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American Locomotive Restoration

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PhilC View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jan 18 2009 at 8:11pm

On Saturday January 17th after the SCLS club meeting, Tom Downing, Phil Cohen and 2 visitors Rob and Rory helped fire up the American locomotive. Everything went real smooth. The following day, Sunday the 18th, Tom and Phil finished the installation of the hand pump, misc. hoses, blowdowns, tender assembly and a few other items to get the locomotive ready to run.

After completion of the American was run for approximately 3 hours with no problems.
 
Projects to complete:
  • Replace cylinder lubricator
  • Add arch to boiler for better heating
  • Fix bell so it actually swivels
  • Clean up metal work on hand pump plate
  • Lower coupler to standard height on propane car, or replace propane car with a standard car and switch to new style 5 gal. propane bottles.
  • Change out check valves on injector and hand pump. (they work but a bit unreliable)
  • Fix the whistle, it is pretty lame.
  • Boiler Certification

Pictures of the American #613 should be posted to the gallery soon. She runs like a top and has a great sound. A very nice locomotive.

 


Edited by PhilC - Mar 04 2009 at 12:36am
I used to be a rocket scientist, now I am just a space cadet.
------------------------------
You only need three tools in life - WD-40, Duct Tape, and a Hammer. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
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tom d View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 03 2009 at 7:19pm
Phil and Tom made and installed diffusers (turbulators) to go in the boiler tubes. They where 3/8 x 23" long made of SS. Phil fired the loco up and it steamed up much faster and ran much better keeping steam much easier.
 
3-3-09 Phil also installed a new lubricator and rebuilt check valves to cylinder valves, Phil and Tim did a boiler test and it passed EZ. They also adjusted the pop offs. Tom repacked the seals on back of the cylinders.
 
Still need a few more things done but its coming a long well. We keep playing with this steamer and she will be a good runner soon.


Edited by administrator - Mar 03 2009 at 8:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 22 2009 at 11:02am
3-21-09 Tom D. tested the rebuilt frame for the car that holds the propane tanks. The  new car holds two 5 gallon tanks that are of the new type tank that can be picked up at a lots of stores now. Next the car will get a stock car type body to cover the tanks.
 
Tom also made a new side rod bearing that was worn out and was clacking a lot when running the loco. It took some time to get it fit but it ran good when done.
 
The loco did its first hauling of all the nice people that come out for a ride and did OK but still needs some work. We did double head the loco with Phil running the 1500 loco as a helper with Tom on the 4-4-0 in front. This worked well and was the safest way to do the test. It looked like all the people around the club got a kick out of seeing this. After a few members ran the loco a round for a bit, Phil, Tom, Ray and Tim worked on a few things that were noticed when running the loco.
 
After working on the plumbing for some time Phil found he will need to be replacing some of the plumbing that keeps seeping and valves that keep sticking. The old fittings are just so hard to work with that Phil, Ray and Tim are thinking at this point it best just to replace them with new ones.
 
Tom worked hard getting the old burner out of the firebox, and its now out! We have found parts to build a new much lager burner so hopefully we can get the loco to make more steam faster.
 
Started on adjusting the springs to try to get less slipping as you can see the debugging is getting there but there's still more to go the list of fix-its is getting smaller and the list of members working on the loco is getting bigger so things are looking good. :D 


Edited by administrator - Mar 22 2009 at 1:03pm
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tom d View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 29 2009 at 11:01am
On 3-28-09 Phil C worked on getting the whistle cleaned out and tried to make it sound a little better. He also worked on more plumbing fix its and is going to work on cleaning the water injector this week as it is getting lay-z.
 
Tom D worked on getting the new burner to fit into the fire box so it can be removed for cleaning much easier as the old burner was vary hard to get out of the fire box. A few more adjustments and it should be on fire and making a lot of steam fast.
 
Wyatt D work hard at cleaning off all the old messed up green paint from the side rods and they looked great when he was done.
 
Hopefully next Saturday we will give the loco one more test run and start getting the out side of the loco cleaned up and  looking good as well.


