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 Post subject: LeRoi Parts
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 53
Hello again folks!
We've been working on Stewartstown Railroad's Mighty Mo - a Plymouth ML-8 with what looks like the original LeRoi RXIV Engine. This has dual ignition, dual distributors, dual points per distributor, etc.

It occurred to me that we (the railroad) don't have what I would think of as a lot of 'renewable' spares - Points, distributor caps, plugs, plug leads - the kind of things I would be replacing when doing a tune up.

So, I figured I'd ask the keepers of the massed knowledge - you folks here. I know there are a number of organizations running ML-8s, and a couple even with original engines.

Can anyone here offer me any leads on sources for parts? So far, I've found that I can get piston rings from Hastings Mfg, and I could easily make new plug leads, and could cobble together a new ignition system, but I'd like for us to keep it as original as possible.

Thanks in advance-

Mike Ruane
Stewartstown Railroad


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 Post subject: Re: LeRoi Parts
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 4
The LeRoi engine is used in historic military equipment as well.
I believe it still has its Zenith Carburerators from when I looked at Mighty Mo last summer
http://www.thecarburetorshop.com/
http://www.thecarburetorshop.com/Indust ... duskitLRoi
I think it is kit 1065 or 1064 check the exact model of the carb.

I believe that the oil needs to be detergent free, in these older motors I have found they don't like detergent oil, but that is just my opinion.

I found that you can modify an early seventies chevy distributor to work for this
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinf ... cc=1410073

'72 c10 with a 350


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 Post subject: Re: LeRoi Parts
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:21 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 895
Not an April Fool.

Consider modifying one of the two circuits with adapted modern components (carefully saving everything removed, and modifying only the new parts if something has to be 'made to fit'.

That will give you a reliable-operating locomotive (from the ignition standpoint, at least) while maintaining your ability to put everything back to historical condition if desired. (I would be tempted to disable the "other" ignition system as well, to save wear and tear on its parts...)

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R.M.Ellsworth


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 Post subject: Re: LeRoi Parts
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 245
"I believe that the oil needs to be detergent free, in these older motors I have found they don't like detergent oil, but that is just my opinion."

Well, that depends on a few things.

Remember that the detergent in the oil is there to help dissolve dirt so the dirt can get removed from the oil by the filter.

The problem with "older" engines is that they often never used detergent in the oil during their service life. So the dirt is all inside the engine. If you add detergent based oil to one of these engines all those years of dirt get dissolved from all the nooks and crannies inside. If there is too much dirt the filter (and other passages) can get clogged from all that now dissolved dirt. This can destroy the engine. So I agree with you on that count.

However, if the engine has been totally disassembled and all the parts and passages cleaned thoroughly then using detergent in the oil going forward is totally acceptable and will help keep the insides clean. Only my opinion.

I rebuilt a frozen 4 cylinder Buda from 1920, took everything apart and cleaned it. I used long round wire brushes (tube brushes) to clean all of the oil passages. Re-assembled it and used detergent based oil going forward. I did an initial oil change shortly after getting it running again to remove any thing that I missed. The oil at that time looked acceptable (not new, but not filthy either).

Good luck, Kevin.


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 Post subject: Re: LeRoi Parts
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:35 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Shelton, Washington
Went out to the shop and found a new distributor for the RXIV engine. It is in a flat rate box, along with the machinist print and parts list to make a second unit. Good luck keeping that beastie going!!


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 Post subject: Re: LeRoi Parts
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 245
Also, that Buda engine from 1920 had a Bosch magneto for the ignition system (yeah, they made the magnetos used in Germany's WWI airplanes). It was actually in pretty good shape after being left outside for 4 decades.

The distributor/magneto cap was fabricated from the old brown Bakelite plastic. It had a lot of gray oxidation on the surface but was structurally sound. I buffed it with a cloth wheel to remove the oxidation, then baked it at a low temperature to remove any moisture. Then I soaked it for a few days in a small pail of WD-40. This "soaked" into any small surface cracks and made it acceptable from a high voltage breakdown standpoint.

The chances of replacing that distributor cap are about 1/infinity.

Points, caps, wires, etc. those are still somewhat easy to get.

This Buda Engine used the same spark plugs as a Ford Model "T", 3/4" straight fine thread with an aluminum crush-able washer. Champion was still making those new about 10 years ago. That's got to be a record, a part originally put on the market in about 1915 still available as a newly manufactured part in 2005 ?

Cheers, Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: LeRoi Parts
PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:57 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
Posts: 211
So, here's an idea.....I've done several conversions of Japanese and American points distributors to electronic. There's a conversion kit readily available. The last one I got was thru a Napa parts store for a Chevy Corvair.
The kit is intended to be pretty much universal....obviously you would likely have to modify things a bit to fit. The critical part being the clearance between the pulse pick up and the magnet mounted on the distributor shaft.....


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