Saturday 20 December 2014

Maintenance Update (back in business!)

Monday 15th
Gil managed to get through to Tyseley, and was advised that the valves will be ready circa 3.30 on Tuesday.  Gil & I are going up to collect them and get them to Todders by Tuesday night.

I spent a couple of hours applying a top coat to heaps of rail chairs.  I need to get these ready for the coming weekend!

Tuesday 16th
Gil collected me circa 1.30 pm and we headed for Tyseley.  We arrived about 3 pm, but the valves weren't ready!  Bob Meanley entertained us: Gil looking at loco part drawings, me scouring the yard for spare rail chairs.  Finally, Alistair finished fitting the second one, and we were able to take them.. Apparently, they had great trouble drilling holes for the key slots in the ends of the rods, as we had had them hardened.  They broke several drill bits …   :-)

Anyway, we left there at 16:48 and arrived at a deserted Toddington at 6.30 pm.  We put the valves in the shed, each side of the loco ready for the fitters on Wednesday.

Wednesday 17th
When I arrived (after the Tesco run), I was getting into my gear when I discovered that a certain little resident has chewed off my boot lace!  Cheeky little beggar!

A team of seven of us [including John P, Mike W and Pete G from Loco Dept] spent all day (until 7 pm) fitting the valves and their cross-heads and sliders.  The montage depicts various stages of fitting the valves.

1. Each valve rod with its two valve heads was lifted onto the front running board, and inserted into the valve chest from the front.  The heads were liberally coated with thick green steam (aka cylinder) oil.

2. Some persuasion was required to move the valves into their chests, because the rings are purposely a tight fit.  John Pedley is seen here applying wood force to the end of the valve shaft.

3. When the rod reaches the far end (actually the rear cover) it has to be aligned to pass through the central hole (bush).  The carefully modified scaffolding pole is designed to enable one person to raise the shaft and move it up/down & left/right, following the instructions of the person who is peering into the hole in the rear cover to get it lined up.

4. Further persuasion is then required to pass the shaft through the rear bush.  The shaft needs to go a fair distance inwards to enable the front cover to be manipulated into place, there being many studs and bits of running board trying (successfully) to make it difficult.

5. A PTFE-type seal is then fitted round the front cover and it is a two-man job to position it over its studs.

6. When the cover is bolted in position the end cover (a bit like Pinocchio's nose) is fitted over the protruding end of the valve rod.  Just visible above the thumb on the red glove, there is an oiling point.  An oil-gun is needed to force steam oil into this and thence through holes in the bush onto the valve rod.  A five minute job … that took me half-an-hour.  The oil gun was empty.  I filled it.  It didn't work.  There appeared to be a part missing, so I took it apart (guided by John T).  Inside, I found a plunger with a chain & ring on the end (now covered in thick green oil).  Got it sorted, and successfully applied oil to the oiling point on both valve front covers.

7. Meanwhile, the valve rod seals were fitted into the rear covers.

8 & 9. Then the valve rod guide (the big lumpy thing with a pair of nuts in it) had to be raised on shims such that the valve rod cross-head (the shiny thing with a round bit, on top of the spindle guide) lines up with the valve rod centre line.  The rod is tapered, and is held in the cross-head by a tapered key (which is not visible in the photos, as it was the last thing to go in!).  The two nuts are on counter-sunk bolts that have a securing key that has to be slotted into its keyway, underneath.  When the right height is found, the pair of nuts are tightened and split pins pushed through the bolts just above the nuts. ** see Thursday!

The front running boards were refitted plus the curved valve access hatch flaps on both sides.

The LHS valve link (between rocking shaft hanging arm and the valve cross-head) was fitted, leaving the RHS side to be fitted on Thursday.

Thursday 18th
Jamie, Carpo and Danny tackled the remaining tasks.  The loco was gently moved to check that the valve heads don't hit the end covers … they don't!  [Phew!].

** When fitting the RHS valve link, one castellated nut didn't quite match up with the split pin hole.  [I think this was why the nut had been left slightly un-tight, and which Bruce had spotted recently].  Anyway, I assume Carpo inserted a washer and then skimmed a few thou off the nut to get a perfect fit.  Skimming created a burr.  When he tried to clean the thread with a suitable tap, he discovered that the thread was not "standard". I dashed round to Bruce to pick his brains - nothing found.  Bruce came over and joined in trying to figure out what the issue was.  It appears that the thread is just a few thou short of one inch Whitworth standard.  Carpo persuaded the nut to become exactly one inch Whitworth.

Much fiddling to get nuts and split pins aligned at each end of the valve link, and then it was time to test the RHS.

Danny struggled to move the reverser into full forward or full reverse - we decided that this was due to the tightness of the new valve rings.  It loosened up after a while.  It did reveal that the brasses in the rocking shafts are a tad worn !!!

Carpo pulled her forward [not on his own, obviously] to moans & groans from 2807.  Nevertheless, the RHS valves were OK.  So, 2807 was shunted round to Road 8, and Jamie & Danny lit a warming fire.

I snook into the TPO and finished off a few boot scrapers.  Then Bruce & I tidied away half-a-million tools that had migrated out to the shed during the refit.

I saw that Maurice had bunged his door up, again.  It looks as though he might feel more secure with his doorway closed, and then he opens it to pop out for his evening meal.  I must get to work on that mouse-flap!

Friday 19th
Pete Young [Loco Dept] re-lit a fire in the morning, and gradually brought her round to working pressure.  It was after lunch by the time she reached 180 psi.  Meanwhile ….

Gil tackled the oiling of everything (except the hydrostatic lubricator in the cab - Carpo did that).

Having seen the RHS rocking shaft rock when it shouldn't have, yesterday, I attacked it with a 1⅛ inch Whitworth spanner.  Surprisingly, the RHS nuts were already tight (but they're tighter now!).  A couple on the LHS were very loose, though.

I then cleaned the smokebox door and the running boards, assisted by Tim P. [Loco Dept].

We adjourned for lunch, and thereafter came the proof of the pudding.  The reverser is still very hard to heave into full gear.  Carpo eased 2807 forwards as Gil & I watched and listened.  Nothing untoward so far.  There was no steam leak from the LHS front cylinder cover that we had removed to inspect the cylinder bore.  Steam and water was happily dribbling out of all six drain cocks - however, the LHS centre one leaks steam via its little valve rod!  I recall that it was a very loose fit, when I was cleaning the drain cocks out.

Gradually, 2807 increased her distance, up & down the shed Road 8 and all seemed well.  Carpo took the opportunity to do a spot of shunting, as the 55xx is also in service on Saturday, and needed pulling out of the shed.

While they were playing, I snook back into the TPO to finish off more boot scrapers!  Gil came in and took the LHS cylinder front cladding to refit.  I gave him a hand, as it can be a challenge lining up the centre hole on your own.  Then Carpo decided to chuff up and down on Siding One, which gave 2807 a longer run.  Initially, she was coaled, but then she ran up & down several times.  This all helps bed-in the new valve rings, of course.

Anyway … job done!  She's in service over the weekend and up until Christmas Day.  I believe she'll be in service after Christmas for a while, too.


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