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 Post subject: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:00 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 265
Jamie K at the IRM posted a short story on getting the prime mover in the Alco RSD-15 to turn over. I found it interesting.

http://www2.irm.org/blogs/


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Location: H2O-town, CT
I found it interesting too. The only thing that worries me is breaking something or doing more damage by forcing it to turn over without seeing what the inside of the cylinders look like or the turbo. They have small cameras these days you could extend into the cylinders to have a look without having to pull heads. It will need an oil change soon to get the stuff they spayed in the cylinders out of the engine.


For anything metal that's stuck (bolts, pistons, ect) a 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF fluid works well.


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 265
I hear ya on the ATF fluid. I had an old mechanic give that advice years ago when I had a car with a stuck hydraulic lifter. He told me if I wanted to be cheap leave the filter in it, drain the oil, and put in 2 qts of transmission fluid. Drive around the block until it just started to get warm. Then flush, change the filter, and replace the oil. Worked great.


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
You want to be cautious of some "short cut" measures such as described above. The best story I ever heard along those lines was someone who was told he could "refresh" his car's piston rings by emptying the oil, putting in kerosene, running it briefly, then draining and refilling the oil. Within three seconds of starting the car, the garage was a solid cloud of white smoke. For the week until he took it to a mechanic, you could tell where he was in town by looking for the white smoke.

I heard an almost identical account repeated on NPR's "Car Talk" a while back. What may work with one old car/diesel (Alco?) may not work with another/a more modern version (EMD?).


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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My goodness. If the boys at IRM get the AT&SF/GB&W RSD-15 running, how many operational diesels will that give them?

Les


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:03 pm 
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Location: H2O-town, CT
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
You want to be cautious of some "short cut" measures such as described above. The best story I ever heard along those lines was someone who was told he could "refresh" his car's piston rings by emptying the oil, putting in kerosene, running it briefly, then draining and refilling the oil. Within three seconds of starting the car, the garage was a solid cloud of white smoke. For the week until he took it to a mechanic, you could tell where he was in town by looking for the white smoke.

I heard an almost identical account repeated on NPR's "Car Talk" a while back. What may work with one old car/diesel (Alco?) may not work with another/a more modern version (EMD?).



I've heard the kerosene one too and would never do that with the mechanical background I have. ATF has better lubricating properties, plus the main thing is you NEVER substitute ALL the oil for ATF/kerosene/whatever. If the motor holds 5 quarts you only put in 1 quart ATF and leave the other 4 oil. 4 quarts put in half a quart. You still have mostly oil for lubricating properties and the ATF has better cleaning ability and dirt suspension that will get trapped in the filter as the oil pump runs. You also don't drive to Florida with the ATF in your engine.............you just have to use common sense......something some people don't have and make things worse than they were.

I did the ATF trick on a standard shift cast iron Wheel Horse tractor gearbox. The gear oil hadn't been changed in 20 years, it was tough to shift. Drained it, added 1/2 quart ATF, the rest fresh 90w gear oil and took it for a 15 minute ride going through all the gears. Dumped the oil again and filled it with 90w only. It now shifts smoother into all the gears and eliminated having to double clutch most of the time.


One other word of caution, when dealing with older flat tappet cam engines make sure you add ZDDP additive when doing this. Most oils today no longer have enough ZDDP to protect them, even doing regular oil changes this should be added. Last thing you want to do is wipe out a cam lobe.


This is a good topic though as one of my projects is barring over all the long term stored locos at RMNE. So far I've been oiling the cylinders down with the 40w railroad oil on the stored RS-3 1508 with it's 244 that isn't seized. I may do the ATF trick to see if I can get another engine that's likely seized to turn over. It hasn't had a capped stack in years since even before we got it, I think Howard said something like 10 or more years, but I'll see if the FL-9 2033's 567c will turn over with some work.


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:32 pm
Posts: 265
The IRM Diesel Dpt. ran 17 locos in the 2010 diesel parade last summer. I’m sure we have a few more, if Jamie sees this he can give a more exact figure.

Capping the stacks on a stored diesel is really important. It’s surprising how much water collects in the engine so fast. If possible covering the fans helps a lot too. Most of the drain pans on our old covered wagons are rusted through. Rain goes into the loco and keeps all the debris damp causing more rust.


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:29 pm 

Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 11:27 am
Posts: 434
Location: Switching the Coach Yard
Doing what they were doing on an Alco or a GE with the exhaust driven turbo should not be an issue with regard to the turbo. They are fortunate that the engine bars smoothly. I wonder if they pre-lubed it? One of the better Alco mechanics that I've been around stated one time that when the 251 sits with the stack open, you'll get about 6 months out of the turbo if you're lucky due to bearing damage from the water. He also suggested lifting the heads on the four cylinders closest to the turbo -- those are the ones most likely to have water damage/be stuck.

