Coles Corliss - SUCCESS!

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Oct 10, 2023
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Houston TX
Thanks to everyone who chimed in with their thoughts and suggestions on my recalcitrant Coles Corliss engine. It turns out the steam valve eccentric was out of whack, opening the valves around 45 degrees early. With much trepidation (and no instruction manual), I pulled everything apart, set the eccentrics where I thought they should be (did some cosmetic work as long as it was apart anyway), and buttoned everything back up. It took a little tweaking, but the darn thing actually works. Starts by itself (in mid-stroke) and everything.

Here's a video. The governor shaft was bent when I got the engine (governor wouldn't even turn). That's all been removed for the present, but will be reinstalled when everything gets (literally) straightened out.

Thanks to very one who offered their expertise!!!

Just curious: how is the piston, valves, etc. lubricated?

Anyway, thanks to everyone who offered their input. It was greatly appreciated.

PS: for whatever reason, I can only hear the sound on the video that I uploaded. But, you can tell from the sound that it's working :)


  • 20231021_233333 (2).mp4
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That is great news.

Just needed a little TLC.

I can't see the video, so we can't call it done until we see it with our own eyes.

The Corliss valve gear appears to vary quite a bit from manufacturer to manufacturer, and can be quite involved.
That is why I have never attempted a Corliss.

They make some small lubricators like was used on the Cretors popcorn engines.


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