Accucraft live steam Mogul

Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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thanks for the wire bit, I only have an aster and roundhouse , which apparently are more forgiving.
Everything written by the experts says DO NOT clean the jet with a small piece of wire. Jet sizing is critical and a wire will abrade the jet orifice.
Remove it from the holder, and use a blast from a gas can or just blow through it the wrong way.

P.S. If you are getting 50 psi, then your problems have nothing to do with the gas jet.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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20 Apr 2017
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Brian,
If your loco doesn't take off "like a scalded cat" on the straights as someone said, then your curves are a whole different problem.
In my experience, Accucraft throttles are full open at 90 - 120 degrees of travel. This is sometimes just about acheivable with an r/c servo with a rod linkage. (To get more, we use a chain and sprocket drive.) If you can get the servo to open it 90 degrees it will probably work as well as manually. So yes, disconnect the servo and try the throttle manually.

My pal has a Accu 0-6-0 which wouldn't pull a cotton ball. His steam pressure dropped drastically as soon as he opened the throttle - the loco started moving but would not pull anything. So check your pressure just after the loco starts moving and see if it has dropped. His problem was leaking valves - you could see steam spurting out of the stack/chimney when it was stationary!
 
tac foley

tac foley

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11 Apr 2017
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Near Huntingdon, UK
Everything written by the experts says DO NOT clean the jet with a small piece of wire. Jet sizing is critical and a wire will abrade the jet orifice.
Remove it from the holder, and use a blast from a gas can or just blow through it the wrong way.

P.S. If you are getting 50 psi, then your problems have nothing to do with the gas jet.

Post #4 and 5 have already pointed this out.
 
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BRIAN

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18 Sep 2019
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Brian,
If your loco doesn't take off "like a scalded cat" on the straights as someone said, then your curves are a whole different problem.
In my experience, Accucraft throttles are full open at 90 - 120 degrees of travel. This is sometimes just about acheivable with an r/c servo with a rod linkage. (To get more, we use a chain and sprocket drive.) If you can get the servo to open it 90 degrees it will probably work as well as manually. So yes, disconnect the servo and try the throttle manually.

My pal has a Accu 0-6-0 which wouldn't pull a cotton ball. His steam pressure dropped drastically as soon as he opened the throttle - the loco started moving but would not pull anything. So check your pressure just after the loco starts moving and see if it has dropped. His problem was leaking valves - you could see steam spurting out of the stack/chimney when it was stationary!
Thanks Fred for the info. Im going to try today ( it stopped raining ) and try it with the throttle linkage disconnected. I can use the reverser bar to control the speed as well. I will keep an eye on the pressure guage as well.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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The reverser (or "Jahnson") bar won't do much for the speed control, but it will stop the loco. My r/c engines stop dead when you put it in neutral.

Which raises the question of whether your reversing linkage is operating correctly. Does the loco operate the same in forward as well as reverse?
 
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BRIAN

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The reverser (or "Jahnson") bar won't do much for the speed control, but it will stop the loco. My r/c engines stop dead when you put it in neutral.

Which raises the question of whether your reversing linkage is operating correctly. Does the loco operate the same in forward as well as reverse?
When I put it in neutral it stops and when I put it in reverse it will reverse. Not sure if it is variable speed but right now my servo on the Johnson bar is a cheaper one ( to be replaced ) and it is not functioning in reverse anyway, I need to replace it with a metal gear one like I have on the throttle. I will keep an eye on the steam and where it is coming from. Thanks again Fred.
Brian
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
A lot of Accucraft locos have piston, rather than slide valve operation, which mean their speed can be controlled by the reverser alone so long as the regulator is opened up. My Lyn is set up that way, with R/C control on the reverser only. I am not sure about the mogul though as the reverser frame is notched at either end and would be difficult to set up for that type of operation in that configuration. Max
 
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BRIAN

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When I put it in neutral it stops and when I put it in reverse it will reverse. Not sure if it is variable speed but right now my servo on the Johnson bar is a cheaper one ( to be replaced ) and it is not functioning in reverse anyway, I need to replace it with a metal gear one like I have on the throttle. I will keep an eye on the steam and where it is coming from. Thanks again Fred.
Brian
I tried the loco this afternoon to try things out. I disconnected the regulator from the servo ( which was moving it about 60 degrees ) and moved the regulator to about 100 degrees and moved the Johnson Bar to forward. It did respond and proportionatly to boot. It was working well until it showed signs of slowing down. Pressure was down to about 42 psi so I increased the fire. It did better again after I let it catch its breath. I wonder now if my fire is not hot enough. It may be lean as I do have to relite it usually several times while it is heating up. The Johnson bar was working well though as a speed controller and brake. I kept an eye on the psi and it would drop to 40 without even trying.
Brian
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,617
180
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
So, your loco has piston valves then. That's helpful and can be used to simplify your R/C requirements.

