Regulator

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Re: Regulator

Post  bjwlancashire on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 12:33 pm

Tim

Do you have a stronger spring on your valve or is it the one that came with the kit?

Brian

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Re: Regulator

Post  Tim Watson on Fri 16 Aug 2013, 1:44 am

Brian
As supplied.
Tim

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 11:29 am

BLOODY REGULATOR!!!!

Had issues this Saturday being unable to fully shut it and still had annoying leaks elsewhere, so took everything apart on Saturday afternoon in the pouring rain and tried to reface the bedplate and block to get a seal. I am quite happy with the two stage arrangement as it is very controllable but it just wont close completely and continually pressurises the HP side, needs to be left running to ensure it does not leap off like a scalded cat after having sat which is really annoying as it continually works the engine causing it to blow off. Stopping is also testing as you need to wrench it into neutral.

On the plus side the start valve is totally sealed and is very useful for pulling away.

Any suggestions as to how to seal the supplied unit would be ideal, dont have time or skills to fabricate anything else and to be fair the supplied one should work.

Cheers Kev.

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Regulator problems

Post  eng14110 on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 1:02 pm

Hi All,
          I have been watching this post from the beginning as I too seem to have a problem with my regulator closing .For the first couple of steamings it did not seem to cause to much of an issue, but of late has become a B****y pain in the A**e.
          Could I ask if anyone on the forum who has used there engine more than a couple of time has a regulator that closes correctly ?
or anyone come up with a not to intrusive solution ? also does anyone else have an issue with the starting valve operating lever moving when closing the regulator ?
                                                                                   Colin

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 2:09 pm

Hi Colin,

Virtually ditto on your experience, at Banbury, Wiston, Liss the regulator has been great but this last two weeks it been awful. The start valve doesnt have a problem with the reg rod interfering with it but otherwise it is becoming annoying. Would like to try and get it sorted for GDSF but other than lapping it again I dont know what else to try. The real frustration is you cant test anything without being in steam and if it doesnt work you have to drop the fire and start all over again and you really need full pressure to be sure it works well.

It the only thing on an otherwise flawless summer and steam and would be nice to get it finallised.

Kev.

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Re: Regulator

Post  lynnr on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 2:11 pm

My regulator worked very well over the last 4 days. Total about 30 hours in steam. No stick and no overrun. No modification other than over sizing the hole in the block at the front end.
Still got a leaky starter button but will be at that this winter.

Starter rod. I just removed sone bar and rethreaded.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Tim Watson on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 3:16 pm

I would be careful not to overdo the lapping-in on the cylinder regulator seat. I did this on 'Madeline' and ended up hollow grinding the surface which then made it let by badly. The solution to this was to fix a ground steel plate on the top of the old surface for the puck to slide against (even then, she always let by).

On 'Fredrick' I have made a new aluminium bronze puck and i'm awaiting some 5mm stainless bar to make good the regulator surface. This combination will not corrode and should be slippery (following conversations with Mark last weekend). I may not have chance to find out if it works this side of GDSF and then the engine will go straight to Old Warden, where it will be in steam.

Tim

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 11:20 pm

How do you intend to attach the steel to the block surface? And will the hole be triangular to give a slower opening?

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Re: Regulator

Post  Tim Watson on Mon 19 Aug 2013, 12:27 am

Kev
It will be bedded in with some JB Weld and have two stainless steel Allen screws at the chimney end. I will probably file in a small starting notch.

Tim

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Mon 19 Aug 2013, 9:00 am

Tim, Drill and tap into the existing block?

Took the safety valve off this afternoon to discover the reg block had moved on the rod ( no slot filed Embarassed , usual assembly there then ) which explains lack of power at end of play yesterday, also probably explains shut off as the block had moved back towards the crank to a dirty unfaced section of the bed. Cleaned up the faces again ( only lightly ) filed the aforementioned slot and reassembled, which should hopefully have it sorted, might try and test before Dorset but otherwise probably testing it with fingers crossed on either the Tuesday or the Wednesday!!! affraid 

This was a shot of the block after cleaning, not sure I am able to say with any degree of experience so perhaps someone else might know but I didn't think this looked too bad but is there anything obvious to anyone else??



It is strange though how last year it seemed much less troublesome, I would have thought as the two components bed into each other they would work better Perhaps as the engine has loosened up it needs much less steam to get it to turn?


