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NEED HELP!! AC Mikado LS loco- 1st Run

2660 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Semper Vaporo
Hi Folks,

Finally decided to take the LS plunge and try to start the Mikado loco that was setting on my shelf for 15 months. This loco is the 1st run from Aristo. Here are my findings:

1. On the initial firing, I was able to get the loco running just fine on stationary rollers. After a concern of smoke coming out of all areas, I thought I was in trouble. But I guess this was just the initial startup. The only problem I had was the pressure indicator was not working. So it was difficult to determine the amount of pressure in the boiler. After cool down, I disconnected the pressure guage to check for any plugged areas. On the boiler connector it was cleared. But I did noticed that the connector hole did not align to the pressure guage hole. So I paint dabbed the connector and guage location holes and reconnected the whole assembly.

2. On the second run, I still have no pressure readings. So either the tubing is plugged or the guage itself is defective. Continued with the run and noticed that steam was being released from the top hole of the Goodall valve. This did not happen in the initial firing. This caused reduced boiler pressure and slower wheel speed. After cool down, removed the valve to check for operation. I noticed a small piece of plastic tubing was used on the inside shaft over a shaft hole. Under normal operating conditions, is the tubing to be over the hole or is it to be up or down from the hole??

Any suggestions for contacting Aristo to get a replacement pressure guage and need advise on the goodall valve operation. Thanks in advance for your comments.

Mike Lewandowski-Phoenix, AZ
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Yes, contact Aristo for replacement gauge. Go to the Aristo forum for the valve, I have heard it's easy to "rebuild" the goodall valve, they probably do not have spares since it's been eliminated on the latest run.

Regards, Greg
My gauge did not work on my Aristo Mike as well. It ran fine but did get replacement gauge.
You may have put too much water in boiler that caused the water to return thrue the vale itself.
The Mike has a tendency to do a lot of steaming and smoking for some reason. Some people like it that way but does get scary. Good luck with the Mike.
Here's some firing instructions I wrote up and posted on the Aristo site, might look them over. I had to get a new gauge also, just call Aristo and talk to Navin, you'll have a new one soon. Jerry

I was asked about firing the Mikado, wrote down these steps, feel free to add comments. I don't do the water bath thing, since I have a steam line running to it, otherwise pretty much follow this:

#1. Charge the tender batteries for 3 hours.(light never does change, so ignore it) Leave the coal load off(you need to get to the switches).
#2. Put the loco on the track and plug the tender to the loco, hook up the gas line also(finger tight) Fill the gas tank(I use 70/30 butane/propane mix.)
#3. Add warm water to the water bath.
#4. Check to make sure the remote(have switch slid to remote) is moving the throttle, then move it to slow to close it. Slide the switch to 'ignition'.
#5. Make sure to have 4-6ml of steam oil in the reservoir. Push the loco forward slowly as you squirt in the oil(Use a vet type syringe). You could do this first. I always do it after a run, so it's ready the next time.
#6. Microwave 450ml of distilled water.( I use a plastic cup with markings that has a pour spout)
#7. Pour it into the boiler. Use a funnel. Tighten the plug with the big wrench.. Be careful with the white washer, it's easy to lose it down between the boiler shell/boiler.
#8. Drain the water from the water bath and refill it with warm water.(keep some ready for later.)
#9. Make sure your switch is slid to 'ignition' , open the gas valve and press the button. You should hear it light up. Slide the switch back to 'operation'.
#10. Look down inside the stack to make sure you have no flames in there. Adjust the gas valve for smooth sound.(usually turn it down some).
#11. Oil your linkage while it is getting up to pressure. 3 in 1 type oil. Marvel Mystery, etc. I like one with a pull out long spout.
#12. If you did not change the safety, it will pop at about 30 lbs. (At this point, some fill the gas tank again-but there is a danger of running out of water before you run out of gas)
#13, . Now, if you slid the switch to 'operation', the remote should move the throttle as you press fast. Just hit it a few times and wait.......Then give it a little push and wait.....it should start going, or hit the throttle again. It will shoot water/steam out of the stack, so don't hang your head over it.
#14, Once it gets going, adjust your speed, turn on the lights, press the awful sound buttons-but then NEVER again! :)

Note the time you started running.

#15. Watch your pressure gauge, if it starts to drop, or the train slows, pull to a stop and drain the water bath and put in new warm water. Pressure should come back up quickly and off you go again. Repeat as needed.
#16. After 20-30 minutes, stop and check the water glass, should still have a bit in the bottom, but keep an eye on it-it's not real accurate. When you get down to about an 1/8" or less, I'd shut down the gas and let it cool.
#17. Open the boiler and use a big syringe, with tubing on the end, to suck out the water-to check and see if you had much left. Note how much you had and recall where the water glass level was, should aid you in later runs.
#18. While it is cooling down, open the steam oil tank and suck out the oil/water and refill. Oil the linkage. Drain the water bath, fill the fuel tank. See #1 above!

