The 3 I saw run only 1 ran out of the box good. One went to Hottman and over 20 hours later it runs. The other runs ok but was and still is very tight. Something somewhere must be binding as the crossheads were checked.
I heard that Accucraft has returned them all to China to be rebuilt. Anyone out there know anything?
Having been trying to buy one and in correspondance extensively with Cliff, Royce and Tom Burns (who has two C-19s) I can confidently say that I 'know something'.
Apparently, the first batch were just not timed - at all. Dave Hottman has managed to figure out how to fix one or two, and Tom did one of his after Dave fixed the other. They have been recalled from the dealers and sent back to China to be fixed.
still is very tight
I'm told they are also fixing something in the main rods - that may have something to do with it? If you have a C-19 that isn't running perfectly, I'd call your dealer or Accucraft and ask if it can be fixed.
I'm told they should be coming back to us in the "Christmas container" [wonder what other goodies are in there for our stockings?] Royce thought early December, Cliff poured cold water on that and said don't expect them before Xmas. [So much for the stockings.]
Royce is expecting a black #340 and a green #346 in that batch - I've put my name on the #340. I'm also told there were only 5 RGS #41 made in live steam, and all 4 were sold with the 5th retained by Accucraft for their collection. Cliff wasn't sure if any #41s are in the batch sent back to China - it's possible a dealer had one that was sent back for rework.
The electrics are a different story - you can still get an old-style #346 with fluted domes from the Col RR Museum as part of their celebration of the restoration of #346. Good price, I'm told.
My #346 is sstill here. Had not heard of any recall at all. In fact, I had not run it until this weekend. Here is my experience:
Arrived at Ernie Noa's Saturday AM. Had heard about all the problems and was working towards getting it to run on air for a test, but had not succeeded. So when I got there, Ernie kindly helped me with his setup. by the way, for those who are interested, the boiler filler is M-10 sith a 1.00 pitch. (I have a hardware store with bins of screws and just kept trying until I found one that worked.) It seemed to run OK, did not move when the johnson bar was in neutral.
So we filled the boiler and gas tank, fired it up and started it running. The first couple of laps it seemed to run fine. Then the loco developed a definite lope and there was the sound of metal hitting metal!! Not good.
At this point Larry Hergert (AIA Old Fart) and Jim Sanders(?) and I started playing with the engines. At first we thought it was the left side, but after much poking and prying we discovered it was the right side. The front connecting rod was bottoming out on the crosshead support Larry got out a file and started working on the connecting rod. Then a little work with a dremel on the bottom of the support and it seemed to be able to move properly. Time to fire her up and try again.
This time the engine showed definite problems with the timing. However, the johnson bar was not all the way forward. It is directly behind the pressure gauge and difficult to see or feel that it is in the proper place. Also the loco shows the typical Accucraft symptoms of working better in reverse than in forward. A little fiddling with the johnson bar and it seemed to work.
Sunday I put two Accuraft stock cars and a shorty caboose (which I had bent the contacts away from the wheels since I wasn't running it on track power) behind it and tried to run it. As with most portable layouts, Ernie's is not totally level. The engine would slip on the portion where there was an up grade. Closer inspection showed the blind drivers were not contating the rail.
So now I have mine back home and some things to figure out ( I like it). Need to figure out if the timing is off and also need to work on the suspension. On the side need to do some more refining on the front right side connecting bar problem.
Just to keep the record straight it was me that helped discover the rod problem. Sanders was busy converting locos to quick disconnects etc. As this was my first steamup since my major backshop service, it was fun to see all my good friends.
I'm SORRY Bruce. I was paying more attention to what was going on not who. I still have loads to learn about live steaming. The only reason I got Larry right was he did most of the work. And of course we were at Ernie's so I knew he did the air testing.
Still haven't gotten around to working on anything, between the grandson's Halloween and working on getting the ladder in for the inner loop. Could a lot of the problem be due to the suspension? I was just thinking that it seemed to run fair for the first couple of loops, then developed the connecting rod problem. So maybe the suspension needs some "tweaking"