730 Gets a Boiler

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:21 pm

We're Whistlin' Now!

As the finish line was approaching, decided to take some 1/8" npt brass 45 deg elbows and reduce the "squareness". This was done primarily to make it easier to wrap the piping and fittings later on. Note: no fingers were harmed in this process! Screwed on a coupling and 1/8" pipe pipe nipple to keep fingers clear, cool and away from the belt. Here you can see the difference in size and shape from the cast red brass 90, a stock 45 deg brass elbow and the belt sanded 45 deg brass elbow.

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Back on the loco, the parts 'n pieces were assembled with Permabond thread sealer. For whatever reason, decided to use the #1 valve to see if the upgrades would work.

For the piping, couldn't get any simpler than (2) 45 deg elbows (equivalent to (1) 90 deg elbow). Had a nice "clean" piping arrangement. Far fewer twists and turns compared to the original whistle valve configuration. Went from 1/8" npt pipe to 5/16" tubing. Halfway down, used a compression fitting for that conversion. Again, minimal pipe/tubing size restrictions. Had to fit a piece of 5/16" tubing to connect the new piping arrangement to the existing sweeping 90 deg bend into the whistle. Pressurized the boiler with air to check all the pipe/tubing joints with soap solution. No leaks.

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Then, found some flat woven black shoe laces at Walmart. Who would think Walmart would have steam locomotive supplies? Grabbed (2) packs of the longest laces available on the rack (only needed one pack) and proceeded to "lace up" the piping. Found it was MUCH easier to lace around the belt sanded 45 deg elbows. Looked better too! Ran the lacing from the turret down to the cab floor level. Started the lacing by holding the lace in line with the pipe and wrapping the lace over the loose end. The other end of the lace was secured with Superglue.

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Eventually found the handle needed an offset to clear the edge of the cab roof cut out.

And when the Rutland was steamed next...found that 23 year old whistle had some "VOICE"! Furthermore, found the whistle could be "trilled". This was something that could never be done before. Couldn't be more pleased with the results after all the piping trials and whistle valve upgrades.

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That pretty much wraps up the boiler replacement and other Rutland upgrades. Boiler work started in earnest end of August 2018 and was mostly completed mid December 2018. Had to wait until May 2019 for the whistle upgrades and the first steaming . The Rutland came back on line with only a few minor issues. Have been emptying the propane fuel tanks as fast as time allows. Mileage to date...about 50 miles and growing.

Is there more Rutland work to do? Well, yes. Looking to upgrade the headlight. Originally had an old flashlight bulb...that provided poor lighting. Changed that to a 12 volt cordless flashlight Krypton bulb. Plenty bright...but produced a lot of heat (more heat than radiating from the smoke box). Then, changed the bulb to an LED. Looked good, but wasn't nearly bright enough. What's next? Will try one of the super-bright LED bulbs and see if that will throw more light.

Then there's the tender. Other than upgrading the Railroad Supply trucks and replacing the vacuum brakes with straight air brakes several years ago, the fiberglass RRSC tender tank needs to be removed to address deck plate rust. Something to do for the coming Winter months.

Want to thank KRC - Shop #1 and HDS - Shop #2 for the work space, suggestions, assistance and willingness/patience to stand by during this trip. Could not have done this without their support. Appreciate the input and efforts from suppliers. Mostly, Ridge Loco Works but need to add Locoparts too. Both had a hand in getting the Rutland back on the rails...for at least another 20 to 25 years (hopefully).

Now, know there's a few of you wondering what happened to the old Rutland boiler. Think I'll start a new thread for that...but need to take some time off here...and get out to steam the Rutland. Welcome questions, comments (criticism), etc...but may be a few days until I get back to a computer to respond. Depends on other activities.

In closing...if you've had half as much fun reading about all this than me...then I've had twice as much fun as you! Happy Steaming! Best...Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

all10wheels
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by all10wheels » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:40 am

Carl,
Outstanding job on not only the thread but your work as well. This was by far one of the best write ups and detailed information that I have seen. I have learned a lot from your project that I can use on my 10 Wheeler project. Thank You & Happy steaming!
-John

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:08 pm

All10 wheels John...Thank you! Appreciate that kind of feedback. Glad to know the time taken to photo-document the process and describe what might not have come thru the photos is helping someone. We might not all agree on how to move forward on a particular aspect of a boiler replacement or other locomotive upgrades...but I was able to complete the journey. Does it matter how I got there? Still have all my fingers!

