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Liberty Belle rebuild complete

4550 Views 21 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  markoles
Hey Steamies,

I thought I'd post an update on my progress to restore my Liberty belle. It has been about 6 months since I started working on the project here and there.

Replaced fireman's side cylinder and steam chest
Replaced all gaskets on both cylinders
Cleaned out 14 years of steam oil buildup in the cylinders

It wasn't all that much work, when I look back on it, but I just don't have time anymore to work on stuff!! Not with a newborn, anyway. However, in the last couple of weeks, I have been finding some time to work on getting things put back together and put together. Last night, I finished working on the valve gear and was able to set the timing. I reinstalled the gas tank and nozzle and the roof of the cab.

At this point, she's ready to be checked out. Do I steam her up and check for leaks or do I try to run her on shop air (a little bit tough, since I don't have direct access to shop air..)?

Last time I steamed her up, she did not run. Pressure built, no problem, but when it came time to go, she simply wouldn't. It was if the steam wasn't getting to the cylinders. After opening up the cylinder covers and finding the nasty gunk in there, I think I know why.

Comments? Fire her up? Find a way to run her on shop air first?

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Mark - if the binding is in the steam chest you may be able to shim the cylinders on the frame to better match up with the running gear. This is exactly the way my Allegheny is designed. You have to be careful to align the cylinders to the frame so that the crossheads are not slightly twisted and bind. Sounds lilke a similar problem, which should have a similar solution. Perhaps you can add a washer to the rear of the crossheads (or whatever part) of the cylinder assembly.
Good idea, John. I'll take a look at that later on.

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