If your burner is continuously going out during the boiler warm up phase that may indicate that you either have a partially blocked or damaged jet. Replace it with a good quality aftermarket one as a matter of course - a Ronson #5 should do. Also make sure, as I mentioned before, that you wrap the treads on the jet where it fits to its holder with PTFE tape.

The symptoms you have described could also mean you have a leak from the superheater pipe or the first symptoms of one - though that would in all probability also extinguish the burner flame when you open up the regulator to run too.

Certainly if you try to run too "lean" on the gas it can be problem but that would probably only manifest while running and the boiler not producing enough steam resulting in the pressure not holding up as you run. Do not be tempted to overwarm the water you use to surround the gas tank to overcome any perceived gas flow issues here.

Blow through the entire gas system to the jet, starting with the tank. There are small apertures all the way through it, not just the jet, where small bits of debris can foul it. Don't be fooled by the size of the gas pipe, it's constricted in there. Accucraft gas tanks were notorious at one point for solder flux paste residue being left in the tanks that can cause some of the issues you are experiencing. I fixed my Lyn's affected tank by giving it a good clean inside with some solvent.

Another trick to ease the burner lighting up/boiler warming procedure is to fit a collar to the end of the burner to vary the aperture of the air inlet there (2 round holes). They are not always standard fitment on older locos. It acts like the choke on a car's petrol engine - it is used to enritchen the gas/air mixture.

All that I have suggested so far (here and post #4) has been passed on to me by a very well regarded Accucraft service agent in the UK when I have presented their locos to him with similar symptoms to those you are experiencing, some with the same loco type as yours. By the way, what is the ambient temperature you are operating the loco in ? Max

Gas burner "choke". It's a small movable brass sleeve, it has a small threaded bolt to hold it in the desired aperture opening. As fitted here to my C-19, but it could be any "poker" type gas fired boiler. And yes, the gas pipe and jet are not shown in place in this picture.

134302_d45beda7aded86acf16a430fa0c1682c.jpg
 
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maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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Sorry if I'm going on a bit here. The problem when giving advise on forums is that we, as yet, do not know the provenance or have sight of your loco yet (or have I not been paying enough attention ?) - Is it new out the box, old new stock, used, very used ? Have we assumed the right Accucraft Mogul ? Picture(s) would be helpful.

If it is a very well used loco then one area not touched on yet is, did the previous owner run it on regular tap water and live in a "hard" water area ? If so then the boiler and all the steam feed pipes could be furred up with limescale which would also affect the loco's performance. A boiler "wash out" may be in order.

If all else fails then a proper service might be in order. I appreciate that in Canada, unlike here in the UK, a friendly reasonably priced service agent may not be a short car ride away so one wants to eliminate all the self fixable possibles before going down that route. Max
 
tac foley

tac foley

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It's a modified version of the original 1st-series Accucraft mogul, and therefore at least fourteen years old. AND it has been modifed here in UK by Mike Darby of Chuffed2bits - a man who knows what he is doing, and the gas tank moved into the tender. All this has come from Brian's own posts here over the last week or so.

134324_8d810e19d0c2b814ab0744978ac473e7.png



Every single one of Maxi-models points is valid here, including the one about the water. However, IF the loco has seen regular use in North America then it is unlikely to be calcinated water - the Canadian Shield is made of granite and basalt, not chalk.

Brian has THIS version -

134326_f1bf5cf050e4a1ba4cc8f3029dc4eb52.png
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,617
180
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Brian has THIS version -

View attachment 257582
That's the one I had Tac. And Mike Darby is the Accucraft agent that ministered to it and fitted its radio control, and to other locos I have. He also diagnosed poor performance inducing issues in other locos I brought to him - a leaking superheater in my C-19, wrong steam oil used on my 3 cyl Shay, contaminated gas tank on my Lyn, faulty timing on a 3 times from new steamed K-28, etc', etc'. Accucraft locos (and operators like myself :D ) have their issues. I've made a few little trips to his workshop up the M40 from here in Bucks. He is also in the habit of swapping out any Accucraft made gas jet installed from new and fitting gas burner "choke" collars as a matter of course, no matter the reason he had a loco brought to him for.

I take your point Tac about North American geology and its affect on water supplies ;) . Just a thought, going to the opposite end of the water supply thing, has it only been fed de-ionised water ? I read that can cause problems over time with copper boilers and their brass fittings.

