Allen engine modifications

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

John.can
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:39 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Allen engine modifications

Post by John.can » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:46 am

I'm not aware of another subject on this forum but everyone please post your modifications, equipment, and anything else done. I just bought ten wheeler plans and I have directions to get to some things. But, I also want to see what others have done to create a unique engine of their own that I might reference bits and pieces I like of other engines. Please add pictures of your unique allens and any stories as well.

User avatar
Marty_Knox
Posts: 1464
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:50 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by Marty_Knox » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:44 am

A Number One on the list should be wider water legs in the boiler. The drawings show these as 3/8" wide. Most Allen boilers that have failed end up with the water legs packed solid with scale. I offer a true keyhole firebox with 5/8" wide water legs.
Number two would be a one piece frame, whether water jet or laser cut.
I know this picture is upside down, but it shows the keyhole firebox. Since this is for 7 1/4" gauge the water legs are only 1/2" wide. For 7 1/2" gauge I make them 5/8" wide.
Attachments
001.JPG

Mike Walsh
Posts: 688
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 10:14 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by Mike Walsh » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:46 am

Very cool Marty.

Looks like excellent work as usual.

Mike

John.can
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:39 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by John.can » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:14 am

Morning Marty, I actually just bought the plans from your partner Steve and I also have a set of plans coming that are for a one piece frame. For the boiler, how much do yours cost for a ten wheeler 7.5" gauge?

Pontiacguy1
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:15 am
Location: Tennessee, USA

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:40 am

(1) I would make the boiler out of thicker material that what is called for in the plans. This adds a lot of weight onto the drivers which will help greatly with adhesion. I'm sure that Marty already does this, or can if asked.
(2) Steel tires- I like adding steel tires to my drive wheels. The steel will grip better and will also wear a whole lot slower than just machining the treads and flanges out of the iron casting. It is a lot more work to do this, but I believe the efforts are worth the reward.
(3) anything you can do to add weight on the drivers will make this a much better pulling locomotive. The standard Allen 10-wheeler is a decent pulling machine, but it has the power and ability to do a lot more if you can add the weight to the drivers.

User avatar
cbrew
Posts: 2874
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:17 pm
Location: Vancouver Wa

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by cbrew » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:55 am

wow, I can probably write a book on what i did to my two Allen locos,
My latest is the ten wheeler.
1) lengthened the frame 3 inches
2) replaced all but a few alum castings
3) baker gear
4) weight tray with 100lbs of lead between the drivers
5) Vanderbilt tender with a functioning booster truck
6) used the larger American driver castings and installed steel tires. they finished out over 9 inches
7) laser cut steel cab, running boards, etc.

with all the weight i added, I can damn near stall the loco with a wide open throttle on dry rail. :roll:
If it is not live steam. its not worth it.

ElWet
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 5:56 am

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by ElWet » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:57 pm

1. Most important change - what Marty Knox said. Cannot be over emphasized.
2. Double acting axle pump, easy to access to check valves, with bellows over the rams (prevent dirt cutting seals) and visual bleed bypass instead of the starve valve to the pump.
3. Minimum 80lbf weight added to the frame
4. Would like to do, but have not...disc axle brake to relieve wear and tear on the driver brake shoes and wheel profile.
5. Mine came with oilite bearings in the pilot truck and tender. Changed those first thing to sealed ball bearings.

User avatar
Marty_Knox
Posts: 1464
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:50 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by Marty_Knox » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:59 pm

John.can wrote:Morning Marty, I actually just bought the plans from your partner Steve and I also have a set of plans coming that are for a one piece frame. For the boiler, how much do yours cost for a ten wheeler 7.5" gauge?
The Allen Ten-Wheeler 'True Keyhole' boiler is $4200, plus crating and shipping. I use 3/8" tube sheets, 1/4" side sheets,and a 5/16" backhead.

Miserlou57
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:06 pm

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by Miserlou57 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:24 pm

I asked a very similar question just a few weeks ago on the Allen Models Engine Yahoo group. The consensus was largely the following:

1. Use steel rods instead of aluminum castings - The aluminum cast side rods wear too fast.
2. Equalized Brake Rigging - The "stock" brake rigging does not equalize, so you can get uneven braking force, losing braking power on some and increasing wear on others.
3. Equalized Lead Truck - The plans do include, if I recall correctly, the original and an equalized lead truck design. Not 100% of this however.
4. Watercut/ lasercut frame - Simply reduces a lot of work.

I'd love to hear further confirmation / discussion of the above...

User avatar
ccvstmr
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 10:37 am
Location: New Lenox, IL

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by ccvstmr » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:05 pm

John, you asked for ideas on modifying the Allen 10-wheeler. While I didn't build my 10-wheeler, I've spent the last 15 years operating, servicing and improving the loco I purchased and originally built in 1995. The builder did NOT want a stock Allen 10-wheeler, and made various changes that I have kept intact. These include such items as:
- uneven driver spacing (in this case, commercially available cut frames would not work)
- Walschaert's valve gear instead of Stephenson
- tapered boiler lagging while the boiler itself is still a straight
xrutland8.JPG
The builder changed the original throttle mechanism to a top opening as opposed to the side opening mechanism {note: builder used a stainless slide valve on a stainless body...not a good combination. The slide valve has since been replaced with a very hard slice of bronze.} What would have been REALLY nice...is if the throttle was easily removed. This may not be possible due to the dry pipe connection to the smoke box.
xIMG_5143.JPG
I'll echo some of the other suggestions such as...
- solid bar side rods as opposed to cast alum
- axle pump visible return line. Single or double acting pump is a matter of preference. I've had no problems with the single ram on this loco...however, I believe the Rutland ram is slightly larger than the stock Allen design.
- brakes...I don't use the loco brakes. I used spring pins/roll pins to hold the brake shoes in line with the drivers. All braking is done on the tender and cars that follow (using a straight air brake system).

If you're looking to deviate from the Allen plans, there's lots of possibilities for this kind of loco. Good luck. Keep the board posted of your progress. 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!

User avatar
Marty_Knox
Posts: 1464
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 6:50 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by Marty_Knox » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:12 pm

Miserlou57 wrote:I asked a very similar question just a few weeks ago on the Allen Models Engine Yahoo group. The consensus was largely the following:
3. Equalized Lead Truck - The plans do include, if I recall correctly, the original and an equalized lead truck design. Not 100% of this however.


I'd love to hear further confirmation / discussion of the above...
You must be thinking about the Mogul. He was asking about the Ten-Wheeler. The standard Mogul lead truck isn't tied into the equalization system. The equalized lead truck is, and is a big improvement but a lot of work. In fact, I think the Mogul equalized lead truck is more work than the Ten-Wheeler lead truck. The Ten-Wheeler lead truck doesn't need to be tied into the driver springing - it provides one point of the three point suspension.

little giant
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:35 pm
Location: Rochester NY

Re: Allen engine modifications

Post by little giant » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:45 pm

Silver solder the reverse arms to the reverse shaft so the timing will not go out of wack.

Post Reply