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Cumming, Ga
Posts: 7,350
Jerry I have found it only takes 2 hrs to get a good charge. I never drain the water tank except at the end of the day as I note where the water is in the sight glass so it gets filled to the same level every time. Also I only change the oil every 3rd run as recommend by AC. Seams to do fine. One caution is when checking flame at first startup keep head and eyes clear and wear safety glasses. Other than that good tips Jerry. Later RJD
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As my son says... "Safety Forced!"

When you look down that stack, WEAR SAFETY GLASSES or put a piece of safety glass or plastic between your eyes and the stack! A little burp of hot oily water can ruin your day and your future eyesight!
Jerry and Friends,

Thanks for the comments. Contacted Navin and he is sending a replacement guage and a spare plug for the goodall valve. He indicated that the plastic tubing should be placed over the valve center inside hole for proper operation. I tried it and works great.

Jerry- Why the butane/propane mix? Better performance or cost???

Since I live in a hot climate and did not use the warm bath water for the fuel. It appears to work OK

Regards, Mike-RRKRZY in Phoenix, AZ /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif:cool:
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I use the fuel mix because it's usually cool here in Nebraska when I run mine, been looking for the cheap butane cans, but have not found any around here. I'd still put water in the bath, feel the top of your fuel tank, after it has run for a few minutes, probably be pretty cool. If you keep some warm water in the bath you will get more consistent running because the fuel flow will be constant and regular. You might indicate where you are from, in your profile. Jerry
Thanks again for your comments. A great source for butane is King Butane. Use google to search. They sell a special 6 oz canisters package for $23 plus shipping. I believe there are 12 canisters in the pack. A point of clarification on the steam oil amount and when to change. You indicated about 4-6 ml of oil and check after each run. Aristo says 8 ml and it is good for 4-6 runs. I checked after three runs and found the oil was a white milky looking fluid. So is your recommednation to change after each run??? Also since I live in a very hot climate during nine months of the year, do you still recommend the warm bath water for the tender?

Regards, /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
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Check to see if you have any of the Oriental grocers in your area. They sell the 7.4oz cans for use with there little cookers here in Houston. I caught one going out of business and bought the 7.4oz cans for a buck .1.00 Did not buy enough.
I found some cheap butane cans at Cabelas, they have them in the catalog, but you have to pay a HazMat fee if you get it shipped. Main store in Sidney, NE had them, I got 3 six-packs! Hope the new Aristo adaptor will fit them. Have not looked at the tops yet, just got back.

Mike: You can do three runs with the lube oil before changing. I would not use over the 6ml. I have run mine like this for the past 2 1/2 years with no problems. As Jerry said if you check the fuel tank you will find that it cools quite a bit and even tho you may be in a warm climate it's still advisable to use the warm water bath. I also run the 30/70 as its readly available at my local Wal Mart and comes in 7.8 cans.

Jerry I'm still waiting on a reply from AC on there new adapter to see if it will fit your cans as I have another source here in town that carries the type of cans you are getting. Hard to believe I'm in the south and have better availability of fuel than you folks up north. Later RJD
Thanks again for your comments. A point of clarification on the steam oil amount and when to change. You indicated about 4-6 ml of oil and check after each run. Aristo says 8 ml and it is good for 4-6 runs. I checked after three runs and found the oil was a white milky looking fluid. So is your recommednation to change after each run??? Also since I live in a very hot climate during nine months of the year, do you still recommend the warm bath water for the tender?
Also received the new pressure gauge and installed it. Works great but have a slight steam leak at the connector tube and gauge. Shoud there be a white washer installed here? Navin did not provide one.
I usually change the steam oil every time, but usually only do one run then put it away. I like to put it away all ready to go the next time, cuts down on the prep time. If it runs fine without the warm water bath, don't bother. I would think you would want the warm water when you fill it up though. Feel the top, if it gets pretty cold you many find it runs better to refresh the warm water. As you squirt it in, listen to the burner, if it smooths out some, you know it's doing you some good. I have a syringe with a piece of silicone fuel tubing on it with a small piece of copper pipe, it fits into the hole on top and makes it easy to get the water in without spilling it all over. Jerry
You want the container you are moving fuel FROM to be warmer than the container you are filling, so the warm water bath around the locomotive's fuel tank should not be applied until after you have filled the fuel tank. You will transfer more fuel if the supply is kept warm and the fuel tank is kept cool.

When the engine is running, fuel is being removed from the tank by evaporation and that cools the tank which retards the rate of evaporation and you lose fuel pressure to the burner. Applying the warm water bath at that time raises the fuel pressure and stabilizes the burner.
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