Having just aquired my first coal fired loco, a 5" Gauge Terrier based on the Martin Evans design (first rule broken - Never buy a loco built by someone else without viewing and air testing) from THAT auction site, I tested it on air at approx 50psi and the air just exits from the exhaust pipe and up the chimney when the regulator is opened. I pushed the loco along an 8 foot length of track and did not attempt to move under its own steam(air) it just constantly pushed air out of the exhaust. If I blocked the exhaust pipe with my finger, air was escaping from between the RH cylinder and the boiler saddle !!! This seems like a major stripdown?
The exhaust and steam pipes are covered in a hard sealant where they exit the smokebox ...
I am wondering whether to just return it as I am still in the 30days grace or strip and repair ... ??
Boxhill has vertical slide valves between the cylinders, or what is colloquially known as 'valves between'.
I would pour about 1/2 to 1 pint of light oil down the blastpipe so that it will fill the cylinders and the steamchest. Revolve the wheels at various reverser settings, but only forward with forward gear, and backwards with backgear (I hope I have got this the right way round) otherwise you will pump the oil into the steam pipe and superheaters and possibly the boiler too.
Once 'well oiled' in the steamchest, then try on air again and try and get more than 50 psi, and listen carefully. You ought to hear a 'smack' when the valves hit the port faces and then seal. I would suggest that on your air test as described the valves are not seating on the port faces. Don Young described much the same problem initially on his 5"g 'Fishbourne'in ME circa 1966, which also has 'valves between'.
On my own example of Boxhill, the valves are extended and rest on the bottom of the steamchest as per fullsize, and the valves are made with only 10 thou between them, so reducing this tendancy, plus the valves are not tight in their saddles.
You can also follow the fullsize procedure to check whether the pistons are blowing as in the 'black book', assuming the valves are seating properly. This is quite an involved procedure requiring a very methodical approach.
A steam test with a large load of steam oil down the blastpipe beforehand might also work wonders.
Julian's reply is how i would go about trying to get the valves to seal. Having found the completed listing on ebay (and the page when station road steam sold the loco) it looks like the loco is well made and has run in the past, the key comment being it was steamed then taken apart to be painted. So there is possible some of the valve gear has not been refitted properly. But the most likely is when the loco has stood there is some light surface rust on the valve face and cylinder bores. One of the photos on the ebay the chassis before painting and the cylinders are cast iron. You might be lucky and get it sealing with Julian's suggestions, but you might have to strip down and clean the bores and port faces. Where in the country are you?
From Andy's first post on here he lives on the Isle of Wight in an ex-FYNR station - my guess would be Watchingwell - the lucky chap!
I don't have the links and sources for Andy's loco that you quote - perhaps you could add them. Obviously, if a cast iron inside cylinder set is stripped down and degreased for painting in bits, then the additional problems you have suggested might arise. My practice is to assemble the inside cylinder block and thoroughly test it, then not to dismantle it again but to clean just the outside with solvent prior to painting, leaving the 'insides' still as tested and oiled up. Same applied to FR 'Linda' which had cast iron outside cylinders, with lots of Shell 'Ensis' oil inside.
That certainly sounds logical Julian and definitely worth a try. Will let you know how I get on ..
Living on the Isle of Wight Will, I had planned to repaint the loco, after running it for a while, as 'Fishbourne' as it already had the extended bunker, so if I have to dismantle the loco now I may as well repaint ...
Thanks to Will's very helpful links, you ought to have a good loco there at a very reasonable price. Bog standard Martin Evans 'Boxhill' with a few very nice details. Hideous chimney - I can send you my drawings if you want to make a scale chimney of original Stroudley type. Assuming you have all the boiler test records? Just needs a bit of TLC and the wave of the magic wand. Do the notes show who the builder was? That water pump masquerading as a Westinghouse pump is a lovely piece of work, and not to any drawings I have ever seen - others please comment. Anyone who can make a small single acting pump of that size (if it works) must have been very good IMHO.
At that price, and in that lovely condition etc, I wouldn't send it back.
That is the other problem .. The seller says Station Road Steam did not supply a boiler certificate. The build notes suggest that there was one! I have joined the IoW Model Engineering Society and will speak to the Boiler Testing officer.
I was informed of this before purchase and intend to contact SRS .. Is this a complete show stopper? I assumed that the boiler could be tested and certificated by an approved tester?
You should speak to the boiler tester quite quickly. If you do not have previous boiler certificates, he/she may want the boiler removed from the frames and all cleading removed so that a careful visual inspection can be performed prior to hydraulic testing.
That could mean you stripping it all down anyway!
Member, Committee member and Webmaster for Tiverton & District MES www.tivertonmodelengineering.org.uk Built and run 3 1/2" Rob Roy Built (and sold) 5" Stanier 2-6-4T Built 5" Charlatan Building 5" Pansy x 3 Building 3 1/2" Doris Early in building 7 1/4" Dean Single (Lorna Doone)
The club boiler inspector advises that as there is no history of testing, the boiler has to be removed from the frames for a 2x hydraulic test. The seller says I should find an independent tester who will test the boiler in the loco?
According to the SRS advert on their website it was tested until 2021, surely they would heve a copy in their records, of builder's name etc? I'd give them a ring and enquire, they seem like a decent firm.
I emailed Mike at SRS today and he advises that they keep copies of their tests and they tested to 1.5x supported by the original paperwork but as this is now lost it has to be tested as a new boiler ..