Have to say, again, didn't do it alone. Was VERY fortunate to have good advice and experience assisting during the process. And sometimes, needed that other set of eyes and direction to calm down my frustration. Best I can offer is...I know ONE way to do something...knowing full well there are lots of ways to get from Point A to Point B. Had to work within my abilities, capabilities and knowledge. So, if someone says...what's involved in doing a boiler replacement? I can provide some insight.

As my signature line says...I don't walk on water, I just know where some of the stepping stones are. Good luck John...keep us posted. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:25 pm

Follow Up

Well guys, since my last writing, the Rutland visited (2) other railroads for some card order switching operations. Ran into some people that connected me with the Rutland boiler writeup. One guy commented the info was timely for his current locomotive build. Was nice to run into fellow Chaski people on the road, put names with faces and get some positive comments about the boiler epistle. Thank you! As for the trip...for the most part the loco ran great. Experienced a few problems (what would a road trip be without a problem or two?).

At the first track, ran into a problem with the injector while on a steaming bay. Dropped the bottom cap and went up into the injector with a 5/16" deep socket to remove the guts. And then...DROPPED THE DARN CHECK VALVE! HATE that when it happens! At first, thought the trip was done. Yes, I had other means of feed water, but like having all feed water means working before leaving the steaming bay area.

As with the steam pump a few years ago, a friend found I don't give up easily. When we got the pump running, he called me "tenacious". Said I preferred...STP - Stubborn, Tenacious & Pesistent! Good name for a railroad, eh? Well, after 15-20 minutes on the ground, I FOUND the check valve! Flushed the dirt and moss off. Blew out the ports. Assembled the injector and listened to that reassuring sound of "whoooosh" when the injector lifts. {Make note...measure and fabricate spare check valves for future.}

Then, the wireless bicycle computer on the tender crapped out. Tried changing batteries...but to no avail. When I got back to the home track, the front tender truck was removed. Replaced both transmitter and receiver display units. Works once again. The "computer" is primarily used to monitor speed, but more so track distance as I generally stop every 5 to 6 miles to "lube around".

The old "computer" was around 8-10 years old. Might still try to open the old transmitter to see what I can see. Perhaps the magnetic reed switch "froze". These things cost less than $10 on-line. Keep a supply in the drawer for spares or gifts.

Sorry to say, don't have any hard numbers for fuel consumption. Would seem a 20# bottle of propane lasts longer than before...but haven't been able to quantify this (yet). That's after hauling a fuel/stock car, 3 or 4 "revenue" cars, 2 crew cars (with crew members) and a 'boose. Want to believe...the keyhole firebox, double the number of flues and better boiler insulation are all contributing factors for better performance.

If/when I come up with some good data, will return here to share. Past experience showed the loco could be fired twice and run 5 miles with each firing before the 20# fuel bottle had to be changed. When curious people ask...How long does bottle of fuel last?...it's difficult to provide an answer. Based on what...time, distance? Depends on load mostly. For now, I just say 10 miles and let it go at that. Might start dragging an old bathroom scale to the track to measure the tank/fuel weight.

Have one more major subject to cover...what happened to the old Rutland boiler? I know there's a couple Chaski people waiting for this subject. Think I'll start a new thread. Might be easier for persons "to search" for that kind of information. So, I'm not done just yet. I shall return. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:43 pm

Fuel keeps going and going...

One question typically asked when visitors are on the club property and they realize I'm firing the Rutland with propane is..."How long does a bottle of fuel last?" This has always been a difficult question to answer. Why? They question does not stipulate in terms of "running time" or other.

Best answer I provide...the Rutland can be fired 2x and driven 10 miles on a 20# bottle of fuel. Simply put...the locomotive uses 2# of fuel per mile. How do I know the distance traveled? Have a Sundig wireless bicycle computer on the tender. When first adapting a bicycle computer to the Rutland, used a "wired" system. Now, "wireless" systems can be purchased on-line for under $10. Might have to wait for China delivery.

IMG_2009.JPG

Worst part about this...need the instructions to figure out how to set parameters...the most important being wheel diameter. Easy enough to calculate the wheel circumference or measure the circumference and multiply by 25.4 to convert millimeters. This value gets punched into the display. For the Rutland, that magic number is 330. Also need to program mph or kilometers per hour. Setting the time doesn't help much... 'cause the time is not displayed while the train is in motion.

