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Thread: K28 problem
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 38

A follow up on the frozen cylinders. I helped my friend take his front cylinder heads off and found the left piston and the cylinder in front of it heavily coated with calcium deposits. The woes of not using distilled water. We thought we could partially remove the rear cylinder heads, actually just slid them back on the piston rods, but this a big chore since the crosshead guides need to be removed with them along with running boards, connecting rods , etc.. This precluded examining the rear of the cylinders and we just assumed they were probably similar to the front.

We tried to use a hardwood stick to clean it up the front side; absolutely no success. The calcification would not budge and no solvents, oils, etc. would touch it. I called Torry Krutzke about this and he said that he found a similar situation with a coal fired K-27 locomotive that he repaired for a customer. He suggested that we stand the loco in a bucket, with foam in the bottom, on the cab end and put ACF 50 anticorrosion in the front of the cylinders and let the loco stand at least overnight. ACF 50 is an aircraft corrosion inhibiter/neutralizer that can be purchased in a spray can. Torry said it could be ordered in our area from "Pilot's HQ."

After sitting for a day or so soaking the front end of the cylinders we were easily able to remove the "white crap" from the front side with a small dowel and a popsicle stick. We then used the dowel and a small hammer to lightly tap the pistons from the front end of the cylinders, first one side then the other, and low and behold they broke free. Turning the wheels revealed that there were stiff spots when the pistons tried to approach the rear of the cylinders and the wheels would not fully turn over; another call to Torry.

The rear of the cylinders were then treated with the ACF-50, following Torry’s advice, by disconnecting the steam line from the throttle and, with the lubricator valve shut off, using the aerosol can and the application straw to force ACF-50 down the steam line to the cylinders. This needed, according to Torry, to be done with the johnson bar in forward or reverse, not neutral, and while spraying the ACF-50 down the steam line turning, rocking, the drive wheels forwards and backwards with the cylinder drains open. This allowed the cylinders to suck the fluid into the rear cylinder spaces and the steam chests. Again, afterwards, we stood the loco on its end, this time the front and let it sit.

The next day we returned to the project. Rocking the wheels back and forth we were able to get them to turn completely around. Attaching the front cylinder covers, we then, using a small syringe and a piece of silicone tubing attaching it to the steam line at the throttle, flooded the cylinders with 30 weight oil as we turned the wheels. With things fairly freed up and supporting the loco with wood blocks front and back and the throttle reconnected we ran it on air from a compressor. Low and behold, after about 5-10 minutes and a lot of oil with some crud ejected up the stack from the exhaust the loco ran as smooth as ever.

We really want to thank Torry or all the advice and support. Especially the tip he gave us about ACF-50. That stuff really worked.
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