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A SITE FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN OLD STEAM ENGINE TECHNOLOGY.

Author Topic: (MARINE) How to rebuild a marine steam engine  (Read 7013 times)

farmerden

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(MARINE) How to rebuild a marine steam engine
« on: March 13, 2011, 11:46:16 PM »

I was putting the "Steam Queen's" engine to bed one winter.That requires draining the boiler and emptying all water lines etc. I always pull the heads ,dry out the cylinders and spray WD40[WT40? I can't remember it's a seniors thing!] around just to keep the rust away.Anyway I found an irregular pattern on the LP cylinder walls.Hmm the engine would have to be torn down! Not wanting to work in the cold boatshop I pulled the engine and placed it my workshop where the woodstove and music were! [I mean I guys gotta be comfy if he's gonna start a project] This engine and all steam engines come with no instructions.So with camera in hand I proceeded to take pictures-lots of them-from every angle-at every stage of deconstruction.So many pics my home movies weren't boring any more! They were exciting compared to the hundred or so pics of the engine I took.Then I took notes-a small book full! Lucky for me ,the builder number stamped every part-so it was easy to get the parts back together again [of course by checking my photos!] The marks on the cylinder wall were caused by the rings being seized in the piston ,so I opened the ring gland up a bit to allow the new rings more movement.Then I continued to disassemble the engine right down to the base and found no other problems.Even the babbit bearing surfaces still had the original scraping showing.Now I threw a little chrome on it ,polished a little brass,and painted everything else black.Then came reassembly-I blew up all the pics and pinned them on the wall,carefully read my notes and placed the shims where my notes said,checked all the bearing gaps and removed a shim or two where needed,and basically had the most enjoyable winter I've had in a long time! I had Stan come up and together we timed it on air [it was very close to being right anyway because of my notes] I fired up the old backhoe and used it to place the engine back in the boat and it ran like a top! I must stress that without the pictures and notes that engine would still be in a box gathering dust and doomed for the scrap pile.We MUST take pictures and notes in order to preserve these old engines!! Here's a few pictures  Den
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 02:41:40 PM by PatJ »
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farmerden

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  • Posts: 95
Re: How to rebuild a steam engine
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 11:53:26 PM »

sorry I did one twice! But I want to stress you can do this if you take your time.,I am not a machinist.I am not a mechanic. In fact if I can't fix it with a hammer ,then I get a bigger hammer! -If that doesn't work -it must be electrical!! Enjoy your engine!! Den
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woodguy

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Re: How to rebuild a steam engine
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 02:27:03 AM »

This is great stuff - keep it coming.
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admin

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  • Posts: 4008
  • Central USA
Re: How to rebuild a steam engine
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2011, 02:40:59 AM »

Great photos and writeup Den.
Thanks a bunch.
Great job on the restore.

I love these type posts.


« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:25:13 AM by admin »
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Smarter not Harder

farmerden

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  • Posts: 95
Re: How to rebuild a steam engine
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 05:28:30 AM »

The engine is new!! George Doughty of Comox BC Canada made the wooden patterns,and had the engine cast in Nanaimo BC.All the brass parts were cast in his backyard by him.He was a very gifted steamer who shared his knowledge with anyone who asked. I never had the pleasure of meeting him and unfortunately He died in 1990 or so.The boat was parked in a leanto til about 2003 no one seemed to want it! Then along came me and the rest is history.I am the boats new keeper! That engine is #1 built in 1987.One other was made and I acquired that one and the patterns in 2009 so it is up to me to keep George's dream alive!
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admin

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  • Central USA
Re: How to rebuild a steam engine
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 07:59:44 AM »

Wow Den-

This story gets more interesting every time I read it.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 09:25:21 AM by admin »
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Smarter not Harder