Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

User avatar
Curtis_F
Posts: 830
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 10:14 am
Location: Reedley, Ca. 93274
Contact:

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by Curtis_F » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:31 pm

ken572 wrote:Modern locomotive valves and valve gears 1917 8)
http://archive.org/details/modernlocomotiv00mcshgoog
McShane is by far the best resource for the explanation valve setting procedures that work.

I recommend his "1000 Pointers" book. Valve timing procedure begins on page 90:

http://books.google.com/books?id=1EZKAA ... &q&f=false

Once you read how he says to use trams and put markings on the valve motion parts you'll start noticing those marks on the locomotives in museums you visit.

His "Locomotive up to Date" books are also quite good.


Cheers,

Curtis F.
16 Years of SolidWorks experience...now I feel old.
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."
"Winning an argument on the internet is like winning the Special Olympics."
www.facebook.com/HillcrestShops

User avatar
ken572
Posts: 2600
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:11 pm
Location: Mesa, Arizona. 85201-1517

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by ken572 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:53 pm

Curtis_F wrote:
ken572 wrote:Modern locomotive valves and valve gears 1917 8)
http://archive.org/details/modernlocomotiv00mcshgoog
McShane is by far the best resource for the explanation valve setting procedures that work.

I recommend his "1000 Pointers" book. Valve timing procedure begins on page 90:

http://books.google.com/books?id=1EZKAA ... &q&f=false

Once you read how he says to use trams and put markings on the valve motion parts you'll start noticing those marks on the locomotives in museums you visit.

His "Locomotive up to Date" books are also quite good.

Cheers,

Curtis F.
Curtis,

Thanks for the Heads Up on Mcshane's 1000 Pointers

book, and the Locomotive Up To Date Book's. 8)

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

User avatar
DianneB
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:05 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

OH NO! RAILWAY ACCIDENT! (Was Timing)

Post by DianneB » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:39 pm

My recently purchased American has been REALLY anemic in forward gear and eating steam like crazy so I was preparing to map the present valve timing by listening for admission and cut-off by the escape of compressed air from the drain cocks and noticed that admission wasn't sharp and crisp but very gradual. I had had the valve covers off and knew the valves were square and the outside edge of the ports weren't too bad so I was puzzled by this slowly-advancing admission. I pulled the pin from the valve yoke, put the piston at mid stroke, and moved the valve by hand - I got SHARP admission and cut-off! What the hell!!?? The piston must be partially covering the drain port at both dead centres.

Being in no mood to take the cylinder covers off just to satisfy my curiosity, I carefully marked the valve stem (with a pencil) at the point of front and rear admission. Just for the heck of it, I put the valve half way between the two marks, the Johnson bar in neutral, and compared the pin hole in the valve yoke to the pin hole in the rocker link - they didn't match! I loosened the lock nut and adjusted the yoke almost 2.5 turns to get the holes to line up. Then I moved to the other side of the engine and did the same thing, having to adjust the yoke about 1.5 turns on that side.

I have the engine on a 7 foot section of elevated track to work on it and was feeding shop air to the boiler at 40 PSI and I wondered if my adjustments made any difference so I set the bar in full forward and cracked the throttle. Well the American spun her wheels and headed for the end of the test track like a startled jack rabbit! I was quick to close the throttle and quick to grab hold of the engine but it still took some paint off the pilot when it hit the end-of-track stop.

You know what? I think there is nothing wrong with my eccentric settings ROFLMAO! It is now very responsive in both directions.

It seems she is just REALLY fussy about the valve stem length and it can't be set by eye - it has to be done with air and with the piston at mid stroke - whodda thunk! Hopefully there will be time tomorrow to do a steam test on the treadmill and get out to the track Sunday.

Thank you everybody for all the help, suggestions, and wonderful information - it will be filed away for future use!

User avatar
ken572
Posts: 2600
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:11 pm
Location: Mesa, Arizona. 85201-1517

Re: OH NO! RAILWAY ACCIDENT! (Was Timing)

Post by ken572 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:58 pm

DianneB wrote:My recently purchased American has been REALLY anemic in forward gear and eating steam like crazy so I was preparing to map the present valve timing by listening for admission and cut-off by the escape of compressed air from the drain cocks and noticed that admission wasn't sharp and crisp but very gradual. I had had the valve covers off and knew the valves were square and the outside edge of the ports weren't too bad so I was puzzled by this slowly-advancing admission. I pulled the pin from the valve yoke, put the piston at mid stroke, and moved the valve by hand - I got SHARP admission and cut-off! What the hell!!?? The piston must be partially covering the drain port at both dead centres.

Being in no mood to take the cylinder covers off just to satisfy my curiosity, I carefully marked the valve stem (with a pencil) at the point of front and rear admission. Just for the heck of it, I put the valve half way between the two marks, the Johnson bar in neutral, and compared the pin hole in the valve yoke to the pin hole in the rocker link - they didn't match! I loosened the lock nut and adjusted the yoke almost 2.5 turns to get the holes to line up. Then I moved to the other side of the engine and did the same thing, having to adjust the yoke about 1.5 turns on that side.

