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Hello,

Just got started and I have an Accucraft Ruby. Out of the box she ran great, but now she steams very sluggishly. I often have to push her along and she lacks the steam to complete a single circuit around my oval of track. Often there is very little steam coming out of the stack, just hot water. At first I thought I had too much water in the boiler, but it still happens no matter how diligent I am about water levels. Then I asked around on Facebook and heard the gas jet might be clogged. I rinsed it out with butane and that made no difference in performance. I believe she's priming but I don't know what the culprit is or how to fix this issue. Any help would be very much appreciated.
 

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Hi Stephen,
Welcome to MLS.
I hope that you can find the answers to your problems here.
Is there anyone local that you know who runs live steam to help you, as it is often a 'hands on' hobby to fix issues.
I don't have a Ruby, and I don't use gas, so not sure that I am of much help BUT.....
With the smoke box door open, what does the fire look like?
Healthy and blue in colour?
Good luck, and as Roger B has been told in his "At what point to throw in the towel" thread, the Ruby is perhaps not the best loco to be introduced into live steam.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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Hello,

Just got started and I have an Accucraft Ruby. Out of the box she ran great, but now she steams very sluggishly. I often have to push her along and she lacks the steam to complete a single circuit around my oval of track. Often there is very little steam coming out of the stack, just hot water. At first I thought I had too much water in the boiler, but it still happens no matter how diligent I am about water levels. Then I asked around on Facebook and heard the gas jet might be clogged. I rinsed it out with butane and that made no difference in performance. I believe she's priming but I don't know what the culprit is or how to fix this issue. Any help would be very much appreciated.
For some concentrated reading, try googling "site:mylargescale.com ruby problems" Here's a couple of results:

https://forums.mylargescale.com/18-live-steam/90418-what-am-i-doing-wrong.html
https://forums.mylargescale.com/18-live-steam/63170-used-ruby-need-help.html

You may still not have completely cleared the gas jet. Do NOT poke anything in to it, but completely remove it from the holder and blast some butane through it backwards a few times. You should be able to see daylight through it.

Next test: can you half-fill the boiler, fire it up and wait until the safety valve pops? If it doesn't your burner isn't working properly. If it does, then the fire works fine. [Some folk wait for the safety valve to pop before they even think of running. Depends on the loco and your familiarity with it.]

If your safety pops, then you should have steam and opening the throttle and putting it in gear should result in a spray of oily water out of the stack. Close the throttle, toggle to reverse and open it again. Keep doing it until you get a little loco-motion and the water spray stops. If you put it back in neutral and close the throttle and wait, will the safety valve pop again?

Priming involves water getting in to the steam line - which would result in lots of water out of the stack as you describe. But water is inelastic so the cylinders don't do their job. And it is tough to get enough water in the boiler to submerge the steam pipe.

As I write this, it seems more likely that your valve timing has shifted. Let's wait for a few more comments and see what the consensus is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pete,

I just tried your advice and my Ruby is working much better now. She pops a lot when idling, but is now steaming freely and moving at a decent pace. Thanks for your advice.
 
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