Well I finally got to run my Colonel Boone for the first time a couple of weeks ago. However, I made some mistakes and now need to try to repair something.
My mistakes were: first I set it out for people to admire. The venue was in the sun with the temperatures in the upper 80s (Fahrenheit) so the loco got well warmed up. Second I tried to fire it as I do my Class 60 (early C-16) which was not the best idea. Anyhow, I got the fire too hot and the engine was running away at the end of the first loop. Caught it and turned down the throttle a bit and it seemed to run fine.
Now the problem. During the third loop the stack just fell apart. Every solder joint parted so I got three pieces: the diamond top, a ring, and the stack itself. I think I might have a way to repair it but I need some information. Does anybody know the melting point of the solder, or what the mixture is so I can look it up? Any help would be appreciated.
I appologize, but I just have to laugh. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif I have one of the 4-4-0's also. Mine seemed to run fine the first time out. However, ever since I have had a hard time keeping up steam without turning up the burner. It flutters and goes out. Then running one day in my garden ry the stack just fell off. There had been a long accromious discussion about these engines and Accucraft in general early on so when mine fell off I just broke out laughing about it. It parted where the baloon joins the straight piece. I fixed this and then running it a few days later the stack fell off again, this time at the base. I just pressed it back on and continued to try and get the thing to produce enough steam by messing with the burner, installing a Hottman type sleeve, wrapping the burner in mesh, etc. It always overheated. Then the other day the number plate on the smoke box fell off. Cliff is on vacation they tell me at Accucraft so I am going to call him next week and see what can be done. A friend of mine here in Houston has one of these also. His runs and burns great, but his stack fell off too. We think the problem with mine is the burner nozzle. It either was drilled the wrong size or has a burr or some irregularity in it preventing it from burning properly. We tried substituting nozzles and that seemed to indicate the problem. Like the post above says, contact Cliff at Accucraft and he will send you a new stack. They know about the problem and are making replacement parts right now. They are also making replacement crosshead guide pins and rods if you have a problem with those, which I don't so far. I don't know about the number plate or burner nozzle. Because of the rash of stacks failing, I tend to think the problem is really the burner jet or nozzle. The hole in it is just too large or the burner itself is designed wrong even though it looks just like any other Accucraft burner. In order to generate enough steam you end up with a blow torch effect going up the stack. I have never experience this problem with any other Accucraft engine so I am at a loss to explain it or fix it.
My 4-4-0 unsoldered and shed its numberplate while running this afternoon. No flame in the firebox either--I checked! Will try some JB Weld to refasten it.
The smokestack has a joint that looks like it has melted at some time, but the stack is still in one piece. A replacement is on order from Cliff.
This engine is still a sweet runner, even if it does have a habit of coming unglued at times.
Well the numberplate stud on mine sticks out almost a 1/4" I just pushed it onto that and it has been there for a few months. usually a smea or jbweld though will hold it on, like my K28 smokebox door But with this one if you need to get the numberplate back on you need to remove the studded plate holder which holds the OEM layer of insulataion and brass shield.
JBWeld can handle high temps... I have used it on applications where high powered rocket motors are involved (far hotter than your steam engine will ever get!). It is also machinable -- not that I suggest taking JB weld and making a big block out of it, then machining a set of drivers out of it... But you get the idea...
Posted By Ron67 on 09/05/2008 5:05 AM
Wish Aster made the 4-4-0, then I would buy one. Every time I event think that I might one day buy an Accucraft, I read posts like the ones above and snap back to my senses. I love my Aster S2!
Actually Aster made a 4-4-0, the Reno. It has two speeds, 0 and 150mph. In other words the throttle is really an on/off switch. These Accucraft engines actually run well. I have no idea why the Chinese chose to use low temp solder on the front end pieces. It is just one of the querks of dealing with China. I am sure Accucraft people are just as frustrated as we are. Aster makes some subperb locomotives but if they made a 4-4-0 today the price would be double or triple the Accucraft price and there is no guarantee it would not come with some kind of problem. Aster has had their disasters also. So we just deal with what we got. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/satisfied.gif
Actually these 4-4-0s are the nicest running Accucraft. I ahd one pulling a max load last weekend.[just slipping during start off] and the water usage was surprisingly low. testament to the good vave events.. but the stacks can come apart[the NCNG Mogul does it as well] after 2 episodes on a mogul I changed the jet /burner so the owner couldnt damage it a 3rd time..most of these locos are overfired and can usefully take alower BTU jet..a little slower to boil but after that run just the same.
Gordon I also think that the jets are too large. I have Ruby jets in my K28 and it runs better and still lower valve setting. I plan to make some nwe burners somilar to the 1/4" dia ones you make and see if it works better. i want to do that so my radiant burner tent and screens are not so dam huge. Did you do anything special for the replacement burner on the 4-4-0?
Posted By Kovacjr on 09/06/2008 6:18 AM
John - Cliff sells the replacement Ruby jets. Accucraft has 2 jet sizes small and large. If you make a new jet holder you can use any jet and would be able to really fine tune the burner.
Thanks for the replies guys. Cliff was on vacation last week and this week is the narrow gauge convention. I had heard they were making replacement stacks, but no idea when they would be available. Since I wanted the loco running by the end of October, I just thought I would try to get the stack back together and see about keeping some of the heat away from it.
John, I am pleased to have given you a chuckle . However, even if Aster made one I would not be able to afford it and thus would not be able to participate. Besides, it is fun to figure things out and see if your ideas work.
Jason, I agree the flame is much too hot. This is the only one I have that has this trouble (I have a Ruby, C-16, 3 cylinder shay, and a C-19). I have never had a problem with the first three, and have not had a chance to run the C-19. But nobody has complained about their stacks falling apart.