Regulator

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Regulator

Post  lynnr on Fri 19 Oct 2012, 6:18 am

Hi Everyone

Is anyone else having problems where the regulator gets gunked up, stiff then jams?

I have cleaned out the packing and holes 3 times now and it keeps doing it. Do I need to open out the holes in the block a bit to allow clearance?

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Fri 19 Oct 2012, 11:06 am

My regulator is stiff and bends the rod when trying to open and I'm thinking about making it out of 8mm stainless, but after the engine has got warm the regulator frees up and seems to be fine. I will let you know how next weekend goes, I haven't cleaned out the glands at all.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Rickster on Sat 20 Oct 2012, 4:42 am

Hi Lynn,

Same here with me as pe Highpressure. I've just been out to the garage now and it was very stiff and was bending the rod to the regulator lever, but once it has moved, it seems fine. When steaming, it's fine.

Rick

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Re: Regulator

Post  Rickster on Wed 26 Jun 2013, 2:19 pm

Not sure how this will go, but I was still having some issue with steam pressurising the cylinders when in mid gear. I have decided to blank off completely the small start valve slide on top of the regulator by putting a shim underneath this valve and a plate with a regulator rod size hole in it that prevents the valve from sliding in the top of the regulator. My idea of the shim, rightly or wrongly was to try and exert some pressure on the slide to try and add a bit more seal.
I then put a small v in the regulator steam hole in the block with a cold chisel and flattened it back to get a good seal (he says !) I hope I haven't made a mistake as it's not easily repairable!

I'll know this weekend if it works.

I also cleaned out the back tank as the injector was playing up and wouldn't pick up at all by the end of play. The tank was surprisingly very dirty. even bits of swarm in there, so this probably has something to do with the problem.

This weekend I'm steaming to the Preston (East Kent) rally whilst most of you are off to Banbury. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend, I wanted to be there but had already committed and fancied the 4 mile road run to Preston.

Rick

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Regulator.

Post  richspoo on Wed 26 Jun 2013, 11:34 pm

Rick I am going to Preston this week end on Sunday hopefully to pick up my engine from them.

Any chance we could meet up and introduce ourselves.


Richard

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Re: Regulator

Post  bjwlancashire on Thu 27 Jun 2013, 2:02 am

Lynn

The regulator on Blackbeard did this a couple of weeks ago so I took it off completely and rather than take the chimney off to get my drill in to open up the hole at the front of the block I polished the rod down a little where it runs in the front hole. Also, I opened up the gland clamps a little to ensure they had good clearance as the studs were pulling them slightly tight on the rod. Not had the problem since although it is tight now as I repacked the rear gland last night as it was leaking slightly and the clamp was in a good way.

Tim opened up his front cylinder block hole to 6.2 if I remember, take a look on his photos thread.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Rickster on Thu 27 Jun 2013, 11:05 am

Hi Richard,

Yes no problem. Just look for my engine towing a green half finished STW wagon - that'll be me!!

Cheers

Rick

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Re: Regulator

Post  Robfishman on Thu 27 Jun 2013, 2:43 pm

Preston is on my Christmas list, never made it to the summer rally. Have a great time.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Rickster on Mon 01 Jul 2013, 1:59 pm

Shame to have missed the Banbury "do", but we had a great weekend in East Kent at the Preston rally. I roaded over both days, and really enjoyed it. Just a few idiot drivers overtaking on blind bends because they couldn't wait another 30 seconds to see clearly.
It was a 3.5 mile journey each way and took between 45 - 50 minutes each way depending on how much water I needed to put in. I kept the pump on and needed to put the injector on 4 times in all and I would estimate I used about 4 gallons with the trailer on behind loaded with coal and tools etc.

I did get caught out a few times going over manhole covers or even smallish holes in the road due to not being able to avoid them with oncoming traffic, the damper lever jumped off the peg and I only realised when I started to loose pressure, but soon picked up again when I opened it up.

