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Old 06-06-2020, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Running on air

So got a 3cyl Accucraft Shay. I have not set up any track but after watching a few videos it appears that some people test with compressed air.



Just curious is this damaging? I understand lubing the external bits but would you use the lubricator as well? If I understand the workings steam displaces by condensing a bit of steam oil to lube the valves and cylinders internally.



I do not think compressed air would do the same, so hence a test is fine but nothing for too long?
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Steamdriven, do not worry, air testing is unlikely to do any harm. There is always some oil residue if the engine has been run on steam before. And even if it has not, it is a regular practice to test the chassis on air during building. Air will not replace any oil from the cylinders but if there is no oil film, or if the oil is too dense, your engine will simply not run on air. Why not live up to your name and run on steam on the blocks??? Best wishes from Indoors, Zubi
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Old 06-07-2020, 01:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
I do not think compressed air would do the same, so hence a test is fine but nothing for too long?
Absolutely not for long - a few minutes is good. As Zubi says, any oil will not be removed by an air test, so as long as you lubricated things gently all will be well.


Here's thread with lots of Q&A.

https://www.largescalecentral.com/fo...steamer-on-air
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Old 06-07-2020, 07:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's also been my experience, that if it runs 'okay' on air, it will probably run a lot smoother on steam because of steams expansion in the cylinders.
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Leech View Post
It's also been my experience, that if it runs 'okay' on air, it will probably run a lot smoother on steam because of steams expansion in the cylinders.
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
David is 100% correct in my limited experience.
While trying for an hour or more to set the valve timing on my Ruby using air, the best I could do was good forward but rough reverse. I was at wits end. I decided to steam up on rollers, and lo and behold it ran good in both directions. My new mantra is to set timing the best you can do on air then steam up. You will be surprised. Air is DEFINITELY not steam!
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