I have to ask what is the benchmark you are using Brian that leaves you disappointed with this loco's performance. I only ask as I always felt this loco was "below par" when compared with other live steam locos I own. And disappointingly so given its cylinder's apparent size. Has the design a weak point in its steam production ability ? This was partly the reason I traded mine out, the rest being I wanted a more scale model type appearance that matched in with my other D&RGW stock, that and the stonking offer ANG made on a PX for a C-19. I gave my Mogul a Moffat D&RGW livery (DJB dry print) and a real coal load. Max
 
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Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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Well, that's a lot of stuff to digest. Like TAC, I can't argue with Maxi's statements. All you can do is work through the options methodically and see which "issue" seems to make a difference. It could be gunk in the tube from the throttle to the cylinders (superheater tube - runs alongside the burner,) or any number of other things.
I would say I've never seen the "heat" from the burner be an issue - you either make steam or you don't. If the pressure stays above 40 psi then the burner is doing its job.
 
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maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
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Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
It could be gunk in the tube from the throttle to the cylinders (superheater tube - runs alongside the burner,) or any number of other things.

I would say I've never seen the "heat" from the burner be an issue - you either make steam or you don't. If the pressure stays above 40 psi then the burner is doing its job.
Agreed, apart from if you are using a Butane/Propane gas mix rather than Butane alone in a mild ambient temperature - or vice versa :) . However, if the boiler pressure is maintained consistently when the loco is running, and the Mogul like a lot of other live steamers will pull happily on as little as 30 psi, then that would seem to eliminate any issues with the gas supply or burner. That then leaves possible issues downstream with possible assorted steam leaks (try wiping a bit of grease round the "O" ring on the regulator shaft), superheater tube, valve timing and piston seals. But there is still that little doubt with the matter of the burner going out when boiling up the water.

It's possibly an old well used 2nd hand loco that's been sitting around a while. There may be multiple, hopefully minor, issues to be sorted to end up with a satisfactorily performing article. Max
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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But there is still that little doubt with the matter of the burner going out when boiling up the water.
Yes, that is curious, although early Accucraft locos of this ilk were prone to needing airflow through the smokebox - my FWRR won't run unless the smokebox door is cracked.
Brian - when lighting up and warming the boiler, try leaving the smokebox door slightly open.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

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i have learned to do this while the loco is raised on blocks above the track, and simply let the loco sputter and clear itself without a push, although a push works. i would think if you prefer to puch, pushing only in the direction of travel is best.
Steve, maybe your Aster clears best this way, but with an Accucraft we usually just move the loco backwaerds and forwards a couple of times, using the Johnson/reversing lever and a gentle push in the right direction. Pretty much as Brian described.
Do NOT put your head anywhere near the stack/chimney while this clearing is happening!! A faceful of hot steam oil is no fun. If your loco spits a lot (my C-16 was awful) then either fit a Chuffer or get a 1/4" piece of alum or brass pipe, bend it 180 degrees so it pops in the stack and over the blastpipe. The other end directs the junk to the ballast. I added a twisted wire and a wire nut to pick it up and remove it after it had done its job.
 
B

BRIAN

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18 Sep 2019
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Ontario
So, your loco has piston valves then. That's helpful and can be used to simplify your R/C requirements.

If your burner is continuously going out during the boiler warm up phase that may indicate that you either have a partially blocked or damaged jet. Replace it with a good quality aftermarket one as a matter of course - a Ronson #5 should do. Also make sure, as I mentioned before, that you wrap the treads on the jet where it fits to its holder with PTFE tape.

The symptoms you have described could also mean you have a leak from the superheater pipe or the first symptoms of one - though that would in all probability also extinguish the burner flame when you open up the regulator to run too.

Certainly if you try to run too "lean" on the gas it can be problem but that would probably only manifest while running and the boiler not producing enough steam resulting in the pressure not holding up as you run. Do not be tempted to overwarm the water you use to surround the gas tank to overcome any perceived gas flow issues here.

Blow through the entire gas system to the jet, starting with the tank. There are small apertures all the way through it, not just the jet, where small bits of debris can foul it. Don't be fooled by the size of the gas pipe, it's constricted in there. Accucraft gas tanks were notorious at one point for solder flux paste residue being left in the tanks that can cause some of the issues you are experiencing. I fixed my Lyn's affected tank by giving it a good clean inside with some solvent.

Another trick to ease the burner lighting up/boiler warming procedure is to fit a collar to the end of the burner to vary the aperture of the air inlet there (2 round holes). They are not always standard fitment on older locos. It acts like the choke on a car's petrol engine - it is used to enritchen the gas/air mixture.

