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Restoration Update: Mounting “V-Twin” Steam Motor in Frame

No. 9’s “V-twin” steam motor has been rehabbed— pressure washed, steam cleaned, primed, painted—and now mounted on the frame

On Friday, August 11 at 10AM, a 40-ton Ad-Lite crane arrived at the Millerick Brothers Sebastopol yard to gently place the 3-ton, 102-year old steam engine into No. 9’s restored framework. The “motor-engine”, as Heisler Locomotive called it, was wrestled into the frame by Jeff and Don Millerick. They put the 102-year old bolts through mounting brackets and spun the nuts tight. It took 45 minutes.

August 3, 2023

The freshly painted, two-cylinder V-twin steam engine that drove No. 9 up Mt. Tamalpais, sits ready for remounting in the locomotive’s frame. Steam expert David Waterman worked with the Millericks rehabbing the steam engine, using penetrating oil until the metal parts moved smoothly. “It was easier to move than almost every other part of No. 9”, said Waterman.  Then Delta Sandblasting pressure washed, sandblasted and repainted the 3-ton motor. At the bottom of the motor you can see one of the two U-joints that turn the locomotive’s driveshafts that moved all 8 wheels on engine No. 9.

August 11, 2023

Gently, the 3-ton steam engine is spun and lowered to No. 9's frame. Rethreaded 102-year old bolts will lock the engine in place.

August 11, 2023

No. 9 “cleans up pretty well.” Lots of cleaned and painted parts: cast iron motor mounts, new bolts and No. 9’s “motor-engine” are secured to the I-beam frame. Unlike fossil fuel engines, the “V-twin” engine applies steam one side of a piston to push it one way and then applies steam to the opposite side of the piston to push it the opposite way. On a Heisler locomotive 2 pistons do the work of 4 fossil-fuel pistons.


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