Edited by administrator - Mar 29 2009 at 12:47pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 29 2009 at 12:52pm
The water injector has been rebuilt. There was no corrosion present inside, however I did see a little piece of crud that must have been in the water supply flush out. It may not be a bad idea to put a little filter screen in line with the injector water supply. The only problem noted was that the spring loaded plunger was sticking and not running smooth. I soaked everything in acetic acid for a few minutes then soaked and rinsed them off in clean water. After assembly the plunger worked smoothly once again and it is now ready for re-installation on the American.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 06 2009 at 8:45am
4-4-09 Tom and Phil got the new burner installed and a few plumping things done.
 
0n 4-5-09 Phil got the loco steamed up and gave her a run. A few other members got some run time as well and  boy did it make steam! At this time it looks like we got most of the big things on the repair list done so now were going to get her looking  good.


Edited by PhilC - Apr 06 2009 at 10:55am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 13 2009 at 10:44am
4-11-09 Phill C. and Tom D. installed the reworked head light and new hand rails that are made of 3/16 brass tube so Phill can run wires to the head light from the cab, also installed a lowered steam dome cover so you can see the popoffs better. We then worked at getting the brass on the loco shined up, also touched up the black paint on the loco.
 
Hopefully we get the new lettering soon as it will be one of the last things on the out side of this loco. This week Tom is going to try to get the body and some plumbing done on the livestock body for the propane car.
 
It will be good to see how much this loco can pull on Saturday as I'm thinking this will be a vary useful steam engine.


Edited by administrator - Apr 13 2009 at 11:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom d Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 19 2009 at 9:09am
4-18-09 Phil ran the American for 3 1/2 Hrs. straight, lashed up to 2 bench type riding cars with riders, and all went well. Ran for some of the time lashed up to Tom Downings 0-4-4 steamer which made for a good show that was a lots of fun. Riders seemed to get a big kick out of it too. Looks like we will still have to play with the spring rigging to get less slipping and get the number two propane tank hooked up in line so we get less tank icing. The plumbing is an on going thing as well. The debugging may take some time but  now this loco is a runner and not in the barn getting dusty and  tripped over. 

Edited by PhilC - Apr 19 2009 at 11:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PhilC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 19 2009 at 11:24pm
The club's Allen American was a joy to run. At the moment the axle pump is out of service so the steam injector was used and it worked flawlessly. It appears that with the turbulators installed and the new burner assembly that the optimum propane pressure is right at 3 lbs. This gives adequate steam even while pulling 2 carloads of passengers plus myself (equal to 2 or 3 people) :D
 
The steam pressure does drop as the injector puts water into the boiler but it catches up fast on the downhill grades.
 
Items that need to be looked at are the steam cylinder lubrication pump. It appears to be working but I think that a lot of it is leaking out and landing on the crosshead instead of in the cylinder.
 
We need to come up with a locking arrangement for the piston packing nuts as they tend to back out after an hour or so of use. Also designing a spanner tool to tighten it would be nice so I don't wreck any more hex keys.
 
We need to adjust the front truck suspension to see where the balance is and put more weight on the drivers. The brakes seem to not work as well as they once did. We Need to see what is up with that. Brakes on the tender would be a nice touch as well as it is hard to stop on a grade and my shoes were starting to get worn down using the patented Flintstone breaking maneuver.
 
I think a nice whistle like the one on Tom's engine would be neat. It is nice and loud and will get peoples attention. The current one on the locomotive is pretty weak.
 
Headlight and cab wiring and a FRED will just about do it. This is one nice locomotive and a real pleasure to run.
 
Phil
 
I used to be a rocket scientist, now I am just a space cadet.
------------------------------
You only need three tools in life - WD-40, Duct Tape, and a Hammer. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PhilC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 29 2009 at 10:25pm
Applied the Yosemite Valley graphics and locomotive numbers to the American. It looks really sharp. Photo to follow.
 
Phil
I used to be a rocket scientist, now I am just a space cadet.
------------------------------
You only need three tools in life - WD-40, Duct Tape, and a Hammer. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape. If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem.
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