The transmitter sensor is mounted to a piece of alum flat bar and screwed to the top of the tender truck bolster. Transmitter came with self adhesive foam strips...and holes for Ty-raps. Clearance needs to be kept to a minimum between the sensor and a magnet for accurate sensing. Used a Nylon disk, split in half and drilled/bored for a snug fit on the tender axle. A recessed hole was drilled to hold the magnet/screw that toggles a reed switch inside the transmitter. Number of "clicks" determines distance. Rate of "clicks" determines speed.

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There is a function where the user can "preset" the distance. This, in case you have to change the battery...you can pick up the elapsed distance where you left off. A flat #2032 cell is used in the display/receiver. The transmitter has it's own battery...an #A23 cell. Suggest keep spare batteries on hand. These typically last me about 1 year. Other than speed, the odometer function is used to keep track of mileage. Prefer to stop every 5 to 6 miles to "lube around" the loco.

What's this all leading to? Was able to gather some rough numbers recently regarding fuel efficiency with the new boiler. For the old boiler, needed 2# of propane to go 1 mile (20# took me 10 miles). For the new boiler, need 1.1# to 1.2# to go 1 mile (20# should take me 16 miles). However you want to look at this...this is a major increase in fuel efficiency or mileage! No wonder it takes me longer to empty a fuel bottle!

Attribute this improvement to several factors: 1) new boiler key hole fire box has greater heating surface area than the old boiler rectangular fire box, 2) number of flues went from qty=21 in the old boiler to qty=28 flues in the new boiler, 3) more thorough and better insulation.

No matter how I burn it...it all comes at the rate of enjoyment! Happy steaming! Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:51 pm

ccvstmr wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 6:43 pm
Fuel keeps going and going...Attribute this improvement to several factors: 1) new boiler key hole fire box has greater heating surface area than the old boiler rectangular fire box, 2) number of flues went from qty=21 in the old boiler to qty=28 flues in the new boiler, 3) more thorough and better insulation.
4) No crud in the new boiler to impair heat transfer into the water. :D
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I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

rkcarguy
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:33 am

That's quite a difference, I'm amazed that it was even possible to see such a big gain but like anything the extra tubes, insulation and probably a better firebox shape and size all add up!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:58 pm

BigDumbDinosaur wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:51 pm

4) No crud in the new boiler to impair heat transfer into the water. :D
BDD...#4)...maybe so. BUT...with the crud in the old boiler firebox water legs...consider this. There was less water to heat! Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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ccvstmr
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by ccvstmr » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:13 pm

End of the line for the year...

You never know in the upper Midwest when you'll get that last run of the year in. The Rutland might have had that opportunity Friday, Oct. 18th. Morning temps were high 40's...with afternoon temps expect to reach 60. Decided to make the best of the situation and go for it!

Brought the pressure up s-l-o-w-l-y this date because of the outside temps. After making sure all feed water systems were working...AND...the safety valves were popping (to release any trapped O2 inside the boiler)...headed for the mainline. The time was just after 11am. 3 hours later, I accomplished my primary goal...finish off the fuel in the propane tank.

Before firing up...tank weight was 27.5#. When done running...tank weight was 19.5#. Good time to stop...there was only 1/2# of fuel remaining. Total distance traveled during those 3 hours...5.4 miles. Fuel efficiency was therefore 1.5# propane per mile (RK you should be interested in that). Fuel consumption was up slightly from the previously reported fuel use stats...and with good reason. Decided to add a little more load to the draw bar. Estimated weight for the day was 1000-1200# including tender and engineer.

Lunch was "on the go". Had to keep that freight moving! Turned out to be a great day for steam wisps and railroading. Will finish the boiler Winterizing during the next couple of week. UNLESS...we get a heat spell!

Thanks to all for joining me on the Rutland 730 new boiler journey! Appreciated your input, questions, comments and personal experiences.
Carl B.

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Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!

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BigDumbDinosaur
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:41 am

ccvstmr wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:58 pm
BigDumbDinosaur wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:51 pm

4) No crud in the new boiler to impair heat transfer into the water. :D
BDD...#4)...maybe so. BUT...with the crud in the old boiler firebox water legs...consider this. There was less water to heat! Carl B.
Yes, but will the locomotive run on hot crud? :D
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I'm an old guy. What's your excuse? ☻

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NP317
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Re: 730 Gets a Boiler

Post by NP317 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:45 pm

Knowing that about 70% of the energy transfer to the water occurs in the firebox (full-sized locomotive boilers), crud-filled water leg spaces make a big negative difference.
RN

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