All that I have suggested so far (here and post #4) has been passed on to me by a very well regarded Accucraft service agent in the UK when I have presented their locos to him with similar symptoms to those you are experiencing, some with the same loco type as yours. By the way, what is the ambient temperature you are operating the loco in ? Max

Gas burner "choke". It's a small movable brass sleeve, it has a small threaded bolt to hold it in the desired aperture opening. As fitted here to my C-19, but it could be any "poker" type gas fired boiler. And yes, the gas pipe and jet are not shown in place in this picture.

View attachment 257570s
Sorry for the delay at this end
So, your loco has piston valves then. That's helpful and can be used to simplify your R/C requirements.

If your burner is continuously going out during the boiler warm up phase that may indicate that you either have a partially blocked or damaged jet. Replace it with a good quality aftermarket one as a matter of course - a Ronson #5 should do. Also make sure, as I mentioned before, that you wrap the treads on the jet where it fits to its holder with PTFE tape.

The symptoms you have described could also mean you have a leak from the superheater pipe or the first symptoms of one - though that would in all probability also extinguish the burner flame when you open up the regulator to run too.

Certainly if you try to run too "lean" on the gas it can be problem but that would probably only manifest while running and the boiler not producing enough steam resulting in the pressure not holding up as you run. Do not be tempted to overwarm the water you use to surround the gas tank to overcome any perceived gas flow issues here.

Blow through the entire gas system to the jet, starting with the tank. There are small apertures all the way through it, not just the jet, where small bits of debris can foul it. Don't be fooled by the size of the gas pipe, it's constricted in there. Accucraft gas tanks were notorious at one point for solder flux paste residue being left in the tanks that can cause some of the issues you are experiencing. I fixed my Lyn's affected tank by giving it a good clean inside with some solvent.

Another trick to ease the burner lighting up/boiler warming procedure is to fit a collar to the end of the burner to vary the aperture of the air inlet there (2 round holes). They are not always standard fitment on older locos. It acts like the choke on a car's petrol engine - it is used to enritchen the gas/air mixture.

All that I have suggested so far (here and post #4) has been passed on to me by a very well regarded Accucraft service agent in the UK when I have presented their locos to him with similar symptoms to those you are experiencing, some with the same loco type as yours. By the way, what is the ambient temperature you are operating the loco in ? Max

Gas burner "choke". It's a small movable brass sleeve, it has a small threaded bolt to hold it in the desired aperture opening. As fitted here to my C-19, but it could be any "poker" type gas fired boiler. And yes, the gas pipe and jet are not shown in place in this picture.

View attachment 257570
Thanks for the suggestions Maxi. You asked what was the ambient tempurature it is operating in and daytime tempurature right now is about 15 C. My loco by the way is approximately 2 years old now. You also mentioned about a choke on the jet and that is present in my loco as well. I do recall as well that during heat-up I noticed a red hot article about 1/2 way down the flue. I was advised that this was normal. I don't recall seeing it lately though.
Brian
 
B

BRIAN

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That's the one I had Tac. And Mike Darby is the Accucraft agent that ministered to it and fitted its radio control, and to other locos I have. He also diagnosed poor performance inducing issues in other locos I brought to him - a leaking superheater in my C-19, wrong steam oil used on my 3 cyl Shay, contaminated gas tank on my Lyn, faulty timing on a 3 times from new steamed K-28, etc', etc'. Accucraft locos (and operators like myself :D ) have their issues. I've made a few little trips to his workshop up the M40 from here in Bucks. He is also in the habit of swapping out any Accucraft made gas jet installed from new and fitting gas burner "choke" collars as a matter of course, no matter the reason he had a loco brought to him for.

I take your point Tac about North American geology and its affect on water supplies ;) . Just a thought, going to the opposite end of the water supply thing, has it only been fed de-ionised water ? I read that can cause problems over time with copper boilers and their brass fittings.

I have to ask what is the benchmark you are using Brian that leaves you disappointed with this loco's performance. I only ask as I always felt this loco was "below par" when compared with other live steam locos I own. And disappointingly so given its cylinder's apparent size. Has the design a weak point in its steam production ability ? This was partly the reason I traded mine out, the rest being I wanted a more scale model type appearance that matched in with my other D&RGW stock, that and the stonking offer ANG made on a PX for a C-19. I gave my Mogul a Moffat D&RGW livery (DJB dry print) and a real coal load. Max
I have also thought of trading it out for a Roundhouse Engineering loco. I saw some running at a model train show near hear on the weekend and it ran beautifully. Smooth acceleration ... 40 minute run time and overall quality showing on it.
 
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BRIAN

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Someone suggested to me to watch for escaping steam. While the loco is pre-heating there is only a little smoke I assume travelling up the stack but when running there is a subsstantial amount out of the stack.
Brian