When on the move it was fine to have the damper open on the only the first notch and on the flat, reverser was notched back as far as I could and this made quite a big difference to the steam used.

Very important to keep the fire bars clear and the ashpan I found - then she will just keep making steam easily.

The regulator mod has worked to a degree. There is much less steam letting by, BUT it is harder to get a slow tick over and does tend to race away, particularly in forward gear. In reverse it is much easier to control for some reason I don't yet understand. Maybe others out there have an idea ?

I did find it easier to pull away in top gear though - just open the regulator. If the HP cylinder was in the wrong position I could feel the pressure on the reverser. I put her in reverse briefly and full forward immediately and off we went.

I only used 3rd gear all weekend, with no trouble at all, even crawling around the site, I found it very controllable with anything over 130 on the clock and it does sound so sweet when moving around with a real bark from the chimney.

Many comments received that they couldn't believe it was a kit engine - the first comment when told it was from STW - oh Modelworks! Did you have to do any machining ? !!

Some spectators who were thinking of buying a kit were put off but were really impressed and considering going for a build! That says an awful lot for the quality of these engines.

I met a few others on here, Busman and his brother building two 4" agricultural engines and "richspoo" picking his 4" showmans up from Preston.

Next rally Chili Farm, Dover - 9 mile road run to get there! Hmmmm - have to think about that - there are some good pubs on the way though!

Oh, while I remember - if you paint your safeties with VHT paint - don't bake them in the over, or if you do, keep the temperature low if the spring is still attached. I baked mine and the spring lost its tension during the process and blows at 150psi now even adjusted up as far as it will go! Silly boy Pike !

cheers

Rick


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Re: Regulator

Post  Flasback on Thu 25 Jul 2013, 12:19 pm

I am just about to make the mod to my cylinder by drilling out to 6.2mm regulator lever holes. Before I do can anyone please tell me if this mod worked as a fix as I have had the same problem on the regulator lever sticking when the engine has gone cold. I was at a rally the other week and ran for two days with no problems; is it the hole/clearance in the block? Each time this happens I have burnt ptfe on the regulator from the ptfe rope. Once this is removed the regulator lever is okay. I have read the post and think what Brian has done is the correct thing to do as this gives clearance in the lever glands in the cylinder block but may also cause a leak path through the gland (Brian how has your mod come along?). My thought is that the route cause is the ptfe rope as its plasticising with the heat and when it cools down it sticks to the lever causing the lever to stick. The clearance made in the block is not fixing the problem it is masking it and after a few steams the ptfe will build up on the lever and it will stick again or a leak path will occur.

Few quick questions if someone could please answer them I would be grateful:

1) Does the mod work i.e lever started going stiff after the mod etc?
2) Has anyone checked the regulator lever for burnt ptfe since making the mod?
3) Are people using the ptfe rope still as supplied by STW or is string being used instead?
4) Any other thoughts/mods made in this area?

Sorry to ask but I am a bit reluctant to drill into the cylinder block.


best regards,

Dwain



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Re: Regulator

Post  lynnr on Thu 25 Jul 2013, 12:29 pm

Hi

I opened out to 6.2 and steamed. It appeared to work fine now. Still works fine and everything is cold. I am still using Steam Traction World supplied ptfe.

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Fri 26 Jul 2013, 10:25 am

I havent modded anything except the first hole in the brass block but have set up the timing correctly and I dont appear to have any issues with either sticky regulator or pressurising now. I would have thought PTFE was a very durable substance resistant to heat degradation? I know Julia has found it very l hard wearing in "Little Beastie".

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Re: Regulator

Post  Flasback on Fri 26 Jul 2013, 1:20 pm

I have carried out the mod now. To be fair my timing was set hot by people who know a lot more than me and the beat from the timing is great to hear. When it was in stream at the last event a few engine owners came over to listen to the timing and all comment on how good it was (love to take the credit for it but can't). I even got into a competition to see how slow we could get the fly wheels turning; managed to get it turning so slow that I thought it would stop at the stroke high point. To get it better I would need to have a rod with a finer thread for adjustment.

