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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
 Hi everyone; ran my aristo mike the other day & after running for awhile it started loosing power! Inoticed the pressure guage was down to 35-40 psi.( I've got it set at 55-60psi.)! I removed the fuel hose from the loco & opened the tank valve, to find, not much volume of gas coming out. Pulled the gas jet out & blew backwards thru it; everything clear! Pretty good pressure coming out of the tank "fill valve" when depressed, also! Recently I had fabbed a fill valve to work on the large neck , non threaded, combo fuel, 1lb. dispensers, out of  a "cheapy" camping burner I bought. I had to do some soldering & used resin core with liquid flux. There was a slight leak at a threaded portion of this adapter & when I disassembled it to seal the threads I looked inside the tube & found a bunch of "crusty  material" there! Now I realized I had to pull the tank & clean it & all the lines completely. I tried to scrape the material out of the tube with a small screwdriver, with not much luck. I'm assuming it's flux residue, but, I'm not sure. I've heard about contaminated fuel canisters,but, never experienced that either. What would you guys suggest I use to clean the fuel system out with?   
 

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Hi ???
first of all: I would never use soft solder anywhere on a gas tank. Soft solder is much weaker than silver solder and more important if there happens to be a fire it may melt and cause a serious blow out. If you did soft solder and got flux residue you can dissolve it with methylated spirits.
Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Henner & Dwight; sorry I forgot to sign off properly. I'm new at this! I only soft soldered a piece of brass tubing between the 1lb. fill canister shut-off valve & the filling tip that ultimately depresses the fuel tank's "ronson valve"! I'd never soft solder anything, directly, into the fuel tank! As far as the fuel "icing up" I've got a steam line running back to the water bath area of the fuel tank. I just recently had this fuel problem & never had a "loss of power" situation before. I made this adapter up a month ago out of the "cheapy" burner so I could use the 1lb. cans of Coleman "CAMPINGAZ" I found at a nearby Sport Chalet for $4.97. I'm still on the first can & should end up with 5-6 runs off it. Methylated spirits are the same as mineral spitits, right? Jim Spanier
 

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Methylated spirits are the same as mineral spitits, right?
                                                                           


No, methylated spirits is denatured alcohol while mineral spirits is something else all together.   Mineral spirits are used to clean dirty paint brushes and such, not to run Loco's. :)
 

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Here are my notes for cleaning out a butane tank per Kevin O'Conner:


1. Remove tank from the loco.

2. Next remove all the plumbing including the Ronson type fill valve and the gas flow control valve.

3. Blow it out good with clean compressed air.

4. Fill it with white vinegar, wait an hour, drain it by shaking hard, and do it all over again two more times (an hour in between).

5. Flush it with clean water and shake the heck out of it until there is no sign of any black specks in the drained water.

6. Blow it out with air.

7. Fill it with acetone, shake, drain, more acetone, shake, drain, blow out with air. At this point the acetone will have removed any trace of water, and will have degreased the inside of the tank.

8. Reassemble the tank's components using Permatex high temperature thread sealant on the male only threads of the Ronson valve, and 3 in 1 oil on the gas control valve's threads and "O" ring.

9. Fill the tank with butane, invert the tank and blow it all out as liquid through the gas control valve (do this part outside)

10. Re-install the tank assembly, fill up the tank with butane, wait till the now cold fuel tank reaches room temperature, and then fire up.
 

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Amen, David. When I just read my own suggestion of how to properly clean a butane (or alcohol for that matter) fuel tank it sounded cumbersome and pedantic, but having admitted that, I can also say that following this method has provided me with with very reliable fuel flows since the one and only plugged gas jet that I experienced in my first Cricket (Jimminy) Steam Motor at Diamondhead back in 1996. It is a fact that every new (new-new or pre-owned) loco that I add to my stable gets the aforementioned fuel tank cleaning treatment prior to first light-off, and one would be very surprised at the size and quantity of the "boogers" that come out during the multiple flushing processes. The use of a clean, white, cotton cloth used as an artifact collector during the flushing and purging processes, will illuminate my point.

Kevin O'Connor
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everybody; since I only run LPG in my two live steamers, I'm not familiar with methylated fuels. I, now, understand it's what you guys use to fuel your alchohol live steamers! Anyway, David, I have some Berrymans carb cleaner & also a"depleted" can of "Brake Kleen"! Upon looking at the ingredients of both, the Brake Kleen is a lot less aggressive than the carb cleaner, so i'm off to the local auto parts store to get some! THANK YOU ALL FOR THE GREAT ADVICE!!!! Jim Spanier
 

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Kevin,

After getting repeated clogged jets on my K-28, even both at the same time (ie two blocked LOL), I cleaned my tank with the above method and left my problems behind. I have not seen another clogged jet since. I also used a clear model airplane filter inline with my gas adapter to make sure I do not introduce any additional unwanted debris.



 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
    David; I had seen the "inline filter" on a past post, but since I had never had any previous debris coming out of a fuel supply can, I never installed one. I'm up for one now, though!!! Yesterday, I cleaned the tank & lines out as you had suggested with "BRAKE KLEEN" & upon blowing the lines out, noticed the air flow was still not sufficient coming out of the barbed delivery fitting that the tender to loco hose hooks to! I had never removed the factory, pressure regulator that aristo uses, & after disassembling it, found the diaphragm was deteriorating & starting to come apart. It had worked in the past (I was, actually, able to adjust it) so I figured why remove it! After "gutting"it everything is fine now! Thanks for all your help!!!   Jim Spanier
 
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