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Re: Regulator

Post  Flasback on Mon 19 Aug 2013, 9:59 am

Kev,

When I lapped my regulator I made a lapping tool (flat steel with a handle, as it hurt my little pinkies after a short while) lapped the tool against a mating face and checked for any highspots with engineering blue against a piece of glass. When I was sure it was flat I lapped in the regulator bed in the cylinder block by using time saver lapping compound to remove the machining slots from the milling machine. Making sure I kept all the ports in the cylinder blocked off with paper towels, I also washed down with WD40 and wiped with a paper towel each time I checked progress. When the groves were gone again I checked the flatness of the regulator bed and then lapped in the regulator body itself against the regulator bed to get a mating pair. This took me most of the day if not more as I did not want to over do it or worse do what Tim mentioned about a concave on the regulator bed in the cylinder.

After 20 minutes or so I would check for highspots with engineering blue to see how I was going (regulator bed against regulator body). I did a bigger area than you Kev (all the machined surface) as I was not sure what impact the dirt build up would have when steaming plus milling groves (I know the steam will push down on the regulator but I was unsure and did not want to have a leak path). I have checked the regulator and mating surfaces a few times and all seams well but each time I check I do give it a clean.

I don't know if this helps but this is how I mated my regulator.

As mention I also have a flat spot on my rod and put a bigger bolt through the thingy bob that the regulator rod slides through. The grub screw seemed a bit on the small side and it you damage the head with your allan key by over tightening it, it will be a bugger to loosen if you need to make any adjustment.

cheers

Dwain

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Re: Regulator

Post  Tim Watson on Fri 23 Aug 2013, 4:41 pm

I have posted some pictures of my regulator modifications on the 'Frederick' post.

Tim

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Mon 02 Sep 2013, 8:55 am

Having had no end of issues during the week at Dorset and having spoken to a few other owners/builders the opinion seems to be that the cast face eventually suffers from pitting and scoring which causes leaks. It is particularly difficult to get a very flat face by lapping and the best option seems to be something like Tims mod on "Frederick". Speaking to Dave Oliver who has just finished a 6" double drive version of "The President" which I pulled round the arena on Saturday he has let a stainless plate into the top of the block and lapped a bronze puck on to it. I will endeavour to get a plate made with counter sunk screws on the corners and probably the middle to stop distortion which will be set onto the bedplate with a gasket underneath. The hole will be circular with a small slot at the opening to give a gentle start, I am a bit disappointed to loose the two stage block, it works particularly well but I haven't looked into this fully yet so may be possible to keep it.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Flasback on Mon 02 Sep 2013, 11:15 am

Kev, what problems did you have, same as last time and did you just put in new packing?

cheers

Dwain



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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Mon 02 Sep 2013, 1:47 pm

The reg wouldnt not shut off 9 times out of ten, causing issues with starting constantly, HP chest being in some cases fully presurised resulting in very fierce take offs and also not allowing the engine to come to rest. The forward gland has finally got to the point where it causes the rod to stick and in some cases jam so tight the rod bends tight against the guide on the spectacle plate, this one will be a quite simple to sort by just opening the front hole and repacking with graphite yarn to aid lubrication. Basically a real pain in the arse and the only fly in an otherwise faultless ointment which needs to be addressed.

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Re: Regulator

Post  Flasback on Mon 02 Sep 2013, 2:24 pm

interesting that during the onslow rally if I left the engine sitting idle, I had the block pressurising because I noticed my reversing lever would get stiff. I had to open the cylinder drain cocks and turned the fly wheel. This would send the fly wheel to race off and come to a stop after a bit of time and then the lever would be free as a bird. Most of the time, I leave the engine in slow tick over to stop it presssursing. It is interesting to hear your thoughts as I thought it was me doing something wrong letting the engine build up pressure in the block.

During the regulator discussions early in this post I have opened the front and back holes to 6.3mm not 6.2mm as did not have that drill size. After Onslow the regulator was still not sticking and I did not get an steam leaking out of the holes, the glands were doing their job, the packing I have used is the ptfe rope.

Not to hijack this thread but have you had any problems with your blast down pipe on the water glass? Mine has stopped working and I have noticed the handle is turning but the ptfe insert is not!!


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Re: Regulator

Post  Tim Watson on Mon 02 Sep 2013, 3:58 pm

Kev:
It doesn't need CSK screws to hold the regulator plate down: there is plenty of space at the chimney end for a couple of bolts to locate it. It might be self defeating to have a screw in the middle and I would opt for a passive seating of the plate in JB Weld. Find out if it works at Old Warden!

Tim

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Mon 02 Sep 2013, 11:57 pm

Dwain, What you are describing with the stiff reverser and racing away after being sat is exactly what happens to mine, if the regulator is sealing correctly this shouldnt happen. Whilst allowing the engine to tick over is a way of preventing it from happening it shoudlnt be nessecary and if the pressure is close to blowing it continues to aid the draw causing it to lift continuously which for me is annoying. It will also probably have the effect of making stopping difficult if it doesnt shut down completely.

