Mamod steam traction engine

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
After my parents died, I had to clear the house.

In it I found a Mamod steam traction engine that I was given as a Christmas present many decades ago.

I would love to get it working again.

Are there any little companies that can restore it? Can I do it myself with some advice?
 
#4
After my parents died, I had to clear the house.

In it I found a Mamod steam traction engine that I was given as a Christmas present many decades ago.

I would love to get it working again.

Are there any little companies that can restore it? Can I do it myself with some advice?
Don't know if you've seen The Repair Shop on BBC2, your project sounds very much like their bag. I've certainly seen model steam engines, trains and boats IIRC, restored on there.

At the very least the producers might be able to put you in touch with the relevant people.
 
#5
I have done the same, always replace the safety valve, before firing it up for the first time.
Only a few quid, and it could make all the difference between having a good day or a very bad one.
 
#7
The traction engine and steam lorry plus possibly a roller and stationary engine are in the loft above me now , like the OP only rediscovered the other day but in this case looking for some B Cal uniforms the Mrs knows are in "one of the lofts somewhere " .
 
#8
Kit to refurb Mamod Traction Engine
Very, very simple to re-commission. A New safety valve is probably a good idea. Lubricate all the moving bits fully. Use basic motor oil or get some from Manor Models Toy Steam.
If it uses the fuel tablets, they do go off so you will need some more.



Paint work can be cleaned with Duraglit.

Light it up and enjoy it.

(If it is one that uses the fuel tablets, never store them anywhere near the engine for any length of time as they can cause big corrosion problems as they give off a gas as they absorb moisture and go off.)
 
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mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Thanks all. I thought it was going to be a tough job, but it sounds simple even for a medic!
 
#12
Gen question - could you use hexi or the newfangled cooking fuel?
No idea about any new fuels but I can't see hexi being a problem.

The only thing to remember is that all the Mamod steam range were designed as toys. When they went from meths to tablets firing it was so that the fuel always ran out before the water in the boiler. If you do use other fuel be aware of this. It is also worth remembering that the models are only soft soldered not silver soldered so there may be a problem If you use other fuel.

They only run at about 12psi and the gauge glass would fail or the seals would give long before you were able to get to a point that the boiler failed.
 
#13
I may have to buy myself a piston/cylinder combo for Xmas. Mine never had enough oomph to drive, not even on the kitchen lino. It was even worse after I lubricated it with valve grinding paste. Well, how's an 11 year old supposed to know? - I figured that if it made my brother's car engine run better, it would do wonders for a steam engine.
 
#15
I have done the same, always replace the safety valve, before firing it up for the first time.
Only a few quid, and it could make all the difference between having a good day or a very bad one.
Make sure the safety valve isn't gummed up with sealing wax either... my father bought a second hand one for me when I was a kid. Paraffin is bit smoky, but got a decent head of steam up, and she went like a rocket. That is, until the safety valve tore out of the boiler and went up like a rocket.
Forensic examination of the recovered parts revealed the safety valve to blocked with sealing wax...obviously the previous owner wanted a few more psi...
 
#16
I've been looking for a cheap static engine model for a while now as a teaching aid - however due to where I'll be using it I'll have to run it from a hidden electric motor. Even ruined ones are bloody expensive these days. I am therefore extremely jealous
 
#18
I've been looking for a cheap static engine model for a while now as a teaching aid - however due to where I'll be using it I'll have to run it from a hidden electric motor. Even ruined ones are bloody expensive these days. I am therefore extremely jealous
You can run these sort of things on compressed air with out much bother. I have done this in the past when exhibiting slightly larger steam engines.

The other option as a teaching aid is the Airfix kit of a beam engine which can be motorised and demonstrates the principles well enough. There are also some wooden models out there for engines.
 
#19
Remember that the meths is for putting in the tray to heat the boiler.
There's an old joke about an alkie who tries to buy some meths at a hardware store, insisting it was for a model steam engine. The shop assistant wasn't convinced but after a while agreed to sell the alkie a bottle of meths and took one down from the shelf for him.

"Erm, I don't suppose you've got a cold one in the fridge?" asked the alkie... :)
 
#20
You can run these sort of things on compressed air with out much bother. I have done this in the past when exhibiting slightly larger steam engines.

The other option as a teaching aid is the Airfix kit of a beam engine which can be motorised and demonstrates the principles well enough. There are also some wooden models out there for engines.
I've looked at a few different things, basically, it's to help explain using our maintenance software to non-engineering staff. Machine running all right, machine stops. or runs slow, kind of thing. currently, I'm using one of these
MAD Kits - The MAD Museum
 

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