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I got a 10 years old Mogul made by Pearse in the UK. The best part of it is the quite realistic chuff at slow speeds. Unfortunately, the burner is very noisy and ruins the fun of listening to the engine. I am operating the engine between 10 and 20 psi, if I reduce the gas flow so that the burner is no longer the dominat sound, I am getting only 5 psi which is not enough to pull a few cars. I haven't taken the burner out yet; therefore I don't know what kind of burner is on the engine.

Are there any quick fixes to this problem, i.e. installing a stainless stell wire mesh or ceramic parts, or should I buy a new burner? I have a lot of confidence in Roundhouse; could I replace the Pearse burner with one made by Roundhouse? Which live steam engine manufacturer has the most quiet and efficient burner?

The front wheelset derails on switches when I run the engine with normal speed. It does not happen if I reverse the engine or pass the switch at low speed. I replaced a washer which retains the spring for pushing the front wheelset  down onto the track with a little bit thicker washer. The result is that the second drivers is a few thou above the rail. I tried a stronger spring and thicker washer, this resulted that the first and second set of drivers are above the rail.

Did any one  encounter a similar problem with any other engine? What did you do to solve it?
 

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Stainless mesh around burner (creating a radiant burner) should help a lot with burner noise.   Check to make sure that the front wheels are still in gauge.  When engines have trouble with switches at my track, 9 times out of 10 it is a wheel gauge problem. :)
 

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Posted By SLARR on 03/26/2008 11:16 PM
I got a 10 years old Mogul made by Pearse in the UK. The best part of it is the quite realistic chuff at slow speeds. Unfortunately, the burner is very noisy and ruins the fun of listening to the engine. I am operating the engine between 10 and 20 psi, if I reduce the gas flow so that the burner is no longer the dominat sound, I am getting only 5 psi which is not enough to pull a few cars. I haven't taken the burner out yet; therefore I don't know what kind of burner is on the engine.

Are there any quick fixes to this problem, i.e. installing a stainless stell wire mesh or ceramic parts, or should I buy a new burner? I have a lot of confidence in Roundhouse; could I replace the Pearse burner with one made by Roundhouse? Which live steam engine manufacturer has the most quiet and efficient burner?

The front wheelset derails on switches when I run the engine with normal speed. It does not happen if I reverse the engine or pass the switch at low speed. I replaced a washer which retains the spring for pushing the front wheelset  down onto the track with a little bit thicker washer. The result is that the second drivers is a few thou above the rail. I tried a stronger spring and thicker washer, this resulted that the first and second set of drivers are above the rail.

Did any one  encounter a similar problem with any other engine? What did you do to solve it?


SLARR
  I have one of these locomotives and had the same problem with the loud burner.  Norm Saley ([email protected]) will modify your existing burner to quiet it down.  I had him do mine about ten years ago and am happy with the results.  I haven't tried making a radiant burner for it, but think that it could be a problem since there isn't a smokebox and the superheater runs right along the burner in the flue tube.  Guess you could give a radiant burner a try and if it doesn't work, contact Norm.

  Never had an issue with derails of any kind and agree that it is most likely a wheel guage issue.  Great little engine.  Enjoy!
 

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RE: Pearse Colorado - noisy burner & front wheel derails on switch

1. I measured the distance from wheel to wheel back, it is 40.4 mm. Then I measured the distance between outside flange and outside flange, it is 43 mm. The wheels on the front axle are only 0.2 mm more apart than the wheels of the three drivers.

What are the correct measurements? It seems to me that the front wheels are in proper gauge.

2. Were can I buy the mesh for making a radiant burner; does any of the large hardware stores carry it? Would be nice if someone posts here a photo of a well functioning burner.
 

