Friday, 9 October 2015

Maintenance Update (condenser, copper, breather)

Thursday 1st Oct
I popped in to Todders just to finish off the boot scraper ordered by Dame Janet Trotter.  John P [Loco Dept] was lighting up 2807 ready for the Fire & Drive on Friday.  We had a chat about the oil level in the RH big end, and he said he'd keep watch.

2807 Fireman's report from Friday 2nd Oct.
"Right Hand Connecting rod big end oil reservoir.
I spoke to Steve Oddy about the supposed problem prior to leaving the shed. We checked the reservoir at Cheltenham on the first trip and again at Toddington when stopped for lunch. There had been no excessive oil loss and the connecting rod temperature was normal i.e. slightly warmer than the coupling rod journals. This was the situation throughout the remaining Fire and Drive service. I checked the Connecting Rod oil reservoir during disposal and found that the level had changed very little. The big end temperature had also remained as normal. Looking through the drivers report cards I suspect a faulty cork had caused the oil loss problem.

Steam Condenser Coil.
This was interesting as it behaved exactly as it had done the previous time I reported it when on duty with Steve. In that case, as with on Friday the engine was "cold" and had not been in service the previous day. Anyway, overnight the boiler pressure was about 10psi from my warming fire. As the pressure reached 40-50psi a well-defined steam leak on the first bend in that coil could be seen. As boiler pressure increased further to normal working pressure the leak slowly disappeared and remained so throughout the day. I suspect the "T" cock is passing a little when cold. The lubricator working on the other coil functioned normally throughout the day."

Saturday 3rd
Bruce checked the oil level and it was roughly at the top of the restriction pipe (i.e. still plenty in the reservoir below it).

No new issues logged from the Friday outing.

Gil was here briefly, and painted a few bottoms…  Thereafter he scurried off to Winchcombe (as is his wont).

Bruce had been concerned about the lack of lock-nuts on the loco's vacuum reservoir (beneath the cab).  The studs are a tad short, but Bruce made one lock nut and fitted it.  There has been no hint of the nuts working loose.

Later, Bruce was diverted onto a 5542 problem.  Someone (not knowing their own strength) had broken part of its steam heating valve.  It had been silver-soldered back together, and Bruce got the job of cleaning up the carrot (i.e. the tapered internal plug).  Although he made a good job of this, when the valve was assembled and tested, the repair fell apart (at which point Bruce handed it back!).

As we have 2 orders plus a potential order for ten more boot scrapers, Dixie and I set to on cleaning some.  By 3.30 pm we were exhausted, having prepared 13 rail chairs.  Gil painted the first four's bottoms before dashing off to Winchcombe to play with the siphon.  Dixie finished them off, so we have 13 shiny black bottoms pointing skywards.

Sunday 4th
Bruce (who lives a stone's throw from the station) heard a familiar whistle!  It transpires that the 5542 had a bit of an issue: "Cab floor broken in two places", hence it was "red-carded" and 2807 came to the rescue.  This explained the puzzle of Malcolm R's photo of 2807 on the Sunday service!

Monday 5th
I popped in to complete a couple of boot scraper orders.  I checked the oil in the big end, and it was fine - not even dropped down to the level of the top of the restrictor pipe.  I also fitted the chimney cap - we'll have to have a word with the Loco Dept.  That's the 2nd time I've had to fit the chimney cap (that the crew should do at the end of the day).  Meanwhile, it had rained during the night (and the cap is partly there to prevent rain ingress to the smokebox, where ash + rain = acid).

Wednesday 7th
Gil & Bruce discussed plans for the winter maintenance … then Gil disappeared to Winchcombe (again).  Bruce then tightened up the balance weights on the driving wheels.  They are lead, and do work loose over time.  It's easy enough to threaten them with a hammer and force them to tighten.  They are not loose enough to fall off!

John G painted about 10 chair tops in Deproma (primer/undercoat); David M joined us after lunch and completed the final few.  I, too, worked on boot scrapers for the day (surprise, surprise).

During the afternoon, Bruce removed the section of copper pipe between Y-splitter and coil to see if we could see a split in it.  People have been recording issues about it since July.  Yes indeed, there are signs of splits on the rather sharp bend where it turns to fit onto the Y-splitter.

Following on from the above, there was one new (!) issue recorded in the crew's log:

73 [AM]: Suspect split in LH condensing pipe, where it enters T cock.  {This is the same as issues 54 and 47, and that Bruce verified today.  We can do nothing now; it will need a new pipe making.}

Thursday 8th
I spoke with SO today about our big end problem.  He's on 2807 for the Fire & Drive on Friday.  It seems there was a misunderstanding (a mild ambiguity, in fact).  It was he who discovered the cork with no breather in it, which he replaced … and the oil-loss problem went away.  The full fact is that the cork had a hole in it where there should have been a cane breather!  No one had noticed!  That's why it was losing oil.  We assumed that the issue 72 report "cork had no core" meant that it was a solid cork … but no!  The core had fallen out.  Doh !!!


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