I agree Kev, getting the timing right is so important and makes such a difference to the running of the engine. My next rally is with Blackbeard and STW in two weeks looking forward to that, hope the weather is okay.

Dwain

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Re: Regulator

Post  Robfishman on Fri 26 Jul 2013, 2:16 pm

There may be two types of PTFE tape. When I went to buy some I was asked if I needed the High Temperature tape. Came on a yellow spool rather than the white one I was used to working with in the past. Was only a few penny's more than the standard stuff.

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Sat 27 Jul 2013, 3:55 am

This is PTFE gland packing rather than the tape used for plumbing fittings. comes as square section in various dimensions.

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Fri 09 Aug 2013, 11:40 am

Doesnt seem to have been any feedback on results of the various mods. Last week at Lingfiled we had a bit of an issue at the end of the Sunday steaming, mainly due to not being able to fully close the regulator, or so we thought. Rechecked the timing and found that the lower grub screw plug was letting steam into the valve chest ( my ineffective fitting without sealant Embarassed ) which could well be the answer to pressure build up and running on. The gasket needed replacing by then so had to shut down the steaming. Took the safeties off to check the level of closure on the regulator and decided to alter it just a tiny bit, soldered an M2 nut on the top section to shorten the throw just a bit, now get the first two holes open and only just getting half the final hole, and we drilled out the second hole to 2mm. Now gives a controlled opening with a greater opening on the main hole for power when needed, just felt a bit lacking on occasions.

The surafce was quite scored which didnt give me too much concern as the scoring will be equal positive and negative on both sides but still took the opportunity to relap the bits together and clean the rod due to a bit of build up at the gland area. Went together and felt very smooth in operation so will be interesting to see how it performs over the weekend. Andy was puzzled as to where the scoring came from?? Possibly the additive in the boiler water or perhaps some of the swarf I had left in the boiler Embarassed 



Stupidly didnt take a picture after the lapping or mod Rolling Eyes but I'll report on how it behaves. 

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Re: Regulator

Post  MrStationHouse on Fri 09 Aug 2013, 12:54 pm

The scoring might have been odd sand grits left over from the casting?

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Re: Regulator

Post  Flasback on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 12:22 am

Kev,

Will be interested on how you get on. I have a single stage regulator fitted and I noticed over the weekend that the power was there and in a busy area I felt a bit unsure about moving off. It could be me getting use to the engine, in 2008 a brought a new R1 and would ride around the countryside at a fair lick and feel comfortable doing it as I have had bikes for years. Now I am unsure about moving around and starting off at 2-5 mph in lower cog Embarassed. I was thinking about going back to the 2nd regulator to give me a slow move off.

Best regards,

Dwain

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Re: Regulator

Post  Tim Watson on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 1:19 am

Dwain, I find the starting valve a good way of moving around in tight spaces under very controlled conditions. Did you file a starting notch on the cylinder head under the single stage puck?

Tim

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Re: Regulator

Post  lynnr on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 2:11 am

If you have a single stage.

Instead of filing a notch in the block. Why not file the notch in the puck? Then it is not permanent.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Flasback on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 5:05 am

Tim/Lynnr thanks for your thoughts,

Tim, I have also blocked off my starter valve as I could not get it to work as it seemed to be passing all the time and the run on was at break neck speed. Blanked it off and now no run on, I think I need to look at it a bit more as pushing the fly wheel with a roof on whilst siting down in gear is not the simplest thing to do (I've been able to put it in reverse/open the drain cocks to get it to start off). I now understand why RLs owners have removed the roofs when driving its a nightmare (needs some getting use to but will get there). I have already removed the SM lights at the back of the engine as I kept catching them whilst driving with my left shoulder.