Tim, I was thinking of using a gasket rather than permanantly gluing the plate down, if any steam gets past the JB weld you would have a let by that you would struggle find and couldnt then repair. Dave Oliver said that just four bolts either end distorted his plate in the centre due to pulling both ends down so I figured six would hold it flat?? But what do I know I'm not engineering minded at all. I will wait to hear what your results are as I can live with it as it is but it is really getting on my nerves and I want it sorted for next season.

At this point with a number of us in steam and quite  few with a similar problem it would be nice not to have to find our own solution but to be offered one from STW and something a little more useful than " you should have fitted it properly Razz " as this is clearly an issue that could affect quite a number of builders.

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Re: Regulator

Post  bjwlancashire on Tue 03 Sep 2013, 3:09 am

Time for me to add my observations to this thread, I know I have been a little quiet on here as I have been a little busy lately with work plus our holidays!!!

Tight regulator - I have noticed that since I opened up the hole in the gland clamp on the rear facing end of the block it seems to allow the PTFE thread to creep into the small gap and actually cause it to jam - this sometimes causes bending of the regulator rod for me. I have seen this when taking the rod out to find out what was causing it, the rod needed tapping on the end to move it and you could see where some PTFE had dragged into the hole between the rod and the clamp. If it is tight when running I ease the rod to the right with my fingers while pushing the regulator handle so that the bending is minimal due to the spectacle plate guide stopping it going any further, if it bends to the left then it goes to far and will not open the regulator. I have asked Steve for a new gland clamp so that I can use one with the correct size hole again, only opening the stud hole up if there is any interference when fitted this time. Currently I try to remember to put a drop of steam oil on the regulator rod where it goes into both gland clamps before steam is raised, opening and closing the regulator while I apply the oil. This is based on whaet we do on the full size Fowler I help on, it helps to ease the regulator so that we can smoothly drive it in and out of the shed - this does help on Blackbeard too.

Regulator not closing - I find that pulling hard on the regulator when closing it can actually make the engine speed up a little, a slight push back finds the closed point. I am not sure why this would happen as there is plenty of movement rearwards without exposing the steam hole when I look with the safety valves off. Could it be lifting the edge of the puck slightly if there is a small lip on the mating face at the closed point? there is nothing obvious when I look. the spectacle plate does flex when pulled hard shut and there is play in the regulator lever pivot. I do not seem to have a leaking regulator, once the starting valve is seated (see below) I can leave the engine and there is no pressure build up. I have not gone overboard lapping in the regulator block, I just used very fine emery wrapped around a flat piece of steel to smooth the machining marks a little on the regulator valve face. I also put very fine emery on a know flat surface and lightly polished the regulator valve base and then allowed the regulator valve to seat itself to the cast iron of the regulator valve face while running.

Starting Valve - This still seems to weep by ever so slightly sometimes causing the engine not to stop completely when trying to stop. A quick tap, or couple of taps on the button seats it and all is well again. this can be heard as a very slight amount of steam coming up the chimney depending where the engine stops turning. It can be fine and seating perfectly when we are stopped, we go for a drive and when we stop there is the slightest weep past, not sure what can do this as there is plenty of clearance on the button rod, 3-4mm of movement before it physically touches the end of the pin in the valve body. The pressure on the valve is boiler pressure so there should be no possibility of the steam pressure in the LP valve chest disturbing it. the spring is of no consequence as it is only there to hold the ball in place until steam pressure is there. I even smoothed off the outside of the valve body and rounded the end off to ensure there was no surface that could grab in the hole in the block and I recently opened this hole out slightly while I had the safety valve off for painting. The only thing I have different is the big whistle which takes steam from the area around the starting valve body so this could be unseating it slightly when blown, I wonder if I shortened the starting valve body so it was not disturbed by the flow of steam up to the whistle if this would prevent it, something to consider for the winter months. Maybe this could even happen for those who have put a steam siren in the same place.



I would have to say to those that do not already, always open your drain cocks when stationary in or out of gear as any leak past will go up the chimney subject to where your engine stops turning. This will also give you a slightly softer take off if there is a weep of steam. When out of gear you can turn the flywheel slightly until the weeping steam is leaking out of the drain cock pipes. This even happens on full size engines, there is no perfect solution to a leaking regulator, some engines are better than others. John Durling has just modified his Aveling tractor this year to let in a separate plate for the same reason, gradual wearing of the block with constant use and lapping back to a reasonable seal over the years.