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You can get the mesh from McMaster-Carr.  The biggest problem we have had here in Houston with these engines is the super heater pipe clogging up with caked steam oil.  Of all the engines people have around here, this is the only engine to consistently do this.  It must have something to do with the placement of the burner vs the pipe or else the pipe diameter itself.  Anyone have any experience with this?  Both Caleb and I finally ordered replacement pipes from Pearse.  I sent them my old one to duplicate.  Oddly, the one they sent back was too long.  How stupid is that?
 

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Posted By jfrank on 03/29/2008 8:26 AM
You can get the mesh from McMaster-Carr.  The biggest problem we have had here in Houston with these engines is the super heater pipe clogging up with caked steam oil.  Of all the engines people have around here, this is the only engine to consistently do this.  It must have something to do with the placement of the burner vs the pipe or else the pipe diameter itself.  Anyone have any experience with this?  Both Caleb and I finally ordered replacement pipes from Pearse.  I sent them my old one to duplicate.  Oddly, the one they sent back was too long.  How stupid is that?

John,
  I find that interesting.  I have an old version (no sight glass) Colorado with hundreds of hours on her.  No problems with clogging on mine or two others that I know of.  I also had a switcher (now owned by Charles) and didn't have any problems with that one either.  I like to fire and run.  I don't let her sit in steam any longer than I have to.  Maybe that is a difference.....   
 

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RE: Pearse Colorado - noisy burner & front wheel derails on switch

My Pearse Colorado does not have a sight glass either and it had many hours of use when I bought it. It doesn't start off easily as the RH Lady Anne does, but I assume that is because of the Johnson bar and not of a clogged super heater. I don't know what the early signs of a clogged super heater are. May be John can tell us from his experience.

Once the gas is finished, I gently push the engine on the track for just a few feet so that everything that may be in the pipes and cylinders gets out before I store it away. I don't know whether this is good or bad practice, but most of the time i can hear that some condensed water and probably steam oil gets expelled out.

The problem with the Pearse is its thirst for steam oil; two holes were drilled into the steam pipe of rather larger diameter. RH drilled just one small hole in the steam pipe. I put already a copper wire through both holes , but the effect is neglegible. I am thinking now of putting a small drill bit through both holes. It guess it would still get sufficient oil through the flutes of the drill bit. If the experiment fails, I take small pliers and pull it out. I have to order some small drills now and see which one fits in well.

Tony Sant of Finescale Engineering told me that he provided Pearse with parts for the Colorado; send me a message for his contact details if interested.

Chooch, could you please provide me with some measurements of the front axle. The RH wheel-back-to-back gauge does not work on my Pearse, the drivers are closer together on the Pearse probably because they have a different shape than RH drivers.
 

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The early signs of a clogged pipe are lack of power and speed, eventually it will barely run. I have no idea why both engines here did this. Mine is actually the Rio Grande, which is the 2-8-0 version Pearse made for a short time. Mine has a sight glass and a blow down globe valve I use to clear the sight glass. I am using Roundhouse oil now and have not had any further problems.
 

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Posted By SLARR on 03/30/2008 10:00 PM
My Pearse Colorado does not have a sight glass either and it had many hours of use when I bought it. It doesn't start off easily as the RH Lady Anne does, but I assume that is because of the Johnson bar and not of a clogged super heater. I don't know what the early signs of a clogged super heater are. May be John can tell us from his experience.
Once the gas is finished, I gently push the engine on the track for just a few feet so that everything that may be in the pipes and cylinders gets out before I store it away. I don't know whether this is good or bad practice, but most of the time i can hear that some condensed water and probably steam oil gets expelled out.
The problem with the Pearse is its thirst for steam oil; two holes were drilled into the steam pipe of rather larger diameter. RH drilled just one small hole in the steam pipe. I put already a copper wire through both holes , but the effect is neglegible. I am thinking now of putting a small drill bit through both holes. It guess it would still get sufficient oil through the flutes of the drill bit. If the experiment fails, I take small pliers and pull it out. I have to order some small drills now and see which one fits in well.
Tony Sant of Finescale Engineering told me that he provided Pearse with parts for the Colorado; send me a message for his contact details if interested.
Chooch, could you please provide me with some measurements of the front axle. The RH wheel-back-to-back gauge does not work on my Pearse, the drivers are closer together on the Pearse probably because they have a different shape than RH drivers.


