First run tightness

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First run tightness

Post  MrStationHouse on Sat 13 Dec 2014, 10:40 am

I steamed the engine for the first time today and had mixed results, although par for the course I suppose. The motion was very tight at temperature and wouldn't run very well at all. Whilst it was hot I loosened off the mains and big ends to no effect. I am wondering if the rings were binding? When it is cool it turns very easily - I do have the eccentrics to loosen and the little ends and thinking about it - the slide bars could be binding.

I guess I am meandering..... what did others experience when hot for the first time and what clearance have you set the bars and rings at?

I had one other issue, when it did run it would only do so with the drains open, so I wonder if the the exhaust is blocked with foliac?

Thoughts welcome

With best wishes
Simon

PS in my focusing on it all I didn't take much video, just some shots of lighting up for the first time - which I will save till I get it running properly.

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Re: First run tightness

Post  lynnr on Sat 13 Dec 2014, 11:37 am

Hi

First things first.. DON'T PANIC

Do you get a chuff up the lum? If so there is no blockage there.

Piston rings. When you installed them did you file a small gap. So when the ring is inserted in the bore you have a gap. (Off piston test).

The slides. Should be non rattle with a small amount of give up and down to allow the oil film to develope.

When cold are your slides perfectly parallel and co-linear with the bore. Check with covers off. Mine got a bit tight when hot and it was the HP piston diving into the bottom of the bore when the boiler is hot.

Easy way to phase test.

Both slide valve covers off. Piston cover off. Everything else attached.

Bring her up to say 150psi and get her nice and warm throughout. No need to run. The block will warm up.
During this "open" warm up. You can Palm the flywheel round every 10 minutes or so and see how she behaves. Does she tighten or not. Once hot, and your tightness returns, remove little end bearing pin on hp. Bring the crank back to back dead centre. This will show if the HP is tight. You can also infer some testing on the LP as they are not connected together anymore. Do the same with the LP. Also observe the positioning of the piston head itself in the bore for cocentric. You should be able to slide the Pistons back and forth fairly easily by hand and it should be smooth. While both rods are off you can do testing on crank main bearings. You need to be careful of the little ends catching but you can take the crank all the way round while disconnected.

Since the valve covers are off you can see what is happening there and check for binding on the glands or pushing the valve off centreline. Also check the steam tightness of the start valve into the LP and the regulator in to the HP. Open the regulator GENTLY and with no one at the right side of the engine and check for big blow of steam. You may also get a pile of crud out.

If at this point everything checks fine. Reassemble the crank rods, Put the HP cover back on and the piston cover. You are then running on one piston only. As the HP will vent out the LP valve chest. Does she run. Is there good steam release out the LP chest? If so put LP chest cover back on and see how she runs.

Hopefully at some point in the routine your tightness will show up.

If not let everyone know the results and we all will chip in.

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Re: First run tightness

Post  MrStationHouse on Sat 13 Dec 2014, 1:10 pm

Hi Lynn

Thank you that is a really help full reply. I will work through the suggestions, I've had another look at the slides and there is very little play if any cold, so I think that is the first area to work on. I can't remember what the gap on the rings was, I remember I had to file the HP ring a little

What did you use for oiler wicks?

Finally what did you buy for tube brush - brass/mild or stainless? It looks like 7/8?

Thanks from the slightly warmer south.

Simon

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Re: First run tightness

Post  lynnr on Sat 13 Dec 2014, 1:24 pm

You need "worsted" wool for the wicks and thin copper wire to create the wicks. The softer the copper the better safety for your bearings. If you go too far. It will rub away instead of the bearings or rotating part.

I use a 16 gauge stainless tube brush. I got the kit from heritage steam supplies. I actually need a new one as lost the last out on the road somewhere but postage is "bend over and get ready!"


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Re: First run tightness

Post  MrStationHouse on Sat 13 Dec 2014, 1:45 pm

I shall be ordering a brush and rod, shall I order you one and send it up by Royal Mail parcel, shouldn't be expensive?

What size did you have?

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Re: First run tightness

Post  LiveSteam on Sun 14 Dec 2014, 6:52 am

lynnr wrote:You need "worsted" wool for the wicks and thin copper wire to create the wicks. The softer the copper the better safety for your bearings. If you go too far. It will rub away instead of the bearings or rotating part.

I use a 16 gauge stainless tube brush. I got the kit from heritage steam supplies. I actually need a new one as lost the last out on the road somewhere but postage is "bend over and get ready!"


As mentioned on tother thread, happy to get what evers needed and send them via any preferred method you like to save HSS bending over moments, same applies to yourself Simon, HSS are only up the road for me and I could do with popping over there.

