Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Maintenance Update (cap, steam, reverser, pony)

Saturday 4th July
David and John T were first to arrive.  David immediately tackled the chimney cap that had lost its handle.  The square-section handle was too thin to rescue, so David found a length of hollow tubing to replace the handle.  Once he'd welded it and tested it, he figured that it would be good to give it a coat of paint.  Then, he hung it up outside to dry [see photo].  Sadly, as I was snapping it, I spotted a bit he'd missed!  So, David got the paint out again … Then, he asked: 'Does it need to have this rope attached?'  Well, it does - to tie it down & stop the cap from flying off the chimney when it's windy!  So, David fashioned a loop from the original, and welded it onto the handle … and out came the paint again!

I had arrived with half a dozen rail chairs from Winchcombe, and John set to, cutting off the bolts.  It was a bit like firework night watching him.

Then we had a look at the remaining issues list to see what to tackle.  John took on issue 10 (LH intermediate underkeep retaining bolts too short.  Lock nuts not fully on thread).  Grovelling in the grime under the loco, we could see that, indeed, the lock nut on one was only half onto the bolt thread.  After John had removed it and examined the situation, it became apparent that there was an ill-fitting washer.  John gave it a shave with a file, and that fixed the problem totally.

When John & I clambered down into the pit to suss out this issue, I noticed a huge hole in the steam heating hose on the tender.  So big that I could get a finger into it.  Now, how come someone can raise an issue to say that the leaves of a spring are not perfectly in line, and yet there is no report of this religious hose???  Steam would have gushed out if the heating was used!  I wonder if it relates to issue 22 (Rear steam heat connector blowing.  Replaced seal, still blowing steam)?  Perhaps the blowing of steam was from a small hole, that has subsequently got bigger?  Certainly, replacing the seal would have had no effect …

John tackled this issue next.  In due course he had stripped the old hose of its connections & clasps.  After looking for a new hose, and not finding one, we did find a 10ft length of hose that appears to be identical to the old one, so John cut off 25" and it is ready to assemble (but time ran out today).

Bruce drilled and fitted the new pin for the reverser lever handle.  David painted that part of the handle in signal red [pin arrowed in photo].

Bruce was investigating issue 33 (Vacuum pump release valves (both ends) hot.).  We could not understand how these could get hot, as they only allow air to escape from the vacuum pump.  So, he met 4270 as it came back into Toddington and examined its vacuum pump.  It was almost too hot to handle!  David gave a second opinion, and Bruce estimated it to be about 50 deg.C.  So, it would appear that they do get rather warm!

Bruce's brain was almost continuously trying to work out what might cause the pony axle to get hot (issue 33).  He didn't solve that mystery!

David had another go at the blower's seat (issue 24 Blower blowing by).  He & I had had a go before, but spent all day getting nowhere fast.  David and Bruce had another go, using hand tools (as opposed to the electric drill that we had previously used).  Whilst this had some effect, their view is that the blower needs taking off and machining in the workshop.

Mostly, I seemed to paint chairs & assemble boot scrapers.  The F&W sold two today.

Tony Soughton came to Todders to the P&O AGM.  Tony used to be 1/3rd of the Sunday Gang restoring 2807 during the final years.  Now he works at the Dean Forest Railway.

Wednesday 8th

The pony truck axlebox came under scrutiny,  Bruce's brain was still trying to fathom out how the axle could get hot.  So, he and Gil, aided by Graham [Loco dept] in the morning and John G late in the day messed around with it all day.  The underkeep could not be removed.  There was some debate about the design of it - it differs slightly from that on the 42xx, which can be removed.

At one point, Bruce was blowing through a length of hose pipe into the axlebox.  I'm not sure that this proved anything (other than his puff also came out of the axlebox).  The final decision was that the pony will have to come off completely over winter and the axle and boxes be removed for thorough examination.

John G spent the morning playing with the holey steam heat hose.  Firstly we couldn't find any decent clamps to hold it on; secondly Carpo said it was the wrong sort of hose!  Well, it was identical to that which came off!  Hopefully Gil will buy a correct one.

After this, John painted the three remaining rail chairs in the production line.

I began by painting the lettering and fitting brushes to half-a-dozen boot scrapers.  Then got sucked into the hose issue.  I dug out a pile of (old) hoses that we had squirrelled away, and decided to chuck the lot of them!  So, I cut the fitments off (where there were any) and Mike [Loco Dept] disposed of the rubbers.

We have been informed by the railway that … " there is a considerable amount of movement of the cheek plates caused by the rivets being loose" [in the LH die block].  We are going to have to attend to this immediately after the weekend's running.

2807 is in service this coming weekend, but then not until 31st July.  Note that it is a bus rally at Todders on Sunday.  On Saturday we are having a board meeting (so not much work would have got done, even if 2807 were sat idle!).


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