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Old 08-10-2020, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Accucraft 2-cylinder Shay Q

I just acquired an Accucraft 2-cylinder Mich-Cal shay from Peter K's estate. It is in good condition and runs well. I wonder if anyone has any comments on the following.

1. My friend has one and I noticed he has a blowdown valve above the rear truck plumbed to the boiler. Mine does not, and shows no signs of ever having had one, although I do have the hole in the footplate and a blank plug on the boiler backhead!

2. The same friend mentioned that he had a front tire come loose due to heat melting the glue (!) He has a brass plate under the smokebox to deflect heat.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Pete,

The blowdown on the early Mich-Cal shays was a separate item that was optional to be installed, as I recall. It is of course, not really a blowdown but more of a vacuum relief/high water drain.

The "glue" mentioned is actually the insulator for the tire that melted, I suspect.

A heat shield is an advisable modification to direct heat away from the front truck. You can also sleeve the burner holes a bit shorter as they usually make far more steam than they use, but the heat shield is still a good ounce of prevention.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pete, I have the same model and I don't use the blow down at all. The Shay model will run just fine on 10 to 15 lbs. of pressure . I keep the burner turned down very low when operating mine , and have never had a problem with things melting. I have had my engine since 2006 with over a 100 hours of operation and no issues with it .
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys.

Quote:
A heat shield is an advisable modification to direct heat away from the front truck. You can also sleeve the burner holes a bit shorter as they usually make far more steam than they use,
I did notice that I was running happily at almost zero gas. Accucraft make a short burner - anyone had any experience with it?
https://www.accucraftestore.com/prod...w-o-jet-nozzle


I have lots of bits of brass the right size so I will add a shield.

Quote:
and I don't use the blow down at all
If you don't have a Goodall or some similar way of releasing the vacuum as the steam cools, it helps to open the valve. They are useful for dumping the steam so it will cool down more quickly if you are visiting and have to run!
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Old 08-10-2020, 01:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Pete , you are quite right about using the blow down to release the pressure and prevent a vacuum. I have a goodall valve fitted to mine and use it to add water to the boiler. At the garden club here in Denver we have a game of seeing who can run on the lowest pressure on the gauge. I have run mine down to about 4-5 lbs on the gauge and gotten 45 minutes of run time on a single filling of gas, I add water at 10 minute intervals to keep from running dry. After the fire goes out, I just let it run till it coasts to a halt usually another 60 feet or so. You will enjoy your
Shay very much.
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Old 08-11-2020, 08:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Pete, mine did not come with the blowdown valve. As to your second question, I would highly recommend installing a shield. Almost no heat / exhaust goes up the stack, most of it blows down on the front truck through the bottom opening of the smokebox. I had been very careful about keeping the flame / temps down, but still managed to melt brake hangers (or something to that effect).
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Old 08-11-2020, 11:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seadawg View Post
Pete, mine did not come with the blowdown valve. As to your second question, I would highly recommend installing a shield. Almost no heat / exhaust goes up the stack, most of it blows down on the front truck through the bottom opening of the smokebox. I had been very careful about keeping the flame / temps down, but still managed to melt brake hangers (or something to that effect).
I have done the same, melted a few ties before I figured out the issue.

I don't have a blowdown valve

It is one of my favorite engines, just runs brilliantly
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Old 08-11-2020, 02:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. I guess a heat shield is in my future.
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Thornton View Post
Thanks guys. I guess a heat shield is in my future.
Found this in my notes showing the heat shield. I used a brass sheet and then ceramic paper over the brass for the heat shield

https://forums.mylargescale.com/18-l...8t-shay-3.html
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Pete,
The heat shield idea is a must for this loco. The front truck is cast from potmetal and many owners have melted the truck from the heat flowing out from the smokebox.
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