Sunday, 21 February 2016

Maintenance Update (pony pads, lagging, glasses, wax)

Wednesday 17th
Bruce and John T continued work on the pony underkeeps. The pads had been soaking in oil for about 10 days, but the second underkeep was waiting for a drain hole to be completed. John finished off the insides and then drilled and tapped while Bruce prepared for the fun part!

Together, they completed the fitting thereof.

Gil was reaming the hole in the end of the valve link, expanding it to fit the new offset pin that connects this rod to the rocking shaft arm. That took all morning.

Thereafter, he had a butcher’s at the bridge section, where we had originally attempted to remove the bridge in order to carry out the reaming of the holes for the new pony pivot pin. The lock nuts had been cut off, and the split pins had also been cut off (because they refused to come out). As a result, the old pins may have to be drilled out. I think Gil was hoping to fit new lock nuts, but the remnants of the split pins got in the way!

So, he moved on to the under-frame of the pony truck that keeps the horns from spreading. We had been unable to tighten the 8 nuts on this prior to being moved over the pit. These were now easily reached, tightened and split-pinned.

Bruce set me on fitting the pony pivot pin. We’d fitted the old one so that Bruce could shave a bit off the new one (for his homework). We did this because it is such a good fit that we were concerned about the restricted elevation possible when the loco is loaded onto a lorry, and the pony truck has to ride up significantly higher than it was originally designed to do.

David had cut the end of the steam heat pipe at the back of the loco, which connects to the tender, and tack-welded a couple of new sections on. He’d asked that the pipe be painted in heat-resistant paint before he completes the weld and the pipe is refitted. John G was tasked with doing this. The lagging had to come off and John wire-brushed the entire pipe before applying the same paint that is applied to the smokebox. He also cleaned up the flanges and the nuts & bolts for them. Later, John went on to assist with fitting the split pins to the pony horn tie.

While fitting the pony pivot pin, I’d noticed that lagging had been worn off the steam heating pipe in that area (the pipe is a useful one to stand on!). We had a small amount of lagging left, so I rectified that.

I couldn’t help but notice a whole host of Loco Dept chaps crawling all over our loco, applying cleaner (and possibly wax?). Many thanks to them (one is named Mike; Alex is the lady; I don’t know the others’ names - sorry!). Anyway, very many thanks to the Loco Dept.

The next task assigned to me by Bruce, was to re-fit the copper pipe that feeds the ‘pep’ (or ‘slacking’) pipe in the cab. This had been rubbing against the frame where it passed through, and Bruce had brazed to leak up. That was easy enough to put back on.

Now being over the pit, I was able to get at the front damper door, which has two loose bolts. Well, they may waggle in their holes, but the nuts won’t budge - so they wouldn’t work loose! I had to cut them off with the angle-grinder, and then fit new nuts & bolts.

Finally, I decided to fit new glasses to the hydrostatic lubricator in the cab. The glasses contain water, through which oil drip-feeds. They were removed over winter to avoid the water freezing. I think I must have thrown the glasses away (whoops!) because I couldn’t find them; so had to get new ones. I struggled for ages fitting these. You have to drop the glass tube in, then slide a rubber up it followed by the compression ring and the nut; then the bottom nut, its compression ring and finally the bottom rubber. They were exceedingly hard to get together. In fact, the fifth one just would not fit. I took it off, and discovered that the glass tube was wider than the hole in the compression ring! Clive [Loco Dept] came along and examined the glass. He delved into the loco toolbox (where spares are kept for in-service emergency use), and when we compared that glass to this new one ... there’s 1/16” difference! They are too big! No wonder I’d been struggling with them. See photo- new glass left; old right. Rubber ring expands too much on the new glass, and jams in the nut!

Saturday 20th
Lots of smaller tasks were attacked … not always successfully! Here are the bigger tasks:

A whole host of folks assisted Gilbert in refitting the RHS valve link. This had been removed in order to get at the valve itself, and examine its innards. It also gave a bit more room for the reaming of the bolt holes that secure the rocker arm bracket to the frame.

As the end bush in the valve link had also been reamed, a new offset-pin had been made to fit. This connects the valve link to the rocker shaft arm.

Unfortunately, the link would not go in place, and would not engage the valve cross-head at the front end. This big bracket supporting the slide bars was getting in the way!

After much forcing of the valve rod and cross-head as far forward as possible, it was decided that the only thing to do was to get between the frames and disconnect that arm from the intermediate valve rod, thus allowing the arms to be swung backwards and thence the link and cross-head mated.

I fitted the remaining one glass to the hydrostatic lubricator; Mason’s valve; door to the in-cab ATC box; RHS valve cladding and RHS running board (once the chaps had completed the link.

Bruce brought the copper pipe for the condensing coil (in the cab roof) to measure the required length before cutting and swaging the end. He is here removing the top clack valve to polish its bottom for his homework. He also finished fitting the two injectors that John T and I had started, before hitting a spanner problem.

John T fitted a new diaphragm into the Mason’s valve; began fitting it (but also ran into a spanner problem); prepared the injectors (PTFE on internal threads); and finally refitted the rear section of the steam heating pipe.

John G is here cleaning out the drain cocks. He had also assisted me in fitting the RHS running board. I suspect that he was frequently providing “support services” (i.e. gopher) for other folks throughout the day.

Ade and two other Loco Dept chaps were set on replacing the gland packing in the LH rear cylinder. Gil supervised this. However, Gil was trying to fit a bracket under the cylinder block for the front section of steam heating pipe to be refitted. He ran into nut problems! Nut and stud were not a willing match!

Several Loco Dept folks had been crawling over the boiler and particularly the smokebox, applying wax or oil (as appropriate). Just ask Bruce, as he slid all over the boiler, when removing the clacks!
Alistair also had a hard time attempting to remove split pins from the fitted bolts in the bridge section at the back of the pony frame. He gave up in the end!

An issue had been raised saying that there is a crack in the water scoop casing. Once I’d cleaned the paint & muck off, you could see what a crack! The top has parted from the bottom. However, the top is firmly bolted in place, and so is the bottom; so nothing is going very far! The scoop is not used, of course.

David had a look at the material and discovered that it is cast iron. As a result, it cannot be welded. The decision was taken to apply a strong filler (since the whole thing is cosmetic).

David welded up the end of the rear section of steam heating pipe. Alistair painted the end section. David wrapped fresh glass-fibre insulation tape round it.

The tender end of things is a bit sorry, though. The new flanges are a different shape, size and hole positioning to our old ones. So, David is going to fill in the holes on the tender’s flange and drill new ones to match the new flange. These have to be orientated to allow the hose between loco and tender to both fit and flex without straining.

What else? Oh, Alistair filled up the pony underkeeps with oil.

It was a busy day, and quite a few things got ticked off the “to do” list. Still a few to get done before the end of the month, though.


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