Restoration of M. Rumely #4332   Page 1

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Click on any image to enlarge:

This 15 HP M. Rumely steam engine is owned by Jerred Ruble.  I get the privilege of running Jerred's engines at the Heritage Park of North Iowa.  I told Jerred I would be interested in restoring one of his engines and in October, 2005 he brought this M. Rumely to my place.   Jerred also has several other projects in process that is on his website here.
#4332 is a 15 HP simple made in 1903.  It has an 8 3/4 bore x 10" stroke.  The engine is pretty much complete and the boiler is in good shape.  The engine itself was stuck.

I usually have a halloween party in my shop so the first thing that happened is Lyn decorated the engine for the party.  It definately was a conversation piece.  I had filled the cylinder with diesel fuel and ATF and filled all the oil cups also.

After the party, I started cleaning it up.  I removed about 30 gallons of ashes and coon nests from the ash pan.  The boiler was really dirty and it was a nice weekend, so I drug it outside to wash the boiler out.  You can see some of the scale on the ground in these pictures.  I loosened all of the bearing caps and broke the engine loose.  I think the engine was mostly stuck in the bearings and the piston was not stuck at all.

The plumbing was all shot so I took pictures of it and removed the plumbing.  Zach even helped out by scraping grease.


The governor drive shaft and housing was worn from too many years of dirt and too little oil.  I measured around .050 slop from the wear.  This needed to be fixed to prevent any further bevel gear wear.  I decided to bore out the housing and use two oil empregnated bronze bushings.  The problem was I didn't have anything that could accurately bore 6 1/2" deep except my lathe, so I made a fixture plate that bolted to the compound.  The plate was supposed to be full of tapped holes but whatever steel it was made out of work hardened and I couldn't tap it.  So I just welded nuts to the plate to hold the governor housing.  The boring bar needed to be 1/2" diameter and at least 7" long, so I built one out of drill rod.  Then my friend Al Burgess loaned me a solid carbid bore bar with those dimensions.  That thing worked great.  Absolutely no spring back with the amount of cut I was taking. I know I would have had a lot more problems using my home made bore bar.   The second picture shows how the governor was mounted and aligned on the table.  The third picture shows me boring the inside bushing.  The original shaft was badly scored and I built a new copy from drill rod.   The fifth picture shows the shaft and bushings in place.  The bushings were made from oil impregnated bronze round stock.  The bushings were 1 1/2" long at the pulley end and 1" long (the longest that would fit) at the governor end.


After reassembling the governor, I wanted to test run it to make sure I didn't have the clearances (about .002-.005) too tight.  I clamped it to my lathe, oiled it up and ran it about 10 minutes without any problems.  It took 2 weekends to get the lathe modified, fixture plates built, bushings made and governor machined.

Here is a current picture of the engine.

The cylinder rod was really rusted and pitted.  It was so bad I was concerned that it would tear up the packing in no time.  I cleaned the cylinder rod really well and then coated it with JB weld.  After it cured, I turned down the rod back to the original size.  After polishing with emery cloth it is now much smoother and should last a long time.

The Arnold valve gear has a slider that helps guide the valve rod.  This slider used to have a drip oiler on it, but apparently not in a long time.  I found the valve rod to be very worn and the brass guide plates nearly worn through.  It looks as though the bottom plate was worn through and the previous owner exchanged the top and bottom wear plate, filling the extra space with wood and sheet metal spacers.  One problem with doing this was that the oil hole that should have been in the top plate was now in the bottom and there was no way that this was going to get any lubrication.  The valve rod was also worn about 1/8" undersize from rubbing against the packing.  To fix that, I turned the worn area down and built it back up again with weld.  After straightening the rod, I then turned the built up area to match the rest of the rod.  The design of the guide allows the brass plates to be adjusted on all four sides so I decided to just machine off the worn area on the valve rod until it was square again.  New wear plate were made from 360 brass.


I spent the last two weekends removing components and cleaning parts.  Jerred stopped by to check on the progress and give me advice and we decided that the front tube sheet would need to be built up in a few areas and the flues would need to be replaced.  The flues are coming out next weekend.  At this point, it is not hard to just remove all the gearing, wheels and engine so I did that.  It will make cleaning and painting much easier.  The wheels and gearing will go to a sandblaster to get cleaned.  I found the original platform under extra boards added at a later time.   There are a lot of steam engine parts now spread over my shop and still a lot of work to do before anything can go back together!

Jerred Ruble, Brian Patterson, and Eric Bremer Came over to remove the flues and help me load some of the heavier parts onto a trailer for a trip to the sandblaster.  The engine has 48 2" flues - 6 feet long.  Some were paper thin and others had been replaced at some time in the engines history.   The firebox door was extremely small, so that is why Brian and Eric were recruited to do the work.

Brian's first attempt at entering the firebox was a failure.  He gave up and we sent Eric in.

After listening to a bunch a jokes about his weight, Brian removed his coveralls and made a successful second attempt.  This was lucky, since we didn't want to see Brian remove any more clothes.

Brian is cutting the flues from the front sheet.

The result of a full days effort.

Current status:  The Rumely has been reduced to a bare boiler.

Page two is the reassembly of Rumely 4332.

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