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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Tue 03 Sep 2013, 5:39 am

Hi Brian, you are decribing almost in indentical detail EXACTLY how HM behaves, bending rod, pulled back to far etc etc. I have not opened the rear hole yet to cure the stiffness but it was considerably worse over last week particularly when the safties were lifting due to the increased pressure on the reg block. Every morning we took the safties off and cleaned up the rod and gland and applied oil. I was going to dig out the PTFE and try good old graphite yarn being told that the graphite will help to lubricate the gland somewhat. At the moment I am used to his little foibles so will leave alone until Tim reports on how Frederick has behaved. It will be interetsing when Andy has his in steam to see how the tow compare.

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Re: Regulator

Post  lynnr on Tue 03 Sep 2013, 1:42 pm

Hi all

I opened up the chimney end of the regulator rod hole in the block. I did not do anything to the glands. She has now run of over 40 hours and the regulator does not stick anymore.

Yes still getting the let by but it is controlled by ticking over out of gear and I hope to have a solution for next year.

I don't have any events now so will only be steaming impromptu and when the weather is still above zero.

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Re: Regulator

Post  lynnr on Tue 24 Sep 2013, 9:29 am

I don't think Steam Traction World will mind me saying.

There is a mod going to be tested this weekend by Crystal. Which has been produced by Steve. Please be patient with us as we do not want to send out a modification that does not work or make thing more problematic.


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Re: Regulator

Post  highpressure on Tue 24 Sep 2013, 9:38 am

This will be useful, I am currently posting on Steves thread about the reg problems still. Thinking back the reg has been fine up until the second half of the summer, from probably Banbury onwards so the early days didnt show up any issues then and for me I dont think it is the actual puck causing issue but the mating to the cylinder face as when I had it apart last week it was clear to see the non polished area where the steam was getting by.

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Re: Regulator

Post  lynnr on Mon 30 Sep 2013, 12:14 pm

Work still in progress regarding modified regulator pucks. Please be patient. Steam Traction World want to get it working before issuing instructions.

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Regulator update

Post  highpressure on Fri 04 Oct 2013, 11:01 am

After having had two days steaming at Kingsfold by Sunday I was finding it quite a chore to run the engine with the regulator so stiff it bent the rod right across the start valve rod and almost impossible to shut it down.

So having spoken to Steve re a possible mod being sent out myself and Andy decided we would try and make the existing set up more useable. The stifness wasnt really an issue, just drilling out the rod holes to 6.2mm and then repacking the glands with two runs of PTFE and then a final piece of graphite yarn hopefully providing some lubrication. Easy fix and an excellent result, reasonably stiff with the packing tightened but free moving enough to give easy control.

We then looked into the cylinder plate to find that it was quite badly pitted and to be fair I didnt really do any inital prep last year, just assembled everything as it was. So Andy made a tool up which was basically a 5mm stainless plate 30mm wide and 50mm long with a 30 degree handle on whihc he had machined at work to a flat face. We attached a piece of 800 wet and dry and with a bit of oil just sanded the bed plate down, needed to switch to 400 and then 600 to get 90% of the marks out including some machining and then cleaned up the puck and reassembled. I am prepared to try the Chop/Tim mod but only as a last resort due to the meed to tap the cylinder and loose the two stage setup which really makes a very controllable machine especially trolling up and down trade stall aisles.

The difference is quite astounding!!!! cheers cheers  Initial investigations under the HP valve cover seemed to indicate the reg was still letting by but only very slightly but once reassmbled and trying to make the engine run the let by is unnoticeable. It stops, but more importantly it starts with almost no effort at all, clearly being quite well run in helps and the start button is a must but there is almost no pressurisation at all even at full pressure and no fight at all trying to switch from forward to reverse, a real joy to use. Andy and I spent a good hour just running up and down outside and sitting still to see if it pressured and it is a different animal. I am going to try Andys brand new two stage puck to see if it the top section that is causing the let by which should be a simple fix if thats the case.

Sadly I forgot the camera so no evidence of before and after etc but for anyone following this thread or still assembling then a quick bit of attention to the bedplate with really quite basic tools and techniques does make a considerable diffrence. Andy will post a picture of the tool used and hopefully also a shot of his reg chamber after he tested and removed the machining marks. We will need to see how this fairs under use but initial results are encouraging, wondered if there may be a way to squirt something into the chamber after a steaming to try and minimise the deformation of the bed plate long term as it is not recieving any lubrication?? Answers on a postcard please Laughing Laughing 

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Re: Regulator

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