Sunday 3 January 2016

Maintenance Update (pony, bridge, valve)

Wednesday 23rd Dec
John G and I spent an hour or so at Todders.  John finished off painting the rail chairs in the boot scraper production line.  All I did was retrieve our socket set (that had been left out on the loco) and squirt penetrating oil over the nuts on the pony bridge piece (in the vain hope that it would ease them enough to be undone!).  Mind you, this entailed clambering up onto the loco and down between the frames … and then clambering back out and then crawling underneath!

Received a bill for fuel from Gilbert - so we know the wheelset arrived safely at Buckfastleigh!  :-)

Feedback from SDR on Pony Wheels.
Geof reports: "My understanding is as follows.

Rob Le Chevalier had a quick look at them and was intrigued; they are profiled to a non-standard, possibly an old T profile. The inside wheel-to-wheel flange measurement is slightly in excess of tolerance for main line running.  "They are scrap" were his exact words!  Just as well we have no aspirations in that direction.

SDR will work their magic to optimise what we've got.  They may not be exactly P profile wheel when they are finished but they will be perfectly matched.  We expect them to be ready for collection end 2nd/beginning 3rd week of Jan."

Now, I'm pretty sure that we have never removed the wheels from their axle, so back-to-back they are exactly as they ran in BR days!  We did have the tyres re-profiled, though, by someone who was operating out of the old Swindon works … in the early 1990s?

Sunday 27th
Both the Flag & Whistle and the Coffee Pot café had almost sold out of their boot scrapers, so I did a restock.  While at Todders, I painted the lettering on the four rail chairs in the production line.  I think we'll have just enough boot scrapers to get us to the end of the week.

Wednesday 30th
It felt like "one of those days …", seeming busy but not a lot to show for it!

Gil & Bruce pondered over the bridge section on the pony frame, and decided that it was not going to come off!  It would be too dangerous to have a flame under there heating the nuts - no easy escape route in case of emergency when laying on your back under the loco!  So, they attacked the oval hole with an expandable reamer.  Gil thus spent most of the day reaming away.  Progress was visible, but not completed by end of play.

Similarly, I played with the sand box mechanism, testing whether sand was escaping from the slackness of the inner rod, or from a poor fit in the bottom of the box.  Possible both!  Definitely getting between rod and tube.  I thought I'd try squeezing the tube across where the slots are in it, thereby reducing the gap at the critical point.  That appeared to be better, but the sand test was not conclusive at going-home-time; so it had to wait for the next time!

Saturday 2nd Jan 2016
One of those days where a lot of effort and not a lot to show for it!

Gil spent the entire day using the expandable reamer to open out the hole in the top bridge piece.  The reamer passes through the hole and starts then to work on the hole below it (at the same time).  It then passes through that hole and hit a beam underneath, stopping further progress!  We had to raise the loco chassis on the jacks, to increase the room between bottom of bridge piece and the beam.

Bruce acted as Gil's gopher, and chief expander of the reamer.  Gil thinks he's got two more days of this, yet!

Gil set John T on removing bits in preparation for extracting the RHS valve to measure its wear.  The diagram attached shows how un-straightforward this is!  At one point, I had to assist John by standing on a molegrip that was clutching the head of a round-headed bolt, to stop it from turning while John was undoing the nut underneath.

I messed around with the sandbox again.  It seems to me that the tube is not quite long enough to form a decent seal at the bottom.  So, after much experimenting & testing, I applied a dollop of silicone beading around its bottom.  With assistance from John, I got the sandbox back in place … but could I get the split pin through the hole in one of the linkages?  [Rhetorical question!]  Gave up and went home in the end!


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