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Empire B31 Brought Back From the Dead!


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Old 01-26-2019, 11:18:46 PM
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Default Empire B31 Brought Back From the Dead!

I got this Empire B31 in the mail today. It had not been run in ages. Did the usual stuff, sight glass seals, oiled it up, etc. Plugged it in and no heat. Figured it would be a shelf queen or parts engine. Replacement heaters have always been a problem for these. I set it aside and ate supper. Then I decided I had nothing to lose, so I removed the heater to see if I could repair it. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos. I carefully removed the steel clamp the retains the heater. Then I removed the actual heater which is composed of several strips of mica, one strip of asbestos, and some flat ni-chrome wire wound around a strip of mica. Once I separated everything, the bad spot was obvious where the element had burned in two. I trimmed the element back to where it was nice and clean and took one end and placed it under the other and folded it over. I gave it a little crimp with some smooth pliers. Placed it all back in under the boiler and checked for continuity. All was good. I put some water in the boiler, it steamed right up, and ran great! Here’s the evidence.

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Old 01-27-2019, 07:23:59 PM
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Default Re: Empire B31 Brought Back From the Dead!

I’ve run this engine five times now since the heater repair. Here’s an outside run in the cold. Enjoy!

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