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 Post subject: ALCO 539 parts wanted, information needed
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:18 pm
Posts: 1
We have an RS-1 that is smoking worse than a coal fired steam locomotive with bad coal and a bad fireman. The engine is run pulling excursion trains on fairly level grades, so never does work hard. Hours on the engine are way up there. Looking at the smoke, it is bluish oil smoke, not the kind of smoke from a diesel engine running too rich. Injectors were changed out for a set with fresh rebuild and new pintles and orifices, but smoking continued. My belief is that the engine has either worn rings/liners and possibly worn valve guides to be throwing this kind of smoke. Even when warmed to operating temperature, the smoke continues.

We are not equipped to rebuild Alco heads, nor can we have the engine out of service for too long as it is our sole motive power at that end of the line. We are looking for a set of good used/recently rebuilt cylinder heads for an ALCO 539 engine in an RS-1. Heads should have good valves & seats, good fit on valve guides.

Not sure how to proceed with the cylinder liners, pistons and rings as we have not torn the engine down as yet. That will likely happen at the end of our operating season. I've got an ALCO manual for the 660 HP and 1000 HP locomotives with the 539 engines. Question here is whether anyone has a set of used ALCO 539 cylinder liners for sale still within specs.

Once we have the worn liners pulled, has anyone had experience with remanufacturing using hard chrome plating ? I know from my own experience with other stationary diesel engines, that some cylinder liners could be rebuilt with hard chrome plating with a series of "divots" to hold oil. Of course, changing the cylinder wall to a hard chrome surface, then the rings probably have to be changed to some other material or geometry. If anyone has any experience or recommendations, I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Thanks-
Joe Michaels, PE
Chief Mechanical Officer
Catskill Mountain Railroad

Other parts needed are the gaskets, liner seals, and piston rings. Can anyone recommend a source for these parts ?


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO 539 parts wanted, information needed
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:29 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
Posts: 728
There are a few leads in these threads:

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=36918&p=218392&hilit=toronto#p218392

http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=35192

Yes, blue smoke would be lobe oil, probably through the rings... white smoke, cooling water getting into the cylinder (or just an engine not yet warmed up)... black smoke, injectors.

Are any 1000 hp 539s being scrapped out there right now? It would be great if somebody knows of one which might help fix your unit.

Steve Hunter


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 Post subject: Re: ALCO 539 parts wanted, information needed
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:01 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:14 am
Posts: 174
Out of curiosity, is this smoke something that gradually has been getting worse over the years or did it show up rather quickly. If it was gradual, then I would suspect rings or valve guides. If it came on rather quick, then I might look at the turbocharger.

If you would like a parts loco that had a running engine, I do know where one is. Just don't know how to talk him into selling it.


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