takes up a lot of space in the cab, so not sure if I'm going to leave it there or not.
 
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