Hi Byron, Sounds like you are getting into the nitty-gritty of the development now! This is where the hard brain works counts. Only you can decide on how to feed steam from the boiler to the engine, and how to control that steam (regulator valve), but have you started making the boiler yet? Remember all steam lines should be well insulated to ensure minimal condensation in transit from boiler to engine.
As I mentioned earlier, (and it was drummed into me at a very early stage!) hydraulic locking an engine is forbidden! It is very likely to damage the engine So adequate warming with a tiny feed of steam is Really necessary before you admit any pressure or volume of steam to the engine.
From your experience with air, and necessary remedial work, I am sure that you'll appreciate that to avoid further damage, you need to be much more careful when using steam, as it contains so much more energy than air. And if you have some condensate in an engine you can do worse damage as a consequence, due to hydraulic locking.
So remember, just a crack of the steam valve on a cold engine, and turn it over BY HAND (referred to as "Barring an engine") many revolutions while the steam heats it up and the small amount of condensate blows through...
ONLY when the engine is really hot and steam with very little condensate blows through should you open the throttle bit-by-bit until the engine kicks into life.
One thing to mention regarding location of the steam regulator: This should be BEFORE the superheater (if you have one), as "locomotive practice". If after the superheater, you can get water into the superheater, which will quickly flash to steam before the boiler is hot and generates steam. And as a steam novice, you won't appreciate what is happening - thus leading to some risk of errors. (Been there many years ago!).
I did read your note earlier about hydro lock . I had not considered this but I guess that’s why in the real loco world years ago they blasted enormous cloud of vapor before moving at the station
As I initially assembled the engines I noted that the pistons have little space at top dead center and bottom dead center. Somewhere I read or noted that the valve timing is such that right before these conditions the ports open providing a cushion for the piston to compress against. It prevents knocking or rapid take up of bearing clearance IC engines don’t realy have this as they are compressing or under power and load essentially all the time . That may be over simplification, but making sure the cylinders are clear makes sense I did rotate the engine a number of times to make sure that oil had not accumulated . But I’ll be sure to include a way to clear the cylinders or at least turn the engines over by hand before running standard procedure in hot rods we even do this at the end of a run in case the fuel leaks as there is considerable pressure in nitro systems.
You are right I’m learning things as thre are lots of these engine running . I just don’t like set screw or grub screw into a shaft unless there is an exact flat spot that prevents rotation . In this case there is noting . The instruction says “ make it like the picture “ in fortunately I found his rathe oblique and ambiguous. I’m used to accurately decreeing the cam or cams .
And of course I have no specs to go by , so it’s a trial and error and a chewed up crank now . I found made to order shaft coupler that are clamp on and pretty short so I could make it to fit allowable space. Since I have machining capability I’ll make custom fit I need 4 total but over $ 100 each is a bit hard to swallow. I can buy aluminum bar stock and design an make my own I just can’t do it over night . Essentially the front ofvthe coupler will clamp the hub of the eccentric to the crank allowing adjustment then the entire coupler will clamp to the crank too . It sounds complicated but it is not just making it fit in allowable space will take away from engine to engine coupling space but there is room there no real close tolerances either .
I’m a little uncomfortable doing this as others have had success using what I consider “ old school” methods . It sometimes takes a while to develope stuff like this but we often had lengthy debates on mfg processes and fixes . I’m just doing the debate internally in my mind .
As for the boiler it’s slow as I have had just endless interruptions . Once again another interruption “ my heat went off last night. It’s 55 deg in the house no help until late after noon . I have a portable heater I’ll move to the hobby room so I can continue rebuilding the short blocks. I think the super heater I proposed will work .
Question: if I have some volume of super heated steam say just in the “ dry stage” if I bleed this into an empty tank like an air tank carefully observing pressure of course and pressurize to say 225 psi. Well within limits of standard air tank. ? Will there be too much cooling thus condensation ? I could bleed the tank of course . I also have a very good ac vacuum pump so I could vacuum the tank first I YHINK it may be a test I’ll have to do at some point I really need to get the boiler done before getting into this I think . I’ll do some start up and bleed downs before functional operations. I already have dual-electrical timers so I’m trying to prevent a runaway. Dealing with the aviation and military I’m well aware of double redundancy. In hot rods we had some and now there are multiple fuel and ignition controls. As well as fire controls. Since I have several nice flex couplings I YHINK I’ll do a dry test using a small electrical drill to break in the packing gland and circular oils. I’ve got measurements of where the timing was that allowed easy running so I’ll start there and develope a better setting method .
I’ll be able to describe this better once I test it out . I know I’m really against the grain here but even airlines Chang their check lists occasionally especially after an “ incident “
I have to say this is a very interesting hobby lots to learn lots of great guys willing to help out.
Actually glad I didn’t have steam perational. I had not planned on this issue so I would have had to have a quick way to shut the steam off other than the valve I was using. So another item to consider. I won’t put steam in until I can operate the engines reliably
I’m also dealing with my late son’s estate so many phone calls .