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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at a NOS Frank S-according to the seller, he believes it to be one of the earlist versions-it is new and unsued


any comments or cautions-it would be my first live steamer-


i run mostly electric but thought it might be quite fun-


having read several articles about it -it is supposedly simple and a great quality egnine for the price





any guidance would be appreciated
 

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Steve, I have two. It make a PERFECT first live steamer. A large sight glass, smooth runner, very dependable. If it is truly unfired (as in unused) make sure the wheels will rotate completly. I bought my second one and the orings probably degraded and left a deposit on the inside of the cylinder. I haven't solved that issue and it remains unfired. I'll work on that when I wear out my first! You might already have rolling stock to pull behind it. Give another shout when you pick it up and we'll all give you loads of tips and tricks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well what is the o rings have degraded-are rpelacements available and is this something a reasonable mechanical type-but neophyte to this engine-coudl perform?  should i ask the seller to check this-can they be rotated manually when completely new and unoiled-ie straight out of box? let me know and ill ask before shipping and payment 


 


btw i have re and re read the southern sites articles-thanks -they are what gives me relative confidence in going forward-along mr horowitz's high praise as well as others i have mentioned it to


 


one person also mentioned that handling the loco while hot could damage the paint-presumably it is soft?-
 

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They should turn smoothly, probally not if you roll the loco....A friend bought one that was brand new unfired, the assembly oil cruds up so bad that the pistons were locked in the cylinders along with the valves. The replacement O Rings are easy to do, you probally will just have to disassemble the cylinders and clean out that old oil/lube. What kind of pricing is it going for..Seem to bring around 800+ normally.
 

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I just picked up one on EBAY for $800. It was NOT NOS, it had been converted to RC and lights installed. A marginal job on both of these. Also there was some shipping damage, nothing that can't be fixed.

I'm in the process of re-building it, I pulled the RC out and I'm going to re-do the lights. All in all I was very happy with the price point. I did steam it up once before tearing it down and everything was tight. I am hoping that there are spares or o-rings and such, but it is a nice looking engine. I picked up mine for the same reason you are looking at it, good reviews and for an Aster, an excellent price point. Also Mark Scrivener has one and it runs like a swiss clock.
 

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Steve,

The Frank S is a great engine. I bought mine "lightly used" a few years back - the pistons and valves were frozen in place by congealed oil. I simply disassembled the entire engine, cleaned everything, and reassembled using new gaskets and piston rings from Aster. Even if the parts were not available, I have since learned that making gaskets and piston rings is no big deal.


I made the headlights functional on mine and added a few cosmectic enhancements. As Joel said, she runs like a Swiss watch! One of my all time favorite engines, and still has the best sight glass of any engine I've ever run.




You will love this engine.
Mark
 

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I still stock all Frank S. spares including "O" rings, gaskets, running gear, body parts, water glasses, and other things.

KO-5
 

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Steve

I was a really big LGB collector until my neithbor here on the Jersey shore got me into live steam, so of course the first live steam engine I thougth of was the Aster/LGB Frank S. I already had plenty of LGB european passenger cars to go with it. As far as I know they only produced one batch in 1989 of 3,028 engines. So the engines even if NIB are almost 20 years old at this point. So I searched on ebay and within a few weeks had purchased two NIB.

The first one I purchased for around $1,300 was NIB, but the wheels wouldn't turn they were totally lock up. The second one I purchased on ebay was a "Buy it now" for $1,500, but again new in the box. When I received it everything was free turning so I filled it with distilled water and steam oil, lubed all the connecting rods and filled it with butane. The engine fired up on the first try and ran like a swiss watch, it's quite a great little engine and a perfect choice for your first.

The first engine my neithbor Dan helped me with, we disconnected the piston and had to remove the cylinder caps and inside everything was gummed up with a blackish like substance. It was probably some type of lubricate that had dried up over 20 years. After Dan spayed WD40 or some other lubricate like it and worked the piston back and forth it loosened up. After freeing up both pistons Dan then worked on the values for me. Today both engines run perfect and I couldn't tell you which one was originally frozen up. I just had one at the Scanton Pa train show running on the small layout and it ran for 30 minutes or more. If you want it to move fast just turn up the fire and watch the little engine move.
If the engine you are looking at turns freely you are probably all right, even the one I had to free up runs perfect today. They are very hardy little engines. If you run them fast as I do you need to tighten the screws and bolts as I have had some come out on my neithbors raised track, so I have started to use lock-tight on them.

Hope this helps and good luck.

George
 

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Posted By stevedenver on 02/24/2009 4:51 PM


well what is the o rings have degraded-are rpelacements available and is this something a reasonable mechanical type-but neophyte to this engine-coudl perform? should i ask the seller to check this-can they be rotated manually when completely new and unoiled-ie straight out of box? let me know and ill ask before shipping and payment





btw i have re and re read the southern sites articles-thanks -they are what gives me relative confidence in going forward-along mr horowitz's high praise as well as others i have mentioned it to





one person also mentioned that handling the loco while hot could damage the paint-presumably it is soft?-



As you can see from the other posts, if it wont rol,l it's not a show stopper. If you can change the oil in a 1:1 car or add a new video card or memory to a computer, you should be able to swap out the orings. Just take your time and don't rush. If you run into any snags, you can see there are many folks here who can give you pointers and tips. I've never had any issues with the paint with the exception scratching it near the boiler fill hole.

I think $1100 is an OK price. The unfired are becoming fewer and farther between due to the fact that people like us buy them and actually run them.



Here's a shot of mine:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
well i certainly appreciate the confirmations
i woke this am thinking maybe not-
but given the affirmations from those who appear to be into steam

i seems i cant go wrong
 

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Any MLS'ers in the UK who require parts for their Frank S can contact me off-board.

I get asked for parts for these locos from time to time and Aster still have quite a few parts in stock. I even have an annotated Parts Diagram to help identify the right item.
Outside the UK you will have to ask your local Aster Dealer or Distributor.

Andrew
 

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I am putting in an adv. for a Frank S, NOS in box. I bought it years ago and looked at it alot. The wheels do not turn as mentioned above so it will need cleaning. I want $1000.00 picked up in East Hartford.Connecticut.
Again PICK UP only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
mark how did you light the engine-very nice-
isnt heat a problem

would love to know

in process of cleaning congealed gunk -engine arrrived and was in fact NOS -but lots o'gunk'frozne wheels and reversing block-block now free, working on cylinders
 
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