We’ll try and answer a few frequently asked questions on this page. If you don’t find the answer to your query here or in your loco’s instruction manual, use the contact page to drop us a line.
Where can I see and buy Accucraft products?
Please visit our dealers page for details of Accucraft distributors in the UK and Europe. Many have websites as well as shops and quite a few attend model railway shows throughout the year. We are now also open for retail sales at our Pontrilas warehouse but it is best to telephone before visiting to see if we have what you are seeking in stock.
Where can I obtain the Accucraft US range in the UK?
The range is only available direct from Accucraft UK in Herefordshire. Please contact us to check prices and stock availability. The Accucraft DE and Accucraft AUS ranges are also only available in the UK through our head office.
How can I get news of forthcoming Accucraft products?
Simple! Just register with us and sign up to the free website newsletter – you’ll be updated with any breaking news concerning Accucraft products.
What oils should I use with my live steam loco?
To lubricate the valve gear, axles and crank pins use a light machine oil, e.g. 3 in 1 oil. We recommend 460 steam oil for the locomotive lubricator. Accucraft now supply their own brand, available from our dealers.
What water should I use in my live steam loco?
We recommend filtered rain-water (a tea-strainer will suffice!) or water from a household water filter (which will also supply you with nice tea!) but suggest you do not use de-ionised water.
What gas should I use in my live steam loco?
We recommend using butane gas only, however, all Accucraft locos’ burner systems will accept a butane/propane mix. The gas tanks are robust enough to accept the higher pressure of the mixed gas. However, since the mixed gas has a higher calorific value the water could run out before the gas, evident in a loss of pressure and decreased speed but the gas will still be alight – stop your locomotive at once and turn the gas off! DO NOT ADD WATER via a top up valve if this has happened, allow the loco to cool down first.
How do I clear a blocked gas jet?
Instructions for clearing a blocked jet can be viewed here
How do I use a locomotive with a water bath?
Some of our tender engines and Garratts are fitted with a gas tank in a water bath to promote vaporisation of the fuel prior to ignition. This is particularly beneficial in designs where the tank is remote from a source of heat, however, the water in the bath must never be more than hand hot! It is sensible to fill the gas tank before adding the warm water otherwise you may find you are unable to fill the gas tank effectively.
Where can I find instructions for my Accucraft loco?
Look for the model on our website – at the bottom of the description of the loco there will be a link to downloadable ‘Word’ and PDF files for the loco instructions. We often get asked for these from customers who have purchased one of our locos second-hand.
My Accucraft loco is out of warranty, where can I have it repaired or serviced?
Contact us initially to discuss your requirements and we will have the loco picked up and sent the most appropriate service agent. Out of warranty work is undertaken on a charged for basis.
What are the standard thread sizes for most Accucraft locos?
- Steam regulator – M5 x 0.8mm
- Gas regulator – M5 x 0.5mm
- All standard pipe unions – M5 x 0.5mm
- Water/lubricator fillers – M10 x 1mm
- Water lever drain/lubricator drain – M5 x 0.5mm
- Normal hex bolts – 3mm AF Hex head, M2 thread
- Small hex bolts – 2mm AF Hex head, M1.6 thread
Why doesn’t the coupling height on the IoM coaches match the IoM locos?
The reason for them being set to 16mm height rather than 25mm (as on the loco) is that this is the 16mm standard. However if you undo the two fixing bolts for the coupling body you will find two fixing holes for the Isle of Man loco coupling height behind the couplings and it is a simple matter to raise the couplings to the correct height.
I am having trouble coupling my Accucraft Mk1 coaches, how do I do this?
As opposed to the Kadee couplings fitted to the first batches of these coaches, the Accucraft knuckle couplers work on a more positive lock. It is necessary to have one coupler locked and the other open to ensure they lock when coupling up and you may need to draw one or both the couplings to the full extent of their springs and engage them – they will then lock (you can do this with two fingers between the coaches). To disengage them you push the locking pin (which projects below the head of the coupler) up, this unlocks the coupling.
My loco’s safety valve is blowing off below pressure, can I adjust it?
The blow off pressure can be reduced by holding the valve body while using a fine nosed pair of pliers or tweezers in the slots in the pressure adjuster ring in the valve. Unscrewing or anticlockwise reduces the pressure and the other way increases the blow off pressure. The ideal blow off is 60psi.
What colours can I use to touch up my Accucraft loco?
For our generic locos, the paints are GWR post 1923 Green or LMS Crimson Lake. We usually advise customers to go to the Phoenix Precision web site since you can buy the paints there, on line, cheaper than we can supply them. The dark blue we use is Humbrol No. 14 enamel paint.
Do you service Pearse Models locos?
Our repair agents can usually repair Pearse locomotives.
Can you supply a spare pony truck for my Excelsior / Leader?
No, we don’t carry these in stock. The most common reason we are asked for these is because a customer has purchased an Excelsior / Leader second-hand and has failed to ensure that the alternative wheelset, chimney, etc. are included in the deal. Caveat emptor!
Where can I find valve setting instructions for Excelsior / Ruby?
You can download this PDF which explains how to adjust the valve settings on Excelsior and the generic Accucraft (US) locos Piston and Reverse Valve Setting Instructions