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       The Unofficial Mamod and Other Steam Forum Forum Index -> Locomotives and Railways
alan2525

MSS Loco cylinders - poor machining

I fitted the upgrade o ring kits to the cylinders of my two MSS locos.

I lapped the cylinders as the port faces weren't flat and there were lots of steam leaks too. I was looking at the cylinders from a spare set and the ports in the port block aren't central! So when one port is open the other port closes early, or doesn't open fully.

I know these things are very simple and crude but to get optimum power they really need to be precise or else the steam will be trying to compress the exhaust!

I'm not sure which set I've ran as I lapped both sets at the same time!

When the loco was running at one point it looked as if there was more steam coming from the cylinders than the chimney! After seeing how the ports are drilled I think it might have been caused by more than just poorly mating faces on the cylinder.

I think I might machine up a set of replacement set and see if the accuracy of the ports improves performance!
made-in-england

The MSS seem to be asthough you get a gooden or a badden..
alan2525

made-in-england wrote:
The MSS seem to be asthough you get a gooden or a badden..


Just playing with the cylinder - when one port lines up with the cylinder the other port is about 2/3rds closed!

Methinks either no steam or steam but no place for exhaust to go!

Those upgrade Gas flow cylinders seem much better value for money now!
Mamodman123

made-in-england wrote:
The MSS seem to be asthough you get a gooden or a badden..


Mainly baddens!

MSS they are just poor. I mean the Mamod ones were not all made well, but these are worse by a fair bit.

My top tip every time is buy an old Mamod loco! you get a bit better build quality for your cash, and they are cheaper.
DLR

Its allright saying that MSS are rubish but we never hear about the good ones. Its the same with cars, you always here about the faults and the problems but never the good stuff. My MSS has always ran fantastically well and even out performs my Roundhouse Bertie some days.
steamyjim

I agree with Dan, my MSS (black kit) is the best running loco I have. That title may go to County of Somerset once it is finished as the air tests have been promising but MSS ain't as bad as they are made out to be, you just need patience
alan2525

DLR wrote:
Its allright saying that MSS are rubish but we never hear about the good ones. Its the same with cars, you always here about the faults and the problems but never the good stuff. My MSS has always ran fantastically well and even out performs my Roundhouse Bertie some days.


It's far from Rubbish - and still runs great - with the upgrades - and will run better as it runs in, I'm just trying to get the best possible performance from the loco.

My IP Jane (Mamod MSS, IP, PPS all have the same barrel) derailed my Millie the other day though! It punches much higher than it's weight! The sprung buffers helped keep the Jane on the rails too!
alan2525

Here's a photo of the ports on the cylinder block.

It's about half a hole out! I won't be using these ones. I'm not sure how they were drilled, possibly an ill fitting jig with the part incorrectly fitted? The holes are the correct distance apart but not central, and slightly angled from the centreline too.

dampfmaschinenjoe 1967

Hi,
I canīt say anything bad about my MSS Engine, but I think it is fitted with aftermarket 45 mm cylinders and these are working well with the engine
cheers JOE
DLR

there is a cheat for the hole alan, get a center drill and give it a few turns over the hole just to give a slight counter sink. Worked on a friends mamod
GUTMACH

It looks to me that the part was not properly located in the fixture, when the drilling operation was done. That is a shame.

Wayde
Kaleb

I don't get it. Why has there been a recent quality decline in small steam engines? It's been talked about many times on these forums.
tmuir

Kaleb wrote:
I don't get it. Why has there been a recent quality decline in small steam engines? It's been talked about many times on these forums.


I guess the main readon is a high quality toy steam engine would cost several hundred dollars compared to $200 for a DS lite.

Most modern toys are made in China, none of the main brands of toy steam are so their cost is way higher than 'modern' toys.

The have to be cost competative and the only way to do that is lower their cost per unit which means lower quality in most cases.
alan2525

I thought that MSS Loco's were still made in the UK? It's a shame though as it appears the block just wasn't fitted into the jig correctly. More like a lack of quality control than a real problem.

Alan Dunster at Dream Steam has once again kindly offered to replace the port blocks!
tmuir

alan2525 wrote:
I thought that MSS Loco's were still made in the UK? It's a shame though as it appears the block just wasn't fitted into th ejig correctly. More like a lack of quality control than a real problem.

Alan Dunster at Dream Steam has once again kindly offered to replace the port blocks!


I think they are.
I wasn't talking about any toy steam companies moving to China I was saying because they haven't it makes it harder for them to compete against toys made in China because there costs are higher and so the easiest way to lower vost is to lower quality.
Not that's an excuse for a badly made part that won't work.
made-in-england

Indeed, MSS locos are still made in wales I belive
spug103

I dont want to upset any one, but i think some comments are slightly harsh about the mss / mamod quality,
we all need to keep it in perspective that the cost of manufacturing anything has gone through the roof in this country, mainly due to all the health and safety laws, employees rights, ect, let alone the specific laws for anything steam regarding grades of copper for boilers, solders, and certificates, insurances and the like,  i have to deal with these material control aspects every day and they are a real hiderance! this alone adds to costs, so how can they ofset all these extra costs and still try to keep the loco affordable?
manufacturing needs to speed up, they need to produce more per hour so inevitably theres a trade off, as for the upgrades being a good idea, yes in my veiw they are! i cant afford a roundhouse thingy majig or an accucraft wassit, i buy mamods becase i can afford them, and i know they arent perfect so i upgrade them with some of the plethora of parts available,
i do respect everyones point of view but knowing that i take alot of pride in my work, if someone posted some of these slightly less tactfull comments about any of my work id be a little upset!  
rant over
Mamodman123

It's not what you add to them to make them work. It's how well they run from the box.

To get decent performance from a Mamod loco you do not need all the upgrades under the sun, but you will need to tinker a bit and stop all leaks.

It's ok saying my MSS/Mamod runs great, yet you have replaced all the original parts with aftermarket uprated bits.  
alan2525

Regarding my comments about the problems with my MSS. Can I just clarify that the loco is still a very competent runner, as it was from the box.  As I'm trying to develop and modify the loco into a strong and useful little engine I'm trying to get as much performance as possible.

MSS are not at all bad, for the price you still get a lot for your money and there's still a fair amount of labour involved in the manufacture and assembly of the locos. So many manufacturers have gone under and I'm still very happy that MSS can still build and produce these engines.

Rather than just discredit MSS, I'm trying to discuss how to improve and increase the performance of these loco's.
       The Unofficial Mamod and Other Steam Forum Forum Index -> Locomotives and Railways
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