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John
Would be a worthy campaign but I fear......" However all this is kind of after market add on stuff and the more extras that get added the more expensive the model becomes."

As to aftermarket; out there and available.
 

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John,

I thought the same exact thing. Why not a DIRECT REPLACEMENT after market Accucraft compatable metered lubricator from someone? Come on guys, there are a lot of locos out there that can use this upgrade.
 

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Dave,

Your forgetting that even if it becomes a metered lubricator, the oil would still be piped through the superheater, which in my book is a BAD thing. Properly, we need a deadleg (metered/unmetered) and a kit to install it so that the oil enters right at the valve chest where it will be most beneficial. Superheated oil just thins out and leads to premature failure and if you meter this, it thins out even more, becoming nothing more than nice blue smoke. Not to mention that a deadleg frees up room in the cab by placing it where an air tank would be in real life (ala the GS-4 and C-16).

Bottom line:
If a $2,xxx C-16 can have an OEM deadleg,then why not a $4,xxx K-27/28/36 or for that matter, a slightly more expensive AC-11/12 not have a separate oil feed that comes in right at the valve chest?
 

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I am by no means a live steam expert, but we all know that water is the worst thing for oil. By what most of you are saying most of the oil is used at start up when the the cylinders are cold and "wet". Would it help to install a "simple" bypass that can be opened until the cylinders are hot and dry (without running loco, just clearing the cylinders)when the oil will do the most good?:confused:
 

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Bill,

In actuallty, steam cylinder oil (SCO) has a homogenoious mixture with water to allow the displacement to occur. Harry Wade (among others) covered this in his article on southernsteamtrains.com, under the reference section. SCO contains a lot of tallow (animal fat) which allows it to congeal and create an emulsion that provides a nice film for the piston ring (NOT THE PISTON!!) to ride on in the cylinder.

That was a little winded, and I may have confused a thing or two, but check out Harry's article here.
 

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I was thinking about when I am on the NH&I and the loco works water to long the cylinders run dry and it takes a large amount of oil to re-lube the cylinders and stop the tell tale grinding of them.
 

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Rod,

I have seen David's lubricator mod and love it's conception, but for me, it still doesn't solve the issue of running oil through a superheater. IMHO, only steam should be run through the superheater (steam dryer in our case).


Bill,

Excessive water carry-over will certainly flush the oil out! Fortunately, our bronze cylinders are a bit more forgiving, and there is slightly thinner oil being passed through in our engines as well.



Everyone who is concerned about this, or just gives a hoot:

See the Informative threads index and look up the lubricator discussion for some good ideas (namely from Torry K and David Bailey).
 

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Long long ago... the main problem identified with Accucraft Lubricator was they simply put out way too much steam oil - the hole in the steam pipe attached to the lubricator was just way too big. I think the first solution to this by Dave Hottmann was a simple restrictor that significantly reduced the amount of steam oil output by the lubricator. I've run a couple of locos where this was done and was surprised at the dramatic drop in steam oil coming out of the stack and the lack of crackle and pop of steam oil hitting the hot stack and burning.

Others put a piece of wire in the steam pipe hole to reduce the functional area of the hole. Still another used a short piece brass tube with a slit in it that could be enlarged or reduced in di to find the sweet spot that limited the flow of steam oil from the steam pipe hole (th slit ws not positioned at the steam ppe hole).

The superheater/steam oil problem was found to be primarily a function of the excessive steam oil, so reducing the amount of steam oil also significantly reduce if not eliminated th superhetaer/steam oil problem - the potential of steam oil coking the superheater. Notwithstanding restricting the amount of steam oil, few have reported the coking problem actually happening. I think this can be attributed to the fact that a locomotive rarely stands motionless with the burners cranked up, and in particular when it is standing, even if the burner is turned up, there is no steam flowing because the throttle is closed. Additionally, if the poker burners are converted to radiant burners following Kevin O'Connors design, the sleeve on the burner can be rotated so the radiant flame is angled away from the superheater. If you look at the Informative Threads sticky topic "Solving My Ruby Burner Problems: - 510kb" is shows the radiant burner angling away from the superheater.

As far as Tallow being a bad component of steam oil, both Harry Wade's article sighted above and Kevin O'Connor article "Notes from the Unit Shop", Kevin O'Connor's advice for the beginning small scale live steamer, "STEAM OIL SELECTION" (also in the Southern Steam Trains Reference section) both refer to 4-6% non-acidic tallow or tallow substitute being a fundamental and necessary component of steam oil. Kevin's specfic advice was, "The grade of recommended steam cylinder oil for these conditions is ISO 460 which contains 4% tallow oil. This is the grade of oil that the “ride-on” locomotive community uses."

Bypassing the superheater might be an ideal solution, but from reports of 90% of the problem solved simply by significantly reducing, or metering, the steam oil output of the Accucraft factory installed lubricator or installing a metered lubricator the superheater steam oil bypass seems much less necessary (if needed at all), not to mention a considerable amount of extra work for relatively little benefit (5-10%) compared to fixing (or replacing) the lubricator- IMHO.

Metered lubricators that are a direct or near direct replacement are available from a number of sources: Cole Power Models, PM Research, etc. (If a list of suppliers is needed I can post it with links but I am assuming you are all familiar with the usual suspects.) One particular model of replacement lubricator has what I think is a useful feature, the oil vessel is glass so you can see the oil vs water content. It's been awhile since I searched for them but I believe all of these replacement lubricators have a needle valve through the center of the Lubricator. You will have to make a Tee steam ppe connection to any of these. For comparison, I had a few custom lubricators made for me; they cost over $100 each. The off the shelf variety are around $50-$60. (but that was two years ago so the exchange rate may mean they are higher now.)

