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Old 10-25-2019, 08:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bowande Porter Steam Oil Valve

I recently got my first live steam locomotive a Bowande Porter. I have run a good bit of live steam before (albeit all custom built engines) but the porter has something I have never seen before. On the tank for the steam oil it has a valve identical to the one that controls the gas. The instruction book does not even mention it. What does it do, im under the impression it controls the amount of oil to the cylinders but i dont know the correct amount to give. Also thank you to Jason Kovac for sending me this locomotive it is exactly what I hoped for
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you moved the valve already, close it all the way and open it 1/2 a turn. That's a good starting point. Its usually set from the factory already. If you notice that its heavy in oil on the loco close it about a 1/8 turn and make a full run. If you see very little water after a run in the oil tank then open it 1/8. Once you find a good spot you never touch it again. The lubricator should last about 45mins of run so about 2 full runs if topping it along the way.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
What does it do, im under the impression it controls the amount of oil to the cylinders
That's a steam oil lubricator. Easy to read description of the operation here:
http://www.smex.net.au/Reference/LubeDisp02.php




Now you know what it is, follow Jason's advice and, if you haven't touched the adjusting screw (regulator valve on that diagram,) then check (a) that it uses some oil (there's some water in the lubricator after a run, which you have to remove to add more oil,) and (b) that it doesn't use too much.
Some oil usage is important - you don't want the engine running for too long without lubrication. You can fire it up and when you run it put a paper towel over the stack as you start up, and make sure there is some oil residue on it mixed in with the water/steam. If not, follow Jason's advice and open the regulator valve a little.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Closing displacement lubricator valves.

Actually, at the end of a run, closing the lubricator valve might be a good idea, and open the throttle just after putting out heating, because as the boiler cools, the condensation of residual steam in the boiler creates vacuum like underpressure. And this can suck residual oil out of the lubricator into the boiler.

And we all hate oil in our boilers, as it really messes watergauge glasses up. And cleaning a boiler of oil, is really difficult.

Weirdly, my Aster P8 (BR38) has no valve controlling the amount of oil dispersed into the steam. Adding to the akward functioning, the very first steam during a run, is a lot colder, so it condensates much quicker in the lubricator.

The result is that all oil is spent during the first lap on the track. So there is initial oil lubrication. After that, steam and water, and possibly some oil residue, is the lubrication. (I believe some steam injector pumps work that way, and even som prototype cylinders I have been told. Low pressure cylinders on compounds?)

A friend puts a cloth "napkin" on top of the boiler on his loco for the first lap. A good idea. I've had wagon roof paint ruined by oil dissolving the paint on some Maerklin coaches.

I like the Regner displacement lubricators, as they also have an emptying screw at the bottom. So during long runs, I can close the adjustment valve, open the fill and emptying screw caps, and replenish oil. (Then screw the fill an emptying caps, and open the adjustment valve.)

I guess there is a case for mechanical lubricators, at least in theory. Does anyone know of an example in our size engines? Perhaps it apealed to someone into "watch making", as LSBC somewhat scornfully dismissed any livesteam engine construction smaller tha 0 gauge / 32mm. ;-D I believe they are very common in the ride-on size engines.
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Last edited by Pauli; 10-28-2019 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
my Aster P8 (BR38) has no valve controlling the amount of oil dispersed into the steam.
Most early Accucraft engines had no valve. My AML PRR K4 has a valve but it took me a few runs to figure out how much it had to be open to pass oil into the cylinders!

I'm not a fan of fiddling with the valve on every run - you might forget and leave it closed. Much better to have a proper "blowdown" valve that release pressure and lets air in as the boiler cools. Or a Goodall valve to do the same thing (let the air in as it cools.)
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Pete, a proper blowdown valve certainly sounds like the best thing. However, I have yet to own an engine equipped with that.

A lot of livesteamers over-lubricate their locomotives. I'm probably one of them. But the psychology is easy to understand, considering how costly our toys are!

But when it comes to the outside, I think most can realize that excessive oil, will also bind excessive grit, wearing down things.

One thing I do, is I always finish a days running, filliing the lubricator, and leaving the lubricator valve open on the then cold engine. So I know for sure, the next run will at least start with lubrication. The lubricator is the thing I'm most prone to overlook. :-(
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
a proper blowdown valve certainly sounds like the best thing.
Most of the larger Accucraft engines have one.



Many also have a blank plug (M5) on the backhead which can be used (with the appropriate valve) as a blowdown.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3079-ebt15-ebt12-blowdown2-8.jpg (114.6 KB, 71 views)
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This is a very informative discussion.

One that an amateur, such as myself, will find incredibly valuable.

Of course, the aformention is based on the assumption that these principals would apply to MOST steam locomotives in this crazy hobby?

My Heisler hardly used oil in the beginning. Then I just quit throwing good oil away and left it in a couple, three runs.

Since reading this thread, I'm now emptying about 1/2 of the lubricator - water.- every 2 runs.

If I wear it out prematurely - at least its not like replacing a blown 454 in a '55 Chevy gasser - it's a little tiny motor, easy to replace. Ye Haa.

Comment if the above in green is absolute, full-on, misinformation.

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