SLARR,
Finally got back home and took a measurement on the front pilot wheels. Inside dimension was 40.52mm. Wider than yours. I don't think your problem is the wheels, unless Pearse used more than one profile wheel. If this is only happening on your track, I would now set my sights to the switch.
My Colorado also doesn't start off with ease. I need to do the forward - reverse - forward trick to clear the cylinders. It's always been that way. I would be very careful about pushing your engine after a run. You always take the (small) chance of messing up the timing. Water and steam oil in the cylinders or steam line after a run will not hurt anything as long as the engine doesn't freeze.
The steam pipe in the displacement lubricator on my engine has one VERY small hole drilled in the top. I don't know the size, but it sounds to me line someone re-drilled and added another hole one yours. I get 40+ minute runs and use almost all the oil after that amount of time.
Looks like you have some mods to make. Good luck and let us know how the changes work out.
 

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RE: Pearse Colorado - noisy burner & front wheel derails on switch

A slightly thicker washer that compresses the spring a bit more pushing down the front axle and removing the switch right after a 2.5 ft curve solved the problem of derailment of the front axle on my temporary layout. Probably the 10 years old original spring has lost some of its strength and a switch following a tight curve is not to the liking of this engine. The switch is ok if the engine ran on a 1 ft straight track before. I am curious to see what happens when the engine runs on other layouts. Thanks to all that replied; I have learnt a lot from this.

I observed that the superheater tube turns glowing red soon after lighting the burner. But when the steam valve is opened, it turns black. I guess that even residue of the heavier steam oil would burn completely in the superheater tube. So it is probably not necessary to worry that all condensed water and oil has been cleared out after a run.

Depending on the settings, the burner is alight for 50 minutes and the engine runs for 45 minutes with preheated water. It has sufficient power, the drivers slipped when I stopped it with my hands.

Even though someone drilled right through the steam line in the lubricator with a drill at least twice as big as Roundhouse used for their lubricator, one lubricator filling lasts for two runs. Probably the copper wire that I put through both holes has a positive effect! But in my view that is still way too much oil.

I will do something about the burner noise; I checked the McMaster-Carr web site that lists at least 500 different wire mesh. I choose a 24 holes mesh and I am still working on my shopping list. I will try to limit the flow of steam oil; either with a larger wire through both holes or closing both holes and drilling one tiny hole.

Now on to another issue: more fine control with the RC in the low speed range. I observed that there is only 5% of the travel of the RC control stick in the low speed range. The remaining 95 % travel on the RC are for high speed where any movements of the control stick have no longer a visible impact on the speed. Any suggestions for getting more fine control at slow speeds?
 

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Posted By SLARR on 04/05/2008 11:36 PM
ow on to another issue: more fine control with the RC in the low speed range. I observed that there is only 5% of the travel of the RC control stick in the low speed range. The remaining 95 % travel on the RC are for high speed where any movements of the control stick have no longer a visible impact on the speed. Any suggestions for getting more fine control at slow speeds?


Don't open your regulator as much. You won't get full top end speed, but will give you much better low end control. I do this when I let someone run my locomotive. It takes away the chance for a speeding train to get in trouble and gives me peace of mind.
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For those who don't know Pearse locomotives. There is a steam regulator off the boiler AND a steam distribution block for the cylinders. (that is why only one channel R/C for forward/reverse and speed)
 

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RE: Pearse Colorado - noisy burner & front wheel derails on switch

Yes, that is exactly what I did; I opened the regulator by at least one full turn. Now I should have a great running little engine with all the help I got. Thanks to all!
 
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