I'll ping some PM's

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Re: First run tightness

Post  IanL on Sun 14 Dec 2014, 7:53 am

You mentioned that it would only run with the drains open, these are on the LP side only..So what went through my mind was have you got the eccentric rods on the LP side the correct way around. Ie The two sides of the engine trying to run in opposite directions.

Ian

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Re: First run tightness

Post  bjwlancashire on Tue 16 Dec 2014, 1:33 am

Simon

Almost there now, don't give up just jet. Did you get the lovely paint work dirty?

The suggestion about the eccentric rods being wrongly attached would certainly make the LP side of your motion fight against the HP side but unless you have had the rods off in the last couple of months it is unlikely to be the cause as you ran your engine on air successfully in August. You were running at around 100psi based on the position of the pressure gauge needle in the video and the engine appears a bit lumpy but it would be running like a single at that pressure and on air too, was it due to tightness or the valve settings? Where the drains open when you ran on air?

The same could be said for your thoughts about a blockage in the exhaust. This is the first time with heat in the engine so any errors in valve position will be shown up more with the expansion of the boiler as it will add more than 1mm to the engine length from crank to cylinder.

Certainly disconnect the little ends when hot and in steam to see what is tight and the crank will be stiff if you set it up good in the first place.

Take a shim out of the slide-bar rear end, top and bottom, LP and HP.

For my tube brush I initially bought the 7/8" one but it almost fell up the tubes so I bought the steel 15/16" one which is a snug fit and scrapes the tubes nicely.

For wicks I bought the wick kit from HSS and although the wool and wire are to thick as they come , untwisting to four smaller strands makes the thickness ideal. The wire I got from some 1mm square multi-strand cable, again untwist to the small strands and it work a treat. Find the depth by putting the wire down the oiler tube until it stops, back off a couple of millimetres and this is the point where I fold the wire over a 2mm bar to form the loop that stops it going to far in and provides a "handle" to hold it with. Twist the two halves together almost the full length, take your length of wool and put the middle of the length in your twist and twist a couple more turns, feed the two ends of your strand through the loop you formed and hey presto. Instructions for making them come with the pack. As you are involved with bigger machinery too the kit will be useful then too.

Good luck if your having a go this weekend and if you sort it then a Christmas steam up should be on the cards, Blackbeard will be in steam on Boxing Day.

Brian

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Re: First run tightness

Post  MrStationHouse on Tue 16 Dec 2014, 7:47 am

Hi Brian,

don't worry am not giving up just yet!

You are quite right it ran fine on air, what I have done but not tried is to take off the LP steam chest cover to see how it runs, the drains were open when I ran it on air. I will though have a good look at the eccentrics.

Thanks for your help.

With best wishes
Simon

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Re: First run tightness

Post  MrStationHouse on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 1:58 am

It's been a busy week at work so time on the engine has been limited, however I managed enough time to see that the eccentrics were the wrong way around on the LP side and now it runs very nicely right down to about 30lbs. I think that when I ran it on air first I was expecting it to be tight and hadn't got around to doing the drains. Hence it ran at very high pressure and I didnt suspect anything.

Anyway all is set fair for a post Christmas steam up

Thanks for your help
Simon

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Re: First run tightness

Post  IanL on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 7:44 am

Hi Simon,

I am pleased you managed to sort the problem, isn't it a great feeling when it comes to life!

Have a great Christmas and a good steaming!

Ian

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Re: First run tightness

Post  bjwlancashire on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 9:25 am

Great news Simon, glad it was a simple error. Looking foreward to seeing some photos and videos of you having a proper steam up. Now the fun really starts!

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Re: First run tightness

Post  MrStationHouse on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 1:31 pm

Thankyou Brian,

am planning a steam up on the 27th, weather being reasonable. I have a couple of leaks to sort out and then am good to go. Will post up a video.

Best wishes
Simon

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Re: First run tightness

Post  lynnr on Sun 21 Dec 2014, 8:32 pm

Good work simon.

Glad you found the problem. As I always say. It's only a daft question if you already know the answer. Looking toward to your first steaming. Crystal says good luck. She will not be steaming as its way too frosty for her. She prefers her warm bedroom for the winter.

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Re: First run tightness

Post  MrStationHouse on Mon 22 Dec 2014, 2:24 pm

Bit of a disaster- remaking a joint on the pressure gauge globe valve and part of the thread on the valve snapped off!

Hope STW can pop one in the post tommorow- otherwise Christmas steaming is probably off unless I can block it up.

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Re: First run tightness

Post  bjwlancashire on Mon 22 Dec 2014, 3:21 pm

I did something similar with the same part while up at Lynn's. Ended up silver soldering it back together and it still holds.

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