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The general rule is 15 to 20 drops on a new smoke unit and let it saturate for a few minutes before turning on the smoke.  When the smoke diminishes, add another 10 to 15 drops. I usually add a few drops if the loco goes into storage for a while and will add about another 10 drops after it is taken out of long-term storage before running it.


I don't try to "size" drops, I just use a set amount in the MegaSteam dropper.  When I rebuild smoke units and have new dry wick, it typically takes several droppers to thoroughly soak the wick material. This is still little enough fluid that I can hold the smoke unit upside down and nothing leaks out.

There is such a thing as Too much of a good thing, certainly too much smoke fluid is bad as well.  However, most manufacturer's instructions err on the side of too little fluid.  I get it, as I've seen stuff come in inundated with smoke fluid all over the place, that's not good either.

The key here is balance.  The experience of having hundreds of smoke units apart over the years has given me a pretty good gauge of how much fluid to use.

Another point is that certain smoke units are different sizes.  Specifically, MTH whistle steam and small diesel smoke units are much smaller than the "standard" smoke unit.  Those are good with 15 drops of fluid, they have a much smaller capacity.  You have to know what you're dealing with.

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