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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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I originally started this idea trying to figure out how to pull my new J&S cars. That thread can be found here.Link to Thread

In that thread I was trying to reduce rolling resistance of the cars. But then I thought that I would still have an engine limited to modified cars, or very free rolling short trains.

This thread is a report on what I did to my stock Ruby to increase pulling power, regardless of the rolling stock behind it.
My first and simplest modification was to increase boiler pressure. I simply purchased and installed a 60psi safety valve from The Train Department to replace the 40psi one that came with the engine. I also installed a goodall valve. Why didn't I get that goodall months ago?

Increasing the pressure solved the problem of my engine stalling on my newer more sticky track. But I still had wheel slip on my second hand track that is more slippery.

I solved that with about 3 pounds of lead in the side tanks.
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The stock Ruby is just shy of 5 1/2 pounds with my radios installed and the boiler dry.

My first idea was to use those adhesive wheel balance weights. Those were $11-$13 for 2 pounds.

Then a coworker told me to try casting it.

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I measured the side tanks and found a chunk of tube steel about the right dimensions to act as a mold. I got lead from our local scrapper for $1 per pound, melted it with a propane torch into an old oil can and poured the casting. My first casting was a little too tall since I didn't account for the tank mounting screws. So I took my mold to the 20 ton press, squeezed it a few thousands and recast the lead.

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Now it fit.

I painted the lead with high temperature grill paint to seal it up. Put felt on the sides to prevent chafe inside the tank, this also holds it nice and snug.

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The new dry weight of my Ruby gained 3 pounds.

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Once I slid the weights in, you won't even see them. This picture also shows that I moved the lubricator and gas tank so the knob doesn't hit the first car.

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Presto, a Heavyweight high power Ruby.

And it pulls from a stop as shown in this video. The cars are stock, I've only oiled the bearings. The power pick-ups and weight is still standard.

The first video is two laps standard video speed.

The second video is slow motion looking for wheel slip on my used track.

There's my update on current mods. Maybe it's a good thing Accucraft still hasn't put out the C-18 I pre-ordered yet. I probably wouldn't have tried this.
 

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Looks good
I did one a few years back and added ten pounds of lead. It has 3/4" cylinders and a locomotive type boiler with a ceramic burner. I just looked at the thread (hot Rod Ruby) but the photos are all gone.
I made the buffers out of lead and cast lead blocks that I bolted between the frames in addition to the side tanks. I have out pulled K27 with it
Lots of fun.
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter #4
Looks good
I did one a few years back and added ten pounds of lead. It has 3/4" cylinders and a locomotive type boiler with a ceramic burner. I just looked at the thread (hot Rod Ruby) but the photos are all gone.
I made the buffers out of lead and cast lead blocks that I bolted between the frames in addition to the side tanks. I have out pulled K27 with it
Lots of fun.
I actually saw that as a recommended thread while reading your thread on correcting the valve events, did some poking around on your photo albums and saw the Ruby you're talking about. I also saw your scratch built garratt. I'm getting the idea I need a mill/lathe combo to shoehorn into my garage someplace.

When you did the side tanks, did you pour the lead right into them? Did it damage the paint?

Tyler
 

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Yes. I did pour the molten lead into the side tanks but they were submerged in water which kept the paint from burning. I had to pour them in sections as the tanks wanted to float if I put them in deep water so I would pour about 1/2" at a time till I got enough lead to hold them down. You have to be very careful doing this because you don't want to spill the molten lead into the water.
I checked my photos but I didn't take any pictures of the pouring but here is a shot of one tank after it was finished
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Here is a video of it
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter #7
Yes. I did pour the molten lead into the side tanks but they were submerged in water which kept the paint from burning. I had to pour them in sections as the tanks wanted to float if I put them in deep water so I would pour about 1/2" at a time till I got enough lead to hold them down. You have to be very careful doing this because you don't want to spill the molten lead into the water.
I checked my photos but I didn't take any pictures of the pouring but here is a shot of one tank after it was finished
View attachment 61035

Here is a video of it
I had the same thought, submerge in water while pouring. I ended up going the route I did with the idea I can remove them. I've had thoughts about making them working water tanks with an axel pump.
Maybe when the eccentrics wear out and I go to bearings I'll install the pump.

Making the buffers from lead is an idea I may explore at that point to make up for the loss in the tanks. Right now, with the steam capacity of the boiler and the stock cylinders, it weights enough.

This is my first, and still only engine. I hope my three year old will keep his enthusiasm for trains and I'll turn it over to his care once he's responsible enough.
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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While I love what you did, I strongly recommend keeping your eye on the axle bearing holes. They will wear much more rapidly with all that weight.
Pete, thanks for the heads up. I see a lot of posts about eccentrics wearing out and installing bearings. At that point, whichever wears out first, I'll probably install bearings at all those locations.

Tyler
 

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When you did the side tanks, did you pour the lead right into them? Did it damage the paint?
in my experience, Accucraft 'paint' is some hi-temp epoxy. It doesn't burn when you try soldering next to it, even with a small torch. I might try a test first, but I suspect you can pour right in without affecting the paint.
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter #10
I have since done the valve port modification by drilling them out to .075 inches and did some fine tuning of the timing. I now have more power yet. I dare say I can put my 40 psi safety valve back and still pull everything. I need to add more weight because it does a burn out when I crack the throttle until it's accelerated to half speed.

As for comparing forward and reverse operation after the modification, I haven't because I messed up the reverse valve. The J bar in full reverse barely moves backward, half reverse is stop, centered is forward, and J bar in full forward is ludicrous speed.
I have since corrected the reverser on rollers, but haven't tested it yet on the track.

I'll share a video once I have.

Tyler
 
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