I've always worried about damaging the block with a jack or Port-A-Power, but then I guess that depends on how stuck it is.


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:04 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 285
Capping the exhaust stack is a very necessary thing to do, but on some small GE's (44 tonners) the muffler sits in a recessed well below the hood sheet metal. This well is covered with a small sheet metal cover. Water runs down along the muffler sides and into this well. Some units have a drain tube down thru the engine room floor. These drains are usually gone or plugged. As the well fills up the bottom flange of the muffler rots away and the water runs down into the manifold. Not good.

Check those wells for a clear drain tube, or seal the sheet metal at the base of the muffler.

Cheers, Kevin.


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:52 pm 
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Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
You want to be cautious of some "short cut" measures such as described above. The best story I ever heard along those lines was someone who was told he could "refresh" his car's piston rings by emptying the oil, putting in kerosene, running it briefly, then draining and refilling the oil. Within three seconds of starting the car, the garage was a solid cloud of white smoke. For the week until he took it to a mechanic, you could tell where he was in town by looking for the white smoke.


Oh yeah; I took my Chrysler to an oil change place once while one of the valves was stuck. What he did was simply take the air cleaner off, stick the ATF squirt gun in the intake, and squirt it in.

Yes, it filled the entire oil change place, including the pit below, with white smoke. He then drove it out back to let it smoke some more; and it smoked for awhile after that. But, that valve came unstuck; and it never stuck again in the ten years/200,000+ miles I had that car. It does work.

If my memory is correct, owners of Mazdas with the Wankle rotary engines did the same thing on occasion to refresh the tip seals on the piston lobe.

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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:13 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 491
Location: Illinois
etalcos wrote:
I wonder if they pre-lubed it?

Yes, the engine was pre-lubed. If you watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERoeGOWxPow&feature=player_embedded You can see the pickup tube and hose for the pre-lube pump extending thru the right hand crankcase opening, and can hear the pump (air powered diapraghm pump) running before the engine turns (I can assure you, Jamie is quite thorough when it comes to pre-lubing engines).

Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:21 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:45 am
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Location: Illinois
Les Beckman wrote:
My goodness. If the boys at IRM get the AT&SF/GB&W RSD-15 running, how many operational diesels will that give them?

Les

By my count, there are 24 operational diesels, NOT counting the RSD-15.

Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:29 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1176
Location: South Carolina
MEC_557 wrote:
For anything metal that's stuck (bolts, pistons, ect) a 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF fluid works well.


I've seen the same thing posted on a motorcycle forum I frequent.

Apparently a magazine called the "Machinist's Workshop" actually did a test of different penetrants on "pre-rusted/frozen" nut/bolt assemblies:

"The April/May 2007 edition of Machinist's Workshop did a test of penetrating oils where they measured the force required to loosen rusty test devices. Buy the issue if you want to see how they did the test. The results reported were interesting. The lower the number of pounds the better. Mighty interesting results for simple acetone and tranny fluid!

Penetrating oil . Average load .. Price per fluid ounce
None ................. 516 pounds .
WD-40 .............. 238 pounds .. $0.25
PB Blaster ......... 214 pounds .. $0.35
Liquid Wrench ... 127 pounds .. $0.21
Kano Kroil ........ 106 pounds .. $0.75
ATF-Acetone mix.. 53 pounds .. $0.10

The ATF-Acetone mix was a 50/50 mix (1 to 1 ratio)."

The ATF-acetone mix is lot cheaper in quantity than the other proprietary products and apparently works twice as well as the next best thing.

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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 285
Hugh, thanks for the tip;

Acetone is a very good solvent, it is a very small molecule and "gets into" small spaces very well. Probably helps the ATF get between the rust molecules. We used to use it to clean electronics (solder flux, contacts, etc.) and optics. But then it was declared toxic (mid 1980's, EPA) and we had to remove it from our workshops. Then later it was declared non-toxic (mid 1990's, EPA). Alas, we were not allowed to use it again because "it USED TO BE considered toxic", as opposed to "it IS CURRENTLY considered toxic". Go figure.

Best to use rubber gloves with Acetone, it will actually dissolve all of the oils out from your skin and give you a nice dry itch or worst case a nasty rash. When mixed with ATF, the ATF might get under your skin, literally.

Cheers, Kevin.


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 Post subject: Re: How to un-seize an Alco 16-251
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:59 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:45 am
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Location: Illinois
Ok, it's definitely "unstuck" now!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_YbT2nLQcQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7hDzyfHz2U
Jeff

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