One caveat, the Accucraft lubricator has very thick walls therefore hold a much smaller amount of steam oil than it would appear. A replacement lubricator can be smaller yet contain approximately the same amount of steam oil. With the additional benefit from a metered lubricator saving steam oil, the steam oil will last just as long as the Accucraft lubricator in not much longer. Accucraft has two sizes of lubricators; a smaller one for the Shays, Ruby's and other small locos; and a larger one for the K's, etc.

Not all C-16's have a dead leg lubricator in the form of a tank under the running board (#268 and I believe one other, maybe Bubble Bee, have standard Accucraft lubricators - I have a Black #268 C-16.) There was a particular thread some time ago on modifying the C-16 dead leg lubricator due to an inherent problem as designed.

A google search on steam oil will provide the usual long list of articles on the technical aspects of steam oil to complement Harry's and Kevin's writings. they often will be writen with respect to large steam engines (boat, locomotive, etc.) but the info can be valuable. I also seem to remember there is one (or two) particular past thread (from the old MLS archives) entitled something like "What Steam Oil to Use", "Choosing a Steam Oil" or something similar, where Kevin O'Conner and other sages got into the fine details of all this tech stuff on steam oil.
 

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Posted By rbednarik on 01/24/2008 8:05 PM
Dave,

Your forgetting that even if it becomes a metered lubricator, the oil would still be piped through the superheater, which in my book is a BAD thing. Properly, we need a deadleg (metered/unmetered) and a kit to install it so that the oil enters right at the valve chest where it will be most beneficial. Superheated oil just thins out and leads to premature failure and if you meter this, it thins out even more, becoming nothing more than nice blue smoke. Not to mention that a deadleg frees up room in the cab by placing it where an air tank would be in real life (ala the GS-4 and C-16).

Bottom line:
If a $2,xxx C-16 can have an OEM deadleg,then why not a $4,xxx K-27/28/36 or for that matter, a slightly more expensive AC-11/12 not have a separate oil feed that comes in right at the valve chest?


Ryan,

  I'm well aware of the problem, and totally agree it's probably not a good thing.. I was thinking more along the lines of an easy lubricator (direct) replacment that most everyone can do without having to solder pipe, finding cones, nuts (with the right thread) and all that stuff that drives most people with limited time (like me) nuts. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif As far as installing a lubricator that attaches to the steam chest... good? yes, but not that easy to install. I've asked Bailey and Torry about this and they both said "we'll need your loco to install that".  Like Chris said, maybe the metered lubricator would limit the amount of colesterol on the superheater vein, there by delaying the eventual heart attack.

 My C-16 (black 268 from the last/newer run) has the standard Accucraft lub setup. I've heard the old style one sucks 50% of the oil out in the first 1 minute of running./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif  I don't know how true that is....Maybe they should look at how Aster did the lub on the Berk instead of giving up on that design....

 I agree, the ultimate solution is for Accucraft to address the problem and install a working system after the superheater tube on future locos (starting with the K-36 :D)
 

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Chris,

Once again, a informative and semi-long winded post. However, you are forgetting one important thing. Even if the oil is metered from the cab, it is still exposed to the thermal properties of a red-hot superheater. Once the oil and steam mixture hits this pipe, the thermal properties of the oil change dramatically, and cause the oil to reach it's flash point at low throttle settings. Hence why most engines with pass-through lubricators that flow through a superheater create issues with not only coking of the oil molecules, but thin out the oil to a point where the lubricative properties are near useless. Take for example the o-ring in the piston (another item that should be changed) without oil, or with significantly thinned oil, smoke doesn't lubricate the cylinders, the oil does. A properly lubricated engine should have a slight (very faint) froth of oil in a ring around the stack, the color of creamed coffee, which signifies proper emulsification as the oil leaves the cylinders.

The accucraft lubricators have a properly sized metering hole, the main issue is that the steam pipe is too low on the side of the lubricator, as opposed to the top and centered, which makes the steam work longer to get the oil above the hole in the pipe. ALL of the original run C-16's (268, 278, and 42) had the deadleg lubricator placed under the running board. The issue with the over consumption of oil was due to the steam pipe being too large in internal diameter, creating an issue with too much oil carryover.

There is one more article that can be added to the list of SCO articles and that is the one by Mr Bill Petitjean, the owner and founder of Green Velvet oil's. You can find a wealth of information that has been slightly simplified for the common finger-burner. Find the article here

Dave,

The I know that it is expecting a lot of those not willing to do aftermarket modifications, but anyone who has some mechanical ability can certainly install a proper working deadleg.  I covered the issue of the C-16 lubricator ^^up there^^. 

Not to bring another issue into this, but 98% of aster engines have deadleg lubricators, not just the Berkshire. 

I'm not concerned with coking up the superheater, as that is the operator's choice.  My BIG concern is the lack of proper "wet" oil going to the cylinders.  Apparently everyine is content with the "plavix" cure of metering the oil, but I want the 4-way bypass surgery.  It it simply a stop gap to meter the oil, as it is still going to be thinned to the flashing point. 

Since this is way off this topic, I will close my thoughts here.  Contact me off-list for ways to alleviate this problem. 
 
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