Cheers

Dwain

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Re: Regulator

Post  bjwlancashire on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 6:27 am

I have to add to the debate here after Dwain's post. I do hope he puts his starting valve back on as it will make things easier if a rock of the reversing lever does not get his engine moving.

My regulator had leaked a little the last few times of use if I closed it fully as things were flexing I think and I was possible going just beyond the closed point. I did an adjustment at Astle Park lengthening the regulator rod by one turn on the buckle and it seemed to be right. I do sometimes have steam leaking past the starting valve and this makes the engine harder to stop, it takes a couple of prods on the start button to stop it properly. Until I put my large whistle on and nipped the starting valve with the whistle mounting thread reaching it when it was screwed into the block.I had not had an issue with it although I had not done as much running as I have now. I have not yet removed the valve to check for marks that prevent it sliding smoothly and seating but I hope to before Onslo Park. I may try a stronger spring to keep it better seated when there is no pressure in the engine and it may help alignment when bolting the starter valve body in place as if this is not aligned close enough then the sided of the valve could be forced onto one side of the hole it runs in. I think that this needs to be as loos as possible as the thing that does the sealing is the ball on the end, I think the stem canm be quite loose with a stronger spring on it.

If I can stop the leak I think I am in good shape now regarding the regulator. Mine is a reduced two stage regulator and is working fine when there is no leak from the starter valve. I feel that it is bedding in nicely now. I did have a problem with a stiff regulator after Declan put three turns of gland packing in it, this made it very tight for some reason so we have reverted back to two turns. I have already opened up the gland clamps fractionally to make the rod slide easily through them and into the block plus I polished a few hundreds of a millimetre off the rod itself too so it is easier to move through the holes in the block itself..


I will have the safety valves off again to try to paint them in time for Onslow Park too, I will have a look at the regulator face on the cylinder block to see what it now there.

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 9:30 am

Well now, the regs seem to be a bit tricky to get going, mine behaved well on the Saturday and I have a reduced two stage version which makes moving off much easier. Dwain, you need to sort the start valve out, it is really ideal for getting going with out having to wrestle with the flywheel. Take it off and hold the main body in a vice without the gland nut on, get a sacrificial SS ball the same size as the one fitted and give it a firm whack into the seat to get the rim set, not too hard. On Sunday my gasket blew out at about 11 creating an uncontrolable leak so I had to drop the fire and repair in the field, with the help of two other guys, during the surgery I dropped the spring in the grass and after about 20 mins we gave up. One of the guys had a selection of SS springs and as there was no other choice we had to fit one of these. It is a much stronger spring and has certainly imporved the sealing of the valve.

I still have an issue with pressurising and running on due to, I believe, a leak under the larger lower block so this weekend I will get a bit on emery and just give the bed plate a quick clean and see what that does.

Brian, I thought the same as you about "over closing" the assembly causing run on but if you look into the reg chamber I dont think this is possible, the more you pull back the further you cover the hole, however I found as you have that over doing the pull back on the reg handle pushes the start button assembly forward keeping the valve open, I have now got used to looking for this. Easiest way to check for leaks getting into the valve chests is to take them off in steam and see if the reg port or start port is letting steam in, a bit hot I know but not dangerous as the engine cant run.

Lynn, I concur about filing the block, I was considering this but have elected to carry out any mods the the brass assembly itself which can easliy be replaced.

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Re: Regulator

Post  bjwlancashire on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 11:27 am

Kev

On my starting valve I do have clearance between the lever on the valve body and the rod that pushes the valve itself. Closing the regulator hard on mine does not push the starting valve. Adjust your starting valve rod so that there is a good 2-3mm of clearance.

Sounds like a stronger spring is helping yours seat better though, I need to find the appropriate one.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Tim Watson on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 11:48 am

The starting valve body on my engine is a very loose fit in the cylinder casting. The operating rod is polished to a high shine where it goes through the nitrile ring so that there is no sticking there. It works very well and is great fun to use - although there is a bit of collateral movement with the regulator rod.

Tim

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Re: Regulator

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