I have the engine on a 7 foot section of elevated track to work on it and was feeding shop air to the boiler at 40 PSI and I wondered if my adjustments made any difference so I set the bar in full forward and cracked the throttle. Well the American spun her wheels and headed for the end of the test track like a startled jack rabbit! I was quick to close the throttle and quick to grab hold of the engine but it still took some paint off the pilot when it hit the end-of-track stop.

You know what? I think there is nothing wrong with my eccentric settings ROFLMAO! It is now very responsive in both directions.

It seems she is just REALLY fussy about the valve stem length and it can't be set by eye - it has to be done with air and with the piston at mid stroke - whodda thunk! Hopefully there will be time tomorrow to do a steam test on the treadmill and get out to the track Sunday.

Thank you everybody for all the help, suggestions, and wonderful information - it will be filed away for future use!
Dianne,
Fantastic Trouble Shooting and Repair Adjustment.. :wink:

If it were me for future throttle slapping and your safety, I think
safety chain's,and or straps might be a healthy addition in both
directions. :idea: :lol: :lol:

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

User avatar
DianneB
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:05 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: OH NO! RAILWAY ACCIDENT! (Was Timing)

Post by DianneB » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:26 pm

ken572 wrote:Dianne,
Fantastic Trouble Shooting and Repair Adjustment.. :wink:
Thanks but I have been chasing this problem for weeks and feel like I just tripped over the solution
If it were me for future throttle slapping and your safety, I think
safety chain's,and or straps might be a healthy addition in both
directions. :idea: :lol: :lol:

Ken. :)
That's why there are stops at both ends of the track LOL!

If I was running it on the treadmill, I have a link that secures it to the track so it can't move but because I was rolling it back and forth, I didn't have the link on. Besides, I was only going to test it a little bit LOL! I am just glad I had the end stops in place or I would have had to throw myself under the engine to keep it from hitting the concrete floor! :shock:

User avatar
Lovesthedrive
Posts: 243
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:52 pm
Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by Lovesthedrive » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:49 pm

LOL I believe I had mentioned 5-10 psi for a reason. Glad you found the culprit.
1952 John Deere model 60

Wanted: Half size steam tractor. Will trade land in Maine

User avatar
Snajrog
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:08 pm
Location: San Dimas, CA

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by Snajrog » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:21 pm

I did that once, then built myself a roller stand...

I liked this thread. Heck, I like any thread where I learn more.
The other railroad passion...signals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkrqXNjF4YA

User avatar
DianneB
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:05 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by DianneB » Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:48 am

Lovesthedrive wrote:LOL I believe I had mentioned 5-10 psi for a reason.
Yes you did! Previously at 40 PSI it would barely show any signs of trying to move. I didn't expect it to go from an anaesthetized turtle to a startled jack rabbit with a couple of little tweaks! :mrgreen:

User avatar
Lovesthedrive
Posts: 243
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:52 pm
Location: Downeast Maine

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by Lovesthedrive » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:03 am

Yup 40 psi on a better timed engine, is like putting a rocket on the back end. Both are very exciting.
1952 John Deere model 60

Wanted: Half size steam tractor. Will trade land in Maine

User avatar
DianneB
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:05 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by DianneB » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:32 am

@ Lovesthedrive LOL! No kidding.

Behaved nicely on the treadmill under steam this morning - will try it on the track tomorrow.

It looks like it is worthwhile to go back later and do the same exercise with greater precision and leave some permanent marks for future alignment (instead of pencil marks on the valve steam!)

User avatar
LivingLegend
Posts: 2149
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:55 pm
Location: The Boonies of Alabama

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by LivingLegend » Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:12 pm

One thing that many people don't know about the Little Engines 4-4-0.... That led to a lame running engine....

Back in the Irene Lewis ownership of LE there was an error on the valve gear drawing that she would never correct.... Maybe Moodie Braun corrected that error during his ownership of LE, or maybe a succeeding owner, I don't know.

The valve gear component dimensions on the original hand drawn valve gear drawing(s) were correct, but one dimension given (for the "fixture") to offset the upper and lower rocker arm angle on the rocker shaft was wrong. So many older LE 4-4-0's built back in the day never ran up to par if the builders set the rockers using the procedure shown on the drawing.

LL
Do it right.... Or don't do it at all
I have no life. Therefore, I have a hobby
It's not that I'm apathetic, I just flat don't care
An Intellectual is nothing more than an Over-Educated IDIOT
Blogs: Where people with nothing to say..... Say it

User avatar
DianneB
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:05 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Checking Timing on LE American? - CONFUSED!!!

Post by DianneB » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:20 am

This engine was built in the area around 1970 and was pictured in the 1971 Little Engines catalogue so I would suspect that the builder was made aware of the error - but that is an assumption and you know what they say about assumptions!

Having spent my career in engineering and manufacturing I find the idea of not correcting a known error unfathomable! Most companies CARE about their public image and the first thing that is usually done is to correct all the stock you can get your hands on (in-house) and the second thing is to notify all previous customers of the correction and make it right. The final step is to make the change in production so all new stock incorporates the correction.

Of all the engines built from commercial castings, the Little Engines American must have been the most common for many decades. As "the flag ship" of Little Engines, you would have thought they would jump all over that error to see that it was corrected!

Post Reply