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Discussion Starter #1
Good news - got my live steam Shay today. Not so good news - steam oil not included.  Anyone in Santa Cruz (CA) area or South Bay have any to spare or can you steer me in the right direction? I'd like to get her running this weekend.
 

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If you can't find any steam oil locally, I can feel comfortable suggesting you pick up a bottle of Lucas heavy duty oil stabilizer (a la Dave Hottmann) at your local auto parts store. I run it exclusively in my two Rubies and my Mogul, and I find it preferable to steam oil in these Accucraft locos. It has a higher char point then steam oil, is somewhat more viscous, and I'm not seeing any negatives from a lubrication perspective. The higher char point means that it doesn't tend to burn on the smokebox as badly as steam oil, and its higher viscosity seems to solve the "excessive lubrication" issue common to Accucraft lubricators, by not releasing as much oil under steam flow. The engine is much cleaner to run and clean up with it. It is thick - warming it up makes it flow easier.

Having said the above - expect there may be some discussion... :)

Before you fire up your Shay for the first time, do these two things: Go over the loco and check tightness on ALL small screws and nuts. Many will likely need to be snugged up. Tighten gently though, brass bolts can only take so much. You don't want the small screws and nuts falling off the mechanicals when running.
Take some solvent and thoroughly clean the oil off the smokebox area, especially the door. The oil that Accucraft uses for test and shipping chars easily and readily, and when it heats up, it will stain the silver paint badly, and is difficult (very) to clean off.

If you use the Lucas, clean out the lubricator first. don't forget to run some light oil over the linkages before you let er rip.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Skip - what sort of solvent do you recommend for the smokebox wipedown? I don't want to mess up the paint.

How should I clean out the lubricator b4 using the heavier Lucas oil?

Thanks all for the tips.
 

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Any mineral spirits should do to clean any oil off the finish - Varsol is a tradename here. I buy a local generic paint thinner that is Varsol equivalent - same thing you'd use to wash out oil paint brushes or degrease a car part. As for the lubricator, your kit should have provided a couple of syringes and a few pieces of plastic hose - a big one for water fill, and a smaller syringe for oil. One of the hose pieces goes on each. Just suck out the lubricator or open the bottom valve and push the oil out with a paper towel. I don't recall if my Mogul had oil in the lubricator when it came or not - the two Rubies did. The only reason to change out the oil is that, in my experience, the stuff they use tends to bake rather easily.
 
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